Trends in Search and what is the Future of Search?

In January and February 2016 I returned to Australia and presented at the SEO Meetups event in Brisbane, Sydney & Melbourne. The session touched on the topic of where we have come from over the last few years, what is happening in search now and what will the next few years bring us. The topic touched on SEO, Content Marketing, App Marketing, Internet of Things, Social Media and Virtual Reality.

  1. SEO Meetup Event January 2016
  2. Who am I? I’m a SEO Product Manager for eCG
  3. What ebay classifieds group brands I worked with?
  4. Evolution of Search Where have we come from over last few years?
  5. Google’s evolution upto 2013 (before Apps/AMP) Source:
  6. Thinking back to the good old days Limited number of AdWords results No Carousels No Answer Boxes No Universal Search No Knowledge Graph Limited Related Search links No Ratings/Review schema You required a click to a website for the information Mobile wasn’t a thing really Apps were a second thought More exact match domains ranked Low quality content dominated the SERPs Google often got UK and AU content mixed up
  7. End of 2012 Google got aggressive on webspam Source:
  8. In 2014 webspam became even more of a focus Source:
  9. Algoroo focuses on AU specific algorithm shifts Source
  10. Shift in Search What changes made an impact or could impact you?
  11. Google these days giving most common answers
  12. Google these days driving more related searches
  13. Google these days… no need to click
  14. Google allows for product comparison
  15. Google allows for animal comparison…
  16. Google answers more questions
  17. Google gives cooking tips
  18. Google offers interactive widgets
  19. Google is learning about it’s users
  20. Google is learning about it’s users
  21. Google is helping you find flights to book
  22. Google is helping answer historical questions
  23. Google answers are going beyond first answer
  24. People also searched for results are extensive
  25. TV Show Spoilers are right in the SERPs Photo Credit:
  26. Linked Queries could work better
  27. Multiple questions now being answered
  28. Google Shopping results showing more often
  29. Presidential candidates get custom results Source:
  30. Mobile UI is changing to show tabbed results Spotted by
  31. Mobile UI is changing to show no organic results
  32. Mobile weather experience has no organic results
  33. Voice search is slowly gaining adoption
  34. Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Source:
  35. Facebook Instant Articles (mobile content) Source:
  36. Shift in Search What is happening in the app space?
  37. Mobile growth is still happening but slowing Source
  38. Number of free mobile app downloads Source:
  39. Number of paid app downloads Source:
  40. Facebook App Links can drive traffic to your app
  41. Google is working on improved App discovery
  42. Streaming of apps, no download needed
  43. Google offering app installs within browser Source:
  44. Google AdWords App Promotion Options
  45. Google Testing Interactive Interstitial Ads
  46. Other Paid Products to Promote Apps iAds – Closed June 30th 2016 Facebook Ads Twitter Ads Criteo (remarketing) Incentivised Downloads
  47. Facebook & Google dominate top Apps Source:
  48. Google App-Indexing will continue to expand
  49. Bing also supports App Linking from SERPs
  50. iOS Search API will start to gain traction iOS Spotlight search adoption is low but steadily growing as users discover it and it’s algorithm improves. iOS Spotlight search can surface content within your apps iOS Search API will cannibalize your organic traffic from iOS device as Google is removed from the search process iOS Search API can start to drive downloads of your mobile app
  51. App Integrations will become essential Source:
  52. WeChat shows the power of a app platform • Instant Messaging • Public Accounts for providing services • Subscription Accounts for content • WeChat Payment (p2p, bill payment) • WeChat Wall (transfer,pay,wallet) • City Services (book appointments, pay bills, traffic fines, book transport)
  53. Personal Assistant, ChatBots & Customer Service
  54. Offer assistance without search or other apps
  55. Messaging Apps are kinda popular… Source:
  56. Mobile messaging app user penetration in AU Source:
  57. Mobile messaging app users in Australia Source:
  58. Shift in Search What is happening in the local space?
  59. Bing Integrates TripAdvisor Reviews in Local
  60. Importance of local listings, reviews and ratings
  61. Importance of local listings, reviews and ratings
  62. Facebook is chasing after more local traffic
  63. Facebook is chasing after more local business
  64. Shift in Search What is happening in the social space?
  65. Facebook might get search right?
  66. Social Networks spill over into the Search space Social platforms offer Google Organic Results Integration into Universal Search Alternative Traffic sources Paid Targeted Options Paid Amplifications Diversification of traffic Social Platforms are working on Better cross-platform experience Better internal search Less reasons to leave their platforms More ways to engage with users Growing their advertising features
  67. Google will expand Twitter integration Source:
  68. Pinterest will expand their ecommerce reach
  69. Shift in Search What is happening in the content space?
  70. Hyper personalisation of content is getting better
  71. Hyper personalisation of content is getting better
  72. Hyper personalisation of content is getting better
  73. Great content is required for success! You should focus on GREAT content! – it will attract new users – it can lower bounce rate – will increases pages/session – will increase time spent on site – will create conversions/transactions – Can generate shares on social – Will attract natural links Photo Credit:
  74. Great content is required for success! Think mobile first! Is the content mobile friendly? Is the page size mobile friendly? 15mb images don’t work? Flash is bad! Think how the content can be shared, how can you amplify it? How will your content will look when being shared on social media? Content takes longer to show impacts than it did previously, it’s not an instant fix! Content needs more than just text, think interactive elements, images, video… Great content requires investment! Photo Credit:
  75. Rise of ad blockers will affect your monetization Source:
  76. Now you have 4 Pillars of SEO TECHNICAL CONTENT OFFSITE APPS
  77. Future of Search What is already here and what is coming soon
  78. Big Data is required to scale up marketing Understand historic & seasonal trends Allow for predictive analytics Optimise for conversions Optimise for revenue Understand your internal link graph Evaluate performance of social Be able to spot patterns Be able to spot opportunities Be able to understand what content works
  79. Voice Search takes center space in your home • Plays all your music using just your voice • Immersive, 360º omni-directional audio • Allows hands-free convenience with voice-control • Answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules • Controls lights and switches with compatible WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, and other smart home devices • Always getting smarter and adding new features and skills more than 95 added since product launch
  80. Wearables will end up getting it right eventually Mostly Voice Activated Limited interaction options Most still require daily charging Powered by Voice Search Most still depend on Mobile/Tablet device Have no browsers Support limited number of apps Limited consumption of content Crowded market Estimated market size – 5 mil iOS & 2 mil Android Benefits of Wearables? Always with you Always on Always contactable Always connected…
  81. Consider the impact of Apple TV on content
  82. Are you ready for Android TV?
  83. Android Auto only wants select app partners
  84. Apple CarPlay leads to more content consumed
  85. Google Cardboard is a mass market solution Source:
  86. Oculus Rift for consumption of premium content
  87. Microsoft Hololens could change web interactions Source:
  88. Bing will rise powered by Windows 10 Windows 10 on 200 million devices and aiming to Reach 1 Billion Devices by 2018 Source:
  89. IoT – Google’s Brillo & Weave Source:
  90. IoT – Brita Filter with Amazon Dash Replacement Source:
  91. IoT – Samsung Smart Fridges Source:
  92. Where to find me online?