It seems webmasters the world over are in uproar this morning as Google's Search Algorithm update, nicknamed 'Panda' has spread its paws across the white pages of the globe's largest search provider. Changing the way that pages are ranked has caused some pages that were previously in the top ten results to be shunted down to 300th place. This rejig could have a massive effect on traffic and revenue, as a
has shown that 89% of clicks are on those first 10 results.
Google currently has the monopoly of the search engines, being used for 95% of searches in Europe, and 82% in North America. But there are alternatives to the 'traditional' search engine site.
Siri, Apple's virtual personal assistant, is changing 'searching' using mobile technology. Already users are a lot more likely to use apps as a search function, using a website either takes too long, or it's hard to read. Siri uses a 'natural language user interface' to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by sending requests to a set of web services, including Google and Yelp.
'Find me a Chinese takeaway in Soho' will find all the local results as listed on these websites and give users a list of results. Pretty clever!
's executive chairman and former chief, Eric Schmidt, has conceded that
could pose a "competitive threat" to the company's core search business. Google generates a large portion of its revenue from clickable ad links returned in the context of searches.
doesn't feature these clickable ads, but
's default search engine, so users are still using the site, just in an indirect way.The app has been met with a very positive reaction for its ease of use and practicality, as well as its sassy "personality".
Writing in The Guardian, journalist Charlie Brooker described Siri as "a creep - a servile arselick with zero self-respect" while also noting that "he works annoyingly well."The use of taggable video tools, such as WIREWAX also means that the reliance on search engines could be reduced. Clicking on people or products within the video takes away the need for searching separately, as all the information is there when the viewer needs or wants it, therefore driving traffic directly to websites.
Taking this a step further, integrating search results for the chosen product or person within a video is also an option, and a way of increasing direct traffic to a company's website. There is no reason why up to date, dynamically generated search results can not appear within the video, again bringing the search directly to the viewer.
Since Google came about all those years ago, its fair to say that web search has hardly changed, and the traditional search engine has been at forefront. However, with times changing, is search ready for the revolution?