Archive for the ‘Google Previews’ Category

Google Instant Preview adds visuals to SEO

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Earlier this month, Google added a new feature to their Search experience: Google Instant Preview. The feature, explained in detail on the official Google Blog, accelerates the search process and adds a visual aspect to the SEO job description. In order to activate Instant Preview, users must click on the magnifying glass nestled within each search result. Once activated, a graphical preview flips up when the cursor hovers over any part of a search result.

Like many of Google’s enhancements to the Search process, the arrival of Instant Preview affects the SEO industry. Many web marketers were tempted to dismiss Instant Preview’s SEO influences after reading that the change would not influence algorithmic SERPs. Sure, the rankings of your client won’t change, but what if your #1 ranking doesn’t appeal to users visually? Instant Preview encourages conversations and integration between SEO and Web Designers for maximum return on search engine marketing efforts.

SEO without an Algorithm

An important element to each preview returned is the text highlighted, emboldening the keywords from the search query; a golden opportunity to impress searchers and ensure a click-through. This concept is similar to well-crafted meta-descriptions: Optimized copy won’t influence the algorithmic results directly, but the right keyword usage can lead to increased traffic and visitors.

As mentioned earlier, Instant Preview adds a visual dynamic to the SEO process. How do your landing pages appear in Google’s preview? It’s important to note that Previews do not include Flash graphics. As you can see in the example with a search for “YouTube”, pages loaded with Flash are unappealing and may cost you visitors.

The wall between the Search Optimization Department and Web Designers is slowly crumbling due to changes like Instant Preview. With so much of search decision-making fueled by the look and feel of a site, SEO has a voice in webpage design, at least when forming landing pages.

Changes in Web Marketing

The introduction of Instant Preview is the latest in a long line of Google efforts to organize the way the internet works. If you want traffic, you have to play their game. Instant Preview brings sweeping changes to those sites hoping to profit off pop-ups or windowless Flash Ads. The Google Webmaster Blog explains:

Try to avoid interstitial pages, ad pop-ups, or other elements that interfere with your content. In some cases, these distracting elements may be picked up in the preview of your page, making the screenshots less attractive.

Additionally, Google is picking up valuable seconds in terms of Average Time on Site, and in the process, building trust in the Google search process. Instant Preview affords users the ability to quickly interact with a page and determine its usefulness while never leaving the safe haven of Google’s search results; a notion that contributes to overall brand loyalty to the search giant. Tricky? Maybe. Smart? Absolutely.

Game Changer?

The arrival of Instant Preview is merely another example of the constant evolution that is SEO. Interpreting Google’s signals and actions is an exciting aspect of SEO that will never end.

Google Previews tweaks search engine marketing again

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Last week Google launched its newest innovation on their search engine page: Instant Previews. The idea of a search engine website preview has been around for a while and with this launch, all Google Instant users will be able to view previews of search results pages without a plugin. This gives search engine marketing strategists call to look at their clients’ webpages and check for optimization, especially for companies using Flash websites

Google Instant Previews allows users to see Google’s cached version of a website without leaving the search results page. The look and feel of a webpage is more important than ever at enticing users to click. When a user clicks on the magnifying glass icon  next to a search result, an overlay will appear with preview of the page.  Once the magnifying glass is clicked, the user can hover over the other search results to scroll between previews.

So how will Instant Previews impact businesses?

Instant Previews will increase the importance of web design and usability and should decrease the number of clicks going to lower quality sites, doorway pages and sites praying on misspellings. As a company that optimizes both HTML and Flash websites, we believe Instant Previews has raised the importance of optimizing Flash websites yet again. Here is an example of Google Instant Preview:

I continue to stress to my clients in interactive marketing the importance of focusing on SEO in combination with page design and usability in order to create clean, useful and appealing sites that rank high in search engines and entice users to click. According to Google, people using Instant Previews are 5% more likely to be satisfied with the results on which they clicked.

The concept of previewing websites is far from new, but when the world’s largest search engine decides to add a visual representation of a page to the search results page, businesses must stay ahead of the curve. Google continues to lead the way in search engine innovation. From the June Caffeine update to the introduction of Google Instant in September to last weeks’ newest addition of Instant Previews, Google has made 2010 a remarkable year in search engine marketing.