There is flurry of activity on the Internet whenever Google announces or does something new. Fortunately for readers of the WebDevelopersNotes Blog, my take on the latest changes implemented by Google comes a couple of weeks late.
Why “fortunately”? Because you would not have to wade through another blog post that’s saying the same darn thing. Oh yes, the Google page has changed but that’s not all I would be mentioning in this post.
But before I proceed to tell you what I had in mind, a brief mention of the changes to the Google home page and the SERP is required. So here goes.
I don’t think I’ve visited the Google home page in months! Why? Because I do all the searching directly from the free Google browser (Chrome). It has a single text field which serves both as an address (URL) and a query field. (I never grow tired of praising Chrome, do I?)
Anyway, the majority of web users would have noticed that the Google home page has changed – it has become simpler, if I may say so. No more tabs above the (now larger) text field; the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button is still there.
As for the Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page), the layout has a completely new format. The search field is larger and more prominent and the page is now broken into three columns. The one on the left lets you choose the different option while the wider middle column shows the results. The third column to the extreme right is supposed to display ads, whenever possible (?). And talking about sponsored links, I noticed lesser number of ads being displayed. Is it because the ads have proved ‘more profitable’ when shown on AdSense publishers web sites than the Google SERPs? I’m not sure whether others have blogged about this because it may be a sort of turning point for many AdSense publishers. And if you are one, have you noticed an increase in earnings? I have!
Another important aspect has been the integration of results from Google Squared into the main search engine. Google Squared lets you
quickly build a collection of facts from the web, for any topic you specify. It can provide direct answers to your queries. We all know that similar functionality has been around for some time. For instance, if one checked for “time in california”, the exact information would appear on the Google. The same for other search terms such as “GBP to USD”.
This obviously means that Google would be offering immediate results to searchers – no need to wade through another web site if you quickly want to get hold of a small but important piece of information. As you would understand, this is a great boon for mobile phone users – lesser number of clicks and lesser number of pages to view on the same screen. Since the mobile web usage is growing, I think Google has taken a very intelligent step towards targeting that segment.
A few days before the Google page was changed, I noticed that results for certain queries had become ‘smarter’. I had searched for “La Mia Canzone Al Vento” and the first result I got was an option to play the song from iLike.com; how very ingenious! However, I don’t get it now (?).
Ever since the Google interface has changed, I’ve also detected that usage of “Did you mean” has been cut down. For instance, Google doesn’t offer this prompt for the query “ad nauseum” (wrong spelling) – the results show the correct phrase. The same is true for “caman islands” query.
Apple hadn't owned the domain name of their major products/services - iPhone.com, iCloud.com and Facetime.com. They bought them at a premium from the respective companies. [more...]