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The 5 things you need to know about the new Google search

Some of you follow the news every day, watching Google like a hawk every time it makes a move. This post is not for you. This post is for everyone else that has vaguely noticed that Google has made lots of changes over the last couple of years, but they aren’t sure about what all of them mean for search marketers. As someone who has been in search marketing and search technology before that for almost 30 years, I have to say that the changes that Google has made in the last couple of years have been mind-boggling. I did a speech for the Marketing Executives Networking Group on Friday to go over this very subject: The 5 Things You Need to Know about the New Google Search.

You can look over the whole set of slides, but here are the five things that I highlighted:

  • Google indexes content faster than ever.
  • Google shows search results as searchers type.
  • Google ranks search results based on social activity.
  • Google ranks search results based on human ratings of Web page quality.
  • Google ranks results based on who your friends are.

All of these changes have come in just the last two years and add up to some massive changes in the way search marketing works. Where you once could conduct link campaigns (or even break the rules by buying links), that doesn’t work very well anymore, because if the human raters and the your site’s social activity don’t validate the link analysis, your site drops in rankings. If you were living off old pages and had ignored social, you might not even find your content showing up. If had good rankings for top keywords but not for the five-word long-tail keywords, you might be suffering, too.

What has brought on this frenzy of activity from Google? I think they have been running scared from Bing since 2009. Bing made massive gains in 2010–to the point that a few pundits were actually predicting that the trend showed that Bing would eventually tie Google in market share. But as these changes have rolled out, Google has stabilized its free-fall in market share, leaving Bing with a substantial 30% US share, but that number has not budged in a year.

Will Google keep innovating? Certainly. Google is worried about not just Bing but Facebook and other threats. And maybe it will even accelerate the pace. If you have  a Web site, you need to familiarize yourself with these changes so you can understand the new ways to succeed at search marketing. Check out the full set of slides for “The 5 Things You Need to Know about the New Google Search.”

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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