With the rise of social search and mobile apps, many speculate that search is dead, but at ad:tech New York, the editor of Search Engine Land, Chris Sherman, fought back against this idea. Sherman suggests that search is just changing its form, and that SEO is more important than ever.
Sherman points to several search game-changers developed in the past year that are changing searchers’ behaviors – like Google Instant. Early indicators reveal that Google Instant is changing the way consumers engage results; they decide whether or not to click a link in about two seconds, Sherman says. To compensate, marketers will want to make sure the headlines to their content pages are optimized to catch searchers’ interests off the bat.
Marketers looking to boost SEO for Google Instant may also heed Sherman’s insight on the of use of longtail phrases. He speculates that sites targeting longer, less common terms will catch predictive queries. He also cites Google’s claim that one-quarter of queries per day are never-before-seen.
Another way that the search landscape is changing is through the rise of online video. Brafton has reported on the rise of YouTube, and Sherman affirms that online video is huge – he says every 60 days, the content uploaded to YouTube is equal to all of the traditional television ever broadcast. Marketers can optimize their videos for online search by adding descriptive information into them.
While video may be the current big thing in search, Sherman says mobile is the next big thing in search. He points to Morgan Stanley data indicating that mobile web users will exceed desktop users by 2015. With this in mind, marketers should remember that local-leaning SEO may catch the interest of on-the-go consumers.
Paired with the recent launch of Google Places search, which Brafton reported last week, and the new mobile social announcement from Facebook indicating the site will build on Facebook Places to encourage local sharing, local search cannot be ignored.
While they’re going local, marketers should also remember to go global. Sherman advises that businesses create content (or hire people with local knowledge of faraway places to do so) in order to optimize sites for searchers around the world.
Ultimately, the consensus at this ad:tech session is that search will never die, but it may constantly be reinventing itself. SEO strategies must follow suit.