Tag Archive for google widgets

USDA interactive Food Results

As part of Google’s expansion of knowledge graph and building out interactive modules to keep users within their SERPs we now have knowledge graph built around USDA data on food. Matthew Barby first noticed it earlier today and in tests I did it was consistently showing so I thought I’d explore what other search queries it would show up for and was surprised to see how many search queries it was showing up on.

It seems to work on slang terms as “Booze low in Sugar” activates the interactive knowledge graph seen below.  You can select type of food, quantity and all the nutritional facts on the right hand side will change and you don’t have to refresh the page or click through to any website to get the data you want and it seems About.com misses out on that traffic and revenue from onsite adsense banners.

booze-low

 

Also if you search for “alcohol low in sugar” and once again About.com seems to miss out on that potential traffic and again misses out on a heap of revenue they previously received.

alcohol-low

The USDA data also works for “vegetables low in iron” and this time SFGate.com misses out on that potential traffic and the user stays in Google. These types of results are painful for sites like SFGate.com that have created interesting ever-green pieces of content and have long benefited from a large share of organic traffic until now.vegies-low-iron

If you search for “vegetables low in carbs” and once again About.com seems to miss out on that potential traffic and adsense impressions and clicks.
vegies-low-carbs

If you search for “milk low in iron” and once again KidsHealth.org a health focused non-profit website run by Nemours seems to miss out on that potential traffic which is possibly not ideal long term.
milk-low-iron

If you search for “fruit low in sugar” and once again About.com seems to miss out on that potential traffic and a huge amount of valuable adsense clicks.
low-sugar

So What does this mean for website owners?

You can see from the sample heat-map test with Feng-GUI.com that a majority of the users focus is just on the Google knowledge widget and not on the organic search results. This means many industry, government and media sites like About.com will now miss out a huge amount of organic traffic.  I wonder when Google might try and start to monetise these results and without more context and details around these types of results are users really getting the complete picture and best advice?

Heat Map Test

Google Weather Widget Expands to Desktop Results

Google has continued it’s progression to kill off organic results in place of Google properties with it’s recent expanded weather widget. The previous widget shown below only pushed the organic results down 1 position but did steal a lot of traffic from weather and new websites when it was first improved to the version you see below. There was less of a reason to click through to the organic results or detailed forecast links unless you wanted more days or much more specific weather information. Within Australia we have something of a weather obsession and according to Google Keyword Tool around 823,000 search a month just for “Melbourne Weather”.

Sydney Weather

Frederic Lardinois from Techcrunch highlighted in July 2012 that Google rolled out a new interactive weather widget on Android and iOS devices, but it wasn’t until today that I saw this new weather widget expand to desktop devices. The new interactive widget is now available for all desktop search queries around weather.

Google-weather

What does this mean for organic?

The new expanded and improved widget now occupies around 4-5 organic results as you can see from the comparison below. The impact for news/weather websites that used to show in positions 5-8 are now no longer showing above the fold, the results just look like a giant weather widget even on a 24 inch monitor. The widget potential impact on a smaller screen device such as a laptop would be cataclysmic with likely no organic results would be shown any more.

The impact on their organic traffic will likely be extremely high as the widget appears to have been rolled out on both Google.com.au and Google.com instead of the standard phased rollout that has been done previously.

Since the visitors don’t have to visit these weather websites any more there advertising powered business models are at risk, they can no longer trust that Google will fairly show a healthy mix of organic results around weather queries.

Google Results Comparison

How does the widget change search behaviour?

Using Feng-Gui.com I was able to run a quick heatmap test to show the dramatic impact on user attention with the new widget with the organic results showing below just completely ignored. The change in behaviour will mean that even if the organic results are showing in top 3 positions they will likely barely get any attention from most users.

Google Heatmap Melbourne

Who are the losers in organic?

For my sample query shown above “Melbourne weather” I see the big losers that are all still technically on the first page of results sorted from low to high impact being:

  1. TheAge.com.au
  2. AccuWeather.com
  3. Weather.Ninemsn.com.au
  4. Cita.Utoronto.Ca
  5. ABC.net.au
  6. TimeandDate.com
  7. Weather.Yahoo.com.au

Insights: TimeandDate.com have continually had to battle against Google widgets first with “local city time”, then with “sunrise/sunset times” and now with “detailed weather”. Time & Date have to ensure they have commercial partnerships and a mobile app strategy in play as Google is gunning for their traffic in a big way!

What’s next…

Google no longer has to worry about FTC probe into their search behaviours of favouring Google products and expect to see more of their widgets expand to occupy more organic results. Google is slowly killing off organic results in favour of their products so you can expect that this type of half-page widget will expand to Movies, Travel and any other high traffic term such as TV guides.