Posts Tagged Search Engine

Why I hate Google Instant Search

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It’s not even a month old, but I’ve already tired of Google Instant Search.

It’s not because I don’t like this new feature, I do, it’s what they’ve taken away or what I can’t do that I could before that really gets to me.

The first most annoying issue for me is the fact that they no longer have a search box at the bottom of the search results.

I’m sure Google spent plenty of time with their UX experts looking at all aspects on the page to see what elements were most important and I’m sure the search box at the bottom of the page wasn’t deemed to be one.

That is probably because most normal joe soaps don’t even go that far in the search results and therefore this feature wasn’t used as much. I used it a lot however and I really miss it.

The second most annoying aspect is a new feature. Being someone who rarely uses as mouse as I prefer to navigate with my keyboard I was dismayed to see the new feature that tabs through each search result when you use your “down” or “up” arrow on your keyboard. What that means is that I can no longer browse through through the search results as fast as I used to. It actually takes quite a bit longer to tab through each result on the search results page. I’ve no had to resort to using my mouse scroll wheel to do something I could do without my hands leaving the keyboard… :(

Google need to be careful that with their massive success they don’t forget the web savvy users who helped build their profile by making things less user friendly for them. They’ve clearly chosen UX features that suit the less computer savvy masses, which is fair enough, but some things didn’t need to be removed, it wasn’t as if they have added any value in their place.

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Google gets new look, it’s nice but there are somethings I just don’t get!

Google rolled out their new look to the Google.ie website this morning and it’s fair to say that most people probably didn’t even notice.

Google have decided to add a bit of life and colour to their much loved search engine, which makes it a little easier to spot some of the really cool features they added a little while ago. Things like the ability to search news, blogs, books and videos are now pretty much in your face and hard to miss, unlike the “show options” link they had in the past.

They’ve also decided to style the old looking “search” button and joined it with the actual search box on the inside pages. The logo is a lot more striking and clear than it has been in the past. Overall, they are pretty much subtle changes, but they have a nice fresh feeling effect to it.

There is one change that I really don’t get the concept behind and it’s this… If you visit the homepage of Google, e.g. www.google.ie and don’t move or click your mouse OR enter a search term, all you see on this page is the logo, the search box and the search buttons (as per image below).

However, when you do interact in some way with page, whether that be a mouse over, a click or enter a search term, the other elements fade (yes fade) in (as per image below)…

For the life of me, I just don’t understand why they’ve done this. Is it someone thinking it’s funky and cool??

This is appears to be a feature that is in complete contrast to the reasons given by Marissa Mayer as to why they value their copyright notice so much… Read why Google value their copyright notice so much

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Business Blog or Not?

Here’s a little scenario I’d like you to think about. It’s something we come across on a regular basis.

Tom runs a landscape gardening company and has a small 5 page websitewith the following structure:

Home Page
About Us
Services
Examples of Our Work
Contact Us

At the moment, Googlehas listed all 5 pages from his website on their search results. Tom knows that he shouldn’t really target more than 2-3 keyphrases per page and that his contact page and examples page have very little content, so therefore would be pointless to use for keyword targeting.

That leaves Tom with 3 pages that he can use to target Google for his chosen keyphrases. He thinks to himself, “surely there’s an easier way to get more pages on my website, so I can target more phrases”.

Tom notices that there’s a one day seminar being run in his local enterprise centre on online marketing. So he decides to attend. An apparently well respected Online PR expert recommends that he should use a blog as it will “significantly increase his ranking on Google”.

So after the seminar, Tom’s mission is to install a blog on his website. The first article he write is titled “how to create a perfect lawn”. He remembers the Online PR expert mentioning that most blogshave a system whereby they “ping” Google to let it know that you have published an article. In most cases, your article should appear pretty quickly on Google, in some cases in less than 15 mins.

After publishing his article, he does a quick check on Google to see how many pages of his site they have indexed (site:yourdomainname.com). “Brilliant”, he exlaims! “I now have a 6 pages listed on Google! If I keep going at this rate, I’ll have hundreds of pages indexed by Google in a few weeks. This is gonna be great!”, Tom thinks to himself.

