Google announced a number of new desktop features earlier this week. Amongst the announcements, Google displayed some interesting search trends that they had observed and have made some interesting changes to their desktop search based on their observations.
Google discussed the trends of search and user behavior on the net.
I imagine most bloggers have observed the same trends in their website traffic. That is that search engine traffic tends to dip on the weekends. Friday and Saturday tend to reflect the lowest dip on desktop searches. During the weekdays, search tends to dip during the lunch hour.
That’s nothing new, however, the most interesting trend turns up in mobile searches.
During the low times for desktop searches, the mobile searches tend to surge. So when the desktop searches dip on Friday and Saturday, that’s when Google begins to see the most mobile search traffic.
Also, the mobile searches don’t tend to show the same holiday slowdowns that we observe in desktop search.
Finally, Mobile search is growing faster than desktop search. Which probably makes sense since desktop search is a mature platform.
What does that mean for bloggers?
Perhaps it’s time to take another look at the mobile version of your blog.
As for Google, they’ve taken a closer look at their desktop search and have decided to make some modifications to bring some of the mobile search features to the desktop.
This is good news for local businesses that are online.
Google Mobile Local Search
Google’s first step is to optimize the search features on their mobile platform to better match the behavior of the users.
One of the mobile search trends that google has noticed is that users are often searching for local area shops such as restaurants and bars when they are out.
Google has incorporated this local search behavior right onto their mobile search homepage.
Now, when you are out and about the google search page on your mobile smartphone shows links to nearby restaurants, coffee shops, bars and pubs and more.
This features allows users to quickly find nearby shops. It’s an ideal feature for the mobile user on the go.
Google Desktop Features
Google also announced a number of desktop features of interest.
Google Instant Pages
For the blogger who is constantly concerned about the speed of their site, Google Instant Pages is a feature that will dramatically speed up the time a website loads.
This is a feature that will pre-render websites even before someone clicks on your link. Whenever someone does a search, Google will begin pre-rendering the search results themselves.
This dramatically increases the speed that a site loads for the user when they click on a link.
This has interesting implications for anyone running a website.
At the moment, it appears that the feature only pre-renders the first result. I’m particularly curious to see how this plays out.
It’s just additional motivation to get to that first spot on Google.
Also, it will be interesting to see how this boosts rankings for website that are in first place as their load speed will improve dramatically.
Google Image Search
Google image search also saw some improvements.
Google has added more information to images. Now when you do an image search, the search returns additional information about the image, including the website information where the image shows up.
The SEO implications for images are more important now than ever.
If you are not optimizing your title tags and alt text, now is the time to start.
Talk to Me Google
This is a really fun feature that Google is implementing onto the desktop: Voice Search!
Google found that many people are using voice search more than ever on the mobile platform. So, they’ve decided to bring voice search to the desktop.
Currently this is still in the experimental, or the Google Lab stage.
However, you can activate this feature right now to give it a test run. I turned it on yesterday and found it to be very accurate and fun to use.
If you want to give this feature a spin, here’s how to turn it on:
Go over to Google Labs and click on search experiments over in the right sidebar:
Then make sure you are signed into your google account and click “join this experiment”
Voila! You have now activated voice search on your desktop!
Now you will see a microphone when you go to the google search page on your desktop.
Just click on the microphone and start talking.
There you go, these are some of the new Google search features. Some of these have really interesting implications for SEO and local businesses. While others add a new dimension to desktop search. I would say keep these new features in mind as you go forward with your SEO endeavors and building your website.