Sara Beaudoin is the Marketing and Communications Manager for SearchPro Systems.
Google has rolled out yet another advancement. When users search for select items, they may see a new feature at the top of their results page. When searching for ‘Chocolate,’ for example, users will see a section labeled “Related searches for chocolate:” In this section, Google lists a row of Brands, Stores and Types of chocolate. Each row shows five results, such as Godiva and Lindt next to brands, Target and Amazon next to stores, and dark and white next to types. Each result is a link to a new search results page in which the most relevant page is listed as number one, i.e. when Godiva is clicked, a Godiva chocolate results page appears and www.godiva.com is at the top of the page. When “dark” is clicked, a results page for dark chocolate appears, showing results such as wikipedia’s description of the types of chocolate, the health benefits of dark chocolate, and shopping results for dark chocolate. The purpose of this feature is to reduce search time for users, and to help them avoid even needing to leave page one of their search results list. Google uses an algorithm to determine what sites will be featured as a brand, store or type.
Currently, not all searches display the related searches section. Only searches in which national or international results apply will feature this section. Therefore, it is likely that Google’s algorithm will only place very large, well known brands in this section, which may not benefit smaller, local businesses, however, it also means no change in local businesses SEO strategies is necessary.
A local chocolate shop may be discouraged to know that although Google shows location specific results when users are logged into their Google accounts, local results will not appear when “chocolate” is searched for. However, “chocolate in Nashua, NH” will absolutely still show local results, and it is likely that users doing a search for chocolate would type their location in the search box as well, if they wanted to physically visit a shop and purchase chocolate related items. Therefore, SEO for a local chocolate shop is just as important as ever, as that shop’s goal will be to have their website(s) listed at the top of the first Google results page. As with any business, the goal is to grow and improve, so why not aim high and strive for impeccable SEO that will land your business a spot under Google’s related searches section?