Author Topic: Google preview and colours  (Read 7619 times)

Gurtie

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Google preview and colours
« on: November 10, 2010, 02:06:16 PM »
I know some of you have onlne retail selling products of many colours.

I'm wondering whether to respec sites which currently have 1 page for Widget A, available in red, blue and yellow. to have 3 pages for Red Widget A, Blue Widget A and Yellow Widget A. Primarily this is a CTR thing - I suspect that a site with a pic of the right colour widget will get chosen over one with only a random colour pic and some colour swatches.

The preview seems to be an on the fly .jpg generated from the cache, which rules out both detecting some type of string and returning the right image when the snapshot is taken (which might have worked if it were real time) or doing something with a .gif showing all colours. Flash doesn't show anything. Showing all colours as large pics on the one page would need a total redesign and when you have 10 colours would be impractical.

I know amazon have been doing this for years and sometimes as a website user it gets annoying, even with similar products options. I'd rather get the click and risk annoying someone than not get them on the site in the first place though......

Anyone have opinions?

Gurtie

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 02:29:42 PM »
try slankets

http://www. amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=slanket&x=0&y=0

you will see that the identical product in red, blue, etc is each given a seperate product page which then shows other coloured products by various means.

if you search Google for 'blue slanket' amazon are top, compare their preview with the firebox preview which shows a pic of a brown one and then blue in the swatches.

Unfortunately for some sites (leather goods for example) the colour differences on swatches aren't that marked. If its a 'red leather widget' you need a large well lit pic to show the redness. showing a black one with a some swatches is crap - try looking at the google preview of this www.chesterfieldheritage.co.uk/gainsborough-office-chair.html (not my site)

4Eyes

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2010, 02:37:21 PM »
I know what you mean -  not investigated how the damn thing works myself, but what you are suggesting makes perfect sense.

If the are searching for 'yellow coats', then you want the preview image to show a very yellow image of a coat.

It might even make sense to colour code whole sections of the page somewhat if it can be done without damaging branding.

jangro

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2010, 02:39:59 PM »
So this is annoying on Amazon because as a shopper you'd just rather to see one page with multiple color options on it?

I think I agree with that in principle, but in practice as a frequent Amazon shopper I can't say that it has annoyed me.  Millions of other Amazon shoppers apparently aren't bothered by it either.

As for CTR and impact on search, it would probably be would be worth testing on one product to see what happens instead of potentially making a mess of the whole site.

Instead of blowing out the number of pages on your site creating one per color per product, maybe there's a design where you could show multiple colors of the product in thumbnails below the main image, big enough so they're not crap.  Might be enough to entice clicks without impacting user experience for the sake of getting search clicks.

Gurtie

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2010, 03:09:47 PM »
It might even make sense to colour code whole sections of the page somewhat if it can be done without damaging branding.

That would definately be a nice test, it might be easier to create a colour themed page by adding other same coloured products - I think redcandy.co.uk might be a nice template to work from :)

As for CTR and impact on search, it would probably be would be worth testing on one product to see what happens instead of potentially making a mess of the whole site.
it would. I curse templated sites and argumentative developers.

  >>the Ajax workaround , a simple included JavaScript, to enable specific colours.

mmmm. i wonder how little I can change product descriptions without falling foul of dupe issues?

rcjordan

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2010, 06:37:18 PM »
I can tell you that it will draw the CTR because in many types of items color or finish IS actually the basis of the deep search.  This is particularly true for items that are, say, commonly available as a model but some colors are not often in stock, rare, or obsolete.  For instance, I can find plenty of Delta faucet part RP5649 (the default finish is chrome). But if I want a RP5649 in Venetian Bronze most of the sites are still going to only have chrome available when I go there.  After a few false trails, the first one that actually shows the Venetian Bronze finish in the mouseover is going to get the order.

rcjordan

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2010, 07:31:02 PM »
>plumbing

Yes. The family business is a small electrical and plumbing wholesale distributorship. I'm 1/3rd owner but -since 1999- largely inactive in management except for 'overview' items such as audits, tax, legal, insurance, etc.

add to that "construction"

About 40 years ago the business forked and subsequently split into commercial real estate development --we did our own building.

Between the 2 businesses above, I grew up immersed in the trades.  So up to and including light commercial work, yeah, I can plumb with the best of them.  Wiring, too.

What's that they say? Jack of all trades, but master of none.


4Eyes

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2010, 02:00:44 AM »
Having looked at a few more sites using preview, it seems logical that sites that have a top banner that includes the main generic keyphrase in REALLY big letters will also get a CTR boost.

My spam sites that do this were really standing out compared to the 'better quality' sites with fussy branding crap at the top.

sean

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2010, 06:45:00 AM »
Slightly off topic, but if you want to suppress site preview, google says in a webmaster central post that it is currently respecting "nosnippet" (meta tag or x-robots-tag). Be aware that nosnippet will suppress the text summary/snippet and set noachive as well (or at least it use to work that way, haven't tested it in a while).  Bing uses "nopreview" which I think Google should honor instead, but who am I to say so :-)

4Eyes

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2010, 02:07:06 PM »
Another observation.....

If you have adsense layouts that are ...ermmmm.... 'designed to enhance the experience for those visitors that like adverts', then your preview looks petty awful.

I have a few sites that are only showing adsense to visitors that come from SERPs (ie. detect and cookie them)

These look pretty as a picture in the preview :)

I started doing this over a year ago as part of a longer term experiment to see how it affected earnings compared to showing adsense to every visitor. The idea was that it made the site more 'linkable to'. Overall, revenue held up pretty well, and in some niches was up a fair bit.  Not a very scientific test, but I saw no noticeable drop in earnings - I left it running to see if I experienced any 'down side'. I saw none, but then I got distracted and never got round to implementing it 'empire wide'.

jangro

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2010, 02:23:19 PM »
> another observation

and youtube videos don't show, leaving a big empty space that doesn't exactly say 'click me'

At least flash embeds don't.  I wonder about html5.

Gurtie

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2010, 02:28:30 PM »
I'm trying to work quite a few things out at the moment, its not just a case of leaving a blank space, in a couple of instances its also screwing the formatting where it takes flash out so the screenshot has elements in the wrong places.

jangro

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2010, 02:55:21 PM »
> html5 video does not render

Yeah, I went hunting and discovered the same. 

I'm going to experiment with using a static thumbnail of the video and a lightbox presentation.  And maybe also put the plain old embedded video down at the bottom where it won't make such a mess for folks who can't see the lightbox for whatever reason. 

> I like this fundamental shift a LOT

I share your enthusiasm.

Gurtie

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Adam C

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Re: Google preview and colours
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2010, 02:25:29 PM »
A few observations:

If a preview isn't already stored, they will go off and get one on your request...

Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (en-us) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko; Google Web Preview) Version/3.1 Safari/525.13

Much like Google spidering, it looks as though the preview bot spiders from US IP's.

There may be multiple datacenters storing the previews.  Different images for the same URL have been spotted at the same time, accessing from different IP's.

Just a hunch, and not really delved in to verify this, but looks to me like the Preview bot is accepting cookies.

Added:  this gives a bit more insight  https://sites.google.com/site/webmasterhelpforum/en/faq-instant-previews
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 02:28:49 PM by Adam C »