The Wheels Are Turning at Google

New and exciting things this week from the big G. Recently Google unveiled its spiffy new search options. Having always been all about helping the users find what they are looking for, Google has been releasing new options to help you get the best results. A few months back G gave us search wiki, a new way for users to edit the search results by re-arranging or even deleting results in the SERPs. Now we’ve got even more new toys to play with, introducing Search Options:

Enter in a search term of choice and you’ll notice a little blue link underneath the Google logo that says “show options”. Give it a click. You know you wanna…

Your SERP will get pushed to the right, and you’ll have a new list of options on the left hand side.

So let’s say you’re searching for Star Trek, but you’re interested in only reading reviews of the new movie (which is fantastic, go see it, STAT). By clicking reviews, Google will instantly refine the SERP to show you sites it has identified as reviews. The same works for videos, or forums. Because hey, sometimes you’re looking for that one particular thread about The weirdest races in Star Trek history, or that one clip of Leonard Nimoy singing “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” (it’s real, I can’t make this stuff up…)

Another rad feature is the timeline. This puppy allows you to see related products and results from back in the day. With an interesting little graph at the top, you can drill down your timeline and get information from very particular dates. Most of the results for the Star Trek search turned up shopping sites listing books, VHS, and DVDs from different years in the graph. This could be very helpful for collectors looking for related items or business owners hoping to earn niche traffic.

But of all the completely stellar new tools Google released, my absolute favorite is the multi-colored delectably click-able Wonder Wheel. In a word, wonder wheel is made of WIN. This thing is the most unique and perhaps beneficial search refining tool available from Google now. When we search for Star Trek, we can click wonder wheel and see what words Google associates with the search term “Star Trek”.

When we click “star trek enterprise” a new wheel opens up with even more specific and drilled down results.

Clicking even further, we can get results for star trek next generation, or Star Trek: Wrath of Khan. Each new wheel shows more options and Google also updates our SERPs with every click. While many SEOs immediately felt concern for what this could mean for rankings, I thought this was a fantastic glimpse into how Google associates words and search terms. We all know that keyword selection is paramount when it comes to the SEO game. Picking the right keywords can mean the difference in lots of qualified traffic or lots of bounces from your site. Using wonder wheel as a keyword research tool, we can see how Google associates words, which can be very different than how we would associate words and search terms. Take for example the search term “Mexican food”. If you’re anything like me, you instantly thought of related terms like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chips and salsa…etc. Well, Google didn’t. Here is what the big G thinks relates to Mexican food:

Something else note worthy (as pointed out by the awesome Jeremy Sherman)…Wonder Wheel seems to be currently running on the same algorithm as Google’s related Search Terms at the bottom of the SERPs. Let’s investigate (getting into my batman detective mode, don’t judge me…) Now, if we get out of our search options and do a regular old search for Mexican food, these are the related search terms at the bottom of the SERPs.

Coincidence? Perhaps. Let’s see if it’s the real deal. When we click on Mexican clothing in wonder wheel, this is the new wheel that pops up:

And when we click Mexican clothing from the list of related search terms Google offered us, we got this at the bottom of the SERP:

Once again it’s identical. Now the related search terms has been out for a few weeks now, maybe longer, so while Wonder Wheel is currently using the same results this may change in the future. Either way, it’s pretty exciting. Ultimately I think this could be a great way to discover related words to target for any link building and keyword strategies. Not to mention, it’s just a lot of fun to use. What are your thoughts on these new features from Google? Tell us what you think!

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  • Awesome article Erin! Oh and thanks for the shout out. I’ve been using the “Searches related to:” and Google Insights for Search for keyword research lately. Great tools to find those golden nugget terms. But Wonder Wheels visual interpretation is pretty radical!

  • Erin

    anytime sherman, you rock. Yeah I’m stoked to see what comes of using this as a tool to find new keywords and related terms. Not to mention some of the other features. I know there are plenty of times I just want to read reviews, or just want to see videos. Very cool stuff from G.