A search for “Marketing Agency” as you can imagine produces millions of results (70 million) and you would normally have to narrow your search such as “marketing agency derby” to even get close to reaching the top of the search results. As you can imagine its very difficult if not impossible to perform search engine optimisation to get your small website in Derby to rank highly in the results when you are competing against some of the largest marketing agencies in the world.
I was very surprised when searching through the results that I discovered a company on the first page in position 10 which is a small agency in Derby.
I investigated further as I was convinced a social media recommendation – facebook like, a tweet or a google +1 recommendation must have been the cause. I presumed that the google +1 link was the main reason as I am a member of google plus, and was signed into google at the time the search was carried out. However I have spoken with Lee Flannaghan (above) and he informed me that the only method of social media he has used with regard to promoting his website on the internet was twitter.
This proves that google is changing the way it ranks results in its search engines and will present its search results along with matches from Social media and hence proving the importance of promoting your content with social media tools.
For a while now google has analysed your website and modified its search results based on the content and structure of your website. For example if you have clearly defined sections to your website then you will find that google will display quick links to the sections below the main website link – this can be shown below following a search for RedHat
Google has now improved this service to include live events. Each website is scanned and if live events are detected they will be displayed in a summary below the link to the main website. An example of this is shown below
This is an excellent feature and provides people with quick access to information allowing them to find and book tickets without browsing each website.
Traditionally when displaying search results google displays a small paragraph of text which is either read from the web page itself or the descriptions tag which is added by the page creator and does not tend to change dependent on the search term. However google has now decided to implement something called Answer Highlighting where it will modify the description shown if it believes the new text will answer your question. For example to find the height of the empire state building we may search for [empire state height] which will normally display the following output.
As you will see the description is generic and does not answer the question even though the resulting web page probably would reveal the answer. To enhance the user experience google has decided to modify the description of the page to include the result if it believes it is present in the resulting web page an hence will now display the following result
This time google has presented a result which clearly gives you the answer without having to click the link to view the wikipedia page. This is an excellent improvement for user experience and will enable its customers to get quicker answers to their questions. For content providers however this is disastrous as they rely on traffic to their website for advertising revenue and surely these “improvements” will lower the number of websites visited and hence lower revenues for the site owners.