Recent Changes to Search Engine Results

Feb 17, 2011

Everyone knows that Google is the biggest search engine on the planet. They get roughly a 65% market share of searches and on average Google drives about 70% of all traffic to websites. That is a huge advantage to one of the simplest websites on the web.  Google started with one main principle; links to your site constitute a vote of quality. The Google search engine then paved the way to one of the most advanced algorithms used to calculate search engine results.  When the creators of Google came up with this concept, it was revolutionary. Now every single search engine uses some variation of the linking theory.

Google has seemed to be on the forefront of technology and continue to innovate today. Most recently, Google has made changes to the way and how search results show up in the results pages. You may have noticed that Google Places accounts have been popping up on the results pages. If you haven’t, they are mixed into the search results and ranked by a pin. That pin is linked to a Google Places listing and can be seen on the map that is displayed on the right of the screen. This effort was in the belief that the users of Google want to have more localized content within their search results.


This can be either good or bad for your company. If you are a small company and have a regularly maintained Google Places account, you can see your places page in the top of the Google search results. This is a big plus for a company that probably doesn’t have a big marketing budget if one at all.  You are now in with the big boys of the web and have a presence that can be noticed. This new exposure can bring in increased revenue, customers, leads, vendors, etc.

On the other hand you may be one of those big boys of the web and have noticed that the smaller companies are taking your place. This can seem unfair to the big companies, but in reality they will still receive a lot of the search traffic because they operate all over the country and not in a few locations like the Places listings.

Another way that Google has changed the results pages are the inclusion of social media. In the past, Google has included socially driven content in their Realtime section of their search.  This displays the most recent updates from the social media outlets about the searched term. This can be useful but takes a second to find out how to access it.

Just today, Google announced that it will be integrating social content into the search results. The premise behind this thinking is that people trust things that people they know provide. For example, if you are searching for a good Italian restaurant you will see places and websites that your friends have shared on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites.  This will allow you to find more relevant search results and have a more personalized, reference-based way to find information on the web.


The way Google sees it, if you can see what your friends have recommended and posted, you will be more likely to find what you need quicker and with more confidence. You can find out who has eaten recently at an Italian restaurant and go directly to them for more information.  You can even choose what social media sites that you want to be linked to the aggregation service.


Google still maintains its popular, sleek look, but packs a huge punch.  I doubt that these changes will make a huge impact on the overall market share and popularity of Google, but they are definitely an innovation that will likely be mocked by the other search engines. The simple integration of localized and social aspects into the search results pages are changing the way that people use the search engine to find information. Maybe someday search engines will take over the world, but until then they can still provide a great insight into the world around us.

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