Is The Future of Search in Limbo?

Wed, May 5, 2010

Google, Yahoo! & MSN

We talk a lot about search on this blog, and for good reason. Search engines are a great resource for pulling in website traffic if you target the keywords with the right traffic, and there are plenty of ways to figure out how many people are searching for terms online before you put out the money and effort to rank for those terms. But many people are starting to see a trend of the Internet moving away from being a search-based system.

In fact, Yahoo itself, one of the big players in search, recently announced the results of a study that showed only 1/6th of online activity was search-based. So what does this mean for the search engines, and more importantly for readers of this blog, what does it mean for the future of search engine optimization?

What studies like Yahoo’s are starting to see is that while Internet is gaining exposure around the world and in all pockets of our communities, the mobile revolution responsible for much of that growth, a lot of new Internet users are surfing the web now through their social networks and local-savvy phone apps. They are typically being guided to their destinations through other mediums besides search.

Indeed, the search engines are taking note of this trend, and in response we are seeing many of them push to integrate with social media giants like Facebook or Twitter, and even focusing on the development of social networking capabilities themselves.

What does it all mean? Well, what it means is that the search engines are not disappearing. Not by a long shot. In fact, those who follow the industry closely note that the search engines are often the drivers of change, or at least the first to respond and help guide technology to meet the hungry demand of trends. We’ve seen over and over again how they are pushing their platforms to align with localized queries and mobile capabilities.

The data shows that internet users are spending a lot more time interacting and browsing online than they are in the search engines; that much is clear. And yahoo also acknowledge that the ads, which most big search engines look to for their income, are getting the least amount of attention, meaning not finding a way to step up the game has the possibility to spell decline.

But one thing they are looking towards is the new face of searching in a society that is changed by technology as fast as its trends change technology. Many are focusing efforts on image and video search, and Google is working on the release of a feature that allows search by taking a quick photo.

To go further, all are working towards searching with spoken word, which I personally think will have a huge effect on the amount of people that take the time to submit a query; imagine how simple a search would be if all it took was voicing your concern. Combine this with the new mobile face of the Internet, and the implications for search are obvious.

So what is the answer is search engine optimization in limbo? Sure it is, but to be more exact, the whole world is constantly in limbo with the rate of change in modern society. These issues simply remind us why it is so important for businesses to work with SEO experts, who dedicate their careers to studying the changing face of the Internet, to help them change with the times.

Search isn’t disappearing; it’s evolving. Are you?

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This post was written by:

Cassiano Travareli - who has written 90 posts on SEO Blog | SEO Marketing World.

SEO Specialist! Loves everything about Search Engine Marketing.