Search Engines attempt to do the same thing today that they have always done. They have always wanted to present the best, most on target, relevant results to end users. This is nothing new. To date, most new algorithms were generally extensions of the old ones focused on eliminating the exploits of those who would game the system, and trying to do a better job of understanding exactly what the searcher’s intent and need might be.
But in 2016, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Will Make Search Engines Much Better!
What will be different in 2016, at least at Google, is that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will be implemented as tools to improve the delivery of the desired search result. Google will be looking wider and deeper before posting search results. Artificial intelligence may help them evaluate search intent to provide exactly what is wanted. Is the searcher merely curious? Are they seriously researching? Are they comparison shopping? Are they ready to pull the trigger and become a buyer? Are they a brand fan just wanting to share in the fun of being a brand fan?
If Google gets better at this, then the search results will favor marketers who are already segmenting audiences by contact intent and delivering engaging messages at every step in the buying process.
Smarter Search Engines Will Reward Better Marketers
Instead of Forcing Marketers to Guess and Test Search Algorithms.
In the big scheme of things, SEO folks should report to Digital Marketing folks, who should be reporting to Senior Marketing Leaders. All Marketers should already be highly focused on telling brand and product stories with words and images that engage the target audience at specific buying cycle points and interest levels. Then they should be supplying value propositions, positioning statements, and differentiating copy that fans the flames of fandom. The best marketers are already focused on customer experience. If a master of marketing is in charge then all of this intent should flow from the top and the brand should be a winner as Google will get better at understanding the intent of the person searching, and at presenting marketers on page one search results who are notably engaged in the pursuit of excellence in creating customer satisfaction.
In other words, SEO Trends in 2016 will be business as usual, only better if you are already running your business like a marketer instead of a bean counter! Yes, businesses exist to make a profit. But first, you have to find, woo, engage, and convert customers with an experience that they want to repeat and share with friends! Do these things right and Google will know, giving your company better search engine placement or lower cost per click on PPC programs!
Lonn Dugan, President
BIG Marketing Solutions LLC