Google News - 7/11 - Digital Marketing Agency

How Will Google Instant Affect Search

By | Google News | No Comments

What is Google Instant?
The aim of Google Instant as stated by Google is to ‘help you find things you want faster’, and they do this by showing results as soon as you start typing.
As soon as you start typing, Google is trying to interpret what you want to type and will start showing search results and PPC ads, straight away. As your query changes, so will the results which are displayed.

It is being rolled out over the next couple of days, but not, supposedly, in Australia yet.

What does Google Instant Mean For My Online Business?

In reality, we can’t tell what it means for each particular business until we see some analytics or Adwords data as to the effects. Many people are already saying that this will ruin SEO efforts, but obviously those people don’t understand what SEO is.

This change will not change the way results are ranked, only the search queries people end up typing in.

Some say this change is in favour of the big, strong, websites, who rank for generic terms, and will be bad for smaller, long-tail terms.

However, after using the new interface for a while, and getting only the big, generic sites, perhaps users will quickly learn to use longer, more specific terms again?

Also, depending on how fast you type, and how much you are looking around the screen as you type – maybe you won’t even look at the results until you have finished typing your query.

My Opinion

This change, to me, doesn’t seem to be contributing to a search engine’s goal of providing the most relevant results to a query. It has added a bell/whistle which wasn’t, in my opinion, ever required. I have never heard anyone complain that Google is too slow, or their typing is too slow.

I can’t see that dumbing down search in this way will benefit anyone.

What Will I Tell My Clients About Google Instant

Well – for my clients targetting Australia, I will say “This new functionality is coming out, lucky for you it is targetting foreign users first, so we can see what the results for them are first, and get in early with some preparation before it comes to Australia”.

For my international clients, I will be looking at their data to try and see what the effects actually are, before I recommend any changes to their SEO or PPC strategy.

I will check out;
– Search interface – how does searching for my clients products and particular keywords, appear now in Google? Are there any particular, unique challenges for them?
 – Webmaster tools – what search queries am I showing up more/less for?
 – Google Analytics – What is the difference between PPC and natural search traffic now? What keywords are standing out as being influenced by these changes. Compare to the previous day, the same day last week, the same day last year.
 – Google Adwords – How are impressions changing? What keywords are getting more/less impressions now? Are conversion rates changing or staying the same on them?

Once I know what effect the change is having on impressions and clicks I can start developing a strategy, and deciding whether I need to change my SEO focus to shorter terms (as everyone predicts, but not confirmed), or something totally unexpected.

Google Caffeine – Don't Panic

By | Google News | No Comments

Let me just say first out – don’t panic. Yes, Google launched a new index yesterday, but this doesn’t mean any major changes to your SEO strategy yet.

This is not a change to the algorithm (which is the way Google determines rankings), but just a change to the way they index pages. 
The new index will index pages much faster than the previous index, so the main change is that new pages of content  should be indexed a lot quicker. This doesn’t mean it will crawl your pages any faster, it just means it will find new pages faster.

We don’t believe this will mean that existing pages will be dropped and replaced by newer content. We think this means that more content will be able to be indexed, and it will be indexed faster. For this reason we don’t necessarily believe that blog posts and Tweets (for example), are going to make a massive change to the rankings, except for very relevant terms.

However, as this is all such a secret science, there are no guarantees, so we would recommend that you;
1. Make no major changes to your SEO strategy until the new index has had a chance to show its effects
2. Monitor your rankings very carefully, noting and analysing changes
3. Create and upload fresh and competitive content (as this never hurt any website), and see how it gets indexed
4. Put more thought into how you can incorporate real time results in a meaningful fashion (i.e. don’t just do it for SEO, do it for your users)

Google Is A Lover, Not a Fighter

By | Google News | No Comments

You may or may not notice, (depending on how long, unique or fast your queries are), that Google uses predictive text when you type in your search. But did you know that if you start with “I love” you get a lot of predictions, but if you start the phrase “I hate” you will not get any?

Insignificant trivia? Yes indeed.

Well, anyway, the actual point of this post is that predictive text could potentially help you with your search engine marketing. If people are slow typers, or maybe a bit indecisive, they may indeed start relying on Google predictive text.

Say you are looking for car insurance online. If you type in car insurance, all of a sudden you get a host of suggestions (although, if you type quickly and press enter, you may not notice this)…

If you saw this, you might change your query from ‘car insurance’ to ‘car insurance quotes’. Or maybe the third suggestion, ‘car insurance comparison’. This obviously has ramifications for car insurance companies who want your business – they will want to be ranking high for those terms you are most likely to choose. Or, maybe you will look more carefully and see ‘car insurance nsw’ and realise that is what you are really after – so maybe car insurers should optimise for that kind of local term?

In any case, if you are optimising for shorter terms, which are stems for longer queries, you might want to see what those longer queries are and whether you should optimise for them as well.

Strange results-  I previously blogged about this strange result – and I still don’t know what it means – but if you Google ‘hairdresser’, the first predictive result is ‘Hairdresser games’. Is this really so popular?! When Google did a search shake up earlier this year, the Hairdresser games certainly got a mention on page 1 for hairdresser.

Make sure to see what predictive text is saying about your brand, product or industry – and see if you are optimising for the options they are offering!

What I Do and Don't Like About Google's New Interface

By | Google News | No Comments

Google has updated their interface here in Australia, and at first I was confused and thought I was locked into some kind of ‘Advanced Search’ section.

I don’t love the new layout, mainly because Google keeps moving further and further away from their traditional, simplistic layout.

Things I dislike

1. They have removed the Pages from Australia radio button on the main

2. They still have the ‘Feeling Lucky’ button

3. The results page has a new menu on the left hand side – with ads up the top and on the right, this is just getting too busy

Things I like

Here it is with the expanded features in the left hand nav, and on ‘pages with preview’ mode;

1. I thought the ‘pages with images’ idea was interesting, but I can’t yet think how this will be useful

2. The ‘more shopping sites’ and ‘less shopping sites’ button. while it is hidden way down the page, so maybe not many people will be clicking on it yet, it could become a big part of search in the future, and is somethign to watch out for.  I think the button should be more prominent.

3. The search within results option right down the bottom.

4. I really like the page preview feature as shown above. If people started using it more, it would give a whole new push to web design, and the need for enticing, attractive landing pages. I noticed, though, that at the moment this isn’t working well for sites with flash landing pages, and even for normal HTML sites sometimes it is showing only one image from the home page.

So, while I do miss the old days of the simple Google results, I do appreciate the new preview page idea, which I feel like I will be using a lot going forward.

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