3 BIG changes coming to Google Search and how they affect your business
It’s Google’s 20th anniversary this year and they what to shake things up a little!
This means, every business who values their SEO and organic traffic will be affected for better or worse so it’s important we stay ahead of the changes and use them to our advantage.
Here’s what’s changing and what you can do to adapt:
1. The move toward Queryless information discovery aka predictive content promotion on the Google homepage.
Within the next few months Google will be adding suggested content based on your interests to the google.com homepage. The content will sit just below the Google homepage search bar.
I believe this is going to a part of Google’s bigger AI play moving forward, based on data mining from your devices and search history to understand you immediate and long term interests (see point #3)
Logically this is going to do a few things to the quality and quantity of search traffic:
Slightly decrease the total organic search traffic coming to your site
Increase the quality of users coming to your site from organic search results (because a percentage of the time wasting Google users will have been distracted by the suggested content section.
Perhaps most importantly, Google is going to be getting better at predicting the searches we’re about to make and the answers we want. This is scary as heck but it’s what’s happening and I guess we just have to roll with it.
2. The shift from answers to journeys in search
The primary use for Google has often been to get a quick answer to any question however Google has realised that a single search can often be part of a broader search journey - for example, if you’re planning a holiday, a large purchase or you’re developing a deep understanding of a topic. These kinds of searches usually involve multiple search queries over time and Google wants to help optimise this process.
So, what do the changes being implemented to support search journeys mean for your business? Well these changes are going to be pulling more website content into search results and it presents the opportunity for this content to be yours. We can anticipate that Google will be rewarding content creators who provide evergreen and fresh topical based content that can be used as sub topic information to a top level topic. Say for instance someone is looking to build a new home, they might search for ‘New Home Builders (suburb)’ however they will likely also be interested in a number of topic related questions like ‘council approval process’, ‘home styling tips’, ‘property market growth’ and ‘home loan’ information. Google will soon be providing intelligent tabs that provide relevant information to your initial search. This will help to answer multiple sub topic questions related to that search.
I think the magnitude of this change, and others, is going to hit hard for businesses who aren’t focusing on structured data markup right now.
Google is continually moving toward answering questions from within search results, pulling content forward from web pages into search and displaying it right in-front of the user without them having to click on a search result. A few of the ways it does this is by assessing content relevance, authority, popularity and accessibility. As a business owner, this means that if you’re producing the best content related to a particular search query, you have a shot at having your content snippet and imagery promoted within that search query.
Again - this all comes back to content quality, popularity, content crawlability, readability and accessibility (structured data markup + other factors).
If you’re keen to learn more about structured data markup and how to implement it on your site, check out the following resources:
3. More emphasis on visual search
Needless to say - if you run a business or web presence that has a large emphasis on visual products or services e.g. clothing, accessories etc, this is HUGE. Over the years Google has been consistently bringing more and more visual elements into search results and things are about to get a whole lot more … how do the cool kids say it … “lit” when it comes to visual elements in search results.
Rather than tell you about the changes.. it might be better just to show you 😉
Featured video previews in search (notice how all the videos are youtube hosted…)
AI constructed visual stories:
AI image recognition on Google images:
Right now is a great time to prepare for these changes by:
Focusing on getting your structured data CRANKING
Optimising your image metadata
Adding Youtube as one of your video promotion channels if you haven’t already
Developing amazing topical evergreen content that answers valuable questions and fills a gap in a search journey.
Got questions or need help implementing the above?
Feel free to reach out in the comments below!