Google’s new; Google Related toolbar or extension was released on the 16th of August. As explained in Google’s video of the Related feature, the toolbar shows relevant information to the web page that you are viewing. The information ranges quite a lot, from web pages to all sorts of media; Related shows you most relevant content on the web.
The Related feature is available on both Chrome and Internet Explorer. Now as I have previously discussed, in a comparison of the browsers, Google’s Chrome and IE are the biggest browsers going, this gives the related feature possibly the biggest exposure possible.
The toolbar pops up at the bottom of your chosen browser and is relatively small considering the information that is displayed.
The information is categorized and laid out quite neatly. I think this is quite simple considering how complex the actual idea of it is. Another good feature of Related is that it shows an image of the page or piece of media that is displayed, so at first glance you know what is available.
One of the most convenient things about Related is that when media is shown, you are not redirected to another page, you can actually stay on page and view the video. I think this is a great feature as it makes receiving information easier than ever, and more things are in one place.
So How Does It Work?
I have conducted my own trial and error research, attempting to understand how this tool works. Now I started on our home page, SEO Positive, and I control F’d (found) how many times SEO popped up. Now when I looked at the related pages… there was a definite trend between the amount of keywords, and the pages that are less relevant obviously have less keywords. I can safely say that the Related tool does not just pick up on one keyword, it uses all keywords and searches through Google’s index to find the most related pages.
The site that leads me to believe this was HPSEO, now HP in this sense, stands for High Position, and this phrase crops up frequently on their site. As a result of this, other irrelevant pages and media showed up, also due to the fact that they also used the term High Position often. This gives me evidence that Related picks up on all keywords and finds other sites using keywords to a similar frequency.
What Does This Mean for SEO?
There are, from what I have already seen, a few effects that Related is going to cause. The first would be that pages with lower SERP will see a decrease in the amount of traffic they receive; this is due to users being able to visit the top sites and navigate to similar sites through Google Related.
Another factor is that brand names that are not huge, will share relevancy with companies who happen to have similar names, even if they are in a completely different niche. This is likely to annoy users as in actual fact it is not related at all, however it is extremely difficult for a program to make a judgement like that. Although companies with a huge brand awareness will not experience this problem, if anything this could actually benefit them, and I think that in most cases it will.
Finally the last effect I can forsee is that if Google Related proves to be popular, then we will see web sites attempting to game this tool, I can imagine that they will target keywords on a competitors page and make sure their site comes first in the related section.
Google’s Related tool is, at the end of the day, a useful tool. I know I will continue to use it, however other users can find toolbars to be a bit of a nuisance, that being said this extension could change everything or it may just gather dust. I would recommend to experiment with this tool and prepare yourself for what could happen.