Three Things Every Company Should Do to Prepare for the New Google Multisearch Feature

Multisearch is a new addition to the Google suite of tools. It combines images, voice and text to present a searcher with relevant results.

Imagine this, you’ve got this sweet turtleneck, but it’s not black. What’s the point of a not-black turtleneck? Just snap a picture of it and search with the text “black,” and Google will return all the black turtleneck options that resemble yours. It can help you find furniture that matches your current décor or figure out how to care for that plant you just can’t remember the name of. Just shoot Google a quick pic and a few words about what you hope to find.

For now, this is focused on shopping. Like the turtleneck, people want different colors, sizes, brands or materials, and multisearch is designed to help them find them. But how does this impact business, and what should companies do to be at the top of the search results?

What do we know?

Well, not a ton. We don’t know exactly how Google determines the relevance of products to a picture and text search. We don’t know what the search volume will be, and there aren’t likely to be keywords you can target. 

This is the first feature of Google’s new artificial intelligence (AI) breakthrough called the Multitask Unified Model, or MUM. Google says this model will bring their information understanding to the next level, but we have yet to see it employed.

However, there are some best practices you can rely on to maximize your visibility with this new search function.

Number One: Perfect your Alt Tags

An alt tag is a little bit of code attached to any image. Google multisearch uses AI to determine the relationship between your image and the search intent. That’s where alt tags come into play. 

An alt tag helps Google understand an image. It gives their AI some additional context about the image and how that image relates to the rest of the content on your page. This is an often-overlooked portion of web development and digital marketing, but it’s an essential component for Google to understand your website.

Number Two: List your Products on Google

According to a study by The Markup, which examined 15,000 popular search queries, 41% of search results are devoted to Google’s products and services.

It’s too early to know how these multisearches will work out or how many people will use the feature, but it’s safe to say Google will prioritize companies who list their products through their marketplace – Google My Business.

Google will search through your website for products anyway, but it’s not yet known if or how much Google will prioritize searches toward products listed on Google My Business.

Number Three: Wait and Collect the Data

How your customers find you can significantly indicate how likely they are to convert. For instance, if a customer finds you by searching “pizza near me,” they may be less likely to convert than if they found you by searching “Bobby’s Pizza Shop” because the searcher is more likely to find exactly what they’re looking for. The same is going to happen here. 

At this stage, the Google multisearch feature is optimized for shopping. It’s hard to know how many people will use it, but if someone can search with a picture of a turtleneck and the text “black,” and it produces that same turtleneck, but in black, it is a search that is probably going to convert at a higher rate than someone just searching “black turtleneck.”

You should always track where your conversions came from, and this is no different. Regardless of how much multisearch is used, optimizing your page to prepare for changes in Google, such as stepping up your picture game and product descriptions, is a must. Wyckoff can help you take steps to get there.

While this feature is in the beta phase, there will likely be very few searches, and your standard search engine optimization best practices will be the best approach to maximizing your results. 

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