Google have arranged a press event for today during which they say there will be big announcements about search that "you won't want to miss". See this post from searchengineland.com for more details. There is lots of speculation around as to what they are going to announce and Matt Cutts has been tweeting how excited he is, bless him, but here are 5 things I would like to see Google announce today:
1) 'We are going to sort out local search'
At some point I think one of us is going to do a long, ranty, epic blog post about this subject. For now all I am going to say is that it is full of an enourmous amount of glitches and support for it is very poor. Not a day goes by without me seeing a tweet or blog post moaning about this issue. It would be nice if Google could spend a little bit more time correcting some of the issues.
2) 'We are going to eliminate the Google Gap'
The Google Gap as it has become known is the disparity between the data that Google gives you and the actual data. Many people complain that the Google Adwords tool gives inaccurate data, for example. Another classic example is the new feature which appeared in Webmaster Tools in April which gave data on impressions and clickthrough rates for all the different keyphrases. It was greeted with some excitement at the time, until people started to check against analytics and realised the data wasn't very accurate. Oh.
3) 'We are going to give you better backlink data'
It is a long established and well known fact amongst SEO types that Yahoo is much better at backlink analysis than Google, whether it be through Yahoo Site Explorer or the 'linkdomain:' operator. Google does give you backlink data for your own sites though Webmaster Tools but it only shows you a small sample of the links you actually have, and it does have its own 'link:' operator which can be used for seeing competitors links but again it is next to useless for detailed competitor link analysis. Google has its reasons for not wanting to show every single backlink, but seeing as better data is available from other sources anyway maybe it is time for them to improve the backlink data just a little bit at least?
4) 'We are going to stop copying Bing'
There have been a few things which Google have done recently which looked suspiciously like they were trying to emulate things which Bing had already done. The example which got the most coverage recently was the 'Bingle-gate' incident in June which caused a lot of fuss at the time, see Dave's blog post on the matter for a reminder. Surely as the industry leader they should be taking the lead with their own innovations, rather than copying some of the more popular features of their competitors? Just a thought.
5) 'We are going to have more logos like the Pacman one'
They are the company that revolutionised search and are a colossus amongst colossuses but for me the playable Pacman logo they came up with in May is pretty close to being the best thing Google have ever done. It kept people entertained for hours and even though it was only there for a short while it managed to gobble up a total of 5 million hours of work time which cost companies £83million in business. Can I be the first to request a Space Invaders one for next time?