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Google’s new SERP layout: When Google sings the SEO world jumps

In the SEO world, Google’s word is gold. So it’s no surprise that we wait anxiously when Google announces any changes to their search algorithm. As with any SEO company in Dubai, we know the optimizer’s burden when it comes to making sense of these changes. Every algorithmic or process update has a direct impact on the way we analyze and interpret data. That’s why when Google decided to put a cap on the keyword information from users signed into Gmail, we were forced to accept the change (after several unsuccessful attempts to find a loophole) and switch the very metrics by which we analyze campaign performances as part of our SEO services.

Google’s latest update was an aesthetic change to its search engine results pages (SERPs). After a series of trials during the latter half of 2013 the changes are now rolling out across desktop and mobile platforms. The move is simply to improve the user experience and keep it consistent across different platforms. “It’s cleaner and simpler, optimized for touch, with results clustered on cards so you can focus on the answers you’re looking for,” as explained by Amit Singhal, Google’s Vice-President of Search, in his recent blog-post.

So what does this mean? With a series of feature and design changes and location-based search results, there is no longer a standard SERP for everyone. That essentially means search results will increasingly become personalized to a person’s location, social shares and previous searches. This also means as SEO service providers we need to increasingly sensitize our approach in terms of who our customers are, what they are looking to achieve and why.

A quick look at the latest features on SERPs by Google

The two major changes to your SERP, are ads and the knowledge graph:

Ads

A general search will show you changes in font colour and size, evened out line-heights, the disappearance of the shaded box around ads and the inclusion of a yellow box labelled “Ad” instead. Check out the before and after look in this blog post by Barry Schwartz.

Knowledge graphs

Knowledge-graph.jpg

These are appearing increasingly for all search queries. Try typing in “Pharrell Williams” or any celebrity/ brand name. You’ll notice a box on the right (known as the “knowledge graph”) that has a roundup of all the basic information on your search term (see above image). Also, if you sign into Gmail and search for any person from your contact list and check out the knowledge graph with all their info. There are many interesting features within the knowledge graph as well. These include:

1)   Song list results: Click on one of the songs listed in the Knowledge Graph from the above search. You’ll find a full list of the most popular tracks by the artist across the top of the page.

song-list.jpg

2)   Video results: A search for any video shows a large YouTube video thumbnail. Try “Pharrell Williams Happy” (this one’s so popular you’ll find it simply by typing in “happy”).

image-list.jpg

3)   Image carousel: Image carousel results have been rolling out since last summer and are gathering a lot of traction. Try a search for the “Best movies of 2013.”

We are already making the move towards intuitive programming with knowledge graphs on brand and personal queries, page previews without clicking the link, local results that pull information from Google maps. We can soon expect voice search features – currently in beta testing on Chrome. Maybe soon we can expect results that give us social media stats and related pages of any given entity. We can only wait patiently for Google to keep coming up with ways to amaze us.

To see a complete breakdown of what to expect from the knowledge graph, check out this link.

Category: SEO