Free eBook: Increase traffic to your website
Sign up to the free NETT Weekly Newsletter and receive a free eBook detailing how to get more traffic to your website. The newsletter contains all the latest news, feature articles, and how-to guides for growing your business.
.

Google’s search changes

A screenshot of the Google Preview functionThere have been a number of significant changes recently to Google's search function to make it more relevant for users – namely Google Instant, the use of Google Places in search, and Google Instant Preview.

But what do these changes mean for small businesses trying to sort their search rankings out?                                                                                                                                                                       

Instant Preview

Instant Preview is a function that allows users to preview the appearance of a webpage as a thumbnail before clicking on it. While this has no bearing on search relevancy, it could potentially affect clickthroughs.

If a user doesn’t like the design of the page they see in the thumbnail, they’re much less likely to click on it. So Google’s influence now extends beyond content and into the design of a website, albeit somewhat superficially.

Importantly, the preview function currently doesn’t support flash, instead replacing it with a blacked-out puzzle piece or black square in the preview pane. This presents a significant obstacle for flash-based websites, but Google is currently endeavouring to fix this.

Llew Jury, MD of Reload Media, has some sound advice for businesses concerned about preparing for Instant Preview.

“Keep your web pages simple with fewer distractions. Keep interfering content to a minimum. Ad Pop-ups and other elements may come up in your page preview, making it less appealing.”

Jury also advises against the use of a nosnippet meta tag in the code for webpages, as this will not only bar descriptive snippets from search, but will also disrupt the search function.

Google Instant

You may have noticed that when you type a phrase into Google now, instead of having to hit ‘search’, the results change instantly with each new word you type, trying to anticipate your full intended search phrase. Why was this function introduced?

Instant means that long-tail queries – those with three or four words in them – will become more relevant, as Ash Aryal, a consultant at QuantumLinx explains.

"Data has already proven that these type of specific terms bring about the highest conversion rates anyway, because people using this know what they want,” says Aryal.

“If you think about how a person graduates from searcher to customer, you'll understand that Google Instant hasn't changed the process for most buyers – it’s just sped it up.”

Previously, users would make a number of different searches before clicking on a site, due to uncertainty as to what exactly they were looking for. They would then refine their search phrase depending on the results being displayed by Google.

“In other words, users typically were using the search results pages as feedback to evaluate whether the search term they were using was really getting them the answers they were looking for," explains Aryal.

With Google Instant, searchers can receive real-time feedback based on each word they type, meaning that they get more relevant results faster.

According to Andy Henderson, an SEO consultant at WebConsulting, it’s still too soon to tell what kind of permanent impact this development is likely to have on user search behaviour.

“At the moment, users are clearly paying attention to the ‘instant search’ results and many are clicking on a result before finishing their query,” says Henderson.

“There may be a novelty factor to this, and search behaviour may revert once the novelty has worn off. There was a similar initial change when Google suggest came out.”

If the user behaviour doesn’t revert to the way it was, explains Henderson, there is likely to be a homogenisation of search queries. In addition to an instant list of results for every word entered, Google is continuing to offer a list of ‘guessed’ search suggestions, based upon recent use of similar words. This means thats that the most popular queries get more popular, and the more specific queries may drop off in volume. This is Google’s concession to leading users to the relevant ‘long tail’ search phrases, but might result in searches leading away from what the specific thing that the user might be after (ie multicoloured, alpaca-wool toe-socks) to more popular search terms as noted by Google (ie standard toe-socks).

“Users may also start to alter the way they construct queries – for example there may be an incentive to start the query with the more specific keywords,” notes Henderson.

To adapt to this change, businesses may need to be cleverer about how they implement keywords and the associated phrases across their websites. As Henderson explains, Instant is likely to favour high volume keyword searches, and the order in which keywords appear within the phrases may become more pertinent.

“In the past the order of keywords had relatively little impact, but Google Instant is likely to change that. In order to rank well for ‘Instant’ results, businesses will need to be more careful about keyword analysis and more selective about the keyword phrases they optimise their sites for.”

