Search News - 8/14 - Digital Marketing Agency

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
page

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.

New Google Layouts

By | Google News | No Comments

Go to www.google.com (if you are outside America you may need to then select “go to Google.com”) and you will see that the Google search box is now larger than what you are used to.  In fact it is all larger – the box, font, buttons – are all a lot bigger than they previously were.  By rough estimate I would say 33% bigger.  This increase also includes the Google suggestions that drop down as you start typing.  These are now more eye catching and I think it will lead to more long tail searches occurring.

This is not the only change to Google’s layout recently.  At the end of last month Google started publishing the PPC results further left on the screen so they are closer to the ‘natural’ results.  This makes a lot of sense as all the eye trackers I have seen have shown that user’s attention is concentrated at the top left hand side of the page and then flows down with only skimming on the right hand side.  The closer the PPC ads are to the natural ones will increase people seeing them and therefore clicking on them.

Google's Next Generation Search Technology

By | Google News, SEO | No Comments

Google is working on some changes and updates to their search algorithm and index, which Google’s webmaster blog calls ‘next generation’ search technology.

The changes are being previewed now, although it is all to their ‘back end’, so only web developers or specialist SEO-ers will probably notice any difference.

This is where you can go and test it out – Google Sandbox

I find that terms like my name, our agency, or competitive terms like ‘car insurance’ are showing fairly similar results in the new technology as the old.

SearchEngineLand has found some rearrangement of Google apps, like news and video.

While undoubtedly many SEO-ers will be running around worrying how to optimise for these changes, I dare say that if you have a good quality, relevant site, your position should not change too much, and actually since Google is trying to improve results, if you are a good site, your rankings should improve!

So if, like us, you optimise sites by improving their quality and relevance, as well as improving their site structure, and web presence, then I think you are going to be quite ok….

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