The Secret Goldmine: Search Is A Conversation
Search is about structure and meaning, syntax and semantics. Search is all about sequential patterns of interaction. It's about language. It's about the words that we use. It's a conversation. Search is an interaction between the human and the search engine; between the human and the text box or the 'Go' or 'Search' button.
It truly is a conversation. We search by using words put together in a sequence. But it's a give and take activity. Searching is a linguistic exercise. Make no mistake, it's all about words.
There is a give and take between you and the search engine. There's a constant interaction between you and the text box and then the 'Go' button. Give and take, back and forth. This is why search is a conversation. There is turn taking involved. One of the key points here is that it's nearly impossible or it is very rare to put in a keyword into a search engine and get a perfect result. This is especially true if it's a single word versus a phrase. You generally have to use more words to get better results. You need to add words to get better results. And, importantly, there's a give and take.
It isn't a one time activity. You put in a word, you hit 'Go', you get a response back - not what you want. So, you try again - not what you want. And, you try again - not what you want. You must go back and forth time and time again. You must hold a conversation with the search engine. Rather than talking you type, but the idea is the same. You're foraging, you're looking, you're searching. You're hunting. It's almost as if you're holding using walkie-talkie or two-way radio, holding the button in, asking for something, letting go of the button and waiting for a response.
Something does come back - it's a search results page. So again, give and take, back and forth. You're having a conversation with the search engine. What is the point? Why does it matter that search is a conversation? How can this help you? Simple: Words drive everything. Even when looking for videos and audio, you're using words and text. Your search is conversation. This means that you don't really have to worry about search engine technology. You only have to worry about the interface and how you share words with the text box and Go button. As a user you don't have to worry about what's going on with the technology behind the scenes. As a marketer, it is the same message.
Worry about the words and interface not the technology. Right now, and into the foreseeable future, search is all about words and that means that words are money. Search is about words and that means that advertising is about the words we use. Specifically, it is about keywords. Because it is about words, it is about using those words and having a conversation with the search engine. Don't try to beat search engines, just try to talk to them. Try to figure out how other people are talking to search engines. Figure out the words that they use. Find out how they carry on their conversations.
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