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Thursday, 23 September 2010

Did Google just instantly kill your website ?

You may, or may not yet, have noticed over the last two weeks that Google has made major changes to the way they present your results by predicting a full page of results as you type.

This is ‘Google Instant’

So what is ‘Google Instant’ and how does it affect your website?

'Google instant' is a new search enhancement that shows a page of results as you type. Google reckon that this saves the visitor seconds on each individual search, so is it a smart gimmick ? Google are far too savvy to risk their cash cow on a mere gimmick. Google believe that ‘Google Instant’ will deliver much more relevant results over time, and that will keep Google at number 1 as the search engine of preference. ‘Google Instant’ will also ‘learn’ as individual users search. So what does that mean ?

This is the first very important distinction between the new and the old google

It used to be that if two people typed in the same search term they would get the same page of search results. This made it relatively easy to optimize a site on a specific search phrase. However, over time, Google will now ‘tweak’ the results for individuals based on their search history.

As an illustration then, John Smith works on a farm and is looking for a fencing company in Sussex. So is Fred Brown, who wants a fence around his Arundel residential property. Typing in ‘Sussex Fencing’ will give them both the same page of results (in the old Google). In future, Fred Brown, who also fences as a sport, will start to see different results over time because of his interest. In six months time, Fred Brown will be returned more sporting result pages because Google will have ‘learned’ that he clicked on more Sporting Fencing pages than Fencing Contractors.

Now this only happens if you are logged into Google with your account, but it’s only a matter of time before ‘Google Instant’ is a default for all google users.

 Some experts think that this makes optimizing your site to appear on page 1 virtually impossible.

Not true.

It changes the way you and I need to approach site optimization. It changes the game… and it is a game ! Just like in any game, the winners are the most flexible and nimble team and the ones with the best all round strategy and set up.

What is the best strategy ?

Content, content, content.

Give your visitors exactly what they are looking for and you will win with the search engines. If we play this way, we give your web site visitors relevant benefit and in doing that we are giving Google’s customers relevant benefit and so Google will want US to win the game.

More and more SEO has less to do with figuring out the search engine algorithm and more to do with content; content that serves customers. That means we have to start working together more and more as partners, because we need regular up to date content from you and in return we will make sure that we play the game well.

That changes the game for us in that we would like you to spend more time making articles, newsletters, blogs etc. We have a specialized SEO service set up for this and this is outlined below.

So how can HW Marketing help ?

We can ensure that your ‘expert content’, articles, blogs etc, get out there into the web, and in doing so hardwire your site to hundreds if not thousands of relevant links that Google will look on favourably.

You will notice also that 'Google Instant' favours large companies and brands and pushes the searcher toward those sites. This is because with predictive results, a page of results is presented to you after typing just a few letters. Potentially then, a visitor may find exactly what they want before they have typed the ‘sussex’ bit of ‘Fencing Sussex’.  Firms with large SEO budgets will always globally and nationally out rank the smaller business anyway. It was our job as SEO people to make sure that we picked the least competitive (but still high traffic!) local search terms for your website to ensure you beat these big brands on a local basis. Now, we need to work differently to beat the big chaps.

Please take a look at our SEO service, and call us to discuss any questions you might have.

HW Marketing are a Chichester Web Design company and the choice for Startup Companies and small businesses who want an affordable professional optimised website presence quickly

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