What’s Next for Search Engines?

You’d be hard pressed to find a person that hasn’t used a search engine at some point in their life. In fact, it’s estimated that Google fields 3.8 million searches per minute all over the world.

Search engine technology is constantly growing and evolving to provide users with better results and a better experience overall. Despite the advances made over the last few decades, more changes are slated to be on the horizon to keep up with savvy online users and emerging technology.

Search Criteria in the Past and Present

Google remains the preferred search engine for many and was largely responsible for developing the search experience still relevant today. Since it’s launch in 1997, the minds at Google have been busy thinking up ways to improve search results, and by extension, user experience.

In the beginning, inbound links were the primary factor used to determine search results. The more high-quality inbound links from reputable sites, the more trustworthy your website was determined to be.

Additional factors were added to prevent poor practices like keyword stuffing and link spamming, which would unnaturally boost a website that perhaps wasn’t of the highest quality. These days, things like security, page speed, mobile responsiveness (meaning how well a site functions on a mobile device), content quality, and many other factors are used to determine a site’s rank.

What the Future Could Hold for Search Engines

As user data becomes an increasingly valuable commodity, some speculate that it could influence the way searches are conducted. Instead of providing broad search results when a term or phrase is queried, results could be tailored to each individual user for a truly customized experience.

Existing technology also points to more detailed, specific answers when searching for information. Google’s Knowledge Graph populates an infobox that presents an answer to the search query, along with general results. This prevents users from sifting through webpages in search of a specific bit of information.

Searches are also projected to become more conversational thanks to digital assistants. Instead of searching for a term or short phrase, users can speak whole sentences into search and receive answers. Search engines must be equipped to pick up the nuance and meaning behind these searches for the most accurate results.

No matter what the future holds for search engines, SEO will continue to play an important role in making your website highly visible to your target audience. Our SEO solutions team at SonicSEO.com is always here to discuss your strategy and help keep you on top of search results. If you’d like to discuss the latest advances in search engine technology, let’s have a chat today!