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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Google's Instant SEO Challenge

Does Google Instant provide an SEO minefield or just expand the way we think about keyword selection?

All across the Twitterverse and in industry blogs the question is being raised, "Is Google Instant what will kill off SEO?"

I think that Google Instant provides a challenge for those of us in the Search Marketing industry. For a long time we in the SEO field have been trying to find the secret sauce of Google and trying to figure out what keywords are driving results to our clients' pages. We now not only have to think about the ultimate keyword they will use to find what they are looking for but what keywords they will start searching with. Most recently long-tail keywords have been the solution to how most searchers ultimately find what they are looking for, as the head terms are increasingly less relevant as more pages fill up these results but not targeted to what the searchers are looking for.

I believe searchers have grown accustomed to using more long-tail queries first to get at what they really want and have started adjusting their searching habits to avoid those pages that seemingly have less specific results.

Ok, now how does this apply to Google Instant?

Google is now taking a step away from the searcher by predicting what they are going to type for their query. No longer does the searcher have to waste time reformatting their query for head terms or long-tail terms. Google is now showing what results they would get if they did decide to go for the often irrelevant head terms automatically without additional keystrokes. As a searcher knowing that these results will be presented to me instantly I am more likely to try those terms knowing that I can quickly adjust that query and get what I am try looking for but it doesn't hurt to look at those head terms since they are there anyway.

As a search marketer I need to take into account how my clients' customers are searching for their products. As I mentioned previously this was focusing on a few head terms and a large portion of long-tail keywords but with the new adaptation of Google Instant it will be important to try for those head terms as they will now be viewed and considered more often because they will be the first results given for a specific query even if the searcher is heading toward the long-tail keyword.

So bottom line is that this will be a difficult period for search marketers, the results won't change instantly but SEO practitioners need to start working through their keyword strategy and see how this will ultimately affect their customers' experience of search for their products or services.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Google's Making Me Fat

As I am getting older I am noticing that I don't metabolize like I used to. Personally, I am going to blame this all on Google. I know, I know, you are saying "Oh sure blame Google, everyone else is blaming Google for their problems, like them sharing the information that they freely share online," but wait I have some good excuses how Google is driving me to add on the pounds.

1) Their Search Algorithm: From when I was a kid, shoot even when I was in college, I had to literally search for the information I needed to put into my report or do my job. Sure Yahoo was around but let's be honest those results were skewed(emphasis on were) and not the most reliable. So I ended up walking to the library and doing my research or, heaven forbid, do my own research study with hand taken surveys. Now I can just type in the data that I want to know and get a plethora of data that I can scrutinize. So I don't have to make that walking trip to the library to get what I need. - Fat Burned= -2

2) Google Maps: My family takes a lot of car trips (mainly because it is too expensive to fly 4 people now) but how do I (or my wife) plan these car trips? Get out the big paper map if I have one or go down to the store and buy the map? No! I go on my computer and plot my trip by typing in my location and where the hell I'm going and bada-boom bada-bing I have my whole route planned out. Even if I have to spend a night because the trip is too long I can find the hotel right there in that same map. I don't have to drive down to the AAA office to get a book for the area and look up what hotels are there. By not standing over the map and plotting the course or even in the car struggling with re-folding that big map. No calories burned with holding the turn-by-turn directions, forget getting out and asking for directions if I get lost I pull up the map on my smart-phone. - Fat Burned= -1

3) Google Reader: With this fabulous product I not only do not have to go to the library to pick up the latest newspaper or news-magazine to read the stories I am interested in, I don't even have to search the web! The stories are delivered to one spot that I can just go and start reading. Do you know what would help me burn less calories if I enabled the voice webpage reader. I have all the stories that I could possibly be interested in at one location, I don't have to walk from store to store in the mall to get everything I am interested in; food, video games, business journals, etc. - Fat Burned= -3

4) YouTube: I have saved the worst Google product that is leading to my forthcoming obesity problem for last. YouTube has an endless supply of stupidity, wondrous oddities, and crazy shit that you cannot find anywhere else, let alone one location. So with this myriad of entertainment options (Thank you Hockey Fights) I don't need to go and rent movies as often (I still get out of the house some, but I do have kids) or go bowling or golf or __________ Name your favorite activity that is truly active. I can sit around for hours on end and still not find everything YouTube has to offer. Thanks a lot YouTube. Here is a big F*ckYou for - Fat Burned= -10

So Google be expecting to get a bill for my diet supplements, gym membership (as long as I can watch YouTube while doing the elliptical), and the cardiac surgeon's bill. I love you Google but you are going to freakin' kill me!!!

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