Universal Search: A Challenge in 2008?
In an interview conducted by BtoB, Jeffrey Pruitt of iCrossing and President of SEMPO discusses future trends and challenges in search marketing. I enjoyed this trend interview and article because I’ve started to see these trends develop in my experiences with search.
I could relate to the near term challenges for search, one being maintaining visibility in universal search. As the search results contain more and more images, video, maps, and even recipes, I wonder if companies are moving more towards understanding this and optimizing for it? Google’s unpredictable results on many searches may lead one to not take it so seriously. However, ask.com is known for leading the way in universal search vs Google results.
The challenge, noted by Pruitt, is to create content that not only appears in universal search but also forms meaningful connections with them that extends beyond the text-based search. Hmmm. Connect with the searcher? You mean online? Heck yeah!
How do we do that? We begin by who they are and how they search rather than focusing on common text search terms. Companies need to stand out to the searcher and deliver the relevant content to them once they click through. This seems like a simple concept, but is it being done? I just don’t see it as much as I should. I agree this is most definitely a challenge in the year ahead for search. The chasm between companies who embrace universal search and those who ignore it will widen. It will be difficult for companies to catch up.
Lucky for them they can get their nephew to post a YouTube video and the whole problem will instantly be solved…