Google recently announced that it will begin beta testing a new feature—incorporating Gmail into search results for users that are logged into their Google accounts. The goal is to further personalize search results for the individual, getting as specific as possible and thus providing a richer search experience. Google has already begun to integrate Google Plus into search as well, providing session-based broad match and localized results which, in mobile, can be specific to your exact location at the moment of search.
However, while Google aims to provide as much relevant information as it can to the consumer all in one place, it also complicates marketers’ goals in both SEO and SEM to drive sales and generate customers. It is difficult to understand what a given search results page will look like for most people because now in addition to competitive pressures impacting results the online behavior of the user factors in and essentially delivers a unique result for each user. Even the best search marketing strategy could potentially be thwarted, because the top search results can be based on past emails and Google Plus activities. This means websites that were formerly on the top of the first page of Google searches due to optimized search strategy could be bumped out of view for users logged into their Gmail and Google Plus accounts.
Leapfrog Online’s philosophy on overcoming these challenges? Test, test, test.
Consider marketing objectives, consumer behavior and motivations and the tools available when designing tests. Google has a myriad of tools and reports that make it easier to test ad position and rotation, track call metrics, utilize sitelinks and more. These are easy to implement and can yield strong results when marketers take a disciplined testing approach.
It’s also crucial to remember that testing is never a one-and-done process. The search landscape is constantly shifting and changing, which means success requires continuous testing and validation.
How are you adapting to Google’s ever-evolving search results?