2010 - the year of the savvy searcher!

Leon CalverleyUntil very recently, being found online meant having a HTML website which was indexed by Google.

Things are changing out there, and the future of “search” (how people find you and your business online) is becoming more complex.

Figures show that YouTube is now effectively the web’s #2 search engine, after Google, of course…

That’s right, a video sharing website which was once the preserve of homemade music videos and drunken antics is now a key source of day-to-day information.

As web users, we are beginning to take Google’s “Universal Search” for granted – it now lists videos, images, maps, Twitter “Tweets” and news articles alongside regular traditional web page results.

However – many website owners have yet to realise the significance of this evolution.

Too few businesses are correctly listed in Google Local Search (on the map) – a quick and simple process.

Only a small percentage of businesses consider creating relevant video content to upload to YouTube (remember your commercial doesn’t have to be produced by James Cameron, a short but professional clip, with relevant keywords will do nicely.)

We’ve all heard about Twitter – you can’t go anywhere without bumping into it these days. It is easy to dismiss this as a fad, something for teenagers to do in their spare time, but you couldn’t be further from the truth.

Clever businesses realise that “tweeting” – that is, posting a 30 word message - is an effective way to communicate with their customers. When you consider that Google now includes tweets in its search results, there is a strong case to consider.

Some commentators now suggest that Facebook will eclipse Google for popularity and perhaps search in the next couple of years. Whilst this may sound odd today, let’s think about it for a moment. People of all ages spend hours every day on Facebook.

As this increases, they demand access to search with fewer clicks, so it follows that Facebook will naturally command more search traffic.

So it begs the question – does your business feature on Facebook? Do you publish relevant video content? Are you featured on Google Local Search? How do you rank in Image Search?

In conclusion, our good friend “Search” is changing fast and it’s vital to keep up. We can’t be complacent and assume that our website which draws traffic today will do so in one month, let alone 12 months.

We should be paying attention to these new methods for finding information, and ensure we’re correctly placed to benefit.

Leon Calverley, business development director at Door4 Internet Creative.