I watched Google’s 2009 Searchology event and noticed they did not announce any major algorithmic ranking changes.
Instead they simply announced major new features. I have to admit I think some of the stuff they showcased looked kind of cool.
I especially liked the demo with the mobile phone where the constellations were presented in a sort of 3-D context. Imagine using that technology to find your way around a new city. Or imagine creating a virtual museum or Web walking tour for your friends and family to help them learn about your community while you are at work. There is a lot of potential in that one application.
The Google Search Options feature is sort of cool, too. It adds a layer of contextual measurement to Web search that has been seriously lacking in Google’s results. Some people have pointed out to me that other search tools have offered similar contextual adjustment in the past.
True, but those search companies don’t market themselves as well as Google does. Why isn’t Microsoft having an annual “Microsoft Search Day”? Why doesn’t Yahoo! go all out in talking up the media about warm fuzzy Yahoo! stuff? Maybe they do and the media don’t care. I don’t know.
Ask could have done a lot more with its marketing budget last year by schmoozing with the media than by purchasing ads on television.
Google has taken multidimensional search mainstream. Like Universal Search Google was by no means the first engine to introduce the concept — but it’s because of Google that people expect Universal Search to work (or to stand in the way of their success).
It’s not that so many people actually use Google exclusively (most people who use Google use other search engines) — it’s just that Google does a better job of promoting itself than its competitors.
In search engine optimization we can take away the lesson that all the tricks and strategies in the world don’t amount to a hill of beans if, in the end, people are still talking about other Web sites. Search engine optimization fails when people don’t recognize the significance of the sites that have been optimized for search.