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Searchology 2009

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
CEO
13 May 2009

What does this mean for you?

So yesterday evening’s Searchology webcast has been and gone and now we are left wondering exactly what it means for natural search and for your sites.

The Searchology events have come to mean the rolling out of new products and ideas from Google but this year – with the exception of their Android based star viewer – there was not a great deal that was ‘new’. That said there were some interesting new innovations on how the data Google has is distributed.

We learned that 1 in 4 pages served (and this is increasing), contained a Universal Search element. So as we keep saying, where you can you need to be looking to populate the Google verticals such as News, Blogs, Videos and Shopping.

Rich Snippets

One of the first major changes we heard about was the introduction of Rich Snippets. Using extended Meta Data from microformatted pages allows Google to add in additional information for the user, such as site reviews, date of review, and price ranges. Expect gaps in this just now but the service is already being rolled out and scope will be extended in an ongoing way. I do like the way Google is OK about going live with their projects even though not 100% the finished article.

If you want to get more involved with Rich Snippets for your site click here.

Search Options

This is all about serving up information in new and additional ways. We are all individuals and how we like our search results served will vary. So Google is looking to let us tailor their page in new ways.

First up we saw the addition of the ‘Show Options’ link at the top of the search results, see below.

Google Options

Google Options

When you click on this you are offered an array of options that allow you to slice and dice the results as you would see fit.

Google New Options

Google New Options

These include sorting results by Video, Review or Forum. You can also drill down in time by most recent, last 24 hours, week or last year. Additionally you can view images and then a new element which is the Google Wonder Wheel.  This brings a more interactive element to Google search and using the related searches as a base you can play around with the wonder wheel to drill into the offered search results. Have a go. This does remind me of the old Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus. Wonder Wheel image below.

Wonder Wheel

Wonder Wheel

Google Squared

Another new offering was Google Squared. This has been seen by some as a direct competitor to Wolphram Alpha. I am not so sure. This looks more like a shopping device than a real research tool but again, early days and not live yet. Basically Google Squared takes data and dumps it into a spreadsheet for easy comparison. You can then add additional columns by conducting a new search request. It’s really rather neat.

Google Squared

Google Squared

What does it mean for you?

Actually, not a huge amount as yet but think about the following:

  • Micro formatting pages – worth doing for key pages and products
  • Verticals – make sure you are producing content and formatting it for inclusion into Google’s Universal Search Results
  • Work on getting good reviews for your site and products… easier said than done!

Overall there are some really nice new options for people searching and expect more to be rolled out and in greater depth as Google leans how and why we are using them.

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