Last week Google introduced their latest attempt to personalize the search experience, Google stars. This works by providing you with a star marker that shows up next to your search results. If you like a site, simply click the star, and the site will be starred for future related searches.
What does this mean for your online business? Showing up in search results is still key, but now, how you show up in those search results is even more important. By allowing users to star your site for future searches, Google stars is giving you the opportunity to turn users in the “research” phase into potential customers—and one-time buyers into long-term customers.
Here’s how it could work. Let’s say you have been tasked with finding and purchasing new shirts for your company’s softball team. The players on this team are known for being a bit persnickety, and the white t-shirt with the company logo will not do. So, you begin searching the web for a design that provides function and fashion.
You start by trying to settle on a style. Your search query is “softball t-shirts”. After searching through a number of basic, uninspired sites, you find a site that offers hundreds of different styles and colors. Perfect. Now you need to get a logo idea.
Your next search query is “softball logos”. After compiling a number of logo options, you send them out for the team to vote on. Three weeks later, when all the votes are in, you have your new shirt design.
Now, it’s time to order your shirts. Your final search query, “create custom softball shirts”, provides you with a daunting list of sites offering custom designs and graphics. Now, if you could only remember that site you came across three weeks ago. Oh, well. Looks like the white t-shirt will have to do.
How could Google stars change this? Well, when you performed your first search for “softball t-shirts”, if you had Google stars enabled, you could have “starred” that site you found. Then three weeks later, when you searched for “create custom softball shirts”, that site could have shown up above the regular search results with a star by it.
So, who will Google stars impact? It will impact sites that position well, provide a good user experience and have the ability to quickly impact users in a positive way. Does that sound like your site?