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The changing landscape of search

Again this year we have seen a huge boost in mobile search volume and its dramatic effects mobile search has on both SEO and PPC. The way we search is evolving and will change the whole digital marketing landscape as we know it.

 

The biggest trend at the moment is making sure you have a mobile friendly version of your website; Google recently released a site dedicated to this drive. We highly recommend visiting www.howtogomo.com. With more and more smartphones not only being sold but also becoming less expensive and a easier option than having a laptop or PC, a huge market is beginning to take form. Mobile devices accounted for 9.8% of internet sales during Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), compared to 3.2% in 2010.

 

So more than ever it’s important to have a mobile site, although with the way technology moves. I foresee these sites beginning to evolve into something new within 5 years, as handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets become more powerful, viewing websites will no longer be an issue. As more and more people are able to have these devices, websites as a whole will need to evolve into something that combines the best features of both normal and mobile sites.

 

The whole functionality of mobile sites and the smartphones themselves are going to really change search and how we do it. GPS has become a big factor as SERP’s are tailoring to you physical location. A quick search on my phone and I can find the nearest coffee shop wherever I am in the world, unless of course I’m in the middle of a jungle or desert or with certain phone networks!

Next is voice search, we can now speak to our phones and as of December our games consoles too, as Xbox 360 brings Bing to its console and voice search to its Kinect add on device. Voice search is going to become a huge trend over the next 12 months.

 

Searches made with our voice search is more likely to use sentences or longer tail phrases. Human beings are lazy in a sense, when we have to type in a search query we only type the bare minimum that we have too. Speaking is completely different, we are more likely to ask a question, if for example we wanted to find a coffee shop in Bolton, we would say something like “where is the nearest coffee shop in Bolton”, yet we would type either “coffee shop” or coffee shop Bolton” into the search bar. People will adapt eventually and again will relearn how to search using speech, no doubt cutting down what they say or even to start using text speak which is popular in our current youth culture…init

 

The social aspect is also changing, now you can have Facebook and other such sites on the go, updating your status, tweeting what a great night out your having or just +1’ing your favourite sites from the palm of your hand. Being logged into your Google account allows Google to tailor the results to the individual, if you search a particular site a lot, it will start to appear higher in your tailored search results page.

 

Looking at trends and understanding how people search, interact socially and use their devices online will become another large factor in campaigns and how sites are marketed to incorporate this. Search engine marketing as a whole is going to become a more complex process, not only will keyword research be more important than ever, the psychological, social, speech and behavioural patterns of your audience will also start to be play an important factor in driving traffic to your site.

 

Search is about to become even more exciting and challenging, a new landscape is emerging and I can’t wait to explore and tame this new wild digital frontier!

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