Back in May of 2009, Google launched Search Options, which is the side panel that lets you apply filters and view search results in different ways. This might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but Google actually put in quite a few long years into the development of this technology. The concept surfaced in 2001 and was later unveiled in May of 2007 as universal search. Fast forward two years, and today we have very enhanced and beefed up search options available at only a few mouse clicks away.
So you may be wondering what can you do with the new search options. The simple answer: a lot! The better question to ask would be what can’t you do with the new search options. The more important question to ask yourself – assuming you’re a site owner interested in increasing organic search traffic – is how can I enhance my SEO to capitalize on these new features. Let’s look at a few of the new features and then I’ll offer some suggestions on how to take advantage of them.
The search options available are as follows: All results, videos, news, blogs, books, forums, reviews.
Additionally, you can add these filters to the first six: Any time, recent results, past hour, past 24 hours, past week, past year, specific date range.
On top of that, you can then filter your view: Standard view, related searches, wonder wheel, and timeline.
The last filter allows you to change your view even further: Standard results, images from the page, fewer shopping sites, more shopping sites, and more text.
So now that we’ve broken down the search options and defined each filter, let’s talk about some SEO tips. Here are a few things that you can do to make the most of the new search options in Google.
Videos: Creating and uploading a videos in YouTube and embedding them in your web pages will increase your chances of pulling up in the video results.
On video sites, such as YouTube, be sure to put the URL of your web page into the description. People as well as spiders will be able to travel from the YouTube video page to your web page. Both activities influence your web pages rankings.
Blogs: Creating and maintaining a blog, and publishing unique and high quality content related to your brand, business, products, and services can help you increase your chances gaining top ranks when users filter and show blog results only.
Don’t discount the possibility of running multiple blogs. The cost and time invested into maintaining blogs is much less than most people believe. Also, I recommend running blogs using multiple platforms. For example, you should have a blog on self-hosted WordPress, WordPress.com, Blogger.com, and LiveJournal. Lastly, I suggest that each blog appear independent and seperate from the others.
The most successful blogs are blogs that grow off the reader’s activity and contributions. Try to write content in a way that captures attention and makes readers feel compelled to take an action. The desireable actions you seek are backlinks, comments, and social network sharing. These are all activities that influence how well your blog post ranks for keyword phrases in search. Also, content can be carefully shaped and molded in a way to attract the attention of people as well as search engines. And that leads to my next tip.
Reviews: Adjusting your writing style can influence your chances of ranking in the reviews only section. Google looks for common writen trends that typically reflect written reviews, such as product reviews. Spend some time studying the content on some of the pages found in the search results and adapt some of their style into yours.
Index Frequency: You should constantly monitor how quickly new content gets indexed from your site. If content gets indexed within a few minutes of publishing, then you should take advantage of that and publish more content. I recommend publishing new content immediately after the most recent content has been indexed. In other words, everytime web crawlers come back to your site, you should have new content ready to be crawled for indexing. Doing so will increase your chances of pulling up in after the past hour, past 24 hours, and past week filter has been applied.
Another obvious reason why I recommend posting new content as frequently as possible is because doing so places your mark in hundreds and in many cases thousands of search result pages. A great pioneer in this strategy is Chris Pirillo. He has multiple blogs, forums, and sites, each being updated almost hourly. Secondly, these updates aren’t done just by hired or team writers. Most of the updates are user generated content. Chris Pirillo’s earns revenue by displaying contextual advertisements off the content created by community members within his network.
Adjusting how you do things and puting yourself more in-line, and in the same direction as Google, can make a significant difference in the amount of organic search traffic your site receives. Just being aware and perceptive of how Google presents information to users via their search results alone can help a lot. And with these new search options available, instantly there is a new resource of traffic that you can be tapping into.