The Future of Web Search: Fewer Keywords, More Conversation

Posted by: Chris Marentis

The Future of Web Search: Fewer Keywords, More Conversation


For some time now, marketers have had to focus on those all-important keywords to bring them web traffic. But since the rollout of Google’s new voice search, it’s clear that the standards for local internet marketing are changing. Keeping up with all of the SEO trends can be nearly impossible for most busy business owners. For a quick reference, check out our major search engine guide.

The Knowledge Graph

A few weeks ago, we wrote about Google’s new Knowledge Graph tool, which shows business search results in a horizontal bar across the search results page. Knowledge Graph is another example of how Google is starting to focus on the big picture instead of on individual keywords. For businesses who want to stand out in the Knowledge Graph, it’s important to use an eye-catching photo as your Google profile image.

Google Voice Search

Google-Voice-Search-homepage-002Google is moving away from keywords and toward a more conversational, question-and-answer format, and according to Web Pro News, its new voice search tool confirms that shift. Since the emergence of mobile technology, Google has created tools designed to make it easier for people to search the web while they’re on the go. Its voice search for mobile became popular with people who wanted their hands free while they were driving. Google’s voice search option has carried over to desktop computers, and although Google is still working out the kinks in its new voice search, the new search tool is a signal of what’s to come.

Instead of trying to match search keywords with the content on your website, Google is working to get inside the mind of the user, in a way, to find out exactly what he or she is looking for. Before this shift, the more keywords a person used, the fewer results he’d get, as each keyword would narrow down his search results. With the new voice search, he might use six or seven words and get several results.

What Do These Changes Mean for Businesses?

Google’s new methods aren’t necessarily good or bad for local internet marketers; they just mean that you’ll need to adjust some of your SEO tactics. Keywords will remain important for some time, but it’s also critical for companies to set themselves apart online with high-quality, original content. Make sure that your website, social networking pages, and Google Places profiles clearly communicate the products and services that you provide to your customers.

Google’s aim is to become the place where people go for answers. If your business’s website can prove that it has the answers to people’s problems, you’ll win over more customers.


Chris Marentis

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL’s Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

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