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S4 E4: The New Rabbit Hole


ICP Logo

S4 E4: The New Rabbit Hole





When you search in Google, you probably have noticed the search term suggestions it populates on the search results page, such as “people also search” which most frequently than not have a lot of relevancy to what you are searching and sometimes may even have the answer.

In this week’s conversation Grace and Liel talk about Google’s strategy to keep users longer on the platform finding new queries, served to them courtesy of Google, and how this impacts your law firm’s website’s traffic but most importantly, how to use this to your advantage.

The conversation explores how Google will leverage its shift towards predictability for increasing its ad revenue through search pay per click and why it will impact the way your Google Ads campaign is running.

Resources mentioned on our episode:

  • New on Google “People Search Next”
  • How Smart Campaigns Work

Send us your questions at ask@incamerapodcast.com

Enjoy the show? Please don’t forget to subscribe, tell your coworkers, and leave us a review!


Liel: [00:00:00] Google continues to develop search results, page

Liel: [00:00:02] Features in order to entice users to stay longer on its platform, going deeper into search rabbit holes rather than clicking on real search results. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and author of Beyond Se Habla Español How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market. And This is In-camera podcast, and we believe that nowadays Google Search is not any more on the business of providing answers. Only now it’s also providing the questions.

Liel: [00:00:57] Welcome to our private legal marketing conversations, Grace. Welcome back. How are you

Grace: [00:01:02] Today? Good. How are you, Liel?

Liel: [00:01:04] I’m doing great Grace and the date of these episodes coming out. You and I are going to be at the National Trial Lawyers Day number two, which is going to be Monday. And we’re probably going to find some time to also record an episode for and about the National Trial Lawyers Summit. But for now, we’re going to have another conversation Grace on one of our favorite topics, can you guess?

Grace: [00:01:25] Marketing and Google?

Liel: [00:01:27] Right? That’s right, Google. Because we can never talk enough about Google. We’re going to be spending the next conversation talking about a new feature, Grace. So Mike, you explain a little bit here. What is this feature about?

Grace: [00:01:42] So we’ve spoken before everybody about Google and some of the new mobile infinite scrolling results that they have, right? Mm hmm. So in that vein, they now have something that would would what you would consider at the bottom of the search engine results. And that is now it’s something called what’s next, right? So essentially, it’s people searching. And then they have another question because of the search that they initially did. Right. So I actually I was telling you right before we started that I experienced this myself recently. Yeah, and it’s actually it’s funny because we’re looking at an article by search engine land and they specifically said about an eye doctor, and that’s my same situation. I was the company. Yes, I was looking for my macular specialist because she no longer works for the location that I was going to before. And so I was like, Let me look for an eye doctor, which is a macula specialist. And what came up when I was looking for that because I was looking for someone near me, it showed me people looking for macular degeneration, you know, you know, if I have problems or spots in my eye. It was very interesting to see what other people look for, and it kind of took me down the rabbit hole of information, right where it’s like, Oh, this is what people search next. I wonder why. Let me click. So this whole new feature with people search next. What is doing? Is this trying to enhance your search, right? I mean, it’s always about the user. It’s always about the intent. And so they think, Hey, if someone is looking for something near me, it’s because they’re looking for other things that other people were looking for as well. And that is what is now coming up on people’s search next. Do they explain it well enough, you think?

Liel: [00:03:33] Absolutely Grace. So I think there is. A lot to learn from this about what Google’s intentions are and some may not be things that are actually new to us because we’ve talked about it before and by Google, kind of like continue adding different blocks of options and suggestions for users inside a search results page. We kind of like seeing and getting reiterated that Google is very interested in keeping users on the platform, right? And what for me, it’s kind of like mind-blowing is because all of these options, it looks like what it’s trying to do is. Rather than finding the result that you want to move into the next search query. Now this one is a little bit unique, right? Because the one that we are also used to seeing is their related searches or people also ask. And that’s when you are searching for something. People also ask this more general for when you’re actually asking questions to Google. But the one that we are looking at right now, people search next. As of now has only been linked to search queries that include the near me keyword. And so it is very, very, very heavily linked to service providers like you’re saying you’ve seen it for an eye doctor. The example that we’re seeing here is for a dentist near me, and so I can say I have not yet seen that for lawyers.