Jury makes the valid point that Google Instant is unlikely to dramatically change the competition between businesses.

“All advertisers are facing the same changes, so the playing field is level. For AdWords campaigns (SEM), even if an ad does get more impressions, the overall quality score will not be hampered as all other advertisers are experiencing the same increase (if any) in impressions.”

Google Places

Given the burgeoning popularity of mobile, and the GPS possibilities that location-specific search offers smartphone users, it was only a matter of time before Google integrated their Places function more closely with their search services.

Google Places gives businesses the possibility of listing themselves according to their location on Google Maps.

Places has been around for a little while, but recent developments have made it much more prominent. Henderson explains that Google normally assumes that users are looking for local content, and will automatically favour local results, based on IP address or search history, regardless of whether or not a location is included in the enquiry. This is because the search giant thinks a local result is, by definition, a more relevant result. The recent development means that if Google detects you’re searching explicitly for a location-specific thing (ie shoelace store, bondi beach), it will immediately bring up a map with relevant locations for the kind of product you’re after.

It’s essential for small businesses that are planning to get to the first page of Google to ensure they’re also in Places, otherwise this new map trigger will ignore them entirely.

“Currently, Places listings receive a much more prominent “top of the page” status, with traditional organic results shunted to the bottom of the page,” says Henderson. "I’m not convinced that this is going to stay that way, but Places listings will continue to be important. At the moment, it is too easy to get a well ranked Places listing and too easy to ‘game’. I believe that Google needs to get smarter about how they select and rank Places listings.”

It’s not just enough for a business to be listed on Google places; they need to maximise their presence. As with normal search results, one of the best ways of doing this is to saturate it with content. Use keywords in descriptions and categories, provide images and videos, and encourage customers to submit reviews.

“Additionally, keyword rich content in the description boxes, optimising the categories to include geographic descriptors and uploading photos, can all help improve your listings’ rank position,” suggests Jury.

SImply put, the recent developments don’t drastically disadvantage anyone in terms of search. It remains to be seen whether or not Google Instant will change users’ habits for the better when searching on Google. It’s essential for all small businesses to invest some time in saturating their Google Places listing with relevant content. And if a business is currently in the process of creating a website, it would be wise to lean away from excessive use of flash on the homepage, as this may hinder clickthroughs regardless of your SEO efforts.

Not so scary, really.

Find out where your website stands in the search engines by ordering Netregistry's free Search Engine Ranking Report. Stop guessing and start planning.

Image credit: A screenshot of the Google Instant Preview function

Have Your Say

Your email address will not be published. All fields are mandatory

To leave your comment, please click the submit button below. By doing so you acknowledge that you have read and accept the privacy policy and terms and conditions for use of this site.


  1. Jeremy says:

    What exactly is a nosnippet meta-tag? is this something that’s regularly used in website design? i.e. will my designer have added it in there without consulting me?

  2. Luke says:

    I personally like the fact the preview function currently doesn’t support flash and you only see a blacked-out puzzle piece…I personally would like to petition Google to change this to a big road sign saying “Don’t bother entering”….flash = waste of space!

  3. Andrew says:

    Death to websites created entirely in flash…flash has a time and a place…e.g. a guided buying widget or a slide show.

  4. Danny Michau says:

    Thank you very much for your informative articles. Your sharing of knowledge sincerely helps individuals like myself whom when the weather hits fourty degrees on the pavement it is definately time to promote my business opportunity online.
    Thanks heaps danny

  5. AustraliaWide says:

    So how does an online business (ie available to everywhere in Australia) compete in the Places-based searches? I can’t list everywhere in my keywords and don’t need to limit it to where I am physically based…

  6. Ash Aryal (QuantumLinx Pty Ltd) says:

    Hi AustraliaWide: to compete on places based search, you really need to have an address at each major location you want to get ranked for. So although you may be a business that serves all of Australia, most of your business will be coming from a few locations – most commonly Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane etc.. – the capital cities. Therefore you should create a places account for each of these capital cities. To do that you do need to have a Business Address that you can promote through the Google Places directory for that location. Once you have that, create the listing for that location and then work on optimising that listing for that location. There are several cheap ways to get business addresses in several locations …. a little creativity and you will have a ‘location’ in every city. Good Luck.

