Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Archive for the Google Category

Google: Two New Search Features

Google recently announced a couple of minor improvements in Google search results: better lists of related searches at the bottom of the listings, and longer and better descriptions of the pages that appear in the listings. This is part of Google’s attempt to improve intent-based search: their ability to better understand what you’re really looking for, despite how you may have phrased your search. Google says:

…one of its first applications lets us offer you even more useful related searches (the terms found at the bottom, and sometimes at the top, of the search results page).

For example, if you search for [principles of physics], our algorithms understand that “angular momentum,” “special relativity,” “big bang” and “quantum mechanic” are related terms that could help you find what you need.

As for longer descriptions in the listings, we should see them when we search for longer queries which people are doing more of now. They’ll display more text so they show more of the keywords used in the search and display how they are used on the page.

Google Blog Search

Google Blog Search (now in Beta) provides search results from millions of feed-enabled blogs. Users can search for blogs or blog posts, and can narrow their searches by dates and more. We’ll soon be working to make sure the Rank Magic blog is listed. In the meantime, this is still a great source to find blogs and blog posts on subjects that interest you.

Compare Candidates With Google

Google In QuotesIn this intense political period leading up to the elections, Google Labs has come up with a neat candidate comparison tool. You can select the candidates you want to compare, select an issue category (healthcare, economy, Iraq, etc.), and Google will display quotes on that topic by the candidates you selected. Their comparisons aren’t just limited to the presidential and vice presidential candidates, but also include many others, for a total of 20 different politicians. And once you see some comparative quotes on a topic, you can click on the SPIN button to see different quotes on that same subject.

So if you’re undecided on who to vote for… or just want some quotes from the candidate you favor (or the one you oppose) … or if you’re just a political junkie … check it out and learn something.

“Google Guy” Interview

Google rankings for small businessMatt Cutts is the Google employee known as “The Google Guy”, and he has a blog with insightful information about how to rank highly in Google. In a recent interview, he talks about ranking, search engine spam, and the future of search. Of particular note are his thoughts on how small and very small businesses can compete with “the big boys” on the Internet. Check out the video on the Google Webmaster Central Blog.

Totally Free 411 Service From Google

PageRankI’ve been using a service called Free 400 (800-free-411) for a long time to avoid the excessive fees for normal 411 service. But now Google (what DON’T they do?) has come up with a better solution. Much better.

Simply dial 1-800-GOOG-411. State the location and the business type (restaurants, for instance) and get a list of matches. Choose the one you want and they’ll not only connect you, but they’ll text you the information too, if you want.

Google has a nice video overview of the service.