As days go by, Tom keeps a close eye on his website statistics and notices that the site is getting a lot of traffic for “how to create a perfect lawn” and “a perfect lawn” etc. Surprisingly for Tom, he hasn’t yet got one sales enquiry. “Why could this be?”, he thinks.

Tom contacts his local SEO expert and asks for some advice. The SEO expert quickly points out that anyone searching for “how to create a perfect lawn” are unlikely to be looking to hire someone? “Isn’t it most likely that they will be trying this themselves since they searched Google on how to do it?”, the SEO expert says. “Ah, that makes sense”, says Tom.

So the next day, Tom decides to create an article that is more tailored towards the keyphrases he wants to target, rather than providing free tips and tricks. His new article is called “Landscape Gardening in Ireland”. He doesn’t want it to appear as a spam article, so rather than just filling a page with keyphrases, he spends quite sometime researching and writing a post on “Landscape Gardening in Ireland”.

After a few days, he checks his website stats again… “YES!”, he exclaims. “I’m being found for “landscape gardening in Ireland” and Google has 7 pages of my website indexed!”, he says.

Tom is delighted, this is great news. Tom thinks, “But why have I not got any sales enquiries?”. “Surely this time, people searching for “landscape gardening in Ireland” are looking for a landscape Gardner?”, Tom thinks to himself.

On further inspection of his website statistics, Tom notices that most people finding his website are going directly to his blog article and then leaving the website. They’re not even bothering to have a look at his wonderful portfolio page of all his great work. Tom’s unsure where to turn next. He has wasted time writing these articles that he doesn’t even enjoy doing and he has plenty of other things that he could. On top of this, he’s not too sure what to write about next… But what should he do??

Does this sound like you?

The simple answer to this is – Tom should talk to someone who can help – www.2bscene.ie would be a good place to start! :)

The above scenario is similar to situations we encounter on a regular basis. Website and business owners are led to believe that blogging is the be all of a successful online marketing campaign. The simple fact is that they can be, but NOT for everyone.

The truth is that most of those requesting a blog have been ill informed about the true value a blog provides. Most don’t really understand how to use a blog successfully as part of an online marketing campaign. They expect miracle results even though they’re not sure what exactly a blog does or can do for them.

The increase in requests for blogs can lie squarely at the feet of fly-by-night SEO Experts and “social media and online marketing experts”. These guys love to talk the talk, but most have never really walked the walk. They hype blogs as the saviour in terms of promoting and marketing your website. Unfortunately, they only give away half the facts.

To get the answers you need to see if you it’s worthwhile you need to ask them the following questions:

  1. Do you think it would suit my business?
  2. Do you think I could generate business from a blog?
  3. If so, what would my best approach to doing this be?
  4. Have you examples of clients you have helped create a return with a blog?
  5. If so, can I talk to them!

That should be enough to have them either running away or helping you understand how a blog might help your business.

Here are the simple facts:

  1. Blogs DO NOT increase your search engine ranking
  2. Google loves content – the more you have – the better (ideally it should be related to your area of business)
  3. Blogs DO help you create more content for the search engines – therefore, you should increase the traffic to your website, because your website is likely to be indexed for more search terms
  4. Blogs are a great way of building your profile and help promote you as an authority in your field

Whatever your reason for wanting a blog, please don’t be fooled by those selling it to you as a “magic bullet” solution for search engine rankings. It’s not, if it was everyone would just install one rather than hire a SEO expert.

Blogs can be good for your business, but you need to seriously consider why you are creating a blog. You also need to consider if you plan to create business from your blog and if you do, what is the best approach to achieve this.

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SEO Starter Guide from God (I mean em…. Google)

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

Who better to give you advice on how to get the best SEO results than the people who invented the industry itself?

Yes! Google have created a Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide that should really be read by anyone who is intending on embarking on a SEO campaign.

You can download the full PDF guide here : http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

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