Google has been gradually rolling out some exciting new features over the last few months: from real time search and social search to music and image-driven searches. They even gave Google a face lift with some nice fading text on the homepage and a tweak under the hood with the Google Caffeine update.
But the real biggie for the SEO world is Google’s personalised search results. For the first time ever in search engine history, everyone will be given slightly different search results. This is true even if you are not logged in to your Google account. This week the Internet was bombarded with a flurry of posts by mourners proclaiming that SEO was officially dead. I was particularly worried that my results might start to lack variety, or that I would only get to read news that Google thought would please my interests and political palette. Variety is the spice of life, because without the bland, spice loses all meaning. Just what will these updates mean for SEO? I am pleased to announce that SEO very much alive and well, and that – today - The Manchester SEO Blog can reveal the reality of tomorrows SEO and what these recent updates will mean for you.
A Poorly Expressed Search Will Be Affected More
Imagine opening your phone and searching for ‘John’ in your contacts. I have Johns in my phone too… But mine are not likely to be the same as yours, and yet they are all John. I have been vague and expressed this search rather poorly, knowing that only a handful of Johns feature in my life on a regular basis.
Now imagine searching for ‘plumbers’ in Google. This is also a poorly expressed search because most plumbers only operate in a relatively local area. Now imagine that Google has built up a history of my searches, and knows that services in MANCHESTER are the ones I will be interested in… Google can supplement the missing information in my search to give a bias to Manchester based plumbers. If however, I search for ‘plumbers in Manchester’ I am likely to see similar results, even if I lived in Sheffield, even if I was a totally different person with a different search history.
Not All Searches Will Be Affected Equally
Each search results pages will be affected differently, and some will be affected more than others. If your website was optimised well, you will already be ranking well for some good long tail phrases and local searches anyway, so we can expect to see little or no change with 8 out of 10 search results pages. Of these, most will be an adjustment by only one or two places, not the complete overhaul which has led to this spate of SEO doomsday proclaimers! After all, a great website with plenty of traffic and a horde of good back links is still a great site. To suggest that the old methods are now totally ineffective is akin to standing in Manchester centre with a sandwich board that reads: “The End is Neigh!”.
The reality is more likely to be a very slight skew in some searches and a change of one or two places in other cases. For the most part, it is these general and ambiguous search terms that will see the biggest shift. Mostly Google will draw on your search history to fill in any blanks on your current search. Anyone who feels SEO is dead, should go ahead and leave the industry. It will mean a bigger slice of the pie for the rest of us!
Tags: affect, ambiguous, back links, general, Google, impact, long tail, manchester seo, personalised search results, search terms, SEO, updates