<< by on June 30th, 2011
Google recently released three new search features: voice search, instant pages, and search by image. Here’s an overview of all the new stuff:
You’ll notice if you’re using Chrome that in the new Google search bar there’s a small microphone icon in the right hand corner of the search box. Click on the icon and it will use your computer’s microphone to listen to what you say. This makes it much easier to search for something you may not know how to spell, or search for long queries. When I tried it here at work, I felt a little like George on the Jetsons, talking to my computer and expecting it to reply. But people search by voice on their mobile phones very frequently now, so it’s a great idea to add it to desktops. For search engine marketing, this means longer tailed search queries that are much more niche.
Instant pages is a new feature where Google Chrome preloads or “prerenders” the page they think you are most likely to click on. On Google’s website they have a video that really shows the difference that instant makes. If you click on the listing that they preloaded, it takes 0 seconds for that page to load, even if there are huge pictures! Danny Sullivan has a great live blog post from the unveiling of Instant Pages as well as Voice Search and Search by Image where he states that on average Instant Pages will save users 2-5 seconds of load time. Google always seems to be getting faster!
Search by Image
New to Google Images, you can now search by adding an image to your search bar. You can either click and drag the picture into the search bar, or click the camera icon on the right hand corner (in blue) where you can choose the file from your computer. Also, if you find an image on the internet that you want to search, right click on the picture and copy the image URL, then click on the blue camera icon and paste in the URL.
How will this impact SEO? In a blog post written by Carson Ward from seo.com, he discusses how this may increase the number of users searching by image with the intent to purchase, rather then just gain information. He makes a good point that people could start to search for images of products to search for lower prices or to find reviews.