Google Instant Preview Changes How Search Results Are Viewed

Google New Logo 2010 png format

Google Instant Preview is a new feature following the September roll out of Google Instant which completes searches while they’re being typed into Google’s search field, with the goal of significantly reducing time spent searching.

But is the new feature really going to speed up the searcher’s experience, or is it yet another complicated layer on what was once a simple and easy-to-understand search interface? Google’s own research revealed that on average searchers using Google Instant Preview are 5% more likely to be satisfied with the search results they click after seeing a visual preview next to the organic listing.

Google Silex Technologies India Search Preview

Google Instant Preview essentially gives users the ability to see a website before they visit it. Google accomplishes this by taking a screenshot of every webpage in its index and giving users access to it via a magnifying glass icon that sits to the right of every search result.

When a user clicks on the magnifying glass icon, a screenshot of the webpage in question will appear to the right of the search result listing. It’s an at-a-glance view of the website page without actually having to visit the webpage.

One of the key elements to Instant Previews though is that Google sometimes highlights a section of the page where the page description occurs. This becomes a useful feature when you’re trying to find information on a specific person on a page that lists dozens or hundreds of people. Instead of having to scroll through the entire page to find the person, you can just look at the Instant Preview and see where they are on the page.

“We realized early on that this kind of experience would only make sense if it was lightning fast. Not long ago simply downloading an image could take 20 or 30 seconds, and even today many websites take four or five seconds to load,” Raj Krishnan, Product Manager wrote in the Google Blog. “With Google Instant Preview, we match a search query with an index of the entire web, identify the relevant parts of each webpage, stitch them together and serve the resulting preview completely customised to your search–usually in under one-tenth of a second.”

Google InstantSEO expert Peter Bowen at First One On says, “while Google Instant Preview is designed to speed up the searching process what it actually does is to speed up the decision-making process of choosing whether or not to click on the link by previewing the visual screenshot of the resulting webpage.”

“Google currently provides a lot more data to help the searcher. At one time search engines just displayed the first two lines from a webpage under a search result, but now they include information like site links, date, cached content, jump to links and even Google Places.”

Instant Previews can be helpful for many kinds of tasks. For example, say you looked at a page before and need to find it again – with a preview, you can tell if any of the results look familiar. Or perhaps you’re looking for an official website – look for a logo and formal style and you’ll probably be able to identify it. Or maybe you’re looking for a how-to guide – it’s easy to spot a page with clear illustrations and step-by-step instructions.

From an SEO perspective the big question is how will Google Instant Preview affect our understanding of traditional SEO, and what changes should we consider making to webpages so that they can be easily previewed in a tiny screenshot?

When a searcher performs a search and sees the search results page displayed, they do have a choice of whether or not to activate the Google Instant Preview feature by clicking on the magnifying glass icon.

“However, clicking on the magnifying glass icon is less of a commitment than clicking on a link, and you still need to convince the searcher that it is worth their time to preview a website” says Peter Bowen. “Therefore it becomes more important than ever to have a well defined and well written description of what the website page is about and it has to fit within the 150 character limit. So the Meta content description is what you will have to change and be aware of here.”

As we already know, Flash is not SEO friendly because it cannot be read by search engines and is even worse for Instant Preview as it shows as a black rectangle and cannot be rendered. The same is true for video files that also display a black rectangle in the preview, so consideration of this is important too.

It should be pointed out that because the image size of the screenshot is so small, unless the text in headings is large enough, it will be impossible to read.

So what does all this mean? Well, we have to start thinking about the overall page layout and if it looks good at postage stamp size or if it is just a blur of text with no images to make it look appealing. This means creating pages that pay more attention to navigation, titles and headers, spacing, colors and objects, such as call-to-action buttons. Having a good looking page with relevant titles now may count as much as the content on the page itself.

It is likely that we will begin to see a lot more webpages with well defined graphics and other visual aids designed to get a searcher’s attention. This makes SEO even more important than ever, make sure that your images are named with keywords and their filenames and alt text are descriptive and accurate.

Google Instant Preview is here to stay and designed to make the search selection process easier and according to Google faster, but in the end, good SEO practices are what is going make the difference of whether or not you get discovered on the search engine results pages.

VIA: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2010/nov/26prt.html

Google Instant // SEO Internet Marketing

Google-Instant-Search-Demo

Google Instant – Implications For SEO & Internet Marketing

While reading Harry McCracken’s rather insightful article on Google Instant in PCWorld, I was reminded once again, how narrowly focused my own thinking has become in regards to Google. I keep forgetting, not everyone is into SEO or Internet Marketing (lucky dogs), and that Google search has a function outside of SEO.

I keep forgetting that the general public actually uses Google for online search, there are millions of web users out there who have been using Google Instant to find out the weather, the latest Lady Gaga outfit or which flat-screen HDTV to buy? Of course, I know this to be the real function of Google, but if you’re a full-time search engine marketer, your perspective is solidly aligned to all the SEO elements – keyword rankings, link building and content placement in the most dominant search engine in the world.

