Search engine optimisation is still a young concept. If Google is now a teenager, then SEO is its twin brother – inherently bonded, full of potential, yet still at times unpredictable.
There is constant change, and it can be quick too – I’ve seen certain websites find themselves almost back to square one simply due to an algorithm change at Google, a good example of the effect can be seen in this post on the winners and losers of the latest Panda update.
It’s these shifting sands that lead to an ongoing back and forth between search engines and optimisers.
Search engines are generally driven by providing quality results and the best user experiences, but we all known tastes and the needs of consumers change all the time – the job of the optimiser is to ensure their methods fit nicely alongside the goals of the search engine.
It’s been this drive that has seen search evolve from pure text results to an overall multimedia and interactive experience which includes video, images, maps, and plenty more.
At the forefront of this is, of course, Google.
Google is frequently upgrading and changing the way web users find and share their content, as well as evolving its own ways of working. These days, the search engine can ‘guess’ what you want from looking at your browser history, and utilising tools like Google Instant to provide a truly personal search experience.
The future of search
So where will it go now? How many times can Google reinvent the wheel of search? Well, it’ll certainly get bigger, no doubt faster and more intuitive as the internet takes over the mobile platform with its extensive app libraries.
But it could be the little things that drive growth judging by Google’s plan to test 41 shades of blue on its links back in 2009 to see which would provide the most clicks.
And it’s not even as ridiculous as it sounds, the internet is a huge beast and it’s getting bigger. If the search engines want to keep hitting the bar that they’ve now set, it’s these rigorous, and on first look, perhaps frivolous kind of tests that will help them pin down the exact psychology of the internet user.
We’ve truly entered the age in which anything you could possibly want will be at your fingertips, with any number of businesses wanting to put it there, but there’s always a middle man. In this industry, it’s search.