Most online journeys begin with a search engine, which is why improving the SEO of a website is vital for online marketing success. With so much content on the web, consumers are looking for tools that can help them find exactly what they need without wasting too much time. Google has search tools that make it easier to fine-tune a query. Google rolled out a change to its desktop search menu bar that will add icons to the different search sections.
The desktop search menu bar is the area that shows under the place where you entered the search term. Users can choose to use a regular web search or to narrow their search by looking for specific kinds of content, such as photos, videos, books, and more. Last week, people began to notice that these different sections now had an icon to go with the link name.
Google has tested these new icons for at least a few months. The first reports of the testing came from observant SEO bloggers back in March. Those early tests were clearly a success, as the full version of the feature began rolling out last week.
This change may seem minor, and in some ways, it is. Adding these icons won’t change the search results, but it may encourage more people to use alternative search options. This tactic can have positive benefits for website owners that want to increase their visibility in search. If a website isn’t reaching the top search in traditional search results, they could appear more prominently if the users switch to searching for images or news.
The new icons will probably have a significant effect on traffic for some websites. However, the timing of the rollout makes it hard to know which changes in traffic are the result of the new icons and which effects are better attributed to algorithm changes that happened earlier this month.
SEO marketers can take advantage of these new features by creating content on their site that fits the more specific categories. For example, adding more photos about a topic that include relevant keywords can help your website rank higher when people click on the icon for Google Image Search.
Similarly, writing content in a format that can be picked up by Google News can generate a lot of traffic for a website. When people want the latest information about a specific subject, they can switch to a Google News search to find recently written articles.
The new change can also give marketers a reason to improve their presence on YouTube or another video platform. If it becomes easier to get people on Google Search to find videos about a topic, marketers can effectively reach their target audience by making videos that answer questions they are using Google to research.
These new icons have the potential to significantly affect traffic for websites. Even if the numbers are small, the icons will encourage some users to look at the various search result options. The more times people find the link they click off of the traditional search, the more chances smaller publishers have for being seen.
To see more recent information about changes and updates to Google, read this article on a new rule that will limit the number of top listings a domain will have for a particular keyword.