The Google Tab Theory

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Danny Sullivan discussed his “Invisible Tabs” theory during his keynote speech at the Search Engine Strategies conference. Google’s recent release of their book search lends credibility to this theory, and points in the direction Google’s heading.

Learn more about the invisible tab theory.

It Started With Google Print. I started today learning as much as I could about Google’s new Print program, which provides Google-built book pages in their search results. If you search for “Watership Down” you’ll find, way down in the search results, a page built by Google that includes an excerpt, publisher, author, ISBN number, and places to buy the book.

After reading as much as I could, I called Shari Thurow, Marketing Director of Grantastic Designs, speaker at Search Engine Strategies, and author of today’s feature article on keyword research.

Click here to read the complete interview and post your comments.

Expert opinion. I asked her if she thinks the new service is here to stay. She sincerely hopes so. But will Google Print replace Amazon book search? “I use Amazon all the time. I’m an Amazon affiliate, but what I like about Google is it’s a simple interface and the ads aren’t in your face.”

There you have it – Google cutting in on one of the other online giants.

But what’s significant about Google Print to you, who may or may not be an author or publisher?

More Evidence Towards The Invisible Tab Theory. In Danny Sullivan’s keynote speech at the Search Engine Strategies session, he proposed that Google’s moving towards an “Invisible Tabs” method of delivering search results. You’re already familiar with Google’s visible tabs: Froogle, News, Images, Directory, Groups, etc… These are all ways for the user to decide what information he gets.

The invisible tabs work behind the scenes, intuiting what types of information the user is searching for based on the search terms. Google will increasingly press tabs for you, so that if you type in “dog pictures” it will deliver selections from its images database, along side results of web pages with the keywords you typed in.

You need to pay attention, now more than ever, to Google’s classifications of types of information.

For Now. For you news sites out there pay attention to how Google’s listing news stories in the News section. (and write to news-feedback@google.com to get your site listed) Same with images – how many of you have your images optimized to show up nicely in Google’s image search? You don’t think optimizing your images for Google is important? We Google search images every day here in the newsroom. And Froogle — please, if you sell products, set up a direct feed. It’s free, and they’re putting their Froogle listings right there at the top of search results. This is, as my dad would say, a no-brainer.

For The Future. Pay attention to the Google Print program. It and Froogle are key examples of how Google’s becoming increasingly modular, and able to know which modules to include for a given search term.

One key element I see missing is a services search. Froogle covers the product search, but requires, for now, that the products be sold through a shopping cart. When the services search launches, or any other new “invisible tab,” I’ll be sure to keep you up to date on its development, and how you can get your information to rank.

Here’s my brief interview with a Google spokesperson regarding the new Google Print Program.

Here’s the Google Print FAQ page.

Here’s Google’s page for publishers and writers interested in submitting their work to the Print program.

Danny Sullivan’s article on the Invisible Tabs Theory.

Questions? Comments? Send them in!

Have a good one!
Garrett + WebProNews Team

Garrett French is the editor of iEntry’s eBusiness channel. You can talk to him directly at WebProWorld, the eBusiness Community Forum.

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