Google is changing. Recently, John Wiley, a search designer for Google conceded that around 15% of daily searches on Google are focused on search terms that have not been encountered before by the search engine. This means that a staggering 500 million results a day are being produced on the back of no previous experience by effectively a robot!
Google Matchmaking Services
Google is effectively nothing more than a sophisticated matchmaker. It takes a look at the search, and sifts through options to give what it feels like might be the best answers. There’s no doubt though that this is an imprecise process, and we only have to conduct a handful of searches ourselves to see that we don’t always get the results that we hope for.
The Struggle for Google
If we look at things from the other side though, it’s easy to see how hard things must be for Google. Take for example a producer of running trainers. If you are trying to get noticed on the internet, you have to make sure that people have enough ways of finding your products. This means marketing your running shoes as trainers, sneakers, running shoes, cross trainers, sports shoes and goodness knows what else to second guess how people will attempt to find your products. This doesn’t even take into account the various different types of specific trainers that are on the market, and how each individual might search for them. We’re getting into needle in a haystack territory here, and this is of course a good way to highlight just how hit and miss the whole operation surely is.
The Semantic Web
It’s easy to see no way around this, but we can expect the ‘Semantic Web’, which is looming large on the horizon, is likely to change everything. Semantic search does not just piece things together from general experience of previous searches. It works by understanding what the searcher is looking for, and this information is gleaned by Google by paying close attention to search history from that individual over a period of time.
How to Prepare For the Semantic Web
Of course, when it comes to preparing a website for semantic search, there’s not much we can do about understanding every individual and how they search – that would be impossible. What we can do though, is make sure that the websites we deal with are as easy to understand as possible. We can learn to highlight exactly what is necessary for Google to understand in an instant whether or not we are a good match for Simon in Scotland, who has been searching for cross country running shoes in a size 10 between £40 and £50 for the last four weeks.
For your site to be fully understood by Google from outside of the usual keyword parameters, we need website copy which gives a full and easily digestible explanation of what the website is all about and what it does. We have to try to express what needs the site can fulfil and what information pertains. To supplement this it’s essential that you establish a foothold in social media which backs up what you are saying on your website. This will of course involve the usual culprits such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and any others that may be particularly suitable for your niche. In addition, social interaction needs to be high, with conversation regarding your website, the services you offer and the products you stock prevalent in any engagement.
Only minor adjustments are required, but with these could come real success. The internet is changing to something that is more fluid and potentially more rewarding for people using it. This relies on two things – the success of Google’s implementation of semantic search and your optimisation for semantic search.
Adam Livermore, Marketing Consultant for Consult 3, strongly believes that the web is an ever changing place which demands our respect and attention!