While we all some more than others realize that the web moves very fast and Google adapts along side (nearly as quickly), sometimes there is more than simple “change” happening. Very often unnoticed to most, search engines, including Google make changes not so much for the “user experience”, but for profit. Let’s face it, they are running a business as well. When these changes affect your business you have no choice but to answer the call and rise to the occasion…. Whining will accomplish nothing and Google owes you the same! Get over it and on with it!
So recently Google reported an indexing error, but perhaps a bit of misdirection here as we now sit back and inspect the results of all the recent Google changes. There have been several; Adwords tools updates, instant search, pumping up the crusade against web spam with more robust tools, mod_pagespeed, rich snippets and more. Many of these “new” items have a common interest for Google….. Cash. Certainly we can see that mod_pagespeed, webspam tools and rich snippets assist the searcher…. Okay, we like this and can adapt. But, what of the changes in Adwords tools which limit the once expansive results of keywords suggested and then, the evil instant search. These 2 things are simply about cash, profit and market funneling.
How is instant search hurting your business?
Well, lets just say for example you are a “little guy” who has been struggling along on your excellent consistant and longtail searches. Fair enough, many are at this plateau and there is no shame as your wallet is not beefy enough to buy your success.
Here is how this works: Lets take some very profitable and successful searches for PRO-Webs: Zen Cart SEO services; Zen Cart SEO, Zen Cart services. Watch the instant search progression of one of these longtail keyword searches which has been effectively squashed out of existence.
So as a searcher, we would now seek to qualify our query with a word indicative of our need or intent…. Services.
You might be wondering how such a large pool of results cannot trigger an instant result… Me too! Fact is, those looking for tips, mods (yes Google they are mods, not plugins for Zen Cart) and such will search for such. Those looking for us and services…. will search for services (indicating their intent to buy). So why is it that Google has decided people don’t need or want services? Another good question indeed!
So this search which we have correctly optimized our site for to attract customers who need our services are being sent elsewhere at every turn from Google. All these other suggestions, that are clearly irrelevant to the searcher’s intent only seek to confuse and misdirect the searcher. So why am I pissed? Simple, this means that normal customers that would land at PRO-Webs will now be sent on a wild goose chase instead! Checkout this page 1 coverage…
So while we realize that “big box brands” are a favorite of search engines (profit does mater), we at PRO-Webs have grown our brand in the likeness of the really big company we hope to NEVER become. We properly, accurately and honesty market our services to shop owners. This type of brand marketing is an expensive and time consuming investment, but one we feel worthy of our time and marketing dollars. The problem is that this one search snafu makes it harder for people who need our help to find us, and that is disappointing.
What Can We DO??
Well some have suggested you turn off your instant search to send Google a clear message that it sucks. Others have said you must optimize your content for the instant search suggestions. I say turn the POS off and keep creating great and fresh content like you have been. If Google somehow manages to keep instant search as a permanent service… Then worry about about. Until then I don’t think it has a fart’s chance in a windstorm of succeeding. Searchers have been growing more intelligent, we search better than ever… We use details, action words and other indicators of our intent…. Why the hell would we want Google suggesting that we once again swim in a sea of results we didn’t need, want or even care about?
We as a company will do just that: Turn of the instant search on all company computers and wait out this storm riding on the more than 11K other Google searches that we see every month. The moral of this story is 2 fold. 1. Don’t jump until the net is up and 2. some things you cannot change.