There are so many channels to push your message out today. Back when I was first interested in marketing, I was super into connecting with consumers at the right time with the most useful message. Then, I found search and took to that. I like other channels such as paid social and display advertising; I like learning about them. That said, I absolutely love search because it helps lost people find information they are looking for.
Here a just a few things that excite me about search right now:
- Machine Learning – This means Google’s algorithm is getting smarter. A smarter algorithm is also more complex. As a result, traditional methods such as keyword usage and links are not the only consideration for marketers doing SEO. Still important but not the only options. User metrics like exit rate, time on site, and bounce rate, are sending signals to Google, who might be using those to determine if they should continue to show your page in search results. A machine learning algorithm means Google can know if your page helped its user complete their task. The more times you help different users complete that task, the more valuable your page can become.
- Mobile – Right now Google has a lot of happy users. We know that because of how many people use Google. However, due to the rise of the handheld computer (aka smartphone), behavior is changing as it relates to search. How people search is changing. They might start their session on mobile during their morning commute but then finish on desktop at work. Google is making significant investments in mobile to make sure users stay happy. Some things they are pushing right now are deep linking, accelerated more pages, and answer boxes. I noticed this Google branded PDF and interactive answer box as well (I think this is going on for a lot of medical queries right now):
- Voice Search: Personally, I have been using voice search for a few months now for a lot of different uses. If I want to set an alarm, I use voice search. If I want to call or text someone, I use voice search rather than navigating there using my finger. Google recently made updates to their voice search and they are also advertising the feature on TV.
This stuff is interesting, and I like playing with new stuff that ties to search behavior. I also find it interesting that it is not guaranteed some of this stuff sticks. Google is pushing deep links and also more recently Accelerated Mobile Pages; however, it is not given that consumers will take to the SERP results these new inputs create. Even if Google tests things and pushes changes that have statistically significant results, I believe that nothing is guaranteed.