I'm also wondering if this new default "Suggest" feature might hurt some long tail search traffic - and maybe some typo searches too. It will be interesting to watch.
[edited by: tedster at 5:44 am (utc) on Aug. 26, 2008]
It is clear that Google is now playing catch-up with "you know who" since "you know who" has this "suggest" feature standard and it rawks according to users!
Maybe the competition pushed Google to making a full roll-out, but the technology has been there for quite a while. They've been developing it in Google Labs for what, three years or so?
It appears, at least so far from what I see, that this is only active when entering a term on the Google home page, not on the subsequent SERPs when you might want to refine the search, as on Y!. An interesting choice.
And G is including nav searches in the suggestions (example.com, .org, etc.), whereas Y! appears to filter these. Again, interesting.
Seems that google is rolling out the search suggest one at a time, I've seen it on some dc's already. Still not rolled out to other DCs.
Pretty big change for the homepage.
[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 3:54 pm (utc) on Aug. 26, 2008]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]
Not seeing it on all dc's yet. Pretty big change for the homepage!
What I don't like is that yu have to constantly opt-out for the "regular results"...Certainly a lawsuit is to follow :)
|yu have to constantly opt-out |
Not so for me - one time did it, until I flushed cookies of course.
Those of us who have griped about "City, State" and "City, two-letter code" searches will not like this. The issue has been the search results should be the same on both. They are not. (Atlanta, Ga vs Atlanta, Georgia, for example.)
Now we have a new issue. Now when you type in Atlanta it default to...just Atlanta. The listing for state doesn't even show as a option. Likewise, Cincinnati, etc.
And, the search results (for good reason, but, well, you know) are different for all three.
Such is life.
This sucks as I need to disabled it.
The auto form fill in my browser, which I used to track what I search for, no longer works.
Thanks Google for completely messing up something that didn't need fixing and ruining an otherwise perfectly lovely day.
Thanks a lot.
>>> I'm also wondering if this new default "Suggest" feature might hurt some long tail search traffic - and maybe some typo searches too. It will be interesting to watch.
I don't think it will 'hurt' long tail, maybe just drive more traffic to those terms. Someone's probably going to get the hit. If that's the case, then it just means we need to rank on the long tail - which folks should be doing anyway. (actually, I'd like some more long tail traffic :) ).
My thought is that a truly long tail term is not likely to appear in the suggestions. So one of those options is more likely to be selected and the user may find what they were looking for on that search - and never type in their original idea for a search.
I suppose it all comes down to what we are calling the "long tail." The terms that I see in Suggest are more in the area of what I would call the "fat belly."
lol. Fat belly? You talkin' to me?
The google suggestions actually are a pretty good roadmap though for anyone doing SEO. No more figuring out keywords when Google's happy to supply a list. take your favourite short tail search term, get google's list of related terms, check all those, and so on. Pretty soon you've got a pretty good list of search terms to be targetting. Now you're working on search terms we know Google's trying to drive traffic to.
I agree about the long tail, tedster. The lazy user may well pick one of the suggestions rather than doing a more specific search.
I think they have tweaked the suggestions somehow, too. I had a site, "Widget Mine," that I would swear came up when the user just typed "widget" on Google Labs, but now requires you to get to "widget m". I know that Widget Mine gets more searches than at least one or two of the current suggestions, and has more results, so I'm wondering if they de-emphasized results that looked like commercial names.
It's frustrating that you can't pick one of the suggestions and then add terms to it i.e. that it automatically hits "search" when you choose one. Makes formulating a longer search a 2-step process unless you ignore the suggestions entirely. Would be better to fill the search box with the pick, so that you could then alter the search or add extra keywords...
I'm not seeing the option to turn this off in the preferences page when I bring it up.
I don't want any search engine to try to do the thinking for me. I find that sort of thing to be a personal insult to my intelligence!
For me it's at the very bottom -
|Query Suggestions |
[radio button] Provide query suggestions in the search box.
[radio button] Do not provide query suggestions in the search box.
Thanks Ted. Maybe it hasn't rolled out to my default google yet. I will be keeping an eye out for it to appear.
I didn't see it as an option either, must be a roll out problem
Suggest is on the home page AND in the Google Toolbar..
As for using it for an SEO "predictor"... it tells you how many results not how many people search for the term. And that's a double edge sword -- do you optimize for the kw that there are 1,000,000 results for and assume it popular or for the word that has 10,000 and try to corner the market?
On another note: Now that "widgets" are actualy virtual goods, we need a new "whatchamacallit" word to use for examples (to mean "example thing-a-ma-bobs" here at WebmasterWorld, in books, etc)..
I started typing in:
and what does G suggest...?
Their own brand of widgets! (..but only at #2, after "widgets for mac")...
Any suggestions for a new foo-type-widget word ?
I didn't see it until just a couple hours ago.
It's not a roll out problem. Google slowly rolls out features.
Not seeing it in South Africa yet
"I'm also wondering if this new default "Suggest" feature might hurt some long tail search traffic"
"I don't think it will 'hurt' long tail, maybe just drive more traffic to those terms."
"I agree about the long tail, tedster. The lazy user may well pick one of the suggestions rather than doing a more specific search."
I think this will have a profound effect on sites. Those that produce a lot of good content and have it driven to them via long tail searches will begin to see traffic wither as more SEO minded sites scoop up traffic by hammering all their efforts into capturing traffic from the "lazy" suggestions. And it will force webmasters to start focusing more and more on core phrases meaning the following outcome: in competitive niches, everything may boil down fighting over 10 or 15 phrases. And for the user, this will eventually mean for most core search phrases, finding a sea of results that all look the same, as far as title and topic.
Google suggest should be renamed Web diversity killer, and filed under the death of long tail.
This is one of the worst, most idiotic things that google has done yet
Not seen on the UK home page of Google yet, so I tried the US page. I see there's a CLOSE link at the bottom of the drop-down menu. Just click on that to turn off the feature for the current search.
I think they could also be doing this to show off the large numbers listed in the drop-down results. "Beat those Microsoft and Yahoo!" Now the competition will be to display inflated hits next to each search by various misleading methods.
I agree with lfgoal
I see this completely changing SEO as we know it.
Before we use to code for what 'we think' ppl will type.
Now we need to code for what google 'will suggest'.
It's quicker to hit the down button a few times for a similar search phrase, rather then continue to type your original phrase and ppl will get used to doing this - very quickly
Users may even treat it (think of it) as a 'better search phrase' because 'Google' suggest it, not actually knowing any better.
For those not seeing it (like me) check your preferences if logged into your account. Mine was checked "Do not provide query suggestions in the search box." which seems a bit odd... I haven't altered my preferences for at least one year, probably longer.
I checked some of the suggested keywords, and while I'm #1 on what I checked for, I'm not #1 on some of the new suggestions. But since I'm rolling out a new/old site today, I guess I've got some new keywords to target :).
Looking at the suggestions, some of them seem stilted. I suspect they're generated at least partially via a suggestions program, not all from user searches.
I'm gonna get a headache though, thinking about how this affects search behavior :).
Lazy that I am like most other people, I love it as a user. In any case if your term is not showing up as a suggestion you simply keep typing and get results for what you want.
My guess is that it will hurt many websites and benefit a few because as people choose rather than type websites that pop up in suggested searches will be the winners.
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