We have touched on this before but it is probably due another look. Google the ever present customer focused search engine that it is has decided to roll out an experiment that could change the face of SEO for good. They are giving the user more choice, more decision on the results they want to see.
This could mean massive shifts in Google’s search engine results pages and therefore a lot of hard work from SEO’s over the last few years could all come to nothing and SERPs would be less important.
We have touched in the past on how Google has add the facility, when logged into Google Accounts, for users to remove, promote and make comments about the sites that appear in your search engine results. This hopefully leading to more relevant search engine results for the query or keywords typed in.
Google are now experimenting with search preferences and preferred sites. Again you need to be logged into your Google Account so in the short term this is not going to have a major affect but Google being Google no doubt they are looking for a way of automating this so that people do not have to personally set their preferences but rather based on search history Google may track these preferences. This would mean that search engine results pages would be different for every user making SEO a much harder task.
Should SEO’s be worried? Well this is where SEO’s should think of more than just search engine results. I know that might sound a little daft as that is what SEO is all about but if we think more as an eMarketer then we will find that the search engine results will look after themselves when this shift happens.
Let me explain; it is one thing to get great SEO results but is the website itself of good enough quality to initiate customer satisfaction? Does the page the customer lands on reflect the search made? Do you measure bounce rate? Is your content sticky? Some SEO’s will say “this is not my concern that’s the concern of the marketing manager or the website designer”. Well now it’s time to make it your concern because if your website is one that does not get on the preferred list of users you could find all your SEO work is wasted.
So make it your business. Use analytics now to track how people move around your site and what your bounce rate is and where possible fix the problems that are occurring. Do a full analysis of your site as it stands today. Take your time and track what is and isn’t working and make a case to management (if your situation requires it) for improvements. This will mean that when a shift happens you are less likely to fall behind if your customers have you as their preferred or most visit site for the query type in. It will also make you more valuable to the company in the long run.