How Do the Latest Google Changes Affect Your Website?

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Real time search results as you type
Now, instead of the search results appearing when you hit enter, after every press of the keyboard Google tries to predict what you are searching for.

The idea of this is obviously to show you your results earlier, without having to type in long searches and maybe typing in too much. But, the result for us website owners is that this must encourage people away from long tail keywords. For example, if you are optimised well for “SEO for ecommerce website” then you might find that a lot of people are only getting as far as “SEO for ecom” before seeing useful results. This could devastate your traffic.

Immediate additions to search results
Connected with this is the rapid updating of the search results database. I’ve seen my blog posts cached in Google within seconds of publishing them. This is great for getting new results up and probably goes well with this updating of results as you type. However as a site owner it shows that it pays to have current material and to be aware that your search engine positions can change during the day!

The other point is that if you are posting to a blog be aware that Google might be there within seconds of posting. If you normally post, then review or even add to the post, then Google could actually miss those revisions until it next visits!

The Google preview
But the big change is copying the preview function for results. Now visitors can see a preview of your site before they even click the link. In fact, quite often I am seeing a preview when I actually want to visit the site.

What does this mean to website owners? Well, have you looked at your website’s preview? Is your traffic up or down since this trick was put in place?

If it is up, then great. Hopefully that means your preview is selling your website and those listed above you in the results the preview is doing the opposite. Google will probably note these results and over time may promote you above those sites currently ahead of you.

But if your traffic is down search for your own website and look at that preview. Is there something wrong with it? Does the preview give the wrong impression to visitors? It might be necessary to revamp your website.

If you don’t then your traffic will stay low and Google will probably record that those sites further down the list are getting a higher Click Through Rate than you and might eventually penalise you. Yes, yet another way of ranking your website based on what human visitors think of it.

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