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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Google Preview. Are You Kidding?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm as much about innovation as the next guy, but really?  Last week's update by Google which introduced a preview feature on search result pages is, in my opinion, not very useful.  I mean, have we gotten that lazy that we can't even click-through on a search result listing?

This year Google has done a lot to improve their user interface and enhance the user experience.  In fact, I feel as though Google has made more visible changes this year than in prior years.  However, just because they make a change doesn't mean that the user experience is that much more enhanced.  Personally I don't feel that the preview feature adds much if anything to my search experience.

The question that many of my SEO clients are now asking me is, "Can this negatively impact my traffic?"  My answer is the standard response I give for most search engine optimization questions related to any Google update... "it depends."  Okay, you're probably thinking 'total cop out'  but the truth is that enhanced features impact such a small percentage of user behavior that if you're getting more than 5 browsers to your site in a month, you shouldn't worry.

The best way to combat any search engine change is with a comprehensive online approach.  Are you engaged in universal search for your business (video, press releases, social media)?  Are you taking the time to do the necessary keyword research that will help you find the best keywords to improve your website rankings for?  Are you following search engine optimization best practices?  If you are doing all those things then you're on the right path.

Responding to these changes on a whim is never a good idea.  Stay focused on applying SEO in a meaningful way.  It's always good to stay informed about what search engines like Google are doing but you don't need to react.  Rather, take a wait and see type of approach.  It will keep you calm and potentially save you a lot of heartache down the road.


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