Is Pinterest Guided Search More Innovative than Googling Now?

Someone go take the temperature of the guys over at Google because they must be fuming.

In a search engine world largely dominated and dictated by the Google team, Pinterest has stepped up to the plate and knocked one out of the park.

If you’ve been using Pinterest mobile, you’ve likely noticed the new Guided Search feature. But in a few weeks, Guided Search is going to roll out onto desktop browsers, giving us the first major innovation in big search engines not named Bing or Google in a while.

Guided Search from Pinterest Rolling Out from Mobile to Desktop

In fact, it’s an even bigger innovation than anything Google has rolled out in a while (Google Flights being awesome, but not really new). If you aren’t familiar with Guided Search or you aren’t using Pinterest for your social marketing campaigns, it goes like this: you enter your search terms and instead of just getting one SERP, you get ten or twenty.

The thing is each of these SERPs are a broken down category for your query. For example, if you search for “sleepwear,” you’ll see categories such as “men’s, women’s, children’s, quilts, down comforters,” etc. This means the searcher has many more options at their fingertips and further, the marketer has a ton more categories to work into.

From a marketer’s standpoint, this is about as targeted as you can get. You can literally define your products right down to the letter, getting yourself more targeted leads, more qualified leads, and ultimately, more high-converting traffic to your site.

This works particularly well with Pinterest since all Pins can be linked directly back to your site, but imagine if Google picked up on this?

Imagine Google added categories and showed pictures of your products that gave an instant link back to your website, without having to go through the extra steps (which has a fairly large loading time for some users). The bottom line is that this might be a game changer and something that Google definitely cannot ignore, it’s likely that they are already discussing it. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some type of guided suggestion by category in the future from Google (or maybe Bing).

Google Should Follow Pinterest’s Lead

So why has Guided Search only been on mobile and tablet devices until now? Well, a whopping 75% of all Pinterest users are on mobile devices or tablets (take note all of you mobile marketing gurus, this is where you want to be). The question is, is this last 25% of customers worth ticking off the big dogs at Google?

Absolutely.

One quarter of your sales is a huge market and it’s ridiculous to think that Google will be petty enough to dig something up on Pinterest to somehow punish them for being more innovative than them, right?

Let’s hope so.

Let’s hope that Google stands up and takes notice. The search engine game is changing and not just on the back end to keep marketers guessing at algorithms and semantic searches.

While it might not seem like much right now, that little edge that you have knowing about how Pinterest Guided Search works will help you better categorize your Pins so that you show up in more result pages than your competition.

The user end is changing and the more that we, as internet marketers, stay up on that, the more edge we’ll have over our competition.

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What are Your Keys to SEO Success for the Rest of 2014?

SEO is an ever-changing field, constantly putting new metrics at the forefront of importance.

Depending on what the search engine companies are doing and what the consumers are responding to, it’s our job as internet marketers (if we want to make any money doing this) to stay on top of the latest trends and appease the mighty search engine and consumer gods. Here’s how to do it for the rest of 2014 (and possibly into 2015).

Are You Handling Your Website Correctly?

1. Website speed is a huge issue, not just for consumers, but now also with the search engines. With mobile sites being more and more popular, if your sites aren’t loading fast (and optimized for mobile visitors), you are going to find yourself with less traffic.

Google has said as much in a roundabout way, telling us that they are looking at website speed a lot closer, especially as mobile searches become predominate.

2. Branding for the top spots on Google search works pretty well if you’re hitting the one, two or three spots on the SERPs, but after that, it’s all about keywords and relevance. If no one in your niche is branding their efforts, you might consider making a run for the top and implementing a cohesive branded message into your marketing.

3. Internal links continue to be a hot topic, though now that we have some returned data on the Google updates and what they consider “ideal,” we now know that 180 internal links is the magic number.

This number was derived as the average across meta data gathered from thousands of websites, so keep your own customer’s in mind when internal linking. What you don’t want is to overkill with the links so that they become overwhelmed.

4. Full content is in, with higher-ranking websites having not just longer content on average, but also content that was meaningful. Aggregate content is losing tons of ground so don’t be empty and short, but even worse, don’t be empty and long.

Keep the keywords relevant and mix in your LSIs. Also, we’re starting to see a more educated reader base, meaning the old rule of “write to a third grade level” is out the window. Write to your target audience, whatever that is. Don’t be afraid to get smart.

5. Social shares and Google +1′s are a good sign that you are creating good content. Use that as a metric to see what road you’re headed down: good or bad. Of course, if you’re getting the social shares and still not ranking, chances are you should look into the back end of your website with off-page SEO.

6. The metrics that affect your ranking have changed. Click through rates are big ranking weights while bounce rates have very little affect on your website’s ranking. You should also pay attention to time spent on your site as that has a slight affect on your ranking as well.

What Else Should You be Doing?

In addition to working to get your site ranked, we’re predicting that Google Authorship from your Google+ account is finally going to start having a big impact on your rankings now that some of the bugs were worked out thanks to the Panda 4.0 release.

Other than that, it’s pretty much smooth sailing and keeping an eye out for updates and new releases. Watch for Google My Business, which was just released, as was Google Analytic Universal Integration.

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