Google’s Testing Follow Links For Local Businesses & Nobody’s Talking About It

Google is testing out a new feature and no ones talking about it!

A new local follow link has been spotted at top of local 3-pack searches for branded local searches on mobile devices. Clicking on the follow link results in a popup letting people know that this has been added to their newsfeed. Once you do it, the pop up notification doesn’t return. This leads to many questions. What newsfeed? What platform? Is this Google updating their news feed selection choices which have been fairly limited in the past?

Follow Link Examples

Below are a few examples of the Follow links, from multiple local businesses across different industries.

Here’s another example. However, results are different for different users and only some users here in Edmonton are seeing the +Follow button. The result below was taken 1 minute later on another co-workers phone.

Our hypothesis is, Google is trying to update their newsfeed with businesses who have a Google+ account. It is believed that Google is trying to breathe new life into its newsfeed and revive itself as a social platform competitor.

We tested by following Le Chateau, Lush Cosmetics, and Civeo. Our newsfeed refreshed shortly after following Lush Cosmetics to show a story about that company.

Top Draw will continue to monitor this change in order to determine how to better influence this as an opportunity as an option for local businesses. More to come as we continue to test…

 

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