Working in Search Engine Optimization for the past five years, I consider myself to be a highly educated searcher. Today I was doing a search for “Excel Charts Sales Funnel” in Google and found the first result for www.candoo.org. While what I was looking for was a method of using data from our attribution technology to create a sales funnel chart for a client, the link I selected did not provide me with the visual representation I desired.
After reading the post, I pushed the back button and went back to the SERPs, where I discovered a new integration of user input in personalized SERPs. Users now have the ability in Google to block all results from a specific website.
While this may seem extreme from several points, Google is incorporating data about sites that users block into their algorithms. Today’s update is another example Google putting the power back into the user’s hands. But what does this information mean for your site and for search in general?
1. Title Tags and Meta Descriptions are EXTREMELY important – Let me say that again, Title Tags and Meta Descriptions are EXTREMELY important! Your title tags and meta descriptions should be a clear indication of the content of the page the user is going to click on. While calls to action are important, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that an accurate description of the page is just as important to prevent the uneducated searcher from clicking on the wrong site.
2. Google IS incorporating these actions within their algorithms – In April, Google Webmaster Central alerted us that they are incorporate data about the sites that users block into our algorithms. This is the most recent version of this feedback integration within the algorithm.
3. Google believes frequent users of Google Products are more educated searchers – While this may be a bit of a stretch, you have to be logged into Google to be able to block sites. While this is an adjustment to the personalized search results, we can assume that Google collects this data and integrates it into their evaluation of the quality of sites. If bounce rate can be a ranking factor, user feedback is an extenuation of the bounce rate.
4. An update to online reputation management? – While I am always trying to think of new ways of doing things, the blocking of sites could play a factor in online reputation management, but I digress.
While I did not end of blocking the site, it was exciting to see the second rendition of blocking sites within personalized results. It will be interesting to see if a Google -1 is in our future.