Liel: [00:05:10] I completed a few search queries on my mobile phone and I have not yet seen it, but very likely we will. And so here is what’s very interesting going back to the example of what we’re looking at right now. It’s dentists near me, right? And so obviously you have the search results and then kind of like towards the end of what would have been the first page of results. And I say what would have been the first page of results? Because now with end endless scroll, you don’t necessarily notice when you’re moving to page number two, you’re just continue scrolling. And so you have this section and the examples that you see here for dentist near me would be people search next. What is the root canal? Those your tooth hurt after a feeling? And so what Google is trying to use is its data of the trends of search patterns that users complete when they’re searching for something. Grace, This is so powerful, so, so powerful because A) Google is now sharing with us insight about how their predictability system algorithm works, right? So just thinking from an SEO standpoint, this is very, very valuable because now you have another source from where to go and take information on keywords that you should be writing content and answers for, because that’s a great opportunity to show up because that’s what Google is already telling you.

Liel: [00:06:38] This is what people are likely to search after this or when they’re searching for what you do. These are the things that we care about. These are the type of questions you’re interested about. So that’s very, very powerful. Now the other thing here is that it also tells us that even when users are searching for business providers near them and you would think they’re ready to take action, you’re ready to go in and hire someone. There is also a very likely pad where they are going to want to find more information before converting. And we see that now being more of the case, and we’re seeing people wanting to read reviews and we see people wanting to get more information about how to educate themselves, basically right about how you should go about making decisions. They are not just going for shortcuts. And so this is a reaffirmation of that because if people are searching. After they’ve searched for the actual service provider they’re looking for. What is it that they do or what do I expect from the type of services that they are going to provide to me is because they’re still in a process of getting informed. And so this is an important reaffirmation towards

Grace: [00:07:53] That when it comes to what Google is doing. And every time it does something like this, every time it changes something, there’s an opportunity for improvement and an opportunity to, you know, there’s you shouldn’t say, I shouldn’t say this word, but honestly, the truth is is it’s an opportunity to gamify right in a way where you can get ahead of the curve, right? It’s not really gamifying if you’re just using Google’s new way of bringing up results and you do it for yourself. And what I mean by that is FAQs, right? How many times have we talked about a FAQs This could be perfect for that because a lot of times when people are searching something, they search questions. And then the question leads to another question which leads to another question and more and more information. So what do people search next? Google is pulling it together for you. So if if it gets to the point which I’m with Liel, I haven’t seen this yet for lawyers near me because I don’t search for lawyers near me. And I also did not try it, but Liel did, so I will take his word. But people search next. I’d be interested to see what happens. You know, when it comes to if somebody search for a lawyer near me and they see, what do people search next? I mean, these are things you can find out anyway, right in your own Google trends and search patterns and what people do look for. But try it to, right? And so as things start coming out and you, you revise or add these different. Algorithm changes things that Google’s doing to your current marketing strategy. Just do it. I mean, it’s not that difficult in the sense that, you know, something’s coming, Google will tell you when something’s happening and then as soon as it does, take advantage of it, if you can, if you have the people in place to do it, if you have, if not, then hire somebody like Liel to help you try and take advantage of this new potential search.

Liel: [00:09:54] Yeah, change. I think Grace, This is this is something obviously, you know, when you’re developing your content strategy, whenever you’re doing your keyword research, these are the type of things that you were going to take into consideration. So it’s definitely something that is going to help a lot of SEOs to select and choose how to go about writing new content so that they can be potentially featured on those people’s search next for these. What I also took from this Grace is that it gives us an insight into the way Google is predicting when users are actually ready to convert. What are the search queries? Oh, how many search queries does it take before someone actually makes a conversion? And so I, I I see these two scenarios here, one in which the sole objective from Google is to keep people inside the platform rather than having to go inside a website. And we’ve seen time and time again that that seems to be a trend that Google is very interested in. But at the end of the day, a Google needs to balance it because Google still requires websites and contents to want to rank in its search engine so that the ecosystem can work. So obviously, you know, it’s not the intention to eliminate traffic to websites, but it certainly is for Google to try to leverage content from these websites and try to keep users in the platform and then understand also when our actual users have seen and had enough information and are likely to take a conversion.