  7. AustraliaWide says:

    Thanks for that info Ash :)

  8. Ash Aryal says:

    Hi Australia Wide, not a problem. Let me know if I can help in any way. Just remember to do great SEO on your actual site, link your maps account to that site and then optimise the site well. A lot of people believed before that Maps and Organic were different and they had different data. We knew better, and now there is absolutely no doubt. Google are integrating all their data incorporate as much info as they can on your site to give you the best rankings. Good luck mate.

  9. GlobalOnline says:

    Good information — thanks! Google Places needs to realize that online often means no borders. Their place selection algorithm should include country names, not just city names, and also a “tick-the-box for truly global” option. Without these obvious options, one is forced to try to pick weird and wonderful places to try to get the coverage required. From Murmansk to Dunedin to Santiago to Fairbanks to … etc.

  10. Pantofi Barbatesti says:

    Mainly because I in the beginning wrote relating to MBT footwear at Pantofi Barbatesti, a whole lot includes altered over the manufacturer, and the inventor and founder is made up of remaining the enterprise. Between legitimate buyers, opinions of MBT footwear are fairly combined. If on your own’re thinking of a few of MBT sneakers, I strongly motivate oneself towards much too browse the feed-back still left within remedy towards the right after posts, and chat towards your health care provider right before sporting any style of shoe that is thus significantly choice in opposition to what yourself’re applied in direction of, or towards handle any style of agony or predicament.

    http://incaltaminte-mopiel.ro/magazin/index.php?route=product/category&path=18_46

  11. Pantofi Barbatesti says:

    Considering the fact that I initially wrote more than MBT footwear at Pantofi Barbatesti, a ton consists of improved regarding the brand name, and the inventor and founder contains still left the organization. Involving correct purchasers, evaluations of MBT sneakers are fairly merged. If oneself’re thinking about a few of MBT sneakers, I strongly inspire by yourself in the direction of furthermore go through the feedback still left inside of reply towards the just after content, and speak in the direction of your physician right before carrying any style of shoe that is consequently substantially alternate against what on your own’re made use of toward, or towards take care of any model of discomfort or dilemma.

    http://incaltaminte-mopiel.ro/magazin/index.php?route=product/category&path=18_46

  12. Pantofi Barbatesti says:

    Given that I initially wrote above MBT footwear at Pantofi Barbatesti, a great deal includes transformed with regards to the brand name, and the inventor and founder incorporates still left the organization. Involving legitimate buyers, critiques of MBT sneakers are Extremely combined. If by yourself’re thinking about a few of MBT footwear, I strongly persuade by yourself toward too read through the suggestions remaining within solution in the direction of the just after content material, and chat toward your health practitioner just before sporting any model of shoe that is hence significantly substitute against what oneself’re utilized towards, or in the direction of address any design of agony or challenge.

    http://incaltaminte-mopiel.ro/magazin/index.php?route=product/category&path=18_46

  13. Pantofi Barbatesti says:

    Considering the fact that I at first wrote concerning MBT sneakers at Pantofi Barbatesti, a good deal consists of adjusted pertaining to the brand name, and the inventor and founder incorporates still left the enterprise. Involving genuine prospective buyers, evaluations of MBT sneakers are pretty put together. If on your own’re looking at a few of MBT sneakers, I strongly persuade yourself in direction of too study the feedback still left within remedy towards the immediately after content articles, and speak in the direction of your physician in advance of sporting any style of shoe that is therefore significantly option in opposition to what by yourself’re utilised in the direction of, or towards handle any design of agony or condition.

    http://incaltaminte-mopiel.ro/magazin/index.php?route=product/category&path=18_46

