Post about "google"

Google Instant – How Does It Affect Your Company?

The new Google Instant Search is out and it’s live, as prescribed by the good folks at G Inc. I have given it some time to navigate and come to the conclusion that this not only changes the face of Search but distorts it. Much like a lawyer is reprimanded for leading the witness to elicit a wanted response Google has taken it upon themselves to move search in whatever direction their “guidance” system dictates, not only does their new algorithm suggest what to type with leading hollow letters and supply an actual scroll down suggestion (just in case you missed the first one) but now it shows various results as you type. In all fairness, staying on top is difficult and to keep the general public interested I’m sure is a full time job but to go changing their entire mode without warning is a bit drastic, a core function that has worked well for over ten years has been from what I can tell permanently adjusted without an external testing period that I know of. Since the new search function was forced rather than introduced let’s take a look at how this will affect you in navigation and marketing.Have you ever had a conversation with a friend or significant other who insists on finishing your sentences? Let’s be clear, communication is what separates us from apes, to communicate effectively and accurately is what saves time and brings us closer to our goals. For me words I use have very specific implications, if I think the word “dismal” and you finish my sentence with “dull” I instantly have a different mindset and in fact my whole train of thought can take a new direction. Though in some cases such a break in pattern may provoke a new way of looking at the problem, ultimately my mind has gone off on a mental safari close to but not quite on my original trail. You might correct the interruption but isn’t it always easier to just agree? Not only twice but three times Google attempts to “assist” us in our typing endeavors, where before one might have found the service of listing a finished query helpful we are now confronted with results in a changing environment that are close to but not the same as our original search. What’s more, these results are better suited towards Google’s agenda (sometimes unintentionally but it’s there), if I type in “business” and my target search is “business plan”, their new system suggests “business cards” which I might then think, “Well wait, I was thinking of buying some cards..”. Ecommerce click.Another aspect that may be exploited if not already is the use of first letters in a commercial fashion, let me explain. When you type in any letter of the alphabet you are instantly presented with a hollow result of what they “think” you mean, why than do I keep thinking of commercial sites? If I type in “A” the suggestion comes back with Amazon.com, “B” I get BankofAmerica.com, “C” they return Cragislist.org (which I’m sorry to say does sell post slots) and so on. What prevents Google Inc. from “partnering” with companies to exploit this, what term contains more searches with the new Google Instant than a single letter? We may have just made them a bundle by simply typing in a word starting with the most popular letter in the alphabet. Aside from the entire process turning a bit disorienting which they acknowledged when first launching as “Feelings of euphoria and weightlessness are normal. Do not be disturbed.”, the results before and after a click are different! As of this date (9/13/10) I type in the keyword “Desk” and up comes google.desk.com, upon clicking the enter key my search returns Overstock.com. Should they choose to (and it would seem from the above they already have) Google can now further tinker with natural results, there may be two options for me now but how is a less experienced surfer to decipher that?Let’s face it, people are inherently lazy, the shorter the route to reach an intended goal the better be it in education, pursuing a career, acquiring wealth, completing a task or simply choosing between home and returning a Blockbuster movie. Just the name “Google Instant” is a testament to this:”If everyone uses Google Instant globally, we estimate this will save more than 3.5 billion seconds a day. That’s 11 hours saved every second.” With over a billion searches a day and over a billion users searching each week, that adds up to 350 million hours of user time saved a year. That’s 500+ human lifespans saved a year by this feature if everyone used it.” – Matt Cutts of Google Inc.Google claims our eyes move faster than we type and therefore will find results quicker thus saving time, I don’t know about you but I find the process disorienting and while that might change over time will it be for the best? My response to Matt Cutts would have to be, “If I am presented a higher number of irrelevant results and therefore higher chance of clicking one than how am I saving time?”. Also, with this new search feature a smaller basket of terms will become viable as instant results act as a bottleneck, long tail keywords will minimize as bidding for more generic terms will go up. Why type out five keywords when one will do? Whereas someone typing in “business plan” is typically presented with a result such as SBA.gov (US Small Business Administration), now that surfer will be shown Business.com right after Wikipedia halfway through their search and why shouldn’t they stop and click on it? It looks promising. While Business.com might be a great resource it is a predominately a directory for companies advertising their services and that most likely will not supply help my small business plan.What does this mean to me as an SEO? Search volumes will adjust, building for viable terms will become ever more aggressive and while I currently look to other forms of media for traffic my efforts to do so will now double. Any new client will need explicit research catering to Google Instant: What does the tool suggest, do results seem to be manipulated prior to click or are they static, would a completely different term yield the same results with less competition if misspelled or shorter? On top of that, I predict the consolidation of Adword campaigns as long tail suffers and bidding prices drive up(much to Google’s dismay I’m sure), on the other hand perhaps they will find long tail keywords gave advertisers more options that are no longer there and make Instant just an option. In the meantime, we must not forget the opportunity to advertise on keywords you aren’t done spelling. I’m sure Google didn’t.