By: Jenni Walsh – Bayshore Solutions Digital Marketing Team
I always laugh at my Mom when she asks me to find something on the internet for her because she claims I am “techy” and I can “search better than she can”. My normal reply is joking with her that it’s not that hard to type something into Google and hit enter, but the more I begin to think about it, the more I realize she is probably right (I know, I know, I shouldn’t have doubted Mom in the first place).
What I realized is the trick isn’t being “techy”, the trick is thinking like the search engines do and knowing what to search for to get Google to give me the results I wanted. Being a search marketer and thinking like this day-in and day-out I do have more of an advantage over others when it comes to knowing what I need to search for to get the results I want.
But doesn’t that seem backwards? Why should I have to think like Google in order to get the results I want? Shouldn’t the search engines be thinking like us?
A normal searcher will type many different phrases before finding exactly what they wanted. The search engines claim they are all about a better user experience. Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like having to repeat myself 3-4 times to a server, customer service rep or sales associate so why is it alright for us to have to do that on the search engines?
In my opinion, if the search engines really want to provide a better user experience they need to stop focusing so much on keywords, meta tags, canonicals, duplicate content, links, sitemaps, H1 tags, URLs, alt tags and all the other hundreds of factors that go into ranking websites and start thinking more like a human. I believe this disconnect is why social search will become more popular. I notice more and more people are asking questions to their connections on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter because they know they will get a quick answer and they will trust the source.
Bing is heading in the right direction by partnering with Facebook to provide more social results but I still think the search engines have a long way to go with incorporating semantics into their results. Why should someone have to search “youth flag football”, “kids flag football” and “childrens flag football” to find the website they are looking for? Shouldn’t the search engines begin to realize that youth, kids and children are all the semantically similar and show relevant sites for all variations?
I have seen MANY changes in the online marketing industry since I started my career and I am excited about the growth and changes we may see in the future. I realize now, after spending a few hours of my plane ride to Denver contemplating all of this, that clearly my Mom is right! I do think differently than most searchers would. I would bet that out of the 200+ people on this plane that no one else is even thinking about how to perfect their searching skills or would even say they are excited that future Google updates may one day provide us all better results. Actually, I bet they are not even aware of when Google would makes changes.
*Mom, I am sorry for laughing at you. You are right…again! 🙂