Basically, you will be more concerned with how Google Instant will impact those top keyword rankings, your click through rates and most importantly, what effect will it have on your conversion rates and sales? More specifically, how does this instant search impact the display of your listings in Google and what are the long-term ramifications this instant “real time” display will have on your online marketing?

There are even some so-called experts which say Google Instant will be the end of SEO. This is a rather foolish notion since the underlying structure of using optimized strategies to obtain top rankings in Google or any other search engine for that matter, has not changed. We still have the emphasis on quality content, high quality back-links and on-page ranking factors.

In the background nothing has changed, in the foreground everything has changed. Well, somewhat.

Google Instant is a game changer for online marketers simply because it changes “How” your listings are displayed. Not only is the faster speed a factor but Google is guessing or rather dictating what the web surfer is searching for so Google’s influence on what’s displayed has increased 10-fold. They are displaying results not only based on rankings BUT on what their data tells them you’re looking for? How big a role this other compiled data and web users’ histories play in these suggestions only Google knows, but to the online marketer all this is somewhat worrisome.

Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google has been quoted as saying, “Never underestimate the power of fast. Quick, quick, quick – we want to help you right now… we can understand things like what you really meant.”

Only time will tell what effect this “jumping the gun” or “making up your mind for you” will have on Internet marketing. The long-lasting effect of Google imposing its results on the web searcher will no doubt have some strong impacts on web marketing. Getting those first suggestions when a surfer types in just one or two letters… will become the real money-makers in terms of online traffic and sales.

Those companies and products which pop-up first will gain in market share and importance, but hasn’t this always been the case with getting those first place keyword rankings in Google? Yes, but now Google is giving the searcher options and planting seeds/suggestions, which Google has done in the past but not at this speed and to this extent. The implications for online marketing could be enormous, assuming of course, web surfers actually use this function because Google does give users the option of turning off Instant search. In our hurried fast-paced world, one would reason, web searchers would not turn off this function, although if your Internet connection is too slow, Google will automatically turn off Instant search for you.

Las Vegas On Google Instant - Example

From a marketing angle, webmasters must now note Google’s keyword suggestions which quickly pop-up and target them in their SEO efforts. Analyzing and targeting which keyword phrases Google are displaying in your niche market will be vital to capturing the majority of the traffic. Surfers will click on Google’s suggestions to find what they’re looking for on the web. Getting top rankings for those 4 or 5 suggestions will become important if an online marketer or webmaster wants to cover/corner all the search territory in their niche. Whether you actually target these keywords would really be determined by their commercial intent probability which can be discovered by using Microsoft’s Adcenter Laps (http://adlab.msn.com/Online-Commercial-Intention/) and of course, the amount of traffic each keyword gets each month. (Try here: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal).

Another area of concern has to do with the ever decreasing space for organic listings on the new Google Instant interface. With the drop-down menu and depending upon how many paid listings are shown, there may only be room for 3 listings instead of five or more above the fold. Keep in mind, we are mainly talking about lucrative keyword phrases which will also usually have three paid Adwords listings in the spots where organic search results were formerly displayed. Searchers are lazy, they will probably not scroll down, especially if they see different listings popping up as they narrow down their search. So your SEO has probably gotten much harder since you will now have to aim for the top 3 spots – thanks Google.

Of course, savvy online marketers know the real gold is in the long-tail keyword phrases which surfers use to find what they’re looking for on the web. Google Instant could possibly play havoc on this whole process because before the searcher finishes typing in the long 4 or even 5 word phrases, they would be exposed to maybe 4 or 5 pages of Google listings… chances are great that searchers will click on one of these listings before they finish typing, especially if the listing contains a part of the searched for phrase.

Marketers will have to closely analyze their own web stats and conversion rates in regards to Google Instant. I am seeing little change in my own online marketing… traffic has dropped on some sites and risen on others, subscription rates are up and sales are steady. What really concerns me is the fact that Google may not only be pre-judging their rankings but also your mind. They are playing a much bigger role in how you decide which listing you click. Granted, this is probably drawn from unbiased data but will the influence of top-brand companies be more dominant in Google’s Instant results?

Another general concern, will the display of so many listings make it harder for your site or page to be clicked? Will giving the searcher so many options so quickly, lower your chances of getting that click-thru, even if you have the top spot in Google? The laws of probability and human nature says your chances have diminished somewhat in this new instant search environment. Not good news if your livelihood depends upon getting that click.

However, many of these changes and no matter how fast Google gives you their search results, will not change the fundamental principles of good SEO practices. Keyword positioning will still get you to the number one spot in Google for your chosen phrase if you have the time and resources to create quality content, build quality one-way back-links and use good on-page optimization. Besides the smaller emphasis on organic traffic, the only other real concern is the degree to which Google will use their suggestions and how much those suggestions are based not on SEO ranking factors but on users’ histories and compiled data. Even with this concern, Google Instant, even at warp speed, does not negate the importance of getting those top rankings. For many search engine marketers, like myself, it’s business as usual. Full speed ahead.

