Garrett French has come out of underneathe his rock (after his WebPro split) and is now with Andy Beal at Search Engine Lowdown, blogging the Search Engine Strategies Conference. Great to see you back Garrett! Garrett documented Marissa Mayer’s, Google’s Director of Consumer Web Products, presentation – “Inside the Searcher’s Mind”. Here’s a rundown!
Annecdote 1: In early tests Google site visitors waited to begin typing their queries, sometimes for as long as half a minute. When questioned, they said they were waiting for the page to load. And this is why the copyright appears at the bottom – it serves as a page-loaded indicator to those who are used to more garish, cluttered, ad smeared portals.
Annecdote 2: When questioned, many Google site testers don’t know what the “I’m feeling lucky” button does. Marissa didn’t release any numbers, but she made it clear that the button doesn’t get much attention. So why keep it? Though site testers don’t know what function it serves they tell Google they like the flavor of the button’s text, they think it’s comforting, exciting, and adds to Google’s “personality.”
Annecdote 3: Google designed their site for the “expert searcher.” An expert searcher is one who understands how to refine his search. Google trusts that one can become an expert searcher in a month or so, and that the process is intuitive.
SEM Tip 1: Image search, according to Marissa, remains their second most used property. Yowza! Optimize those images folks. Yes, I’ve said this for a while, but never heard such a strong reason for optimizing image tags and text around images.
SEM Tip 2: Get your butt into Froogle and Google News. I didn’t get the impression that they’re booming the way Google web search booms, but results from both properties appear, when relevant, at the top of the web results page. I’ve personally seen traffic-doubling results for a news site that found its way into the Google news feed.
Thanks to Andy and Garrett!