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Google updates: The good, the bad and the ugly

Posted on Monday, August 22nd, 2011 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, SEO

I’ve been around search for a while.

In fact, I surprised a few folks today when I recalled my first entrepreneurial foray into search with “VideoMetro”, a video community (pre YouTube) that some mates and I created for iMovie users to share their masterpieces – 1MB at a time. That was back in ’96, and I’ve been passionate about search & online ever since.

So what’s happened since then? Google was created and has grown into a dominant “intent interpretation engine”, Microsoft & Yahoo are joined at the hip, and former industry leaders like Excite, Lycos & Alta Vista… Alta Vista who?

So while a lot has changed some things have remained the same, namely change itself.

Nowhere is this more evident than with Google search results page layouts.

What started as “stark” is morphing into something more complex at each new iteration of their search results pages (SERP).

I’m not certain if this is a manifestation of Google A.D.D., or if there’s some master plan Google designers and engineers are working towards, but I do know that more often than not search result page layout updates threaten the very simplicity that Google was built upon.

Just this week Google added in brand sitelinks, an ugly and less-than-optimal implementation of an average idea. I mean I *get* it, but aren’t there much better opportunities to improve the SERP than this??

For me? Better snippets and more obvious filtering options.

What do *YOU* think could be the biggest improvement Google could make to their SERP?

(Google… You listening?)

Connect with Grant on Google+ Grant Simmons+

About Grant Simmons

Grant Simmons+ is an Online Marketing Professional at The Search Agency driving product development & innovation as Sr Director, SEO and Social Product.

Grant has over 22 years experience in both traditional and digital marketing, working with such companies as; Paramount Studios, Countrywide Wholesale Lending, M&M/Mars, Disney, Napster, Warner Bros., UPS, SunAmerica, Red Bull, Young Presidents’ Organization, GE Plastics, Amgen and Fox Sports.

As an entrepreneur, Grant has been key to the successful branding, development and launch of several thriving and innovative Internet startups.

Described as an online marketing strategist, motivator, entrepreneur, idea machine, experienced bridge between marketing & technology, Grant prefers; father, sailor & innovator - though not necessarily in that order when there's a fair wind.

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3 Responses to “Google updates: The good, the bad and the ugly”

  1. Kevin Hill says:

    I think that for my qualitative mind – putting a Percent Match next to search results would be great. However – it would perhaps give too much information to us SEO guys. 😉

    Best improvement to SERP results: add a two links next to cached: related popular this would provide a link to a new SERP result colored by the original serp, and would show related sites to the original query, and then popular results related to the query. (tied to the original serp).

    This would be great when you find that link that almost has the right scent, but not quite. You could then get 10 other sites that are more closely related to the original site – and relate to your original query.

  2. @Kevin – Great stuff – a “related” or “close to” site search feature.

    Thinking… If you added in a ‘recent searches in this session’ hierarchy trail, this could allow users to hone in (and track queries) to provide better results as well as educate them on better query syntax that works.


    Like the % idea too… don’t think my mates at Google would appreciate that though

  3. Kevin Hill says:

    Yeah – google really does not like giving any concrete thing that use SEMs can grab onto.

    Have you ever thought about google changing up the format so that rather than a large list of text links – they move to something more like a quick hover format. Hover over 1 sentance, and it explodes out into 2″-4″ of text or details?


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