If you often find yourself at a loose end and wondering what to do with yourself, Google may have just launched the perfect solution. Last week, Google updated its app and mobile web experience to help users to find things to do in the area. Whether you’re looking for concerts, art exhibitions, lectures, music festivals, meetups, sports events or village fetes, Google’s latest search update endeavours to provide you with the latest and most reliable event information.
Why The Update?
Google says that the new feature has been launched to meet growing search demand. People are simply searching for local events more often, probably because a whole new generation of searchers on mobile just expect Google to provide the information.
This could come as bad news for the many web portals that have developed a large audience over the years, and generate significant income on the back of events listings. This feature will also go some way to rival Facebook’s events listings, which is used by over 100 million people every day.
Where Does Google Get Its Information?
The most controversial aspect of this update is how Google gets its information. According to TechCrunch, Google uses Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, SeatGeek, Meetup, Vividseats, Jambase, LiveNation, Burbio, Allevents.in, Bookmyshow.com, StubHub, Bandsintown, Yext and Eventful, to source and then share events listings. It plans to add more sites.
It is likely that these larger events brands will be able to withstand some loss of organic traffic, but the bad news for smaller websites that have provided an individual or small team with a steady income, but may soon see a huge decline in traffic.
How Can You Take Advantage Of This Feature?
Well, unless you run events that are open to the public, it will be difficult to generate any additional web traffic on the back of it. However, with a little brainstorming, it is possible to come up with several events that can get you in the listings. When your event is planned, you can then add it to the sites listed above, as well as your own website and Facebook. Here are a few ideas:
Charity Bake Sale
If you operate a shop, or even just have a reception area that is open to the public, you can combine marketing with charity by raising funds for a chosen cause by selling cakes to the public. Encourage staff members to make or buy some nice cakes, and then charge members of the public and other businesses in the area a pound per slice, then give all proceeds to charity. Advertise the event on your website as well as in some events listing pages, which will increase the chances of it getting picked up by Google. Include dates and times in your pages if you want Google to take notice.
Company Charity Race
If you have a large company, you could organise a charity fun run for your staff and invite other runners to join in. A few strategically placed water stations (seek permission if required) and you can get your brand out on the streets. Speak to the council first to check that there are no problems with organising a charity fun run in your area.
Free Training Event
If you provide a service to the business community, you could open the office up to free public presentations. To keep control of the numbers attending, and ensure that you have leads to follow up later, ask attendees to register first.
The presentation can provide a free “how to” guide, or maybe if there is an industry change that other businesses need to be aware of, you can cover this. For example, an SEO agency could run a short free guide for businesses on how to carry out their own SEO health check, and accountants could cover the basics of self-assessment, or a health and safety company could provide a free overview of changes to rules regarding fire health and safety in the workplace. These talks can be listed as events and should get indexed by Google.