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How Google is going to keep the market share

Alex Christie

29 September 2009

Google has the lions share of the search market, and there isn’t an end in sight, the sheer flexibility and rate at which the search giant can implement new technology and adjust to an ever changing market is the first factor that contributes to their success. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes, Google has comletely revamped the back-end of the Google seach function, the update was called caffeine - the technology is all invisible but it is faster and hopefully it is more economical, both in terms of bandwidth and server load. There have also been a lot of developments made to benefit the user and the webmasters of the sites which are indexed

New visual developments in Google SERPs over the past few months include Links in Google Snippets, Rich Snippets and Real Time Search, let’s examine them one by one, shall we?

Links in Google Snippets

This is a very recent development, first spotted this month in some random places, the links inside the snippets go to an anchor on your page that appears in the results, the observant among you may have noticed the strange structure on this blog, it is  actually testing out various ways to get these links to appear. I will update in a later edition.

Rich Snippets

We have discussed rich snippets in previous posts, they make your snippets in the SERP’s a wee bit more attractive and if the ratings are good, they are certain to increase your click throughs. these rich snippets have been spotted in many different searches, however you are most likely to see them in results for videos (here is a result for stupid animals). It is very likely that increasing the usefulness of the snippet area will be a key focus for all of the search engines in the coming months.

Real Time Search

Twitter may have given Google a scare with its mine of realtime data, I think they are in different leagues however, Google is indexing twitters index faster than twitter can index itself in many cases. Google has also got the technology in place to do near realtime searches down to the second. It is unlikely that Google bot will crawl “Moira’s Cooking Site” every second, but it will certainly check up on the large news portals and certain influential sites several times an hour.

Have a look at recent searches for “nightmare on elm street” in this example. http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=nightmare%20on%20elm%20street&hl=en&output=search&tbs=qdr:n45&tbo=1. There are some parameters you can add after a search string to perform time based searches, all you need to do to get this right is add a number after the time frame variable, in this instance “h” = hours, “n” = minutes and  “s” = seconds. For example: “qdr:s45″ will return results from the past 45 seconds and “qdr:n15″ will return results from the past 15 minutes.

Where do we go from here?

The search engine result page has seen a lot of developments in the past few years, this is the area that the users engage with the most, Google proves that the homepage needn’t be flashy and immersive to be successful, users want results and the SERP’s delivers them. It is important to ensure that the SERP’s contain more information in a way that doesn’t detract from the users experience, it is one of the key balance issues that prevents the SERP’s from being flooded with information.

At the heart of the matter, search engines make money from users clicking the paid ads, surely  as you make the natural results better – will there will be fewer clicks on the paid advertising, is this something that is holding back the new awesome technology we know Google has up its sleeves?

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