Google Updates: Blogs, Realtime, Places

On August 27, 2010 Google announced improvements to a few services which you’ll want to take advantage of. Changes were made to:

  • Blog Search
  • Realtime Results
  • Google Places

EXPANDED BLOG SEARCH

Google Blog Search

When you perform a search, i.e. Apple TV, look to the left-side under “Everything” and click the “Blogs” link.

Still in the left-side menu, you’ll see an option for “Posts” and “Homepages.” Clicking Homepages allows searches to find individual blogs that focus on topics of interest, not just individual posts from blogs of all categories. It’s another opportunity for people to find your blog, so you want to make sure you’re listed.

Is Your Blog in Blog Search?

Bill Slawski, from SEO by the Sea, links these improvements to US Patent 7,765,209. Based off that information you want to make sure you have certain information available in order for Google to extract it for Blog Search. This includes: multiple posts/pages related to your main topics, a feed that includes at least the title, description, link, author profile and date created.When you link to other blog posts, it may help if those follow those guidelines too. You want automatic pings on your blog, which will help Google detect your blog for inclusion, but you can also submit a blog manually. Of course don’t forget to optimize your posts!

REALTIME SEARCH GETS RESPECT

Google Realtime Search

Realtime Search has a dedicated page now and a few new features to help focus results. Realtime Search shows blog, webpage, and social media posts related to your search, as they become available–in real time. Results can further be filtered by using the geographic location link to see what is going on in your area. Just click the “Nearby” or “Custom Location” link in the left-side menu.

To see the rise and fall of interest in the topic, check out the “Conversation Timeline” under the search box just above the results.

GOOGLE BUSINESS LISTINGS GROW

Google Places Update

When you search places in Google, for example pizza in Chicago, IL, SERPs usually return a map with the first seven locations marked by the familiar red tab. Now you’ll notice more locations are listed with smaller red circle as seen in the map above.

Google Places Update

As you click on selections with the circle, those results also trigger a pop up window which lists the name, location, user reviews, etc. of the location.

While these are good changes for searchers, you also want to make sure you’re getting the added visibility. Make sure your blog is optimized, using keywords in the right places, and that you have a feed which includes title, URL, and author. Automated pings help notify Google Blog Search of updates and changes. Likewise, with the expanded local business listings you definitely want to make sure you’ve registered with Google Places and are encouraging user-generated reviews.

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