Search engines have established an indispensable task in both commercial and domestic consumption. Today, leading companies continue to develop innovations aimed for elevating the standards of search for both mobile and non-mobile consumers.
For the record, Google has preserved its dominance when it comes to search. Its 70% market share has proven its worth being the most widely used tool for internet search activity. On the other hand, Microsoft’s Bing earns the second spot on the popular list.
However, Google is facing a string of challenges that might affect their current status. This is due to the emerging type of search called “conversational”, ”abstract” or the familiar “latent” search.
Up to now, we are accustomed to use the usual type of search – the use of keywords while browsing the web. This was the standard set by Google many years ago which, until now, is being used by SEO’s and marketers. It is done by putting on the words in order of importance, instead of doing it in the manner they can be understood. But it seems that this tradition may encounter a different tweak. Apple, Facebook and Google are now innovating strategies that will enhance the way we search. This is through the use of abstract, non-specific or latent concepts we normally use in daily life. It’s time to say goodbye to the old type of search which generally produces inadequate or ineffective results.
Doing it the Google’s Way
People have been well-versed to desktop searches on Google in all types of bizarre broken up keywords. For instance, people usually search on complicated long tail queries for best results, like “directions black sand beach best Hawaii”, if they’re seeking directions for a particular beach in Hawaii. Wordstream founder Larry Kim call this “Caveman English” because when you read out the search keywords it sounds very strange and more like something a caveman might say. According to him, an estimated 20% of all Google searches are done using caveman English just like this.
But Google isn’t unmindful about the current upgrades happening around. They made something new regarding their core product. Just few weeks ago, they rolled out the latest “hummingbird algorithm change”, a significant upgrade for their search engine that has the ability to manage conversational requests. Practical queries now get an effective result via their search tool. Google considers Hummingbird as the most essential shift it has made to its central product since 2001. However, this is going to be dry and technical for the layperson. Who would care if search engines undergo improvements so they become efficient to use?
Facebook’s Graph Search
Recently, social networking site Facebook introduced its Graph Search to all its American users, and it’s coming to worldwide Facebook users soon. This type of search is somehow fussy if you’ve tried it for something. Regular keyword-based searches often give unsettled results. But with Graph Search, you are able to find personal stuff about your friends, for example, their favorite movie or TV show. Using this latest tool really produces interesting results.
The significant distinction between the regular keyword search of Google and Graph Search is that on Facebook, you’re asking for something where you don’t actually know what the response is. We call that “latent” search. While on Google, you’re normally searching for a stuff you know it exists, sort of topics or subjects that have specific answers.
Netizens Moving From Google to Facebook
Based from a recent study of comScore, majority of people began spending more hours on average inside Facebook than with Google. Google’s search empire holds $60 billion business while Facebook has $6 billion but not based on search.
If Facebook were to completely develop a well-brought-up alternative search engine to Google – perhaps by educating us to use latent queries instead of keywords – then you could notice how that might accelerate a tectonic shift in searching marketing income. So far Facebook has offered limited advertising using Graph search.
When it comes to mobile searches, Kim said that an escalating share of searches are being done through voice, and as people we’re not that accustomed to speaking caveman English out loud. Thus, the capacity to process more natural sounding queries becomes a way for enhancing relevancy.
Another Battle for Apple and Google
Siri, Apple’s voice assistant have been its official partner for voice activated functions. If you own an iPhone, you might wonder why Apple remained attached to Siri’s capacity but there’s a little story behind that. The giant company was preparing for the potential evolution of mobile. It has embraced that insight that it will be normally easier to talk on your phone than key in search queries onto it. However, it seems that Siri needs a little more “tweaking” thing to make it more friendly and convincing for iPhone users to remain steady. As a matter of fact, it sounds like a huge speculative dive for Apple but as we all know, they love challenges. Currently Siri uses Bing for search, and there has been a deal between Facebook and Microsoft where Bing is Facebook’s search engine. Apple has the authority to use Siri whichever default search engine it implements. It just changed from Google to Bing for the new iOS 7. The alliances here are intricate, but they don’t give Google the favor.
Adapting the current trends for mobility and business requires a deep understanding on the present demands of the public. As technology gets high-end, companies are relentlessly finding ways to cope up with competition. In this game called “search war”, the big three – Google, Facebook and Apple are definitely going head to head. Search carries the golden key in order for them to dominate in their respective fields. Days are coming that typing on our devices will be replaced by voice-enabled systems, a trend that will place conversational search a potential tool to win the battle.