Google is changing how search engines think and optimizing displayed results. First, there’s Knowledge Graph, the next installment of Google’s quest to making the search process more human. Google has also dropped Google Places in favor of Local, integrating their 2011 purchase of Zagat into the mix. Read on to see what these changes mean and how they will affect your company’s digital presence.
Search engines use keywords to match results to queries, but that’s not enough for Google anymore. Sifting through the jumble of results can be exhausting and often futile. Google’s new search feature, Knowledge Graph, helps to organize those results in a more intelligent fashion. The basis of Knowledge Graph is that it’s the meaning behind the keywords, not just the mention of those words or phrases, that give you results.
For example, a search for “turkey” may yield results on the Republic of Turkey, a myriad of recipes, photos of a large bird in the genus Meleagris, and your great aunt’s photos from last year’s “Turkey Day” that she posted on Google+. While totally unrelated, all those results were returned because they contain the word “turkey.” The team at Google wants to make search smarter by teaching it to understand how different sites relate to one another. Various groups of sites will now be set apart so that it’s easier to refine and narrow your results. Oh, you wanted information about the earthquake that struck near Ercis on October 25, 2011? Here’s more information on only that topic.
If your website is recognized as being a strong leader in a particular topic, potential customers who are performing a general search for the product or service your company provides will have a better chance of landing on your doorstep. Keep your content current and high-quality and your efforts will be rewarded.
Jack Menzel, director of product management at Google, said that this initial version of Knowledge Graph contains information on 500 million objects and more than 3.5 million facts about the relationship between those objects. It will grow and adapt in the future based off of how and what people search for; the ability to learn from itself and its experiences is what makes it so revolutionary. Right now Knowledge Graph is live for select users in the USA, and Google has started to roll it out to Android phones. Once the project is finalized, it will be widely available in different countries, languages, and for all mobile devices.
Google is making quick work of the information they acquired in the purchase of Zagat last year. The new “Local” tab on Google search result pages, maps and mobile will link to reviews from each Google+ user’s friends and family members, as well as millions of Zagat user reviews. Additionally, it gives people the chance to create and share reviews of their own. Those reviews help Google+Local to determine ratings and suggestions when there are no personal reviews to offer a user.
This means that user reviews of your company count for a lot and will continue to count-people want to know before they commit. It’s essential that Google+Local and review sites like Zagat and Yelp be a part of your social media strategy so that you can monitor results and respond to any negative reviews in a timely manner.
If you need help digging yourself out of a social media hole or revamping a tired digital marketing campaign, give us a call. We would love to help you get up-to-date. This is what we live for.