With Google’s recent launch of its “search options” feature, the web is buzzing. Since this is still new technology, I’m still unsure what I think about it or exactly what the ramifications of these new options could be. For those who haven’t heard, Google is now allowing users to filter their searches by categories of results (ie: video, reviews, and forums), recency, as well as through the “wonder wheel” – which shows related searches. You can also opt to see images or more text in the results.
Personally, I’m a fan of the Wonder Wheel. Through this, user can see related searches. It’s really a visual aid to see how different related topics are clustered together. When you click on any spoke of the wheel, it then causes that search term to be at the center. Now I know this technique isn’t new, but I don’t know anyone else who has given it such a high profile by inserting it on the main search page.
So, as an example, say gas shoots back up to $4/gallon. As a user, I google “hybrid cars”. I can now see related searches like “hybrid vehicles list” and clearly see different hybrid models – and even find out about the energy tax credit associated with buying a hybrid. I can also select to see images from the page, and check out pictures of each model.
I’m also really interested in testing out the recency filter. At its Searchology event, Google admitted that its #1 problem with search was “finding the most recent information”. Understandably, real-time search is still largely unsolved. Obviously, even with its new recent results filter, the recent results are only as “real-time” as Google can get. I wonder how this will affect vehicle listings on dealer sites? Will site updates and date tags affect organic listings? I guess we’ll find out soon enough…
Even with the questions surrounding real-time searches, Google has taken a step forward in pioneering this new display and filtering of search results. The real thing to watch now is to see what SEO and web development firms take notice and alter their strategies to take advantage.