As search queries continue to evolve, so does Google’s search strategy. With searchers becoming more and more in tune with what they want and how to search to obtain the most relevant results, Google has adapted.
Google has begun testing brand recommendations in response to search queries. Users searching for items such as cameras, phones, mp3 player, printers, vacuums and many more are seeing more than the average results. Google is now displaying brand recommendations based on the above type of search queries.
(Screen Shot f Brand Recommendations Below)
The recommended brands are listed at the top of the organic results, just below the sponsored ad results. The big brands are gaining more exposure in the Google search results than possibly ever before.
The question that advertisers and marketers will want to know is how they can get their brands to appear within these recommendations? Are they based on the size and popularity of a brand? If so, do only large brand companies have the ability to gain this exposure? That leering question has yet to have been answered by Google. It is still unclear how brands get the ability to show up in these brand recommendations or what Google’s rational is behind this new feature.
When it comes to SEO, it is most important for users to find what they are looking for quickly and accurately. That’s pretty much a no-brainer if you’ve been using the internet for a while. But who really thinks about labeling their images for SEO? With all major browsers having a capability to search for images, it is now very important to name your images in a way that will be easy to index and find via any search.
If I was searching for a Dog Jumping, it wouldn’t be wise to name an image something like: img_4484427.jpg. On the other hand, if the file name was Dog_Jumping.jpg, then I would be much more likely to find it through a search.
Alt tags are another way to add extra oomph to your images. Adding some simple code such as: alt=”Dog Jumping”, might be enough to differentiate you from your competition. It’s all about making relevant content and images more accessible to end users.
After five months of getting used to the new analytics interface, Google figured it was time to shake things up again. The following three changes are on the horizon:
Site Search – Expanding upon current Site Search capabilities, we will now be able to get data on keywords, categories, and products across time and user segments.
Event Tracking — With this addition, you will now be able to tag and track Flash and Ajax events. I can tell you from experience how difficult it is to really track traffic from Flash sites.
Tagless Outbound Link Tacking — This feature will allow for users to track their exit links (links that visitors clicked on that take them to another website).
Although these features will start in beta, many in the industry see this as a pioneer move for Google to set themselves apart from their competitors, making their’s the metric tool of choice. This just goes to show how vital it is to incorporate Analytics into your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Campaigns. With the data this program can provide, there is no end to the value it can bring with your SEM efforts!