Man City reveal their attempts to use new Google Posts feature
Manchester City are a football club who always seem to be at the forefront of digital innovation: always testing out emerging technologies or new trends to see if they might have a place in their everyday output, and creating inventive content online or on social media.
Quite often, too, City’s digital team document their ideas and progress on the website Medium, giving the wider public a fairly detailed glance at the inner workings of a Premier League football club’s digital process.
This week, it’s the club’s attempts to gain some traction on a new feature from Google that’s caught the interest.
Google Posts allows sports teams as well as other organisations to take more control over what is shown when someone searches for their name on the search engine. Most results are still based on the tech giant’s algorithms, but searching for ‘Manchester City’ will allow you to see some of the club’s own posts in the box on the right hand side of the page.
So far, according to the post on Medium, the club have found it difficult to maintain Google Posts as a key area of their editorial output. Both because of the fact that it is such a new area of interest for the club’s digital team, and also the fact that posts need to be uploaded manually to Google, rather than pushed automatically to the platform when posted to ManCity.com. It’s a new service from Google which is still in its infancy, and these are the hurdles that early-adopters need to overcome.
But it does show that there is now potential for sports teams to have some say on what happens when they are googled by fans and even potential new fans. Importantly, too, where does the club’s own official site rank when people search the team name or one of its players in search of news? That’s something the club has also posted an article about in the past, and it shows how clubs are thinking about how best to position their own content online.
As always with emerging platforms, this is probably an area where lots of clubs will have to perform a bit of trial and error to figure out what works and what doesn’t. But it’s encouraging for anyone watching on with interest that clubs are trying new things – and that can only be a good thing.
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