SEO In The New World of Google Real-Time Search


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POV on impact of Google's major forays into the area of real time marketing, and the impact on digital marketing as a whole.

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SEO In The New World of Google Real-Time Search

  1. 1. icrossing PoV:seo in the neW World ofgoogle real-time searchWritten by:rob garnerStrategy Director, iCrossingcollin cornWellVice President, Natural Search, iCrossing
  2. 2. icrossing PoV: GooGlE REal-TiME SEaRCh DECEMBER 2009 seo in the neW World of google real-time search on Monday, December 7, 2009, Google launched real-time search results, a long anticipated development that provides searchers with up-to-the-minute content from around the web. in the first preview, Google is displaying microblog posts from Twitter and other social networks, as well as trending URls in a dynamic placement on the page that updates instantly as new data emerges. This is a dynamic and historical change for Google, in the sense that results are no longer static for queries that meet specific recency and trust parameters in Google’s algorithm. Below is part of Google’s statement on the announcement: “We’re introducing new features that bring your search results to life with a dynamic stream of real-time content from across the web. Now, immediately after conducting a search, you can see live updates from people on popular sites like Twitter and FriendFeed, as well as headlines from news and blog posts published just seconds before. When they are relevant, we’ll rank these latest results to show the freshest information right on the search results page.” a Google senior engineer also described real-time search as “the beginning of the beginning.” This development constitutes the modern framework of Google search engine results pages, and combines universal, social signals, personalization, news, and other features to create an entirely new search experience. meet “recency” the neW ‘r’ Word in search In our first observations, we have seen the real-time search placement located at both the top of the page, throughout the lower placements of the page, and even sometimes below the fold. Google’s goal is to provide users with “the best answer,” and now the level of recency, as a counter to relevancy, is a defining factor in whether or not a result is ultimately shown at the top of the page, or not. For hotter queries with more publishing and social activity, expect to see fresh real-time results in a top spot, while others with less freshness may float around the search engine results page. The main implication here is that much like a breaking news placement, the real-time results feed would dominate the top of the page, and results may remain visible for only a few seconds in some cases. Google requires a significant level of trust to push results in a real-time environment, so domain authority and trust are also a major factor in whether or not a site is shown. Marketers should also place the same level of approach to trust and authority when building networks, as these trust factors will likely also carry over to social elements as well. Sites that previously held the top spots in static results pages can expect to be pushed down the real-time page a bit, and for sites with a #3 or #4 ranking visibility, possibly below the fold. This development will not only impact “in the moment” keyword areas such as news, but also a wider net of keywords that might be currently discussed or written about at any given time around the Internet, which vastly increases the amount of terms that will be effected. It is important to note that real-time results will not impact all queries, only those that might meet a particular recency parameter. As a first step in evaluating the impact of the new real-time framework, we recommend that our clients monitor their traffic and visibility as closely as possible to determine if visibility and traffic have been effected. But this development also warrants a new approach for becoming visible in the real-time search mode, from a publishing, market research, and content distribution standpoint.© iCRoSSiNG. all RiGhTS RESERVED. 2
  3. 3. icrossing PoV: GooGlE REal-TiME SEaRCh DECEMBER 2009 sustainable seo PrinciPles, and seo, are eVen more imPortant With this uPdate To fundamentally succeed in real-time search, marketers and website owners must still practice sustainable optimization principles. On-page optimization, removing crawlability barriers, developing content, and other search basics will continue to serve as a cornerstone for building on real-time optimization. iCrossing believes that using sound SEO practices, in addition to other areas, will continue provide the foundation for real-time success. We also view real-time search as a major opportunity for our enterprise clients who continue to implement recommendations, and also place increased focus in new areas to ensure long term and sustainable success in not only search, but also in their social and digital strategies. Listed below are key areas that marketers must embrace in order to be successful in a new and dynamic world of real-time search: Content publishing: Embracing and recognizing the importance of becoming a content publisher is a major factor in succeeding in real-time search. Creating highly engaging content on a frequent basis will help marketers gain the most from the search channel, in addition to direct visitors, and social networks as well. Engagement: Because much of the real-time framework is driven by social network signals, marketers must clearly understand their target audience, and keep them highly engaged. The bottom line is that engaging content translates to higher network visibility, and this translates to higher search visibility and traffic. Market research: Because publishing engaging content is crucial to search visibility, enterprise marketers must place market research, and gaining a better understanding of their audience, at the forefront of a comprehensive digital strategy. This means interviews, focus groups, and mapping of the audience’s digital journey through the web and search should be closely studied in order to amplify a connected strategy in search, social media, and overall digital presence. Network distribution: While publishing content is a major step to long term search channel success, the promotion and distribution of that content in social networks is also critical. Publishing engaging content regularly to networks allows for it to quickly spread to like-minded audiences, in a way that benefits both search and social. Social media: Marketers must also place a higher understanding of engaging in networks for content distribution, and social media should be a key element of a connected search and digital strategy. Overall, this is major change in Google’s framework that should not be ignored. We recommend that clients continue to maintain best practices for natural search optimization, but also begin to integrate these new elements that will be critical to long term success.© iCRoSSiNG. all RiGhTS RESERVED. 3