Google representatives have stated that their “intel inside” was not in fact search algorithms, but data. This seems to have gone relatively unnoticed by the search community, so it’s no surprise that the webmasters of millions of websites remain oblivious to what this statement means to how search engines will affect their business.
The painful fact is that most businesses are still struggling to keep up with the basics of TRUE search engine optimization to get their business in front of qualified audiences. They are certainly not prepared for how deeper, more complex data-seeking algorithms will affect their ability to leverage the internet to grow their business long-term.
If Google sees themselves as a data aggregator rather than the mere conduit to find the data, that turns things on its ear when it comes to the value of online assets. Not to mention, what Google will do with the data they are collecting through continual acquisition of online assets like the most publicily noted YouTube the web 2.0 video-drive community, in October 2006 and Doubleclick the online advertising company, in April 2007. The additional acquisition of numerous applications and technologies that include mapping, video sharing, word processing, 3D modeling, weblog, widget engine, in-game advertising, statistical software, online spreadsheets, presentation software, video conferencing, photo sharing, web feeds, VoIP, aerial photography, micro blogging and social networking applications, and Postini, the email security solution indicate a master plan that will continually unfold and undoubtedly impact the internet as we use it.
Google has even created their own speech recognition software as an interface for phones and to index audio text. The emergence of speech-to-text and text-to-speech technologies exist today for use by the average user. Many of them are free. For example, voice-corp.comenables on-the-fly conversion of your blog to podcast. Have you considered SEO of your audio and video? I’m guessing few have.
The ability to search the internet based only on page content and meta data will surely give way to deeper, more relevant searches that will include audio, video, images and more, directly impacting search performance of websites, leaving those who cannot keep up, in the dust of their forward-thinking competitors. I firmly believe that “searchability” will forever change the way we create websites as well as the videos and multimedia presentations we use the internet to deliver.
One this is guaranteed, the internet is sure to become far more powerful than how most people see it today.
So, what will all of this mean for search marketing?
I do see search engine activity already producing results based on non-textual content and predict this will evolve as websites continue to integrate aduio, video and web-based solutions. “Search” will become something greater that will go deeper than the search of public website pages, but into public databases, social media content and images that Google and others will make available, making the internet a larger entity, but also creating micro markets that will allow highly specific targeting. Sure, some argue their span and integration into how everyday users use the internet promotes many conspiracy “big brother” scenarios, but without the forward-moving vision of companies like Google, the internet would eventually become so immensely populated that you would be hard-pressed to find anything of value.
As a marketer who has always advocated targeting qualified audiences, rather than millions of empty clicks to promote ROI for business websites, I am excited to see what search will become and how Google will enable online marketers user relevance that they can only imagine having today.
The future looks bright indeed…where do YOU think Google, or the internet is heading?