Google is undoubtedly king of the online search landscape. While there are alternatives to this search engine giant, none has yet to capture as large a market share as it has. Consider that the word Google has become synonymous with an online search; so much that it has been co-opted into the English dictionary as a verb in its own right. Google has therefore become the gatekeeper to the world of online business as it is how consumers are connected to the online businesses that provide the products and services that they need.
In line with its vision of providing better services as well as making online businesses smoother, it has been releasing updates to its search algorithm. Many of these updates have hit websites quite hard but in many cases there was no malicious intent on the part of Google. Take for example, the Hummingbird update which relegated certain websites to obscurity overnight. This update was meant to curb the spread of black hat SEO tactics that had become rampant.
As a matter of fact, these updates are meant to benefit the consumers as well as the businesses operating online. Here is why online businesses should be excited about future updates.
Algorithm updates took online searches from a place where a search for bicycles resulted in millions of results indicating where the word had been used to relevant results. The idea behind an online search is to find a specific answer useful to the consumer and this is what better search targeting brings. It enables the production of search results that are related to actual consumer needs and therefore a likelihood of increased revenue from sales. This works simply because by enabling the consumer to access businesses that provide the service needed, the chances of a sale conversion occurring are heightened. Consumer satisfaction is also increased where there is no need to wade through millions of irritatingly irrelevant results.
Google Now while just an app at the moment is meant to project the future of Google’s search engine. The vision is that of a search engine that customizes results based on location and persona. It combines location awareness with personalized tracking. The end result is that while your business may not be the most prominent across the world, people close to it are likelier to be directed to it. Remember, it is not useful to be number one in the world when you are based in a very specific location. It is far more useful to be visible to consumers close enough to engage your services or buy your products.
Content is king is an often repeated saying in the online landscape and a truism. However, for everyone painstakingly creating wonderful, engaging, and creative content for content marketing there are three seeking to steal the same. Unauthorized reproduction of content has grown as fast as content marketing. However, new algorithm changes are recognizing precedence of posts. Meaning that websites that have just duplicated content from others will now be penalized in search engine result page rankings. This will protect online creativity while also ensuring that revenue for content marketers is not eroded.
This is simultaneously one of the most daunting yet useful upcoming changes to the algorithm. One of the biggest challenges of online searches is having the same information repeated through all results. Consider for example when searching for someone with a very popular name only to end up with repetitive yet completely wrong results. This change will ensure that there is diversity in the results offered to the search user. This is daunting because once implemented businesses will have to work harder to show relevance lest they be discarded as similar to what is already available.
Google has stated that they will be using social media factoring in the processing of results. This means that visibility as well as productivity on social media will be factored in when computing search results. The benefit is that investment in social media engagement will truly payoff. Online businesses will need to be very careful with the images that they have cultivated in social media. This is because the feedback and image portrayed on social media will be factored in when considering what results to offer to the consumer. This means that businesses with polished online images who have also developed their social media strategy and public relations will see an increase in their online interactions and possibly their revenue.
What every online business needs to understand is that the evolution of the online landscape is not something to be scared of but rather something to embrace. The changes to the world of search engines are bringing consumers and businesses closer while ensuring a mutually beneficial interaction. As such, it is of importance that online businesses embrace the dynamic nature of the arena and actively prepare for it. The businesses that fail to do so will find themselves rendered obscure and obsolete.