Context is fundamental to semantic search. The more information Google or Bing has about a user, the more diverse and relevant search results become. Sometimes, this data is prosaic, like when a Knowledge Graph is influenced by the time of day a search is taking place. Semantic search can also use obscure contextual clues, such as Google+ connections that make search results with Authorship data more prominent.
Google proved it is diving even deeper into the contextual search game with an announcement that content available via apps can now be indexed. This means users who have downloaded and installed supported applications will be presented with the option to view content in an app – right from SERPs. At present, only a few dozen apps are supported, including Wikipedia, Tumblr and the Huffington Post. But this capability is just getting started and could expand to hundreds or thousands of apps in the near future.
Engines are becoming information hubs and starting points for shoppers and online customers, and Google’s inclusion of app results shows how determined it is to take context from single devices into account to provide value.
Search offers data by any means necessary
As Brafton reported, many search engines are stepping up their semantic capabilities. For example, Bing added over 150 million entities to its databases, ensuring media-rich results appear when popular figures or topics are the subjects of search. The current emphasis on SEO is less about ranking highly and more about getting eyes on content by any means necessary. It’s less important how traffic is accumulated, whether through social sharing or appearances on apps in search results.
However, this shouldn’t diminish the importance of catering content to search engines – particularly Google. We recently discussed mobile users’ dependence on search. Engines are becoming information hubs and starting points for shoppers and online customers, and Google’s inclusion of app results shows how determined it is to take context from single devices into account to provide value.
Emphasize content, regardless of form
This ongoing development lends even more credence to the idea that content marketing should be the focus of all businesses’ online activities. In the past, the medium was the message, so brands were able to know precisely how leads and customers would receive blog posts, news stories and social content. Today, the emphasis is shifting to the point where marketers are producing valuable, shareable media that can be consumed by users in an unimaginably diverse number of ways.