Google is constantly experimenting with its search engine to determine the most profitable methods of providing both relevant organic search results and profitable PPC ads. Those working in SEO can certainly learn a great deal from keeping close tabs on any changes to SERPS in terms of what types of ads are running or who is advertising for certain keywords. Anyone working in search can be sure that all of the different changes that have taken place over the last few years have took place for a reason and were thoroughly A/B tested to measure up against conversion goals before being permanently implemented.
In order to put this information to use, it’s important to understand how Google does things. For example, knowing exactly how conversion rates are determined for an organic search result is important. How does Google determine conversion rates and what is it aiming for concerning organic results? In fact, it has been reported that Google likely relies on search engine user behavior after the query is made to help determine site links on Google. This means that a site that is popular among those searching for certain terms in that it gets many clicks after the query, it made show up over other sites that are more optimized.
The application of user behavior towards organic search results has been proven in several ways and has been noted repeatedly by optimizers. Furthermore, Google perhaps by accident gave away a little bit too much information when one of its engineers- Matthew Trewhella- revealed that he wasn’t quite as skilled as Matt Cutts at keeping Google’s secrets while still feeding out all sorts of not very helpful statements. Matthew Trewhella revealed during a Q&A session of SEOGadget that Google is in the process of attempting to create useful results for keywords that limit the amount of consequent queries a search engine user makes. Therefore, search results may now be influenced by not only a user’s behavior after an initial query, but also a user’s subsequent behavior in making additional search immediately afterwards.
Anyone who has worked in SEO for a while knows that you cannot always take Google statements on optimization at their face value. While Google might say a certain technique will no longer work, practically speaking any such statements are generally quickly disproven by optimizers almost immediately after they are made. When learning from Google, it is important to pick up on the implicit message and to do one’s own research using the search engine to make discoveries rather than believing things that Google says exactly as they are stated.