There are many of us here who are guilty of this: turning to Google or any search engine for asking the simplest questions. Some even use it as a calculator; for others, a money exchange rate provider. It can be a translator, a book hunter, a celebrity stalking device or even just simply looking for quality recipes for that dinner you planned but forgot. Search engines are amazing in a way that it provides you with best options possible. Just type in the words and the answers will come right away or depending on your internet speed.
However, as time went on and technology advanced, people realized that words are not enough. There are certain bits of information we need, but we cannot search them because we do not know what how to term them. It can also be a situation that you have never seen before. It can also be that song that you are looking for in ages but the lyrics are unclear. This is so frustrating to experience, and people who have disabilities also cannot just easily type in the words that they want to search. Something needs to be developed. And when humans have a need, we find a way to satisfy it. Throughout the ages, it has been one of humankind’s greatest projects to make life easier and better for themselves. Simple machines were developed so that it would minimize human exertion and effort. Philosophy and science were developed to understand ourselves and the environment that keeps bothering and perplexing us. Such is our nature and we always seek to find answers.
In search engine optimization, practitioners were usually dependent on the keywords alone to see whether the algorithms will let them pick up the website as reliable and be put on the first page of the search results. However, due to the development of these new searching tools, relying on keywords alone might not be enough anymore. Here some of the ways the people of today are searching for information:
This is not exactly a new feature but due to the resurgence of mobile phones with exceptional cameras, this has been a new trend. Ever experienced seeing something but you do not know the word for it? Take a picture, load it on the search engine and see the results. They may surprise you!
Actually called reverse image search, this simplifies the task of trying to find the exact name of something without using a lot of words. For example, instead of searching “tree with red flowers” which can generate a lot of other trees with red flowers, none of which you even want to know, you just have to take a picture. The search engine will search the internet for a match to that image and it will usually give you exactly what you need. However, this can be affected by the quality of the image as it can lead to different things. However, this feature is very helpful to those who have phones with cameras and they are looking for information. It is also good for looking for other images like the one you are using and identifying public personas like celebrities and politicians. Learn more about image search on Google here.
One of the newer devices that was introduced in the past year are the introduction of virtual assistants. They are programmed with artificial intelligence which gives them human-like qualities like being able to respond to certain questions. Artificial intelligence were already used as early as late 2000’s with the prevalence of chatbots, which respond to questions the user types and sends to it. It uses keywords to try and answer any question the user asks provided that the programmer has given it an answer to the question. This is one of its limitations: there are questions that are still related to its function but it cannot answer. Now with the AI assistants, they can really act like closer to an actual human being just without the actual form. Notable examples of these are Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s Voice Search. One of their most interesting feature is they can detect many languages. You, as the user, can even change their voices and their twang. Like for example if you want your Siri to sound like an Australian man or British woman, you can do it. To learn more about artificial intelligence, refer to this page:https://www.techopedia.com/definition/190/artificial-intelligence-ai)
One of their basic functions though is for voice search. Using the voice of the user, it picks up the words and transcribes it to its program. Then it will run a search like just using a keyboard. It promotes handless manipulation of devices, and helps in navigation in moments when physically using the device is difficult i.e. while driving and the like. In cases of emergency, this feature can also be used to respond and make calls without even trying to find your phone as long as it is connected to the internet.
Last but not least is a rather peculiar addition to the search engine group. This is specially used for searching video content and is programmed to find videos in the internet because of the sheer amount of videos across the web. Without this, it can be difficult to find a specific video in a multitude of other videos which are just relevant to what you are looking for. It also uses the same features as the voice search but needs added details like topics and date of making of the said video.
According to the old adage, the only constant thing in this world is change. As marketers, we should always be alert of new trends happening in our field and those related as well. It is important to be in the know so that you and your company will no they left behind. As these new ways of people to search and surf online have been developed, you should also develop a way for you to adapt to these changes. Maybe try to add more meaningful images or audio tracks to your website which could potentially help increase the traffic. Learn to be proactive, as this field can be hard to catch up as it continues to grow by the day.