Liel: [00:11:42] And I will tell you where that information is going to become very valuable to Google it when you’re running pay per click automated campaigns with Google and they are and you have, for instance, a cost per acquisition strategy. And Google knows based out of how many things this person has already searched, who is likely which of all the users searching for personal injury lawyer near me whom out of the one hundred people right now in the United States searching for that has already made other search queries that profile them as likely to now hit the Call Now button. And that is that is really where these insights are extremely powerful, extremely extremely powerful, because there is an understanding now of how much research the average person completes on search engines before they actually take an action. And I think ultimately this is going to help pay per click campaigns that are being run out based on A.I., which is basically the direction that Google is wanting to take, whether we’re happy or not about it, because that’s a whole other conversation. I think that’s where Google is heading with all of these predictive searching is understanding how many searches it will take for a person to finally take a call to action. And when that moment comes, let’s see who is the person willing to pay the highest cost per acquisition. Let’s put them on the top of the page and obviously have the quality score or have the relevancy. Grace. Does this sound reasonable to you?

Grace: [00:13:25] Of course it sure does. You know, I mean, the whole idea of Google is always to keep people on their search. That is what they’ve been doing. They’ve been doing it forever and they want you to keep going down. As I said before, and even in the article states the same thing the rabbit hole of information, right? They want you to stay on their stuff as long as you possibly can, and that includes how the questions are being asked. So to your point, yes, I mean, this is another way of looking at the content when you’re creating your strategy. This is another way of looking at how you should create your landing pages and how the search results will appear to people when they’re searching for you. So these are all things that you need to always pay attention to what Google is doing, and that’s why we love talking about Google, because Google is the major part of the market and any strategy that you do and any changes that Google makes, you have to be, if not in the forefront, at least know it’s happening so that you can either adjust accordingly or just use you up your content to make it work with what they’re attempting to do on Google directly. So when people search for you.

Liel: [00:14:35] Yeah, come on. Yeah, I think, you know, it’s a good reminder that whenever you talking and wanting to build a strategy for relevancy in Google, the place where it all starts is by searching Google, going, going and saying What’s already out there? What’s showing up? Exactly how do you experience the search results page when you search for what you want to rank on and see exactly on your mobile device? And we always focus on mobile devices here, right? Because when you’re a consumer focused lawyer for the most of it, you can expect that your most valuable traffic is going to go from mobile devices, so you’re going to want to focus on that. That’s not to say that desktop traffic is not valuable. It’s extremely valuable, particularly after these last two years where people are spending more time at home, they have more access to a full desktop, and they’re not just doing and completing search queries from their mobile devices. But you definitely want to either on your desktop or mobile. Again, you assess which which source brings you the most valuable traffic. You want to see how the search results page looks on your device for the search query to do. Want to rank and see which different sections come up are image. It’s an image carousel or a video carousel shows off. Are people also ask section comes up. What are the other features? Snippets that may be showing up are potentially in the very near future. We’re going to start seeing for near me searches. People search next. Also there in start seeing what are the different suggestions that come there? And obviously you want to take those into consideration when you go and build your strategy because you want to be relevant for those that are really of value to you.

Liel: [00:16:26] If you see there something that would actually be a question that someone that you would want to have as a client would be making that you need to make sure that you’re going to be creating content for it. And then obviously marking it up for Google to be able to discover it and use it as a featured snippet through schema markup. And so that’s obviously something that you cannot stop doing because the Google search results page is continuing to change. If one thing we have learned is that it’s not static and it has evolved time and time and again, and it’s been adding new features, new blocks to try to make it more interactive from the page within. So as Grace, we’re saying no more a place where you just stop, search and then move on to the website that you find the most relevant for you. But now Google is competing against all the websites and trying to make its platform the most relevant search to actually get the answers that you’re looking for. And it looks like the way they’re doing it is by adding more questions. So you are like, Geez, I thought I already had all the information, but look here, I’m getting more suspicious of things that I should be asking, so maybe I should find out what are the answers to these questions? I mean, it’s it’s really never ending, but it just comes to show how user behavior when they’re online, they just fall into a rabbit hole and it can be never ending, right? Like, Google will decide when it ends.

Grace: [00:17:57] Exactly. That’s why it’s called a rabbit hole. I have. I have that problem. I will just keep going down and down and down and learning more and more about a particular subject. Yeah, I didn’t know. I wanted to know that, but I do now.

