You may have noticed the recent significant changes to the appearance of the Google search engine website. Google is constantly changing their search engine to provide better, more relevant search results to visitors, and we work with a number of our clients to keep their websites optimised for Google’s changing algorithms. I expect the most recent user interface changes to ultimately have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your website’s rank in Google.
Depending on what browser you are using, when you go to http://www.google.com.au/ you may no longer see the ‘pages from Australia’ option which used to be found just below the search box. After entering your search terms (helped by Google’s new autocomplete feature in the search box) and hitting enter / go, you will see a left hand navigation with lots of new options in it, including a ‘Pages from Australia’ option. You can click on that link to restrict the search results to just Australian sites.
The new options in the left hand navigation include additional ways to restrict the search results, which will help you find what you are really after more quickly. You can specify that you want results for content published in, say, the past 24 hours. You can also search for content over a specified date range. The oldest content I found for our eNudge online solution was published in 2005.
It is my view that many people who have been using Google for years won’t be using the new functionality yet – there’s been much demand for the old, simpler view to be returned! I have also noticed that our clients, who have regularly visited particular websites, now find that those websites appear higher in their list of results compared to the results that other people see. This is an important behaviour to be aware of when you are evaluating your Google rank.
As people start using the more advanced searching options, it will become even more important to ensure that your content is kept fresh and change often. This ties in with the growing use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites by businesses. Similarly blogs continue to be advantageous as posts are usually considered fresh, up-to-date content by Google, and therefore more likely to be listed quickly.
In addition to the user interface changes, Google has recently improved their ability to find and index new website content (dubbed ‘Google Caffeine’), making it allegedly twice as quick for new content to appear in the search engine results. This is likely to help existing websites, who publish content regularly, to have that new content appear very quickly.
If you have tried out Google’s new features, share what you think of them by adding your comment below.by