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The State of Search

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The landscape of search has changed, and it will continue to do so -- radically. But Danny Sullivan doesn’t want you to panic.

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The State of Search

  1. 1. The State of Search Danny Sullivan Founding Editor, Search Engine Land
  2. 2. Let’s play a game: “Who’s number one?”
  3. 3. Being “Number 1” & “10 blue links” is dead
  4. 4. SEO is dead
  5. 5. Congrats, SEM!
  6. 6. Thank You!
  7. 7. SEO is NOT dead
  8. 8. Changing landscape means changing opportunities
  9. 9. What’s changing?....
  10. 10. Past: T-E-X-A-S Today: Place connected to people, things & facts The age of entities & entity search
  11. 11. Entity search = more direct answers
  12. 12. Will direct answers kill SEO?Was 28% a year ago, now 36% Source: MozCast SERP FeaturesGraph
  13. 13. Weird answers
  14. 14. Wrong answers
  15. 15. Photo ofYgritte from HBO Watch Game OfThrones! YOU KNOW NOTHING, GOOGLE!
  16. 16. Reasons to relax • Google can’t turn everything into direct answers • Direct answers still minority of searches • Many searches complex or multi-session • Most publishers aren’t reporting major traffic drops • Some publishers actually want to be answers because links drive traffic • StayTuned: Concerns remain & people are watching to see if Google keeps search engine “balancing act”
  17. 17. Google Posts & rise of distributed / hosted content
  18. 18. Special section for select companies and groups
  19. 19. Content hosted on Google itself
  20. 20. Worry? Maybe not, given hasn’t been success
  21. 21. Rise of AMP & more hosted concerns
  22. 22. AMP is part of main search results
  23. 23. AMP pages effectively hosted by Google
  24. 24. BTW AMP > app links
  25. 25. Maybe hosted & distributed is the new future…
  26. 26. And OK, if you can achieve the same goals…
  27. 27. Or not. Experiment. Watch carefully.
  28. 28. The end of filters?
  29. 29. After two-year wait, Penguin goes real-time
  30. 30. Panda goes “slow-time” but continuous all the same
  31. 31. Hummingbird was new “engine” designed to better process signals, filters & things to come
  32. 32. Enter machine learning & RankBrain
  33. 33. There’s no “SEO for RankBrain”
  34. 34. RankBrain uses machine learning to largely refine resuls
  35. 35. Match uncommon queries to common ones where has more confidence in results
  36. 36. The “mobile-first” world is now
  37. 37. But “mobile- friendly” is outdated thinking
  38. 38. Mobile-first not mobile-friendly: If it’s not in mobile, it might not be in Google
  39. 39. Mobile action items Mobile-first, not mobile-friendly, version of site Click-to-call App for repeat visitors? Maybe progressive web app, watch & see
  40. 40. Bots, digital assistants and hands-free search
  41. 41. Predictive search has grown
  42. 42. Google Assistant is (supposedly) “assistive search”
  43. 43. But future of assistive search & bots is less clear, has long way to go
  44. 44. Look ma: no hands!
  45. 45. Google Home: Google comes to life as a companion…
  46. 46. What about credit? There’s some…
  47. 47. But we deserve better metrics
  48. 48. I’ll leave you with…
  49. 49. What was true 20 years ago remains true now…
  50. 50. Search is always changing
  51. 51. What doesn’t change is people will always search
  52. 52. Search marketers figure out how people search and increase visibility from search venues
  53. 53. Visibility in print yellow pages: search marketing!
  54. 54. Visibility with 25 words in Yahoo: search marketing!
  55. 55. Visibility with web listings in Google: search marketing!
  56. 56. Visibility with whatever is to come: search marketing!
  57. 57. The names change. The specifics change. The successful curiosity skills remain the same!
  58. 58. And the curious, the questioning, the always- exploring search marketer sees change as opportunity
  59. 59. Thank You
  60. 60.  Google's Knowledge Graph  Google Direct Answers / Featured Snippets  How to get Featured Snippets for your site  Google Posts  How Trump & Clinton have failed to use free space in Google  Google: Accelerated Mobile Pages / AMP  Google: AMP will override app deep links for the foreseeable future  Google Firebase App Indexing  Google updates Penguin, says it now runs in real time within core search algorithm  Google Penguin Update  Google Panda is now part of Google’s core ranking signals  SMX Advanced keynote: Google’s Gary Illyes talks RankBrain, Penguin update  Google Panda Update  Google Hummingbird  Google: RankBrain  Mobilegeddon  FAQ: All about the Google mobile-first index  Google and Progressive Web Apps: the mobile experience and SEO  Google Assistant  For answering questions, Google Home bests Amazon Echo & Alexa  How Google Home turns voice answers into clickable links  10 big changes with search engines over my 20 years of covering them Further reading

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