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Jewelers Must Give Up On Bridal Sales

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We're sorry this Daily Golden Nugget is so long, but it didn't make sense to split it. YOU MUST READ THIS. WE HOPE IT CHANGES YOUR WAY OF THINKING!

The web changes way too fast for mere mortals to really keep up, we estimate there are drastic changes every two months. In March 2012, Google changed the way they rank keyword phrases, and they announced their changes at the beginning on April 2012.

We took a close look at this and figured out how these changes affect the retail jeweler. As a comparison we we're jumping back to Daily Golden Nugget #398 from February 1, 2012... In other words, just two months ago.

We need to revisit these phrases so you understand how to adjust your blogging strategies and keyword usage:
* wedding ring stores
* jewelry stores
* jewelry
* wedding ring
* bridal jewelry

Before we dive into our findings, we should explain what changes Google actually announced. During March 2012 they tested a more accurate way to identify words that relate together, and if words are siblings of one another based on the context of a page. They say their goal is to always have a better search experience, i.e. search results that people actually want, or expect.

We don't know exactly how they figure out what people want, but we're sure the accumulated wealth of search data spanning back to 2004 helps them peek into the secret desires of "the people." Years ago there was an example of this showing how this accumulated data helped understand that searches for "java" would return programming results to some people and coffee results to others.

Searching for "wedding ring stores"
Top Similar Results:
* Shop
* Store
* Jewelry
* Engagement Rings
* Wedding Rings
* Wedding Ring Shop
* Wedding Ring Store

The last time we tried this search we had several top results including the phrases "bridal rings" and "bridal."

We expected to see "Bridal Rings" this time too, but that phrase was greatly filtered out and only occurred once in a sample set of 100, and only because the resulting page also used the word "shop" in their title.


Searching for "jewelry stores"
Top Similar Results:
* Jewelry
* Store
* Shop
* Jewelers
* Jewelry store
* Jewelry Stores
* Shopping

Our results last time included several pages with the word "buy" because somehow Google was relating "stores" to "buy." We're happy to see this one is cleaned up.


Searching for "jewelry"
Top Results Include:
* Jewelry
* Jewelers

Uh oh. There's a problem here! The UK spelling of "jewellery" is nowhere to be found when searching for the US spelling of "jewelry."

That's going to upset those jewellers in the UK that sell into the United States! Meanwhile the search for "jewellery" now returns exclusively non US stores that actually use the spelling jewellery. Many of the websites are now .co.uk and .com.au.

Google has learned how to differentiate US vs. UK English spelling and created a real disconnect. UK jewelers will now have to create customized websites to target "jewelry" and US retailers will now have to create customized websites to target "jewellery."

We're chalking this one up to the need to have specific content on your web pages for specific purposes.


Searching for "wedding ring"
Top Similar Results:
* Wedding ring
* Wedding rings
* Engagement Ring
* Engagement Rings

We're losing the bridal battle here... The last time we tried this search we had several top results including the phrases "bridal rings" and "bridal." Now that's all gone.


Searches for "wedding" by itself now seem to only return pages relating to "wedding" planning. Nothing jewelry related was found in our results. Last time we tested this "wedding" also triggered "engagement" and "bridal" results.

Searches for "engagement" by itself now seem to return more pages relating to "engagement" by itself, as in Facebook Engagement, or Marketing Engagement, and fewer pages relating to rings and weddings.

It seems like the word "bridal" by itself is now completely disconnected from the jewelry industry according to Google.

Searching for "bridal"
Top Similar Results:
* Bride
* Bridal
* Wedding planning
* Bridal gowns
* Bridal shoes


Searching for "bridal jewelry"
Top Similar Results:
* Bridal jewelry
* Wedding jewelry
* Jewelry
* Wedding
* Bridal


We weren't satisfied with the removal of the word "bridal" for the standard jeweler's lexicon, so we dug a little deeper to figure out what might create this disconnect. We headed over to the Google Insights tool and compared some results for ourselves. (http://www.google.com/insights/search)

As a quick review we looked at the 3 phrases "bridal jewelry," "wedding ring," and "bridal ring." The comparison scale was normalized, and for simplicity sake we'll refer to them as percentages of interest. The bridal phrases measure less than 10% interest back in 2004 and that's declined to less than 5% in 2011. Meanwhile the search for "wedding ring" shows about 70% interest back in 2004, declining through the years, but stepping back up to 70% again during 2011.

It seems like Google is showing us what people want, and they don't want "Bridal" jewelry any more.
AT: 04/20/2012 09:24:15 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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