Liel: [00:18:08] I mean, if one thing we were noticing is that Google is removing all of the little friction points that existed in the platform, that made you want to say, you know, wait a minute. My finding what I need or should I bounce out of here and start searching somewhere else? Or am I spending too much time without actually getting nowhere? Right? Because endless scrolling or continue scrolling as we’re calling it, because if it stops at some point is one way of it. Like before just just the psychology of I’m now moving away from page number one. I’m moving to page number two that on your subconscious that is telling you you’re moving away from the valuable results and you’re now going to start exploring the less valuable results. And so that would send a signal to you. Wait a second, am I? Am I searching the right things? Have I skip the right decision? Should I stay here longer? And so all of those little things are kind of like being removed. You’re getting more interactive blocks from inside the platform that give you potentially the answers and the information that you need so that you can maybe even complete your conversion through Google. And that just adds power to the platform.

Grace: [00:19:30] Exactly. Completing your conversion? Through Google, that is the goal, and honestly, you when you’re creating content, your goal is to get them to convert from whatever it is that you’ve put out there to content wise. So when it comes to this, this is just another way of. Creating your content in a way that people want to read. Click and see. And Google is trying to help continue that same process by keeping people on their page and answering the questions that people have without having to make them go anywhere else. But you could still benefit from that, obviously, because if they land on your page because of all the questions and you’re answering the questions that they have and they need you, they will come to you.

Liel: [00:20:10] Yeah, that’s right Grace. That’s the most important part of it all is that you still need to remember that people are going to end up hiring a lawyer, not Google, to handle their cases. And ultimately, what you want to do is to be the source of the most valuable information. So while they’re going through their consideration process, you become the most obvious choice for them. And so if anything, you should look at this as a way of earning extra credibility points through Google, right? Because that’s kind of like not not visible on our batch that you were being handed. Because if Google is featuring your content on its featured snippets, in this case, it means that Google has considered it out of all of the content that exists out there. This is what we would say is the best answer to that particular question. That means a lot. That means a lot that carries a lot of weight. And as of now, also it still shows the service from where this information comes. So that’s, you know, how you get credit back for it and potentially the conversion. Eventually, the thing is, we don’t know exactly when that conversion is going to come. And that’s what definitely Google is using to its advantage because it has the data. They know how many visits, how many search queries and oftentimes the sequence in which the search queries are being completed. To the point that they can predict, OK, this bird hunt has already surged in this pattern five times. We know the sixth search query is going to be the conversion.

Liel: [00:22:03] And to me, Grace that is mind blowing because it is the case. It does work not every single time, but statistically it does. And so Google is betting hard on it because they’re basically shifting completely their advertising platform into being A.I Centered through this predictive algorithm. And I’ll tell you something, it’s not working great right now. We’re not for all campaigns. Leave aside for Spanish campaigns, it’s a disaster from that standpoint. But. It’s the beginning. It’s just the beginning. So I do think things are going to are going to get much more efficient when it comes to pay per click advertising. Hey, potentially even more expensive because of the same reason, because the conversion quality is going to be very close to what you’re actually looking. And so I think there’s a lot of hope for for for this technology to give us some good stuff. But in the meantime, it requires a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot of scrutiny from Google arts managers to make sure that the traffic that is being generated is the right one and understanding very well when automation is working and when you’re better off running things manually because it’s not, it’s not as easy as, Hey, you know what? Let’s just transition out or it’s going to work well, it’s not. It’s not yet the case. But clearly these things give us an indication that it’s it’s heading there. Grace. Any final thoughts before we move to takeaways?

Grace: [00:23:42] So, you know, Google’s always changing things, right? And you know, I think a lot of companies, firms in particular because of the nature of the industry and marketing. While a lot of law firms are now coming more into this day and age right and understanding of the way marketing works and the way Google works in particular, it still can be somewhat overwhelming. And I think, you know, we understand that we really do me being in a law firm where, you know, they sometimes with these changes, it can. It can get frustrating when you’re trying to achieve certain goals and conversions in Google with your ads. However, you know, take it one step at a time. Don’t change your entire strategy. It’s like Liel said near the beginning of this podcast. Incorporate it, pay attention to it, really dig into it and just start testing or keep testing if you hopefully you already are. And that’s my final thought really on this particular subject. Anything Google does, they’re going to change things and you’d need to pay attention to it. But don’t freak out.

