The Future Of Search: Finding Your Place In The Hive
Jason Lee Miller | Contributing Writer |
The Internet is changing. In the near future, the "web" concept
may prove too primitive to properly describe the evolutionary nature of
the beast. Something more abstract perhaps, like Jung's collective
unconscious model-a digital beehive of collective information,
honeycombs stacked high and deep with information. And so, searching
the nectars of the hive should also change as spiders evolve into
Where In The Search Hive Do You Fit?
Editor's Note: Search experts are increasingly speaking
of the next generation of search that will give way to personalized
"theme" engines, search engines that will be specially tailored to user
preferences and habits. The transition will require a whole new
approach to search engine optimization and search marketing. Of course,
when things are in flux, speculation runs high. Do you think SEO
techniques will require a radical change?
For many this isn't news. You're already tapped in, communicating
by elaborate dances on par with quantum string theory and its highly
intuitive mathematics. . You know already that the second generation of
search is rapidly giving way to the third generation of search and
you've adjusted your SEO techniques accordingly.
But for others, if you haven't been paying attention, a
burgeoning third generation that probes the deepest and traditionally
most inaccessible corners of the Hive, as I now shall call it, with
evermore awe-inspiring technology and personalized self-redefining
features will be surprising.
It will dawn on you, the way it has on me, that all the work
you've done to get a higher search engine ranking ISN'T GOING TO WORK
ANYMORE. What used to be content, content, content will become context,
Where We Were, Where We Are, Where We're Going
1992, there were just over 16,000 domains on the Internet. The only
people that really knew about it were introverted techies who liked to
impress their friends by showing how to find bomb-building instructions
with their PS 2's. These are the same ilk who eventually grew up to
work for the NSA.
The first generation of search engines emerged soon after
with basic methods based upon keyword relevancy-the density of keywords
on the site, keywords in the title, domain, etc. But a system so simple
is wide open for abuse. Enter the spammers morphing search engines into
just another advertising medium.
With the second generation, the algorithms became more
sophisticated by not only measuring keyword relevancy, but also by
adding off-page criteria like page rank, link popularity, click
tracking, cache data, and two-word keyword combinations for added
The search engine world exploded, leading to the search king
of the hill battle to see who would preside over the 30 million domains
that had sprouted by 2001.
So here we are now in 2005 balancing on the edge of a new
world so hyper-evolved that search engines are beginning to "think."
The methods of generations one and two become only part of the
engines," as they have been called by Michael Campbell, search engine
strategist and author of the e-book, "Nothing But ‘Net," are the next
The third generation is much more personalized and takes into
account factors like geographic location, demographics, time of day,
search history, and user preferences.
Microsoft's highly anticipated Longhorn operating system is
expected to integrate desktop and Internet searching by building a
complete portfolio around a user and tailoring the search results
Take Andy Beal's example of
a searcher who routinely downloads music from the band "Heart." When
typing in the keyword "heart," results for the band will appear instead
of links to the American Heart Association.
But most intriguing is how the search engine spiders (worker bees) will learn to judge the content of websites.
Campbell explains it better, so I'll leave it in his words:
· G3 adds Web maps which…are a useful filtering tool to get rid
of duplicate sites... This means pages like doorways, gateways, entry,
splash…will soon get filtered out.
· What you say about your Web page, how the structure of other
people's Web pages compares on the same topic, and what other people
say your site is about, must match, be in harmony with each other, be
Or, in the cold hard world of the search engines, where
everything is weighted and calculated according to mathematical
formulas, whoever is closest to the 1.000000 without going over is the
winner, coming up tops in the search engine.
Since keyword relevancy and page rank are reduced to links in
the logical chain, here are some helpful hints (with a little help from
Campbell) to prepare for the future of search:
· Diversify. Think in terms of "themed" Web sites by
creating several static sites each with their own topic. If you sell
carnival equipment, set up one site about food vending, another about
games, and another about transport equipment, and link them together.
Give all sites a similar format so people know that they are connected.
· Don't sweat the small stuff. With link text, get rid of punctuation and unimportant words like "a," "and," and "the." Keep it to the keywords only.
· Big brothers help little brothers. If one site is very
popular and indexed often in important places, use the site as a portal
to lesser-known or new websites by providing links to them.
· FOCUSED CONTENT. Create the content for your sites by writing articles that revolve around your keywords and subject matter only.
· Keyword placement is more important than density. Use
keyword phrases in the title, ALT, URL, link text, and META tags. The
weight of keyword density is top-heavy, with more weight given to the
top, and then the middle, with the bottom of the page deemed less
That's the skinny on the future of search. There's much more
that can't be squeezed into this article, but hopefully the information
will be helpful.
While your competition is still working with outdated second
generation SEO techniques, you'll be well along the garden path of the
third generation. You'll even have your own niche in the honeycomb.