Early on in the 2016 US Presidential race, Google introduced a feature which allowed candidates to publish messages directly to the front page of search results. In March 2016, Google was spotted testing this feature with a limited number of small businesses.
Now, Google has confirmed to Mike Blumenthal that the test is being expanded from “tens” of small businesses to “thousands”. In addition, the test is expanding beyond the US to include Brazil and India. According to Blumenthal, this was confirmed by the Google My Business team during a Google Hangout.
The yet-to-be-named feature gives small businesses the ability to create cards with short messages in search results that are presented in a similar way to how Google presents AMP carousels. When the business’s name is searched for, the most recent messages from that business will appear on the front page of search results.
The messages/cards — which can feature text, links, pictures, and videos — will live on a Google server but can be shared or linked to by others. Apparently the posting of content is facilitated by a dedicated app that only select businesses have access to at this time.
Blumenthal notes that more evidence of this will be seen over the next 30 days.