I link many people are always interested in what Google is doing these days. Much of their strategy is kept in secret, but when the veil is lifted, they do manage to pull of some outstanding wins. Such was the case yesterday when Google announced the addition of three new services created with improving the search experience in mind. Let’s take a look at all three in detail.
First, was the announcement of a service called Google Co-Op. This is a lot like social tagging but with a different twist. Co-Op members can add their own services to the Google Search service by creating “subscribed links” that Google users can add to their search results or personalized homepage. It’s a very good twist and allows search marketers the ability to broaden their horizon by allowing users to utilize their services! Just imagine the possibilities!
If you don’t know much about social tagging, it’s a common service offered that allows users to label or “tag” certain websites and thus have an influence on the search index. This allows your peers to be able to find the same information in a different way than they could by using the SERP’s. If you want to check it out, go to http://www.google.com/coop.
The next service, is obviously a “trend-setter”. Google announced the addition of Google Trends. This new service allows the search user to discover the importance of certain keywords and the trends for that keyword through the past. For example, if I wanted to find out how popular the keyword “photography” was in the SERP’s, I could enter the keyword into the search and get a graphical representation of the fluxuations in that search term over time. I also am shown the fluxuations in the news stories for that particular keyword and examples of some of the news resources that exist.
The service is an excellent resource if you want to see the aggregated results of search terms over time to see the overall trend, but it is not without flaws.
First off, I can forsee the resource being used being used primarily by two different groups. One being the Adsense publishers who are always looking for what’s hot in keyword searches, although it carries less benefit than one would expect. The other being scholars who primarily would use it in cooperation with the Goolge Scholar service to put into perspective the trend and interest in a particular subject or information.
Another flaw is that it is not detailed enough. While I fully expect the data to be an accurate representation, the detail is not shown. For example, if I were to search for photography, I would be shown a grahical representation of the trends in search for that keyword over time, but I would not see any hard numbers to back that data up. So in reality, scholars can use it, but without at least an accurate measure of the data, the scholarly nature is removed and thus you only have a trend graph. So I am not quite sold on the service and maybe Google has different uses for it, but one thing remains true, Google Trends is not the trend-setting service we all want it to be. To see the service in action, go to http://www.google.com/trends .
The last service I want to mention is an excellent research tool. It’s called Google Notebook. Notebook is a way to organize your thoughts, notes, quotes, and pictures while doing research online. This personal browser tool is an “interactive scratch-pad” that also allows you to make public your notes on a particular subject.
While I still have high hopes for this service, it is to be released next week from Google Labs. For more information, go to http://www.google.com/notebook next week.
That’s it for now, I hope you all get a chance to try out the new services and find a way to apply them to your searches and businesses.