Thursday, April 10, 2008

Google Organic Search - Second Search Based On Previous Query

This is important. Danny Sullivan reports from Austrailia today:

Previous Query

Last year, we covered (and here) how Google was changing the ads it displayed based on the previous query someone performed. For example, search for [spain] then do a new search for [travel], and you may notice how the ads will be targeted around Spanish travel (see also Google's help page on this).

Google's never given this feature a formal name, but Marissa said internally the company calls it "Previous Query," the first time to my knowledge that we've had some type of formal name put to it. Learn the name well, because Previous Query refinement is now coming to unpaid or "organic" search results, she said.

For example, if someone were to search for [spain] and then [travel] after that, BOTH the ads and the organic results will be altered to take the previous query into account. To some degree, it will be as if the second query was for [spain travel].

This is a big deal. Big deal. It means that the results for many "single word" queries, which can be hard for sites to rank for when billions of listings come back, will become queries involving two or more words -- and much more specific ones.

When's it happening? "Soon." Indeed, it's already been happening for several weeks for some people randomly selected. Who will get it, when live? Everyone that accepts a cookie. IE, it's not personalized search thing that only happens if you're logged in.

How could a user opt-out. Heh. I didn't get to asking that, sorry. But I imagine any search where the + symbol is used before a word or words will override Previous Query.

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 9:18 AM     Permanent Link