New Google Search Update Improves Local Event Listings

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Google announces deepening of its event listing feature. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Google has made a surprise move to expand upon the event listings feature that it rolled out in May of last year. Announcing the changes in a blog post, the expansion aims to help people “discover events based on [their] interests”.

Originally starting as what is called a “card interface” last summer, the service has deepened beyond its initial function as a simple listing to now offer information such as date and time info, directions, event descriptions, and links to ticketing platform

The blog post explains that, “while browsing events, you can tap the “For You” tab to get personalized ideas for things to do near you. You’ll also see trending and popular events in your area to keep you in the loop on the hottest happenings.”

Read: Learn How to Avoid Digital Ticketing Fraud at Festivals

Google has also added a key ‘save’ feature, as well as making it easier for fans to share events with one another. The platform is event vertical agnostic, showing listings for fixed venue concerts, music festivals, food and drink festivals, conferences and more.

Since May 2017, simply searching things like “stand-up comedy in Chicago” or “free festivals in San Francisco” will produce a summary of all applicable events aggregated from platforms like Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, and Meetup.

The event search will also tailor your results and recommendations around your preferences and will harness the company’s vast trove of data and knowledge about your interests.

Here are a few things that you need to know about the service, and the changes that have been made:

  • The onus is on the event listing site to have the correct formatting in order for the event to be listed by Google (You can learn more about the specifics at Google’s developer page for Events)
  • You can’t offer discounts in the visible text
  • You shouldn’t mark business opening hours as event times

Earlier this year, Google announced an expansion of their Pay service that allowed users to digitally store their boarding passes and event tickets in the wallet.

Developed by Oregon-based start-up Urban Airship, the service aims “to create streamlined and engaging ticketing and boarding pass experiences.”

Could this move be an early venture into the online ticketing marketplace, a sector slated to be worth $68 billion by 2025? Or simply the deepening of a new service that aims to centralize event listings?

To learn more about the API and how to get the most out of Google Event, visit their developers page.

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Ross Gardiner
Ross Gardiner is Intellitix’s Content Manager, and the founder of live event content marketing and branding agency Black Circle Media. Their clients include Red Bull Culture, Insomniac, Tomorrowland, Electric Zoo, Steve Aoki, City of Los Angeles, Oasis Festival, Time Warp, Awakenings, Verve and Feathr.Prior to launching Black Circle, Gardiner was the first US Editor for long-standing electronic music and club culture publication Mixmag, and the features editor for Los Angeles-based lifestyle magazine LA Canvas.

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