Google has recently announced 40 updates to it’s search functionality that are supposed to improve the quality of searches and provide added value to searchers. Anyone who has followed Google’s updates for any length of time is aware that the real reason behind updates is generally to make more money for Google. If improving quality and adding value for searchers happens as a serendipitous side effect, enjoy!
Over the next 40 days I’ll try to dig into each announced change and highlight the most salient aspects from the perspective of a small to medium size business trying to get some traffic to their website through organic search.
#1: More coverage for related searches.
[launch codename “Fuzhou”] This launch brings in a new data source to help generate the “Searches related to” section, increasing coverage significantly so the feature will appear for more queries. This section contains search queries that can help you refine what you’re searching for.
The “searches related to” section is found at the bottom of the search engine results page (SERP) and is comprised of a list of eight related search terms. Clicking on a search term will bring you to a new SERP for that term.
- How does this help you as a searcher? If, after reaching the bottom of the results page, you haven’t clicked on anything, Google thinks maybe you used the wrong search term, and is offering some popular terms it feels is related.
- How does this help Google? For one thing, Google has the opportunity to push you to a popular SERP, which in terms of it’s Adwords PPC program, is a more competitive page, with more expensive clicks.
- How does this hurt the small business? People who click on those links won’t be going to Page 2. This becomes increasingly important as Google fills the SERPs with it’s own content and redesigns pages that push more organic results off of Page 1.
With the increase of the number of queries that the “searches related to” will appear on, these effects will obviously become more prevalent. In the end this feature gives Google an opportunity to control where a lost searcher goes, which is primarily good for Google.
- No. 9: Minor tuning of autocomplete policy algorithms – Google’s 40 Feb 2012 Search Quality Updates
- Web Design Article – Website Promotion
- No. 10: Improved ranking for queries using “site:” operator – Google’s 40 Search Quality Updates
- Google Local Algorithm Update August 2015
- No. 5: More locally relevant predictions in YouTube – Google’s 40 Search Quality Updates