The industry has been busy debating the consequences of a new search results test by Google which could have a serious negative impact on SEO campaign measurement and success.
Several industry experts have weighed into the discussion, pointing at the idea that Google could be using the AJAX results to force more people across to their analytics service. Peter Da Vanzo, via Aaron Walls SEObook blog, had this to say:
“Trouble is, what happens to existing tools? Plugins? Rank checkers? Stats and other referral tracking packages? All tools that rely on Google passing data in order to work… Perhaps the only place you’ll be able to get this data is Google Analytics? Is this the next step – a lock-in?”
Matt McGee reached out to the team at Google to garner some more insight on the tests, and these are the responses he received.
And a second response…
“Currently AJAX results are just a test on Google. At this time only a small percentage of users will see this experiment. It is not our intention to disrupt referrer tracking, and we are continuing to iterate on this project and are actively working towards a solution. As we continue experiments, we hope that this test may ultimately provide an easier solution for our customers and a faster experience for our users. For more information on the experiments that we run on Google search, please see http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/04/this-is-test-this-is-only-test.html”
Now if this test is solely for the purposes of speeding up the search experience, I think they’re wasting time and energy on an issue that doesn’t exist.
When you consider that a search for the very generic term “food” takes a whopping 0.14 secs to find 843,000,000 results – I don’t think speed is an issue they should worry about.
Do you think the test is really about faster results and better experience? or Do you think Google are really just trying to force users across to Google Analytics.
Share your opinions below…