  14. Pantofi Barbatesti says:

    Due to the fact I to begin with wrote in excess of MBT footwear at Pantofi Barbatesti, a great deal incorporates altered in excess of the manufacturer, and the inventor and founder incorporates remaining the small business. Amongst correct potential buyers, testimonials of MBT sneakers are Really blended. If on your own’re looking at a couple of MBT footwear, I strongly really encourage oneself toward additionally go through the suggestions still left inside respond to in direction of the soon after information, and speak in direction of your medical professional in advance of carrying any design and style of shoe that is hence substantially substitute against what oneself’re made use of towards, or in the direction of take care of any model of discomfort or predicament.

    http://incaltaminte-mopiel.ro/magazin/index.php?route=product/category&path=18_46

  15. Pantofi Barbatesti says:

    Due to the fact I at first wrote in excess of MBT footwear at Pantofi Barbatesti, a large amount includes adjusted pertaining to the manufacturer, and the inventor and founder contains remaining the business enterprise. Involving true consumers, testimonials of MBT footwear are rather put together. If yourself’re thinking about a couple of MBT sneakers, I strongly motivate yourself in the direction of on top of that browse the responses remaining in just respond to in the direction of the right after material, and converse in direction of your health practitioner ahead of carrying any style of shoe that is consequently substantially option towards what your self’re made use of in direction of, or towards handle any design and style of discomfort or condition.

    http://incaltaminte-mopiel.ro/magazin/index.php?route=product/category&path=18_46

  16. Pantofi Barbatesti says:

    For the reason that I at first wrote relating to MBT sneakers at Pantofi Barbatesti, a great deal includes modified above the manufacturer, and the inventor and founder is made up of still left the small business. Involving true potential buyers, testimonials of MBT sneakers are Really combined. If your self’re thinking of a few of MBT footwear, I strongly stimulate on your own in the direction of as well study the responses still left inside of respond to in direction of the soon after articles or blog posts, and discuss in the direction of your medical doctor in advance of sporting any style of shoe that is hence dramatically option in opposition to what on your own’re utilised in direction of, or towards handle any design of agony or trouble.

    http://incaltaminte-mopiel.ro/magazin/index.php?route=product/category&path=18_46

  17. Pantofi Barbatesti says:

    Considering the fact that I in the beginning wrote with regards to MBT footwear at Pantofi Barbatesti, a whole lot includes modified pertaining to the manufacturer, and the inventor and founder includes remaining the business. Involving true purchasers, evaluations of MBT footwear are reasonably combined. If oneself’re looking at a couple of MBT sneakers, I strongly stimulate oneself toward additionally study the feed-back still left within just respond to in the direction of the just after posts, and speak toward your health practitioner prior to putting on any style of shoe that is hence drastically alternate versus what your self’re made use of in direction of, or towards handle any style of ache or trouble.

    http://incaltaminte-mopiel.ro/magazin/index.php?route=product/category&path=18_46

  18. Pantofi Barbatesti says:

    Due to the fact I to begin with wrote regarding MBT footwear at Pantofi Barbatesti, a great deal consists of improved more than the manufacturer, and the inventor and founder consists of still left the business. Amongst accurate consumers, assessments of MBT footwear are Incredibly blended. If by yourself’re thinking of a few of MBT footwear, I strongly motivate your self in direction of on top of that study the feedback still left within just answer in direction of the just after posts, and converse toward your health practitioner in advance of carrying any design and style of shoe that is as a result substantially alternate against what oneself’re employed toward, or towards address any design and style of soreness or dilemma.

    http://incaltaminte-mopiel.ro/magazin/index.php?route=product/category&path=18_46

metin2 pvp serverler pvp serverler mt2 pvp metin2 pvp

The term small business marketing encompasses many strategies and ideas, however the skill lies in knowing which ones are most suitable for your small business. Generating small business sales is the ultimate goal of any business and learning the different ways in which small business marketing can assist will help increase your overall sales. NETT features compelling articles covering all angles of small business marketing from SEO and SEM to email campaigns and social media.