Demo Slam: Google Instant Elements

 

Full Article: http://www.marketingtoolguide.com/

You simply must get the SEO part right

Getting Your Site’s SEO Right

Getting Your Site’s SEO Right

You simply must get the SEO part right. Mainly because proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will increase your chances of obtaining those all important top rankings in the search engines. Besides, a well optimized site or page, will go a long way in weathering any abrupt changes on the web.

Google Instant is a perfect example of how things can change overnight. While it didn’t change SEO per se, it did change how people use Google and how the results are shown. Searchers don’t get the same chance to type in their long-tail keyword phrases because they are constantly and instantly being bombarded by suggested links… so much so that getting those top positions for shorter root keywords has gotten more important and this has increased everyone’s competition because those popular shorter keywords have always been the most competitive.

Probably every webmaster or online marketer knows that in order to get top rankings in the search engines you have to have quality one-way backlinks from other high ranked keyword-related sites. This will more than likely be the main determining ranking factor for most search engines, especially the all important Google. You simply need good quality one-way links and plenty of them to rank high.

However, there are many more SEO factors which come into play, especially if you’re in a very competitive niche and targeting highly cherished lucrative keyword phrases which bring in the big bucks. Then in these competitive situations, you must get all your SEO ducks lined up proper, if you want to be a player.

Some of these SEO factors may be minor but in very tight keyword races, it could possibly mean you get ranked above your competitor. Believe me, for some very lucrative keywords, just moving up a few notches can make a significant difference in your traffic and sales. The number one spot is what you’re aiming for, but even landing or moving up to the top five positions can make a big difference.

Traffic to your website

But you probably already know the significance of getting top rankings for your site and marketing. It can simply make or break your online endeavors. So here are some SEO on-page or on-site factors which you should have in place if you truly want to compete in the ranking wars.

1. Place your main keyword phrase in your Domain Name and over time you will see higher rankings for that phrase and keywords related to it. With Google going to Instant Search, I believe you will see these keyworded domains playing a much greater role in what is listed first. You still have to get those quality back-links, but having a good keyworded domain will be half your battle.

2. Place your keyword phrase in the URL for your webpage. Place it in the title, description and in the H1 tags on your page. Also place this keyword phrase and variations of it throughout your page, including at the very bottom. As for keyword density, try to keep it under 6%, this is the limit that Ezinearticles puts on their contributed content, go above this percentage and they won’t take it. I usually aim for around 2% to 4% but don’t get too hung-up on this issue, just write helpful easy-to-read content for your visitors.

3. Place related keyworded interior links on your page. That is, keep all your content and links keyword-related to one another. This makes it easy for the search engines to index your pages and content. I like building keyword-related traffic hubs or sections on my sites, for example I could have a whole sub-directory just on all the “affiliate marketing” info pages on my site. These would be all linked together and back to the homepage.

XML Web Site Sitemap4. Make sure you have an XML Sitemap which the search engines can use to quickly index your new pages. I also like adding an HTML sitemap which goes into more detail and lists all the pages and their content. This is not only for the search engines but to help your visitors more easily navigate your site; never leave a visitor stranded.

5. Make sure all your pages load quickly. Reduce any large images that you have and break content/articles up into different pages to reduce load times.

6. Make sure your site handles 404 mistakes and your visitors are directed to your sitemap or another page on your site. If you don’t know how to correct this problem, just do a Google search for “how to set up a custom 404 file not found page” or contact your web host support to fix this issue.

7. Don’t have duplicate content on your site. Do a proper 301 redirect for the www and non-www versions of your site, since this may fool some of the search engines into believing you have two versions of your site, one with www and one without the www in the URL. For Apache servers I simply place this bit of code in the .htaccess file on my server.

Code example from non-www to www:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.example\.com$ [NC] RewriteRule .? http://www.example.com%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

8. Link out to other high quality keyword related sites. I don’t believe webmasters use this very much, but linking out to high quality sites have helped my rankings. Search engines, especially Google, want to see you’re connected to quality content and besides, pleasing your visitor is what it’s really all about.

9. Keep all your interior site navigation as simple as possible. Make it extremely easy for your visitors to find their way around your site. I usually don’t have any pages more than three clicks away from my homepage. All main categories or sub-categories of my site are not only listed on my home/index page but also on every page of my site. Again, never leave your visitors or the search engines stranded.

Analyze Your Website Traffic10. Don’t know if this is a ranking factor or not, but I like placing my YouTube videos on my content pages. Sure you will lose some visitors to YouTube, but it also connects your content with this very popular site which is owned by Google. We all know Google says it doesn’t promote its own interests, but what publicly traded company doesn’t? In that same light, I like using many Google products such as Google Analytics, Google URL Shortener, Google Profiles… and the list goes on. Completely inter-connecting all your pages and content with the countless Google programs will ensure your content won’t be missed.

There are probably many more on-page factors but these are the major ones which you should have on your site and done properly. If you want to check the SEO quality of your site or page, here is a handy site which will check some common SEO factors: www.pearanalytics.com and for checking out your keyword density try this one: www.webuildpages.com/seo-tools/keyword-density/

Full Article: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2010/nov/5prt.html

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