Monday, November 15, 2010

Google New Preview and Star Features

Two new Google features are striking a high note with some people and hitting a bad nerve with others.

On the plus side:

+ Searchers can see a thumbnail of your landing page by simply clicking the magnifying glass next to the search result. If you have multiple pages in the results, the searcher can get a visual idea of which page they want to visit. This may motivate faster decisions in result selection.

+ The thumbnail image may be the deciding factor to the searcher. Visually appealing pages may see an increase in page rank, regardless of SEO efforts. (note: previously used SEO techniques required re-vamping when Google introduced instant search anyway.)

On the minus side:
- If you recently changed, or regularly change your page content, the thumbnail may not match your actual page.
- Some CAPTCHA gateway pages may not be protected, and still show up in Google's thumbnail.
- Adult content only sites may also produce thumbnails, requiring adjustments in parental controls

Some searchers will spend extra time looking at all the previews without having to leave the search page, others will find the thumbnail saves them time.

You will also notice the star next to the magnifying glass.

On the plus side:

+ Click this star and the next time you perform this same search, your starred web sites will show up at the top - above the ads and above the organic results.

On the minus side:- Web designers and marketers will have to be more creative on how to keep their websites ranked at the top of the page results.

Have you checked your results to see your your websites show up?

With every change in search algorithms (Google, Bing, etc) new efforts need to be made to keep your website fresh, interesting and findable. The longer your website sits without change, the easier it will be for your competition to rise above you on the page.

Wishing you awesome and continued success.

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