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How Internet Search has Changed for Small Business

In a World of Internet Search, What we put on the internet is seen differently now!

The way Data on the internet is understood has changed over the last 20 years.

Search engines came about to help us all find information on the internet, this information started out being on websites.

Search engines started to work out what information was on what websites, so that when you asked they could say which website had information about which you had asked about. The “search request” was born.

This resulted in a list of websites, in the early days of the internet search engine could create a list which could very similar to any other and the list was thought to be the only top 10 list. This is how “being on the first page of Google” became an objective every business wanted to achieve.

These results were displayed back to you in what is now called a Search Engine Results Page or SERP’s and this had a list of ten websites about that subject, this is called the “Organic Search “ or “Ten Blue links” as the links are highlighted in blue text (a hyperlink to a web page).

These lists started with the “Search Request” being a single word typed into the search engine’s website, this grow to a “search phrase or term” with more than 1 word to multiple words.

Search Engines Google Librarian

As the competition to be the top search engine grow the number of lists had to grow, and the lists and the subject information each contained needed to be more accurate so the users could find what they were looking for more easily and returned back at a quicker rate of speed.

In gathering these lists of website about a subject the search engines start create pre compiled Index’s to serve up to uses faster.

In 2008 Google’s mission statement was “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”

This is where Keywords became important and these were used to categorise what lists to keep, and when website started to use, to be found by the search engines, what keyword you added to a page they could then match these up to a list.

To become more effective search engine’s had to get smarter and get a better understand about what you had asked them.

To understand what you had asked them about needed greater computing power to understand “The User Intent”, what did you want to achieve with this information.

As this computing power grow and the amount of data that the search engines had to make their determination about “the user intent” grows and the amount of personal data we provide increases, the search engines can now profile the users intent and the history of that user. Creating “Personalised Search Results”, ending the universal Top 10 listings. This information can come from the Chrome browser, Google Account online, search tool bar uploaded into your browser, Gmail account, and the Android operating system on your phone.

Google now adds “Search Suggests” when you start typing, it will suggest what it thinks you may be looking for. This also shows what index’s it may already have compiled.

In the past website’s where the only public source of information, databases came along later and with the development of mobile phones, App’s were born.

SERP’s have Changed, By adding Search Features.

With this increase sources of information Google has changes the SERP’s you see. Adding more features to gather more information with more “Relevance” to your request. These features affect you as a business because as it reduces the space on the “Front Page”, sometimes only showing “7 Blue Links”  adding Paid ad’s before any listing, and a further 3 ad’s at the bottom of the page. Also taking in to consideration your location as to whether add a “Local Pack”, a list of local businesses entered into its database of business. Giving you the answers to common questions, so you don’t have to connect to a business website!


What is a SERP feature?

A SERP feature is any result on a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that is not a traditional organic result. SERP Features include:

  • Rich Snippets which add a visual layer to an existing result (e.g., review stars for product ratings)
  • Paid Results that are bought by bidding on keywords (e.g., AdWords or Google Shopping)
  • Universal Results that appear in addition to organic results (e.g., image results, new results, featured snippets)
  • Knowledge Graph data which appears as panels or boxes (e.g., weather, Celebrity Knowledge Panel)

To see a more complete list of feature look at what Internet SEO experts MOZ has to say


The source of information pools grows.

We estimate that there 400 Billion stars in the observable universe,

Nearly 8 billion people on the planet.

Every 90 days 1 trillion links (URL’s) are added to the internet. Today the number of pages on the internet is somewhere near 916 billion pages. That is some like 114 pages each person would need to read for the entire internet to be read.

The task of indexing this amount of information is hard to do.

With the invention of the Smart Phone’s the way we see the internet has changed. Yes the screen sizes are smaller, but we are on the move, so internet connection speeds were slower. The speed the page can be returned now becomes important now called “Page Speed”. Not only do we access the internet from our “Desktop or Laptops” we now use “Smart Phones”.

In 2014, the number of searches on mobiles over took desktop searches.

Typing on the move is not the easiest way of requesting the information you need.

Search engine had to change and start listening to users, the increase in computing power started to enable “Speech Recognition”.  To understand “Natural Language” is a difficult thing to achieve, its only now in 2018 and the improvements with “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) and its “Machine Learning (ML)” that this is now statically up to about 80% accurate.

Summer 2017 Google moves to Mobile First. So that search engines could give users information more effectively they started listing website for the device you are using. Normal lists for desktops and mobile lists for website that has a mobile version of their website. At that time webmasters did not know which method would be the best and most popular method to use to use to build websites. Now it is commonly agreed that a Responsive Designis the best approach as it uses the same content and then adapts this for the device you are using, its screen size, text sizes, touch control etc.…

Internet Search powered by Mobile First Indexing

“Mobile Frist” now means if you website is not “Mobile Friendly” you will not rank well if at all for a search carried out on a mobile device, and you will get left behind.

The power of advertising, and money talks.

Search engines have arranged their business in to teams to deal with the requirements of the internet. A team to deal just with “Search”, “Ranking”, “Analytics”, ”Maps”, “Google+ (blogs)”, “APP’s”, “Android operation systems”, etc..

To continue the phenomenal growth of Google they released “ADWord” (sometimes known a “Pay Per Click (PPC)” which is their advertising arm of the business. This powerful arm has monitories the search industry and provide most of the wealth for Google to grow and increase its global reach.

The Next Steps to Organising the Worlds Information?

Now in 2018 with the rise of the “Home Assistant screen less devices connected to the internet with the same advance processing power of mobile phones and utilizing the power of “Voice Searches” these devices acting as smart radios are changing the way we get the information on the internet.

Google Personal Assistants

2017 Google changed their intent from “Search to Suggest”, their next big steps are to continue to assist you organise your life by being the best “Personal Assistant” possible. Suggesting what you may need next. Giving you these choices with a “1 Tap Option” providing selections on whatever device you are on. Making automatic entries in your calendar, emails, bookings and online purchases.

Making a more “conversational experience” for users and pulling together all your internet connection points into “one personal profile”, your “Google account”. Connecting your phone, desktop, home assistant, TV, shopping accounts, music services, internet storage of Photos, Reviews, Emails, Social Profiles, and your Online Purchases.

Google have now outline how it will adopt an “AI First” approach to its services, and future developments.

Who know what these future developments will bring next for Your Business. Together we will have to wait and see.

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