Everyone has their own favorite search engine. But very few have any clue as to how they work. A review of the basics tells us that search engines work off algorithms, which are mathematical instructions that computers use to complete their assigned tasks. The algorithm interprets your search phrase as a math problem it needs to solve. It evaluates possible solutions, then returns the solution choices ranked in order from best match to least.
The key to the whole process is the search phrase.
Mathematics in Action
Most search engines use an algorithm that sorts your results according to the relative importance of the terms, or keywords, in your search. For example, if you’re searching for the phrase “broom,” a 10-page document that lists the word “broom” only twice will not rank nearly as important as a document that is one page but uses the word “broom” 10 times. The latter document will rank higher in your search results.
So, do search phrases matter? Absolutely!
As a business, you want your website to be the one that ranks highest in search results by potential customers. Whether your website uses a digital marketing strategy or you’re using paid social advertising to get your message out there, you want those search engine algorithms to rank your site at the top.
Searching in 2018
Search engine technologies are constantly evolving. As we look forward to 2018, what trends in search engine focus should grab the attention of marketing managers?
- Q&A-based search. Search engines are showing a growing preference for landing pages that answer specific questions. Marketers would do well to pay attention to the questions most frequently associated with their business.
- Voice search. The growing popularity of voice search means more casual, open-ended and broad search parameters. Here, key phrases and keywords become important indeed.
- Content matters. Search engines are looking for quality of content, not just keyword-stuffed articles. High standards for content quality are becoming more important.
- Increased personalization. Because marketing analytics allows for deeper personalization, businesses are creating more content to meet these needs. This increased volume of content demands a clear plan for business strategies focusing on search engine results.
- Information infrastructure. If your information architecture can’t handle the wider range of search formats from voice to mobile, you’ll be eating your competitors’ dust in short order. If this means scrapping your old strategies and starting from the ground up, so be it.
Search engine strategies that worked for the last few years may not be able to meet the challenges of 2018. Make sure your strategies keep you at the top of search engine results for 2018 and beyond.