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Google Search: Are They Throwing Away Substance?

by Leslie Poston | September 28, 2010September 28, 2010 10:00 am PDT

Granted, I’m approaching this from the viewpoint of someone who searches a bit differently than many people online. However, I can’t help but wonder: are the innovations Google is making in it’s search engine to add social focus, instant results, auto fill, recent popular searches and more corroding its value altogether?

I haven’t seen much deep research since Google incorporated instant search results as an option. I have seen a lot of “anecdata” (anecdotal data) that suggests it is less than effective for those who needs precise results. If you, like me, depend on timeless or time relative information vetted by effective use of precision keywords, Google’s Instant and Social searches may not be the solution for you.

Other complaints I’ve seen about the Instant search option and the auto complete and popular or recent search results features include everything from creating a generation of poor spellers (as mentioned in this post) to delivering irrelevant and unproven search results. Additionally, there is a rising number of screen captures on the internet on such sites a Fail blog showing some truly pornographic or otherwise horrible auto completed search strings.

According to Google, their new search features should not impact your current SEO models much, unlike past search algorithm changes. This time, they mainly changed the way you, the user, search, not anything internal. Even so, I’d recommend incorporating social cues in your web presences so you continue to come out on top, as well as location and other features. In fact, even have a Twitter account and a Facebook fan page (now “like” page) can work to help you creep higher and higher in search.

By now, you probably know about other fun features of the Google search system, like synonyms, weather predictions, time zone help, simple math, stock information and stock quotes, mapping, natural disaster data (including earthquakes), movie show times, airport information, real estate listings and sports scores. All you have to do is start typing a math problem, a sports team and more and you get real time information and solutions to your problems.

Meanwhile, to use the search part of things better, first, leave Instant off if you need data from farther back than about a week or so to float to the top fast. Use Advanced search for date sorting if, like me, that remains important to you. Use Boolean techniques to narrow your search down further. Use signifiers like define: or phone: in front of search terms to trigger Google functions, like phone book listings. With a little finesse, you can keep your beloved Google relevant to your needs without all the junk Instant brings to the top.


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