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New Perspectives on Search

Posted By Eric On December 21, 2010 @ 12:40 pm In Search Behavior | No Comments

2010 has been an interesting year. There has been new Google stuff, new Apple stuff, new dynamics of social media to change your life and business all kept in a shiny plastic device. What does this mean for the web and search?

I like to break things down by having two lenses:

Lens 1. User habits of technology in the past

Lens 2. User trends that aren’t fads

These two lenses focus an image of what the future could be like as we point this two-lens telescope toward different industries. If we point the telescope at websites, we see certain trends that we might have to continue to keep an eye on.

With these two lenses we can look at an industry or activity and realize that there are 3 values associated with everything we do and they are either static (fixed) or dynamic (mobile). I classify these into three groups:

  • Location – Where you are physically on the planet
  • Event – What you experience at that moment in time
  • Information – What is available to learn at the moment

For instance, an amusement part is a static location. There is only one Silver Dollar City and it is in Branson, MO. The ride “Fire in the Hole” is a static event. Everyone on that ride will see the train speeding toward them. Outside the ride are the funny “Wanted” signs that give the park character. If two people go to the park and ride the ride in two different years, they can both speak about the ride as if they were both there at the same time. Conversely, if Silver Dollar City had QR codes around the park that contained parts of a Old West Mystery to solve and “Fire in the Hole” contained a large twist to the story midway through the ride, two people could have an entirely different experience though they were at the same park and on the same ride.

Here is a quick rendition of different amalgamations of static and dynamic values with a possible example of what
it is in actual execution.

Static Location – Static Event – Static Information = Reading a funny sign in front of a ride at an amusement park, Radio, TV, Print
Static Location – Static Event – Dynamic Information = QR Codes, Coupons mailed to you, Newsletters
Static Location – Dynamic Event – Static Information = A buffet, a brochure rack
Dynamic Location – Static Event – Static Information = Streaming of Live Concert or news event
Static Location – Dynamic Event – Dynamic Information = Interactive Location Activities (Check-ins)
Dynamic Location – Dynamic Event – Static Information = Billboards, Road signs, Search Engine Results
Dynamic Location – Static Event – Dynamic Information = Facebook/Twitter Stream, Personalized Search
Dynamic Location – Dynamic Event – Dynamic Information = Mobile Apps, Web Apps

Not a complete list by any means, but take our telescope of where we were (static) and what is happening now (dynamic) and you can see where we are going. The 2nd lens says we are becoming more dynamic, but the 1st lens shows us that we won’t quickly abandon static values. Businesses still want people to go somewhere (to a store, to an event, to a wedding, to a party)

Personalized search is where SEO lies for now. Personalized search serves groups of people searching for a Topic or Item, but will get there through different devices with different results based on factors defining the user (location, search behavior).

A quick search on some local businesses andyou will find stores that still don’t have a website. In the next couple years these stores could get a mobile app before a website – skipping a whole genre of mass communication. This isn’t a great leap to imagine since the dot com craze was about circumventing radio, tv and print. If businesses want to make every experience as dynamic as possible, the app will be the key.

How do you get the app to the people? By expanding SEO efforts to incorporate a brand to wherever it would make sense to be in – even at a buffet.

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[1] Can Search Engines Crawl Dynamically Generated Content?: http://www.seoboy.com/can-search-engines-crawl-dynamically-generated-content/

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