Tariq Charara of SEO agency Covario says that Google’s controversial attempt to display Gmail messages within personal research results is actually a good thing for email marketers. Tariq’s full article, with the results of his own experiments using keywords in Gmail messages is here.
On August 8, Google released a field trial for one of its newest features: displaying Gmail messages within personal search results. As with many of Google’s recently added features, the net is buzzing with negative sentiment and resistance to yet another seemingly invasive skewing of search results.
From an SEO and overall marketing perspective I actually see the new feature as a positive one. Almost a year after Google launched its SSL search for signed in users, SEO practitioners are still left bruised and licking their wounds. As a result of Google SSL search, Covario’s SEO clients are reporting that on average between 26-36 per cent of their traffic stems from withheld keywords. Those numbers are bound to increase quite a bit when the latest version of Firefox (20 per cent adoption rate) rolls out with built-in default Google SSL search.
So, if we surrender to the fact that personalized search will eventually become the norm in terms of search engine results (I believe the new feature provides companies with an opportunity to tie their email marketing and SEO/SEM efforts together quite nicely) it also incentivizes businesses to align their email communications with what really matters to its customers or followers. By optimizing and tailoring email campaigns around relevant keywords, companies increase their odds of staying visible to their customer base.
It’s really too early to say how Google’s new feature will impact the world of SEO and email marketing, since the algorithm determining what results are displayed seems fairly simple so far. As it currently stands, one key take-away is that email marketers should consult with their SEO counterparts to make sure each email-blast they send out contains a focused keyword target within the subject line of the email since the body content does not seem to have an impact on displayed results. The content of the email should naturally support the target keyword and offer users relevant information and links.