We are approaching a fork in the road for organic search. Search engines are either going to become more powerful, or they’re going to shed enough leaves to make us ask whether sustaining our current investment is sound.
Google released Realtime search, Yahoo and Bing are merging, and facebook is jumping into the search game. Those are big things, but what do they really mean? Let’s take a few steps back for a minute.
Search engines, traditionally, look for a few things when deciding which website to serve-up in the results:
These are things that are technically done and can be quite complex depending on who you speak with. There is a big problem with this model though: it is highly corruptible. Not pointing any fingers, but as an example of the corruption, SEO “experts” and “gurus” make their livings by taking advantage of this model. For the pure fact that this model is corruptible, it will never be the true long-term ruler. Corruption is one simple and logical reason why we’re approaching this fork.
But let’s jump down the rabbit hole a little further and talk about social media. Yes, I know, we’re all sick of hearing about how wonderful social media is and blah, blah, blah. But I would advise you to not stop reading just yet because I’m not here to praise it. Social Media is not ruled by a technical system. There is no algorithm for results. The content is completely provided based on judgement by the people you have chosen to hear from.
Want to buy something? Ask your friends on facebook what they think. That is a lot trustier than some review from a stranger you might find on Yelp after being directed there by Google.
This is technology simply getting to the roots of human nature. We place more value on the things we hear from people we know. And we seek that higher-valued system over any other. The big search engines see this and they’re trying to position themselves to have a future by reorganizing and adding new features.
To all our DealerRefresh readers I am sorry to say that we have watched the plight of the newspaper, the radio, we’ll see the drop of TV ads as we know them today, and we’re starting to find that this other advertising source we are just beginning to really capitalize on could find itself as an advertising “has-been”. We are approaching a fork in the road.
The fork might be closer than I’m letting on….
From the Nielsen Wire on Top U.S. search sites for July 2010:
The number of searches conducted in the U.S. over the last year has decreased by 16% from 10.5 billion in July 2009 to 8.8 billion in July 2010. MSN/Windows Live/Bing was the only one of the top three engines to have experienced an increase in search volume – a 28% increase from 0.9 billion to 1.2 billion.
Why do you think this is?