March 15, 2012 FoxNews today cites an article in the Wall Street Journal that discusses new search changes that Google will be rolling out soon. It's really not surprising given the rate of change in the hardware side with apps and tablets.
Plus, as someone who has seen and been involved in placing site rankings where we want (to some extent) it's become clear that Google has been on the losing end of it's most important search asset - relevancy.
What Is New In the New Google Search Changes?
More answers to search queries based on an understanding of the question. Instead of just a word-for-word match of answers, Google search will now try to actually understand better what is being asked in the right context and provide an answer.
Here is a good example from the piece:
Under the shift, people who search for "Lake Tahoe" will see key "attributes" that the search engine knows about the lake, such as its location, altitude, average temperature or salt content. In contrast, those who search for "Lake Tahoe" today would get only links to the lake's visitor bureau website, its dedicated page on Wikipedia.com, and a link to a relevant map.
For a more complex question such as, "What are the 10 largest lakes in California?" Google might provide the answer instead of just links to other sites.
Is Google's Latest Search Change A Threat to Internet Marketers?
Not really. Be sure to provide answers to searchers questions. Sometimes stating the questions (see above) can help.
Also in the article they say that Google will still be using its on-page and backlink pieces of the puzzle.
We're of the opinion that Google changes will always come slowly enough for internet marketers to adapt. Spammy marketers trying to trick Google and their customers will always be locked in a cat and mouse game but people offering good, relvant information will always come out ahead.
Internet Marketing Without Google
This is something we'll be talking about more in the future because Google updates are always a somewhat disruptive and more importantly it's just good business practice to have as strong a direct relationship with your customers as possible without depending too much on a third party.
The idea is simple, there will always be third party conduits we use to get new customers (advertising, search engines, word of mouth referrals) but once you get prospects and customers it's smart to build a relationship with them directly - whether by email, app or Twitter Follower or Facebook Friend.
As said, we'll be talking a lot more about this is coming months. In the meantime, Don't Fear The (Google) Reaper. Work with it, not against it and we'll be fine.