Related Searches result on Google SERP

Recently I have again noticed the “related searches” when I have Googled terms such as “running shoe” or “road bike” (getting ready for triathlon season again!). I noticed that Google is suggesting certain “brands”, “stores”, or “types” of the phrase I am searching. There is not much information about this I can find on the web, so I would like to offer my input as to what is going on here and how to show up in these “related searches” –please chime in if anyone has more input.

Google with me…

Google is constantly testing new pieces of their algorithm, constantly trying to provide better results to the end user. I see these related search results as yet another test and possible change to help refine that algorithm and search results, as well as gain better insight as to how people query (correlating the original search phrase to what they clicked next can give great statistical data to help further refine SERPs).  My observation is that the top results on the first page for “road bike” are somewhat linked to what items show up in many of the results of the “brands” and “stores” related search results. For example, of the first page results for “road bike”, 5 of the websites also show up in the related searches results. It also appears that major brands that may not show on the first page are also showing up here.  Interestingly enough however, when I search “road bike brands”, the results do not correlate to the “brands” showing up in the related search results when searching just “road bike”. So where Google is actually pulling this information from seems a bit unknown, but it does reflect some of the major brands in the industry. (The same thing happens when I search “road bike stores” and compare it to the related search results found when I search “road bike” – no good correlation)

What is also interesting is that when one of these related search results is clicked, it doesn’t take you directly to say Trek, it gives you the search results for “Trek road bike”. This also leads me to believe that Google is doing some heavy statistical analysis of the click paths to figure out better pathways and results to give users.

Showing up in the Related Search Results?

Good question. Best bet at this point from the information and deductive reasoning that I can come up with is to have a great SEO strategy in place that is not just generally focused on one keyword. The more expansively focused (meaning long tail), aged, and serious your SEO strategy, the more likely you will be considered a major player in that industry, and possibly the more likely Google will be to include you in these related search results. At this point it looks like you’ve got to be an REI or an Amazon to be considered.