Google Instant and Bloggers: Write Your Way to Page One by Susan Getgood, author of Professional Blogging for Dummies, prompted me to try some searches as a Google vs. Yahoo! test. The tests were not timed for speed.
Both Google and Yahoo! use Ajax to offer suggested search strings while you are typing. But only Google Instant displays search results under the search box as you type. (I explained this in Google Search is now Google Instant, in case you haven’t seen it in action yet.)
First I searched for ‘fieldset css.’ This blog came up in 4th position on Google for that phrase. It came in 3rd on Yahoo! On Google, the first thing displayed was an ad – inexplicably, I saw an ad for folding tables. On Yahoo! there is no ad.
That’s sort of cheating, because I know the fieldset articles here are popular. How about something less popular? Maybe ‘book reviews’.
This blog is not anywhere in the first page of results on either search engine when I searched for ‘book reviews’. Same result with ‘web design book reviews’. Web Teacher didn’t do well.
Web Teacher didn’t show up on the first page for ‘web design book reviews’? That breaks my heart a bit, especially since there is text right after the blog title that says “Tips, web design book reviews, resources and observations for teaching and learning web development.” on every page. Note to self: work on this.
Okay, how about a specific book review? Perhaps the one for Professional Blogging for Dummies which I posted here and at BlogHer (in slightly different versions in the two places). At Google, the BlogHer post is listed 4th, with the Web Teacher version indented under it as a related article. At Yahoo!, the BlogHer post shows up in 2nd place, but the Web Teacher version is not listed. Maybe Yahoo! didn’t recognize the differences enough to considered them as separate posts. Or something – who knows.
As I mentioned, I wasn’t doing speed tests or anything remotely scientific. I was mostly noodling around out of curiosity. That said, the major difference was that Google Instant shows the search results before you press Enter to initiate the search. Once you get down to looking through the search results, Google Instant and Yahoo! were basically equivalent. Maybe it’s too early to tell what Google Instant may mean to bloggers in terms of keywords. According to Google Instant and Bloggers: Write Your Way to Page One, bloggers just need to continue to write good content and include relevant keywords in that content.
2 thoughts on “What does Google Instant mean to Bloggers?”
Virginia — I think the power of Instant is going to be for the average searcher. Seeing the results as you refine the search should help people find what they want (including blogs) more easily.
If you have the budget and the time, making more of an SEO effort always helps. But if you don’t, good headlines and good content may stand a better chance of discovery than they used to.
Thanks for commenting, Susan. You make me wonder if I should prefix my book review titles with ‘web design book review’ instead of ‘review’.