I am fascinated by the amount of tweaks that Google in particular has made to its search engine pages. Given the relative staticness of the Google experience since it started, the frequency at which the Google experience changes at present is quite staggering.
Whilst much of the recent improvements have been to do with the actual display of the search engine pages, there have been some which have had to do with the actual search results, either via additional search functionality or via personalisation additions.
Yesterdays announcement I thought was very interesting. For those that missed it, Google have further expanded the functionality of the ‘show options’ section of the site, allowing searchers to personalise results even further, with nine (yes 9) new features added. These include:
- Last Hour – In my opinion indicative of a Google drive towards real time search. More and more of Googles recent experience appears to be with delivery of time-sensitive data within the SERP’s
- Specific date range searching – Search between dates you want to search for rather than pre-defined dates
- More and fewer shopping sites – In my opinion a massive addition to the functionality and potentially the biggest impact in terms of personalisation from a search marketeers perspective
Source: Google Official Blog
- Visited pages and not yet visited -
- Books, blogs and news
Some of the above functionality are merely additions to the site, but others such as shopping and time specific searching has the ability to really change a users search behaviour, something which could have significant impacts on advertisers and drive such revenues more towards the paid search ads – which appear not to be influenced by such changes.
Perhaps thats just it, however this goes beyond just dollars, it is a significant improvement to the search experience in my opinion, its just a pity its hidden away at the bottom of the show options tab, something which will probably significantly affect take up of users making this part of the search experience.