It’s an exciting time to be a search marketer.
Over the past week, Google has launched a number of useful new features that are changing the way we search. And changing how we search means we must change how we optimize for search. Google’s latest rollouts have significant implications for both advertisers and end users, and ultimately our role as a search engine marketing agency. As search marketers, we constantly strive to keep up with the latest search engine news, and adapt our strategies and recommendations accordingly. At the same time, we strive to keep our clients informed of these changes and how they can approach these shifting sands as opportunities.
Below is our take on Google’s new features, and what they mean from a search engine optimization perspective:
The most significant change came Monday, with Google’s announcement that it would be launching real-time search this week. Real-time search results are now incorporated into Google results pages and provide a continuously updated stream of fresh results as they occur around the web—things like tweets, Facebook status updates, Yahoo answers, etc.—which relate to your search query.
When real-time results are available, Google now shows users a scrolling “Latest Results” box somewhere on the first page:
It is becoming more and more important for advertisers to participate in social media, especially in fast-paced, information-hungry environments like Facebook and Twitter. It means getting the right message to your audience at the right time; encouraging discussions around your brand and relevant topics. Google’s real-time search is opening up these conversations to the masses, making them visible in search results—and that could translate into increased traffic and exposure for your business. We often recommend social media optimization to our clients as part of search engine optimization. Google’s real-time search makes a stronger case for why SEO and SMO should be tightly integrated.
Extended Personalized Search
Personalized Search is a modified set of custom search results that are served to users based on their search behavior (which Google calls “Web History”). For example, a user who clicks a lot of shopping-related results from their favorite store may cause Google to rank that store’s website higher. Previously, these personalized results only applied to Google users who were signed in to their Google account. No longer. Last Friday, Google announced that it would be extending Personalized Search to everyone, including users who aren’t signed in to Google, thus obfuscating Google’s “true” results, which are based on ranking algorithms.
Does this mean rankings are dead? Not quite. SEO, in the sense that we know it, will still be important to ensure you’re targeting the right keywords and that your site is performing well. It should also be noted that Personalized Search for signed-out users can be circumvented and opted-out, which makes rank data still accessible. Rankings will continue to serve as a benchmark for targeted keywords; however, their importance may be minimized compared to more important end goals, such as increased traffic and conversions. As SEOs, we must take a holistic approach to optimizing our client’s websites, focusing on the complete picture—analytics, engagement metrics, quality content, etc. The key is not just optimizing a site for search engines, but also optimizing for users.
Google seems to be obsessed with speed lately. The company launched several new projects which aim to “make the web faster.” One of these projects, called Site Performance, is a DIY type of tool that helps webmasters analyze their site’s speed. The Site Performance tool works in conjunction with Webmaster Tools to show webmasters speed performance metrics and makes actionable recommendations for how to improve.
Last month, Matt Cutts hinted to WebProNews that Google is considering using site loading speed as a ranking factor. Thus, slower-loading sites may suffer. Although site speed is not yet an official ranking factor according to Google, it could be in the near future. Speed is certainly important when it comes to usability. As SEOs, we’ve always addressed site performance issues in our client work because we understand the impact it has on conversions; e.g., if your site is slow to load, odds are you’re losing visitors. Google’s latest revelations about speed cement our position that we must continue to optimize sites for users.Comments(1)
1 Comment »
Leave a comment
Web Ad.vantage is a full-service online marketing company with core competencies in search engine optimization, PPC Campaign Management and online media buying. Visit our Internet Marketing Services section to learn more about our full range of services.
WebAdvantage.net encourages the reprinting of our marketing tips and articles. Before doing so, however, please contact us at for permission to do so. The company bio located above is required to accompany any reprint. Thank you in advance for your professional courtesy.
Pragmatic, professional advice with no hidden agenda.
Internet Business Forum