The future of search: Why ranking #1 no longer matters (that much)

The implementation of Google’s Knowledge Graph, which was launched back in 2012, is a very important milestone in the search engine world and has already had an enormous impact on the way we acquire new information and extract valuable data from the internet. As such, the importance of having your website sit at the first position in Google’s search results is getting more and more irrelevant. In this article I will try to explain why it is so and how you can potentially benefit from this.

Future of search and why ranking number one no longer matters that much

Knowledge Graph examples

Even if you have never heard of the Knowledge Graph, you have probably already seen it in action whenever you search for something online. Here’s an example (in the form of a screenshot) of what happens when you Google for seo services vancouver:

seo services vancouver

When looking at the results page above, you’re immediately attracted to the fancy map, am I right? This is a great example of how even sponsored AdWords advertisements can be less attractive for most people than the completely free Knowledge Graph placements, as seen above in the form of a map, of companies near us offering search engine optimization services.

Getting answers more efficiently

Google, being the world’s top search engines, is constantly working on helping people find what they’re looking for faster and more accurately. Thanks to the Knowledge Graph this is now possible and more often than not you find yourself not needing to visit any actual websites any more because the correct answer to your question has been extracted by Google automatically. For example, if you simply ask Google “what’s the weather like today“, you can see a result like this:

Weather in Tallinn on May 2nd 2016 at 13 47

The above data has been automatically pulled from the website and as you can see, we no longer had to visit the actual website to know what the weather is like in our area.

This is useful on the desktop computer and saves us from the hard work of having to click the mouse twice, but the true power of this new technology becomes apparent when you’re using your smartphone’s voice to text feature and simply talk to your phone. Your phone will then read the first result back to you. Congratulations- we are one step closer to “Her“.

How to get on Google Knowledge Graph

Nobody really knows all the necessary requirements of getting your business or website to show up as a Knowledge Graph result and most of the time Google decides on who gets the honors on its own.

That being said, there are still a couple of things you can do right now to increase the chances of your website showing up as part of the Knowledge Graph search engine results page placement:

  • Aim for better user experience – Whenever you create new content, aim for providing the best end-user experience in the form of accurate and to-the-point solutions to the problem you’re writing about. Since Google’s algorithms are becoming more and more aware of what we are writing about, sometimes all it takes is to simply write for the human reader, disregarding the old fashioned search engine optimization tricks which can now be considered spam.
  • Write high quality unique content – Unless you’re /b, writing deep and meaningful content will help you get Google’s attention. Writing quality content means doing prior research on the topics you’re writing about and staying far away from content creation and article spinning software. This basically means writing unique content and getting your facts straight as well as quoting trustworthy sources (ie. Wikipedia).
  • Get a Google+ page – Just like Facebook fan pages, the Google+ page helps you to get in touch with like minded people and therefore find new potential clients for your business. It’s been observed that the more you interact with your audience and more importantly, the more your audience interacts with your Google+ page, the higher your chances of getting into the Knowledge Graph. So make sure to ask your clients to share your stuff and write good reviews about your service.
  • Put your business on Google Maps – This goes hand in hand with your Google+ page and will definitely help you get a boost of traffic from local clients looking for what you have to offer (check out the map example at the beginning of this article).
  • Use structured data – Most of the time Google will find important pieces of information by looking for the presence of structured data on your website. This is how you explain to the search robot what your website is about, who or what is on a certain image between your blog posts and how various bits of information are related to one another.

The future of search is fascinating

As a developer I can’t help but wonder what the search engines will be like in 10 years from now. Because of the advancements in Artificial Intelligence, we probably don’t have to use traditional tools like the keyboard or a mouse to get answers to our questions almost at the speed of thought.

This is all great and exciting, but at the same time challenging to the internet marketer of today because if Google can find answers to all of our problems, how are we supposed to get any new traffic to our websites let alone generate a sale?

Author: ynef

29 year old freelance writer and web developer. A technophile who appreciates and respects mother nature in all of its glory. Favorite skills in Runescape include Farming, Herblore and Magic.


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