Liel: [00:24:53] Yeah, absolutely Grace. Absolutely. So let’s take it to three takeaways. Grace. And if I may, I’m going to give number one. And that is, don’t forget to test Google. As a user for the services that you would think others would be searching for to find you. And the other thing I would say about that is don’t just limit yourself to do those tests from one device, use at least two or three of the same device. So if you’re moving, if you’re using a mobile device, use at least three different devices, right? If you have access to an iPhone to an Android indefinitely, if you have access to another person phone that you can get a complete search query in maybe a family member or a colleague or a friend or something, do that as well. Why? Because there is also personalization in the way that Google is also presenting search results, so it would be interesting to see how it fluctuates between one individual to another. And of course, you’re not going to be able to see how Google present results to every single person out there, but you can get a sense as to what’s the level of consistency that exists between one page of results. Searched for the search term between one person and another and, as I said, devices super important as well because there is also they can be there can be differences between the device or another. So that’s my takeaway. Number one. Don’t forget to continue going back to Google and using it to do your market research because the most powerful tool that you have out of

Grace: [00:26:36] That is the best first takeaway I’ve heard. All your all of them are great that you do. But yes, to to add to what you said, a thousand percent. I know I say that every time you say something, but it’s the truth. When it comes to Google, you have to continuously assess and keep it moving. Do it, do it, do it, do it. We can’t tell you enough times that you need to do what you have to do to make sure that you are not losing your behind on ads. I mean, it goes so quickly when it comes to this space, right? It’s so competitive and in the markets that we’re in, I’m in New York market. You’re in Texas market. These are very competitive markets, really any market’s competitive nowadays. But this is one of those things that if you’re not doing this, you will fall behind and your stuff will not come up in searches, so you will lose and potentially lose out on all kinds of things besides business.

Liel: [00:27:34] So it’s absolutely yeah, that’s absolutely right, . So Grace, we have a final take away,

Grace: [00:27:39] My final takeaway is how can you use this? Because that’s the question we all ask, right? And I know we’ve mentioned it, but sometimes it’s easy as to hear, what can I do with this knowledge right now? Use it for your content research. Just like Liel said, use it for your content research. It’s another resource straight from Google to get your content ideas. And don’t go down the rabbit hole with your content. Go down the rabbit hole of Google’s search queries and match that up to the content that you want for your people and that your people are looking for.

Liel: [00:28:16] That’s totally right, Grace. And you know, I’m just going to make a comment, just not to forget about the technical side of things, because it’s sometimes it’s easy to dismiss and think that, OK, it’s just about writing the content and then putting it out there, and it’s all going to work out by itself. Ideally, it would. Right. But ultimately, Google is a machine. It’s a robot, and it needs to get some very strong signals that, according to its system, will make your content stand out. And so whether it’s the word count, whether it’s your titles, how are you listening in? How are you marking these software schema and such those elements are going to be important. So do not underestimate the work that your SEOs are doing for you in order to make your content, be more discoverable and friendly for user for Google to feature it in its search results page because it’s not a given. It doesn’t just happen and, you know, because you’ve created a blog post and put it up on your website. It’s a little bit more to it. But definitely be part of this process by identifying through the research that you’re doing on your market in Google, but also by sharing with your content creators when your SEO team. The most frequently questions that you get asked, right? Because there’s a lot of value in there. You also have a lot of data. It’s not just Google that carries it.

Grace: [00:29:45] You know, people get scared of Google, right? And they get scared of the technical side of things I feel like.

Liel: [00:29:51] And so people get scared to lose the ranking of Google.

Grace: [00:29:55] That’s what that’s what I mean. When I say scared of Google, it’s not that they’re scared of Google directly, they’re scared of Google’s changes. And that’s because they will potentially lose their ranking. So don’t ever forget about the technical side, and I definitely can’t emphasize that enough. What Liel is saying There’s so many other components that are going on in the back end of your site and your content that your SEO providers are doing for you, and they know about this, right? They know if you have a good provider and your content is ranking, they know about this, so speak with them about it, likely outside and just reassess, assess. Take a look at what’s going on and and be agile and just do it.

Liel: [00:30:38] Yeah. Grace, thank you so much for another great conversation, and we’ll be back soon. Just have a great rest of your day, everybody.

Grace: [00:30:46] You have a great rest of your day and you too, Liel.

Liel: [00:30:49] All right, bye. And if you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your coworkers. Leave us a

Liel: [00:31:00] Review and send us your questions at: ask@incamerapodcast.com. We’ll see you next week.

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