Most businesses are already aware of the necessity of having an online presence. But is setting up the usual infrastructures and tools like SEO and content marketing enough? In this article, you will find out how Google, the undisputed search engine, is changing the search game.
This sentence has changed everyone’s lives, even Shaq’s.
A sportscaster once alluded to The Big Diesel’s excellent field goal percentage when getting the ball near the basket. He responded with this:
“If I get that thing down there in that [painted] area, that’s 67% [field goal percentage] lifetime. If you don’t believe me, Google it. I’m on the Internet.”
The word “Google”—both referring to the tech giant in Mountain View, CA and the actual act of searching using Google—has been rooted in everyone’s daily routine for a good part of the previous decade, thanks largely in part to its very favourable user experience and almost-omniscient genie-like powers. We’re not saying that Google is God-like. Honestly speaking, it’s just like that guy you know who knows a guy, who knows a guy.
Nowadays, Google has been going all out in its effort to be everyone’s top-of-mind reflex for the ‘search’ stimulus. And this effort has gotten everyone riding on the bandwagon. Businesses across the board have been pitching their tents in the World Wide Web and optimising their digital marketing efforts to get on Google’s good side (top of the search results) because you don’t want to be on Google’s bad side. Trust us. (and Shaq)
Which brings us to this point: Is your business getting on Google’s good side?
Finding the answer to that is very simple. We bet you might have read it somewhere in this blog.
If you don’t know by now, Google has been employing intricately formulated algorithms to sift out all the available information in the web. Anything that relates, coincides, and factors into the algorithm is calculated to result in search rankings. Here’s an infographic (just in case your memory needs to be jogged)
What does this have to do with you? Well, if you have any kind of asset floating around the web that you’d like to be consumed by your market, then this has everything to do with you.
Everything hinges on that algorithm—an algorithm that’s always being updated and conveyed to everyone.
However, during the past few months, there has been a reasonable drop-off in Google’s announcements on algo updates, if you haven’t noticed.
For a company that’s never known to keep their wealth of information away from anyone, holding out such prized pieces of knowledge seems uncharacteristic.
So, what’s the deal? Maybe it’s just all sunshine and clear skies in Googletopia’s Searchland now, or maybe, just maybe, there’s something really big that’s going to happen. You know, like the calm before the storm. The key to this is to retrace their steps and see where they’re going—to go inside and pick apart their minds. There’s a lot of intelligence to this—artificial intelligence.
Remember when Google had its sights on the meteoric rise of smartphones and its huge potential in complimenting their products and services? All of a sudden, they bought up many small idea banks and software developers. Then lo and behold, Android broke out. And in just a few short years, it has dominated the mobile OS landscape—no other mobile OS can be found in as many smartphones as Android.
Based on this trend, we see that Google has been pooling together bands of start-ups, teams, and researchers in the field of artificial intelligence during the past two years. DeepMind, a British AI company, was acquired by Google in January of 2014; and just recently, the renamed Google DeepMind hired two academic teams from UK while partnering with Oxford University.
Also, is it purely coincidental that androids, as portrayed in pop culture, have their own AI? Food for thought.
Of course, these moves won’t be without cause and purpose. We can be rest assured that these acquisitions will prove its worth overtime.
All this is a good and welcome development, but what does it have to do with search engines?
To understand AI, we must define it. According to Google, artificial intelligence is:
We have a word for creating intelligence: learning.
Learning typically means obtaining information or data from a source. Therefore, in order to have artificial intelligence, it must be able to learn first. But learn from where, or more accurately, from whom? From us, the most intelligent beings on the planet.
Since the web has basically been a data bank with information spanning eons, 4.6 billion pages (as of March 31, 2015) and 0.5 zettabyte (1 billion terabytes), it makes sense for AI to be immersed in it. Since intelligence also evolves, AI needs to evolve as well. By virtue, it should also be patterned to how we learn. And what better way to know how we learn than to observe how we procure information—by asking and searching for answers. How have we been doing that now? Again, you might have already seen the answer earlier.
Ah, the all important question. Honestly, this shouldn’t rock the boat violently because Google’s utmost concern when it comes to search is still ranking high-quality websites with high-quality content that produce high-quality products or services. Their method, however, is.
You still have to work on the parameters set by Google (and most search engines for that matter) as reflected by the Periodic Table infographic shown above. Content is still king, and yours should be specified according to the attributes. Secondly, the way you interact with your audience and the way they experience you must still be a big priority. Remember, AIs can only learn from us. So when it already knows what your audience wants, then consequently, it’s going to want you too.
To make the long story short, if you’re doing well, keep doing what you do.
Not much is changing, for now.