Google Search Options Observed in the Wild

By May 12, 2009 SEO No Comments

Google announced today an innovation in the search experience roughly the same degree of magnitude as Universal Search. They call it Search Options and it was revealed at Searchology.

I observed several aspects of it earlier today and it seems that it will be coming to a query near you soon.

Here is a screen capture of the unexpanded menu:

Google Search Options

Here is the expanded option menu:

Google Options Menu

There are obviously many ways they are letting us slice and dice the data, presenting it with or without various filters. Want to look at only forum posts in the last day? Restrict your search for videos on the last week? Sure.

The reviews section looks particularly promising.

I poked around with the time lines and found some very odd results. I really did not expect to find many videos from 1820-39, but that was offered.

Standard results are just as described. Images from the page are presented along with the snippets:

Google Search Options with Images

Google Search Options with Images

The most fascinating enhancement, and the one that I predict will get the most attention is he Wonder Wheel

Wonder Wheel

For starters, the link is multi-colored, which just begs for a click. And has since I coded my first Tripod page back in the day.

Secondly, it has a name like an amusement park ride or an Oasis hit. You just can’t resist it.

Here is how it starts:

Wonder Wheel

It acts very intuitively by expanding and offering more ways to drill down and pursue a concept. Rather than just present “related searches” terms, it presents them visually.  Google has now let the user see more and more relevant refinements without creating a new query. It also allows the user to roll-back up to where the search started. Very interesting.

Wonder Wheel Drilldown

There are many, MANY implications for search engine marketers. The most obvious would be that there truly no such thing as a number one ranking.  There has not been for some time now, but this takes it to another level. I might add that all of these results I saw today were without being logged in to a Google account. And they were geographically targeted.

Please jump on in and comment on what you are seeing!

About Matt Keough

With a background in both traditional and digital marketing, Matt has been involved in digital marketing with a focus on manufacturing and industrial companies since 1999. He has been with Fathom since 2005, serving as a program manager, account executive and senior account executive. Matt is accountable for the overall success of his client’s digital marketing programs and works closely with the specialists, account executives and management to set strategies that will produce the results that matter for the clients of Fathom’s manufacturing team. Matt has worked with clients such as Akron Brass, Materion, Diebold, STACI Corporation and Nook Industries to help them grow their presence online, as well as increase leads and inquiries from their websites. Before joining Fathom, he acted as an in-house marketing manager at a manufacturing services firm. He designed and coded websites, performed search engine optimization, managed pay-per-click campaigns, created direct mail campaigns, designed and produced brochures, managed trade shows, and was a manager responsible for client satisfaction measurement in an ISO 9001-2000 certified company.

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  • Paul Richlovsky says:

    Way to be in front of the latest Google search changes. More on the Wonder Wheel: I think there will be many opportunities for keyword research and targeting with it. Actually, the wonder wheel looks like a visual representation of the “find other searches” keyword list of links that occasionally appears at the bottom of the 1st page of results. Maybe the Wonder Wheel replaces this former method.

  • Matt Keough says:

    Paul,

    There is also an option to look at related searches in the manner we are more accustomed to. However, instead of the smaller sample of terms we used to seeing, Google provides a deeper list.

    Both of these developments will help with keyword suggestions and brainstorming, for sure.

    Matt

  • Johnn says:

    This is a great option. We can now get more and better information around the word that we are searching. As we select that.. it is automatically moving through that keyword…

    The “Any Time” option can give an idea of the keywords competitors are using.

  • Google’s developments do make it a bit tougher to ID a definitive ranking. Fortunately most rankings can be spotted. The key is to rely on some spot-checks here and there because software isn’t going to be reliable all of time. It’s also imperative that companies focus on leads and conversions and not marquee rankings. I admire Google for wanting to provide search options and insights. The rest of us in search just need to adapt. Change is healthy.

  • Matt Keough says:

    I must admit, I’m sad that Google took away the multi-color Wonder Wheel link. Just plain blue now.

    And when did they decide that “wheel” is better not capitalized? Odd.

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