State of Search Today
No, search is not dead. The question as to whether or not search engine optimization is “dead” is one that might well be answered by stating,–the day people stop searching, search engine optimization will be pointless. Today, statistics show more people than ever are searching from all over the world, from all types of devices and for any and many reasons. They’re research-obsessed and searching in every single micro-moment.
There is no doubt, search engine optimization practices are, (or should be!), changing to keep up with voice search, AI and other new, influencing factors.
Humans understanding searcher intent, (answering the “why” and creating radically relevant content), at this time is still important in order to show up in search. As time goes on, searcher intent will most likely be easily and efficiently addressed by AI.
An Interesting Experiment
Neil Patel’s article, “ “, is intriguing. His goal was to see if he could generate more traffic to his site without content marketing. He acquired “Ubersuggest” and offered this cool keyword search tool for free. He made it bigger, better and required no login/account creation than comparable tools. Did you miss the word “free”? It worked. He achieved his goal by taking something people were used to paying for and made it free. According to Neil:
It’s easier than writing 7 blog posts a week and all I have to do is take what people love and pay for and give it all away for free.
It’s expensive. I thought I could do this for under $100,000 in development expenses and $15,000 a month in server expenses. Boy was I wrong.
I’m already spending around $122,312 a month on this tool and I don’t see the cost going down anytime soon.
My server bills alone have gotten up to roughly $20,000 a month and it’s expected to grow to $80,000 a month within 4 months.
Don’t try to copy my strategies unless you are willing to lose money. If you don’t have money to lose, taking a more conservative approach to marketing like focusing on traditional content marketing or SEO.
Future of Search
If Zuckerberg has his way, SEO will become completely irrelevant. All a searcher will have to do is…. nothing. Just thinking about what they want to know, where they want to go or what they want to do will cause the search results page to appear. No typing or speaking involved. Zuckerberg has made no secret that telepathy, (typing with telepathy), is his ultimate goal; without surgical implants.² “Person of Interest” has become hysterically old-fashioned; not futuristic. If Zuckerberg achieves his goal, the camera at the traffic light or whatever “smart” device that is attached to or near your body, will be able to read your thoughts,– not just your license plate.
While the future of search might seem a bit dystopian, –there are many positive aspects and benefits of AI to be taken advantage of.
Search Today is Dynamic
As new smart devices continue to emerge and as consumers embrace new, more natural ways to interact with those devices (like voice commands), the micro-moment behaviors mobile kick-started will only multiply. And as data and machine learning become more sophisticated in enhancing everyday consumer experiences, the expectations for relevant, personalized, and assistive experiences will continue to skyrocket. We’re heading toward an age of assistance where, for marketers, friction will mean failure, and mass messages will increasingly mean “move on.”³ ~ thinkwithgoogle.com
Search today is dynamic; not dead. Search will always be adaptive, changing with the way people search, the devices used, and searcher’s expectations. Today it’s important to understand searchers are using search to help optimize their life. In our fast-paced, decision-fatigued world everyone wants to:
- experience excitement/look forward to the experience, service or product
- feel confident researching and planning it, (positive feedback/client reviews are critical for your business)
- have a great experience
In short, be assistive in answering your potential client’s questions, delivering delightful experiences, and genuinely caring about each, unique visitor. Today, conversational search and voice technology must be taken into consideration when creating a quality digital marketing plan in order to achieve the best search engine results. Voice search has become more personal with some of the top questions starting with, “Do I need…..”, “Can I …” and “Should I ….” This has opened up new opportunities for marketers; i.e. your business.
Google’s Knowledge Panel
Check to see how your local business is showing up in Google’s knowledge panel. Go to maps.google.com and type in your local business name. Find out more about Google’s knowledge panel here and see an example in the quick video below.
Is a website complete without SEO?
Not really. If you've ever wondered about this question, read this article: https://www.business2community.com/seo/website-complete-without-seo-01385148. Paying for an SEO optimized website, (on-site SEO), but not continuing with offsite SEO, (organic or paid), is like buying a brand new car and not putting any gas in it. It's not going anywhere.
Whatever business you’re in, it’s smart to intelligently assist and engage your potential clients along their journey to choosing you/your solution or product. It’s not just about “showing up”, it’s showing up consistently in search at the right moment, especially if you’re a local business. If your website is outdated, (technical on-site optimization), or doesn’t have fresh, relevant content, (off-site optimization); you need our help! We’re here to help your business overcome the obstacles and utilize the opportunities.
¹ Patel, Neil. “My New SEO Strategy: Blog Less, Spend More on Technology.” Neil Patel, 15 July 2018, neilpatel.com/blog/new-seo-strategy. Accessed 9 Sept. 2018.
² Constine, Josh. “Facebook is Building Brain-computer Interfaces for Typing and Skin-hearing.” TechCrunch, 19 Apr. 2017, techcrunch.com/2017/04/19/facebook-brain-interface. Accessed 9 Sept. 2018.
³ Kleinberg, Sara. “How People Are Using Natural Language for Search.” Think with Google, 17 May 2018, www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/natural-language-searches. Accessed 9 Sept. 2018.