Changes to Google Search

06 December 2010

We reported back in April that Google’s Webmaster Central Blog had confirmed Google’s intention to factor page loading speed into its search ranking algorithms’.

Due to the lightweight way Propeller’s standards-compliant websites are built, most websites were already speedy enough. Not content with sitting on our laurels however, we’ve since integrated numerous new techniques into our process, making our websites faster than ever. If we’ve built a new website for you in 2010, you can rest assured that most of these techniques have already been applied. If your website pre-dates this, get in touch as in most cases we can upgrade your website with the full package of page-speed enhancements.

The world of search doesn’t stand still however and Google have recently made some fundamental changes to the way its search facility works and displays search results.

Instant Preview

Google Instant Preview

Instant Preview allows users to display a cached snapshot of websites listed in search results. This makes clean, well-designed websites more important than ever as users will be more likely to click through to an attractive, uncluttered website than a poorly designed one. Additionally, this feature may lead to a reduction in bounces. Bounces occur when users click through to a website and leave immediately as it is not what they are looking for.

Another factor with Instant Preview is that full Flash=based websites and pages heavily utilising Flash will be penalised as Instant Preview doesn’t currently have the facility to display them.

Google Instant

Google Instant

In addition to seeing a website preview when you’ve performed a search within Google, you may have already noticed that Google is no longer waiting for you to finish entering your search terms – instead offering up interpreted results based on what you have entered so far.

Google Instant will make it more important than ever to take care when working with your website content as keyword searches will be treated more ruthlessly by searchers who adopt the suggested results rather than keep typing and enter the full string.

Google Places

Google Places allows businesses to add their physical location to Google Maps. Google is now not only integrating Places listings with other factors when they rank websites but they are also giving preference to search results with associated Places listings – displaying them atop the usual organic results.

If you havent already added your businesses location to your Google Business Listing, then now is the time to do so. The added benefit is that with the dramatic increase in use of Google Maps in mobile devices, you’ll be making it far easier for your customers to locate you.

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