You Know Google, But Do You Know ALL the Google Search Engines?
by smallbiztrends, Guest Blogger
- Created: May 11, 2010, 9:48 am
I;s a pretty big move. Google, which during the 12 years of its existence rarely changed the layout of its pages, recently rolled out a new 3-column format in place of its 2-column format.
Now when you do a search, the Google search results still contain a column down the right side with nothing but Google AdWords (sponsored links). To the left of that are the search results themselves.
But these days yo-ll find a new left column, where you can now see several links. The links allow you to further refine or expand your searches. The official Google blog has this to say* about its new left column:
'W-ve added contextually relevant, left-hand navigation to the page. This new side panel highlights the most relevant search tools and refinements for your query. Over the past three years, we've launched Universal Search*, the Search Options panel* and Google Squared*, and i's those three technologies that power the left-hand panel.'
Of course, not everyone is impressed* with the changes.
But whether you like or hate the layout, there is at least one new feature I think you may find valuable. I's the links to various'vertica' search engines that Google maintains.
Most people search the main Google index. But if you click on some of the new left-side navigation links, they let you search specialized Google search engines dedicated just for books, videos, images, news, shopping or blogs. (Open up the'Mor' link for a drop-down box to see a variety of specialized search engines to search).
There are even engines you can search just for Twitter tweets 'Update') and for forum and social media site commentary (Discussions).
And if you really dig deep, you'll find Google's U.S. Government search engine*.
What's the value of these vertical search engines? Simple: you can drill down more quickly to the right results and the detail needed to satisfy your search. For instance, if you were searching for a particular book or a reference you knew was contained in a book, you could go directly to the Books search in Google and just get results related to books. Likewise, if you are trying to see what people are saying about a topic on Twitter right now, you'd go directly to the Updates search section. Why mess around bringing back irrelevant search results containing information of many different types from many different sources, if you know you are just looking for books, or tweets, or some other particular source?
The Google vertical search engines have been around for a while, with links to them across the top of the Google search pages. But by having the links on the left side, it's easier and just a bit quicker to drill down into them. And that saves us time and makes us more efficient.
This change highlights a key trend: the Web just keeps getting bigger and bigger - meaning you have to work harder and smarter for your business to be found online. It's all the more reason to develop a variety of content, of different types, so that your business can be found in as many of these vertical search engines as is relevant.
*Note: Hyperlink directs reader to non-government Web site.
* * * * *
Anita Campbell is the founder of Small Business Trends*, an online publication serving small businesses.
About the Author
My name is Anita Campbell. I run online communities and information websites reaching over 4 million small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, including Small Business Trends, a daily publication about small business issues, and BizSugar.com, a small business social media site.
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