Between juggling open tabs on Eventbrite and endlessly scrolling through Yelp events, many have come to view searching for an event as a cumbersome time drain. On the other side of the coin, planners are often concerned about not getting proper exposure and budgeting for overpriced ad space on social media networks.
Google’s new event search feature, which was announced on May 10, aims to make this process more simple and seamless. By using the search engine on the app or mobile site you can search for specific types of events and access a web page of summarized activities.
For instance, if you search for “live music in San Francisco this weekend,” a listing of events fitting the bill will appear instantly. Important information such as event title, time, date and location are all included. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, there’s a “more events” option. Times can easily be adjusted during the search, filters such as “today” and “next week” can easily be toggled, and there is also an “events near me” feature.
Many of the events are pulled from platforms such as Meetup. But event planners and promotors can easily take advantage of the new service as well. Event pages with only a few events can use Google’s Data Highlighter tool to ensure that their events are included. This feature allows you to tag your event, and Google takes care of the rest by shaping the listing summary appropriately so that it appears on the search results.
Web pages with many events will probably need to create the event snippets themselves. When you opt out of using the Data Highlighter, there is a specific set of rules to follow when posting. Google’s developer guidelines outline the technical and content requirements.
For the event content, all details must be accurately stated and a “non-event,” such as a sale, cannot be depicted as an event. Business hours and short-term promotions or purchase opportunities are not permitted. Lastly, a multi-day event must have the details for each day included. For example, a music festival spanning several days must specify the performances occurring during each one.
As for the technical guidelines, planners should consult their web development team, as the technical guidelines stipulate that each event is required to have a URL and markup on that URL. Additionally, event creators need to follow structured data items, based on those specified by schema.org.