The Future of Search Engine Optimization: Sentient Search and Human Readability
The internet is full of people who are trying to make money by generating content to attract readers (and by readers I mean ad-viewers and ad-clickers). Just like I have done in the past, many article marketers today focus on generating top-notch content optimized specifically for search engine algorithms. With this goal, the technique is to use tricks and methods like keyword-stuffing, title tuning, and even crazy back-linking schemes to fool the search engines into ranking their content as high as possible. Although there is still some validity to all of these so-called SEO techniques, most of you have probably noticed that they don't always a work. And as search algorithms improve and the internet evolves, SEO will eventually become a thing of the past. After SEO, there will be HRO. Human Readability Optimization will become the new way content is created, managed, and optimized on the Internet. Confused? Read on!
The goal of any search algorithm is to rank the best content that the internet has to offer in a manner that enables a user to find the most relevant and accurate web page possible given their search parameters. Today, search giants like Google and Bing use complex algorithms in conjunction with massive databases to rank internet material based on a variety of parameters.
Slowly, internet companies are beginning to realize that even the most complicated formulae are missing the human element. This is why search algorithms are beginning to use the databases that support popular social networking sites to aid in the ranking of internet content. In addition to this, these companies are spending millions of dollars to research and develop "intelligent" searching mechanisms that will change the way things on the Internet are found.
For example, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicts that the company will be capable of developing artificial intelligence for its programs that will be indistinguishable from a human being within 5-10 years. If you haven't realized it yet, traditional search engine optimization techniques will no longer work to rank content highly.
You see, a sentient search engine would have the ability to determine exactly what an internet searcher wants to read and learn about based upon an inherent and personal understanding of who each of us are. In other words, the search engine will be able to tailor the search results to each and everyone of us simply by knowing who we are and what our likes and dislikes are.
The search engine will quickly be able to weed out duplicate, irrelevant, and low quality content. Only quality content that exactly matches what the searchers want to read will be found. All other content will be buried in the deep coffers of the idle servers that host them. This also means that being on "page 1 of Google" would become irrelevant because each unique individual would likely receive a different set of search results for the same search terms or phrases.
The Evolution of Content Creation
With the ever changing world of Internet Search, what are content creators to do? Well, we must evolve as well. Our content must be created and optimized for human consumption. How do we do this? Well. just like the SEO techniques of yesterday, it won't be easy or obvious. There will be no simple formula to creating online content that will rank highly in every search engine. To keep up with technology, people will simply have to focus on making quality content that people actually enjoy reading. This means that your articles will have to be entertaining, informational, and must resonate with the reader. Boring content will no longer reside high in the SERPs unless it's some highly sought after exclusive information.
In a way, the evolution of the search engine will actually bring content creators back to their roots. In the early world wide web, SEO was also almost non-existent. People who created web pages simply uploaded their content, submitted an index request with their favorite search engines, and then waited for the traffic to flow. Eventually people learned how to manipulate the search engines to gain more traffic. In turn, the search engines updated their algorithms in an attempt to provide the most relevant and highest quality content to internet searchers. This back and forth cycle has continued for more than a decade. However, now we are on the brink of an Internet revolution and the "techniques" of yesterday will no longer serve to increase your page rank.
Are You Ready for the Future?
This brings me to my final point - I'll leave you all with a question to ponder. Are you ready for the future? Are you ready for a sentient search engine to transform the way that content is found on the Internet? You better be, because the future is coming, and it's coming quick. Remember, quality is King and only remarkable content will survive.
For further reading regarding my opinions of the death of traditional SEO techniques, check out my previous article about the future of SEO: Backlinking and Keyword Research - Is it Worth your Time?