Google Match

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Welcome to the Google Machine: The Knowledge Graph, Machine Learning & the Future of Search

Google is changing the SEO landscape again, and almost a hundred digital marketing professionals turned out at Atlanta Tech Village on Oct. 6, 2016, to learn more about these changes and their impact on mobile, multi-screen, and the digital marketing funnel.

AIMA and SEMPO Atlanta teamed up for this event to re-introduce SEMPO as an active organization for digital marketers in Atlanta. The organizations aim to unify Search Engine Marketing (SEM) professionals in the greater Atlanta area and grow the networking potential of this community.

Search SIG panelists

Among the topics the panel covered:

  • The Answer Box – a “game changer,” according to Scott – which pulls in straight HTML that is uncomplicated to display. One observation was that the Answer Box content is more highly developed and helpful for some verticals (medicine, for example) than others; it’s still a work in progress.
  • Differences between local businesses and large enterprises in optimizing for Knowledge Graph. Nate said that optimizing for the success of a local business is often more labor-intensive and more technical; given the extra page elements such as the Map Pack, a listing really has to be in the first or second position to be above the fold. Scott added that in that sense it’s “winner take all.”
  • The growing importance of natural language searches and RankBrain, part of Google’s “machine learning” strategy to improve the relevance of results to these searches. Search marketers who want to rank well might look to content writers who are covering the 5W’s – who, what, where, when, why. This thoroughness is likely to be more effective than attempting to text-match the long, natural language searches that consumers increasingly prefer.
  • The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project and Google’s priority on speedy page loads. The AMP Project, where a site’s pages are cached on Google’s own servers, is one strategy that has already benefited large publishers and platforms such as WordPress, with e-commerce sites and platforms such as Shopify in the next wave.

Asked for their thoughts on new developments from Google in the next five years, the panel traded views on our continuing progress from mobile-friendly to mobile-first or even mobile-only. Personalization and location-based advertising keyed to a consumer’s mobile device and search history will also be much more advanced five years from now.