In a previous article we discussed how personalisation of search results is just one of the major ways that search engines are evolving the way they deliver results to users.
Search engine results are now affected by the technology used by the searcher and their previous searches, and developments such as Google Instant and Google Instant Preview are giving users powerful tools to develop the language they use when searching, and be more discerning about which results they click on.
On top of that, the Internet is changing to become very much ‘real time’, with social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook acting as instant dissemination tools, the posts on which are then immediately picked up by the search engines (see how Google Realtime is changing the PR industry); giving scale and immediacy that was previously impossible for all but the major media players eg CNN, BBC etc.
Whilst being fabulous for the searcher, this is making it ever harder for marketers and seo agencies to understand what the searcher is actually seeing, where they may hang out to find information, and is also building in a very strong element of PR and brand building as word of mouth recommendations and reviews become ever more important.
This means that any company or agency offering internet marketing needs to broaden their horizons considerably and look at all internet marketing holistically. It is no longer about a well-optimised site with good landing pages that has great rankings on the search engines. Users will start to live their online lives through live tools and communities, such as Facebook, making your brand presence on these platforms mandatory. Wholesale reliance on the search engines (over which none of us have any control anyway) is to be avoided at all costs, as is ignorance of social media.
Thinking out of the box for internet marketing means structuring websites and campaigns so that they work for the search engines, the users and the new internet that is showing its face now the necessary bandwidth and tools are available for the average user.
SEM all of a sudden means understanding more than just a few factors in the algorithms. It also means understanding the psychology of the users and interacting far more directly with those users than just helping them to find you on the search engines with a little clever SEO.