Much of the Google talk lately has been centered around Google+, the company’s new social network, and with good reason. It may have a significant impact on how Internet users use other established social sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even StumbleUpon. However, it i Nail Salon Blueprint – Ebook $16 Commission! s still Google search that drives the majority of web traffic for most site owners, and there is plenty going on in search as well.
What Would This New Google Design Mean for SEO?
First, I want to talk about a new user interface tweak Google is testing, which could have major implications for site owners and their visibility in Google search results.
The change, seen in the video below, has the search bar and navigation bar sticky at the top of the page and the left panel of search options sticky to the side. In other words, these things stay put as you scroll through search results, rather than disappearing as you scroll down as they do in the regular interface currently.
In the video, we see that results are still paginated. You still have to click through various pages of search results. How often do you really click past the first page?
However, the interface change closely resembles the current interface of Google Image Search. Here, the same things are stickied, but instead of paginated results pages, it has infinite scroll, meaning you can keep scrolling down the page to see more results. Eventually, you have to click “show more results,” but it’s not like clicking through multiple pages.
For all intents and purposes, all of the images appear on page one. It seems likely that if Google switches to this type of interface for regular web search results, it may implement the infinite scroll functionality as well. This would mean, of course, that users wouldn’t have to click to page 2 of the search results to see your site if that’s where you’re currently ranking.
Users are far more likely, in my opinion, to look at more results if they’re all presented on the page. I know this has been the case for me personally, using Google Image search. Similar functionality is also available in Twitter’s timeline, and I know I take in more results there as well.
Google has changed its algorithm and interface so much over the years, with added personalization, local results, universal search, etc. that it is has become harder and harder to get your content seen by searchers, but if this actually pans out, it may actually help with visibility. Hopefully content quality will also be reflected.
We dont’ know for sure that Google will implement any of this, but would it not make for a better user experience?
Google is getting more focused.
As you know, Google has tons of products and services, and constantly experiments with new potential ones. With Larry Page at the helm now, however, the company is getting much more focused. This was a major theme of what Page had to say in the company’s earnings call last week. Since then, Google even made the bold announcement that it is shutting down Google Labs, which holds most of Google’s experimental offerings.
“While we’ve learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we’re to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead,” said Google SVP for Research and Systems Infrastructure Bill Coghran.
Search items like Google Code Search, Google Trends, Google Suggest, Google Social Search, and even Google Maps started out in Google Labs.
That doesn’t mean Google is looking to stop innovating. “We’ll continue to push speed and innovation—the driving forces behind Google Labs—across all our products, as the early launch of the Google+ field trial last month showed,” said Coghran.
“Greater focus has also been another big feature for me this quarter–more wood behind fewer arrows, Page said in the earnings call. “Last month, for example, we announced that we will be closing Google Health and Google PowerMeter. We’ve also done substantial internal work simplifying and streamlining our product lines. While much of that work has not yet become visible externally, I am very happy with our progress here. Focus and prioritization are crucial given our amazing opportunities. Indeed I see more opportunities for Google today than ever before. Because believe it or not we are still in the very early stages of what we want to do.”
“Even in search … which we’ve been working on for 12 years there have never been more important changes to make,” he said. For example this quarter we launched a pilot that shows an author’s name and picture in the search results, making it easier for users to find things from authors they trust.”
Who You Are Matters More
That last point by Page brings me to the next point. Who you are is becoming more important in search. We made note of this when Google announced the authorship markup, which enables the feature Page spoke of. To implement this, by the way, here is Google’s instructions: