What’s New With Search? Much Ado About Google Instant!

There’s always something going on with Google, Yahoo, and Bing – the search landscape changes every day and it can be extremely hard to keep up! But don’t worry, I’ve highlighted a few of the most recent noteworthy events so you, too, can be “in the know”.  Here’s the latest scoop:

Google Instant Debuts

On September 8, Google unveiled their newest product: Google Instant.  If you didn’t think that searching Google was fast enough, they’ve eliminated the need to hit the “search” button after you’ve finished typing your query and added even more predictive capabilities into your search.  Watch it in action:

By the time you’re reading this, it’s probably been rolled out to you so you can try it for yourself (if not, you can get it here).  I think it will definitely make the search experience a lot faster and I like the seamlessness of being brought to the search results page as soon as I start typing.  For you search nerds out there (ahem, like myself), there’s already been a post stating that  Google Instant will Kill SEO.  Seriously.  Every month or two there is always someone claiming that SEO is dead, yet it always remains to be live and kicking.  The main point of Steve’s article seems to be that no two search results will be the same with Google Instant.  Unfortunately, they haven’t been the same for over two years due to Google’s personalization – so there’s really no difference here in my opinion.  Is SEO dead?  No.  Did Steve get some good linkbait for his site?  You betcha!

In a little bit less “flashy” news…

It’s Official: Bing Powers Yahoo

Remember when I mentioned at the end of July that Microsoft was testing out Bing results in Yahoo?  Well, it’s now fully live and integrated into every Yahoo search in the US and Canada (other countries will continue to be rolled out).  Have you guys noticed any differences?  If you scroll down the the bottom of your Yahoo results page, you’ll see a very small “Powered by Bing” statement in the footer.  If you’re a Yahoo power searcher, you may notice a difference in the type/quality of the results you get, for better or worse.  Otherwise, everything looks completely the same.  The biggest change is that Bing is now the 2nd most widely used search engine, behind the almighty Google.

Google Changes Their Algorithm (Yawn)

Honestly, this isn’t news at all, since we know that Google changed their algorithm at least once per day in 2009.  One of the latest updates they implemented is a bit interesting, however, since it now shows more pages from from a single domain for certain queries.  Let’s take a search for “Apple iPod” for example.  The Apple domain (both apple.com and store.apple.com) gets 7 out of the 10 organic listings on the first page.  If you’re a big enough brand, you can get 5-7 of those coveted top slots by searches containing “brand name + keyword” or just “brand name”.  But don’t get too excited for your business: searches just for your company name isn’t likely to garner 5-7 of the search results unless you’re a large national brand.  Unfortunately, this move reaffirms the theory that Google is biased towards those big brands.

Those search engines definitely keep me on my toes!  Stick with me, kid, and I’ll keep you updated on the important stuff.  What does everyone think about Google Instant?  Love it or leave it?  Let me know what you think!  Happy (Instant) Googling!