One thing I love right now is that I have a Client in Canada. Today when I was doing checks for keywords and searches on Google Canada I came across something kind of cool and new.
A few years ago I saw a post on a major forum taking us into Google Labs for a bot and search engine that had a slide bar.
If you slid the slide bar one way it would pull more shopping results and if you slid it the other way it would pull more informative and information sites. The theory behind this I believe was to help users find something more easily depending on if they were researching or if they were ready to shop. In theory this is a great idea but as an SEO this is scary and extremely exciting.
On one hand if your goal is sales then you now have a whole new way to compete with your site. On the other hand maybe large brand sites which could more easily be seen and known as a shopping and Merchant site would be able to outrank you, solely based on the algorithm recognizing they will always be a shopping site. For Affiliate sites and content sites this could easily be a nightmare since there is no checkout. On the other hand if the Affiliate is also selling ad space and has adsense or chiquita ads on their site, it could be a great way to drive eyeballs, impressions and more clicks. Although it opened an entire new algorithm and way to compete, it was also scary because it could easily bankrupt the little guys if they cannot be recognized as easily as a shopping site. Anyways, the reason I am bringing this up is that although the slide bar which would help you find more shopping sites as opposed to information sites is not a reality, at least yet in Canada, the shopping vs. information is and it is screwing some people over and making other people pretty happy.
Here are some screen shots of what it looks like and I’ll go into a little more detail on what the side bars say.
In this smaller screen shot, everything looks normal in the search results except for the left hand side. There are a series of blue links. They read in order:
Everything, then Videos, then a drop down menu with the word more.
Underneath there is another series of links which read:
Pages from Canada, fewer shopping sites, more shopping sites, then another drop down that says more search tools.
Here is where it not only gets scary, but where you have a ton of opportunity and a ton of the guess work about what Google has been doing starts to become a reality with turning results into a real time (sort of like how growmap.com (social media marketing company) who has been talking about the importance of new links and content on a regular basis and also the reason some authority sites might fall since they rely on history and are not always proactive about fresh links, fresh content on their old pages, etc… (at least that’s what I get from some of the posts)) has been talking about the and constantly updated priority for content and shopping sites. I clicked on the more search tools drop down and I got:
- Any time
- Past 24 hours
- Past week
- Past month
- Past year
- Custom range…
- Standard view
- Wonder wheel
- Standard results
- Sites with images
- Fewer shopping sites
- More shopping sites
- Page previews
- Translated search
These are not only pretty self explanatory, but they are also huge! Not only can you now pull search results back that appeared within the last 24 hours, but you can do it for the week, the month and for the year. Think about covering a breaking story, getting eye balls on to your blog or news site and also think about the ways to stream in your adsense while still remaining within the guidelines of Google’s TOS. This is a potential goldmine and in my opinion opens up the SEO and traffic game to newer sites and will make the older more favored sites have to actually do some work and fight a little bit harder to keep their traffic and favoritism going. I’d share a sample of something I did to test this, but I want to try it a few more times on different days just to make sure first. Trust me, there is a ton of opportunity to drive some serious eyeballs here and give newer bloggers a fair playing field.
The next section shows the standard view which is your normal results, then the wonder wheel which is in this next screen shot and is pretty cool and then a link called timeline.
The wonder wheel which you see to the left is pretty cool. (On a side note, you’ll notice I clicked on the organic listing for adgooroo. I wanted to point out that I do not actually use it but wanted to see what would happen if I clicked and then went back and the search results stayed like this. Not that there is anything wrong with their services, I just don’t use it personally).
The wonder wheel not only attracted me because it looks and sounds cool, but it also really sort of helps to guide the end user through search results and helps them to find ways to better narrow or target their searches to find the information they are looking for. In this case it is copy keyword tools. If I didn’t like any of the results that were pulled in organically or through PPC, the wonder wheel offers me alternative search terms and phrases that may be relevant to what I am looking for. Think about the ease of keyword research and seeing what people may search for after their original search because Google told them to. It is sort of like the keywords and keyword phrase suggestions at the bottom of normal Google search results. The wonder wheel is a pretty cool tool and so far I am loving using it. It is not only helping me with keyword variations, but it is also cool to see what Google finds relevant for each other which should also help you with your back linking plan and keyword research. There is a ton of room to look into the mind of Google with this one tool that they let loose. The next link is the timeline link.
The timeline link is also pretty cool. What it does is sort of pull a history of a product or service or person or culture. It is kind of like an old school encyclopedia and historic timeline. I typed in a couple products (the one in this example is a mop) and it not only gave me a timeline with historic dates, but below the graph it also gave me websites with information about different types of mops but the date listed and the background as a small outtake from the site.
Think about the amount of eyeballs you can not only bring to your site for research and history and then make money off impressions, but also how much easier this would have been when we were all in school and had to research information and history for school and papers. This opens up an entirely new and somewhat easy (at least right now) way to drive more traffic and eye balls to your site and your advertisers.
The next couple of sections go back to where the basics of Internet Marketing come back into play. If you remember your SEO 101 classes then you should remember how to optimize for each of these. Pictures, shopping sites, less shopping sites, page previews and translated search. These are all pretty self explanatory and if you are worth your weight in SEO, then right now your mind is flooding with ideas.
Personally I love these new options from Google Search and at the same time am a little concerned that they could easily start to twist what was fair game into a loosing battlefield for large name brand stores because they are more easily recognized as shopping sites than a small mom and pop newbie who just had to optimize for long tail and work their way up. Now those long tail and especially vanity may be much further out of reach for them, but then again maybe they will be a lot easier if they can figure out how to show they are a shopping site and also figure out how to optimize for this algorithm.
I’m already messing with it and finding that it is much simpler than you would think. Then again it is new so it will probably change a lot more as time progresses and more people start to try and optimize for it. Anyways, I just wanted to share this with you as it is kind of new and cool and thought you may all want to see.
As always, these are just my thoughts and opinions. It doesn’t mean they are right or wrong and I encourage you to make your own business decisions, not rely on my thoughts or what I say. I always love to hear what you have to say as well so please feel free to leave a comment below.