Digital Transformation

What Is Google Perspectives and How Will It Impact Content Strategy?

Google Perspectives is bringing a fresh new angle to mobile search results. The new feature is part of Google’s ongoing efforts to shift its search algorithm away from a strict focus on keywords and toward a more nuanced understanding of search intent. So far, over the last year, we’ve gotten a better idea of how the company’s heavy investments in artificial intelligence (AI) will redefine the nature of search. These changes are forcing marketers to reconsider how we optimize and create content.

Although the new Search Generative Experience feature garnered most of the headlines earlier this year by serving up generative AI responses to search queries, the launch of Google Perspectives could ultimately have a much bigger impact on content strategies.

Wait, What Is Google Perspectives?

Launched in June of 2023, Google Perspectives is a new mobile feature that builds upon the search engine’s rapidly growing AI-powered capabilities. By selecting the “Perspectives” filter at the top of the search results, you’ll find a series of image thumbnails that link out to content created by people sharing their experiences and insights about the topic. These results take the form of long- and short-form videos, discussion board posts, customer reviews, and social media posts.

But doesn’t Google already provide links to this type of content in search engine results pages (SERPs)? Not exactly. Perspectives results are not driven by the same factors, putting less priority on traditional SEO stalwarts like keywords and domain authority while prioritizing authenticity, personalized insight, and unique experiences in content.

Google has positioned Perspectives as another important step toward supporting its shift to “helpful content” over the last year. As the filter continues to be refined, it will favor content that’s created to provide value to users rather than simply attract clicks.

Of course, the fact that 40% of Gen Z users currently turn to TikTok and Instagram instead of Google when searching for information is also a driving factor behind the new feature. These users prefer content that feels like it was created by an authentic person rather than something churned out by an SEO strategy.

With Perspectives, Google is trying to prioritize unique creator-led content found in videos, Reddit threads, and social media posts over content like product pages, blog posts, and professional articles.

Getting Perspective on Chocolate Chip Cookies

As an example of how Google Perspectives works in practice, let’s do a quick search for chocolate chip cookies. Since I didn’t want to waste time on a subpar recipe, I used “best chocolate chip cookie recipes” as the search query.

Here’s the basic SERP I got back:

Standard Google mobile search results for chocolate chip cookie recipes

Okay, great. Two recipes both proclaiming to be the best. They certainly provide useful content and are very professional, but neither of them feels very personal. When I’m looking for a good recipe, I usually want a recommendation that sounds like it comes from a friend or a family member rather than a cookbook.

If I click on the Perspectives filter, however, I get a very different set of results:

Google Perspectives mobile search results for chocolate chip cookie recipes

As you can see, there’s zero overlap between these results. The Perspectives filter provides a combination of YouTube videos and a Reddit conversation. Scrolling down the page, I found more YouTube videos, a Quora Q&A, and even a TikTok video. The type of content being served up here has a completely different feel to it. If I’m looking for insights that feel more personable and authentic, Perspectives produces far better results than a normal Google search.

What Does Google Perspectives Mean for SEO Strategies?

With each new Google update, there’s a tendency to proclaim something to the effect of, “Search will never be the same!” That may be a bit of an overstatement—however, it’s likely that Perspectives will have an enduring impact on how people find information.

It’s best to think about the new feature as a continuation of Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) framework, which rates the overall value of content. Perspectives hones in on the “experience” criteria, which was introduced in December of 2022. Google defines experience as direct familiarity with the content in question.

Keeping with our chocolate chip cookie example, a video of someone actually making a cookie or a message board conversation about which recipe turned out best would both rank higher on the “experience” criteria than a simple blog post of a recipe.

While it’s unclear how much weight Perspectives gives to experience-rich content, it certainly gives a different type of result. As another example, compare these results for finding a great sushi restaurant in Los Angeles:

Standard Google mobile search results for sushi restaurants in Los Angeles Google Perspectives mobile search results for sushi restaurants in Los Angeles

The standard search provides me with a map and some reviews. Certainly helpful, but it’s not much more than a list of locations. Things get more interesting when I shift over to Perspectives, though. Scrolling through the results feels like being in a room filled with actual people who all want to share their experiences about their favorite sushi spots with me. That’s the kind of enthusiasm and first-hand knowledge I’m looking for when I’m trying to pick a place for dinner!

Why Creator-Led Content Marketing Is More Important Than Ever

Okay, enough about food. What does all this mean for marketers and their SEO strategies? Put simply, the shifting emphasis towards “experience-based” content will mean that creating authentic, personality-driven material will be more important than ever.

Creative content marketers already understand this. If you’ve put in the work to build an engaging, authentic brand that proactively connects with relevant influencers, advocates, and loyal customers, you’re in a good position to capitalize on the changes that Perspectives will bring to search behavior.

How to Make Creator-Led Content Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Remember, Perspectives is focused on serving up experience-based content that feels authentic and personable. If you want your brand to rank in those searches, you’ll need to engage with content creators who are sharing their experiences with audiences and have built up trust with them over time. A recent study by Oracle found that 37% of consumers trust social media influences over brands.

Working with creators can help you make inroads with their followers and raise awareness about your brand. With so many people generating content to share their experiences, each advocate you win over can potentially become a new source of user-generated content to be served up by Perspectives.

But don’t confine yourself to a narrow definition of creators! While Perspectives is skewed heavily towards video content, it also holds reviews and discussion board conversations in high regard and will frequently provide them among the first ten search results. Many people already turn to places like Reddit to find answers to their questions, so make an effort to engage with your audience wherever it can be found.

Don’t be afraid to shake up your existing approach to content with a dash of authentic experience while you’re at it. Sure, a flashy, stylized video about your product might look nice, but telling a story about the same product in a real-life scenario is much more useful to viewers and will likely rank better in Perspectives-driven search results. The same goes for travel content that focuses on how visiting a location made travelers feel rather than simply running down an itinerary of where they went.

Focusing on experience-based, creator-led content will only benefit your long-term marketing strategy as Google continues to refine its helpful content parameters to provide users with information that’s both valuable and genuine. Remember to prioritize taking part in authentic conversations that provide meaningful insights for audiences. Every conversation your brand is involved in is potentially a hidden gem that could provide tremendous value to someone when it shows up in a search.

Looking for insights when it comes to building a creator-led content strategy that puts you in the heart of the conversation? Sign up for The Content Strategist newsletter to find out how you can boost engagement without sacrificing authenticity.

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