For the second year in a row, the HuFu team is in Boston for the INBOUND conference hosted by HubSpot. It’s three days of education, inspiration, and entertainment.
Ok, so that last one’s not a word. But we’re getting it anyway!
Before coming to Inbound, Hudson Fusion knew Google was smart. But apparently, we weren’t giving it enough credit for just how smart it really is. We’re in the middle of a really exciting time for search, and it turns out that Google’s new logo is only the tip of the change iceberg. The bigger changes are still forthcoming – shifts in how Google works and what its massive hoard of users have come to expect. As we know, Google’s main purpose is to understand the intent of a search query, not just index it. But what about searches that never actually mention the name of what the user is actually looking for?
Will Critchlow, CEO of Distilled, cited a great example of this in his session “The Future of Search.” Google, he pointed out, is so smart that some of its search results are so ridiculously accurate that they shouldn’t exist. The engine is uniquely powerful enough that, were one to search for “That movie where two guys drink wine,” you’d get Sideways. Nowhere in that search did the user mention Sideways. Google is smart enough to read between the lines.
Google isn’t merely literal; it’s also astoundingly intuitive. In the past, searches were always explicit, meaning only the literal information that was entered into the search bar was taken into account. Today, such explicit information only scratches the surface, and implicit data is becoming a crucial means for Google to understand a user’s needs and wants. Google will take into account what type of device you’re on, what time of day it is, and what your geographical location is, just to name a few. And all of this implicit data is making all of the difference in Google achieving its end goal – keeping its users happy.
We have actually gotten to the point where Google is so smart, even Google engineers don’t completely know the reason one page will rank higher than another. And we can even trust Google to decide which webpages are best. Talk about revolutionary! With A/B testing for Google, we can forget about the users and what they want for a minute, and focus on what Google wants. Yes, that’s right. We can by creating two types of web pages – a control and a variable page, we are asking Google to reward what it prefers. The benefits of A/B testing are hard to argue. They include the ability to optimize for actual Google preferences with no guess-work, and the ability to avoid wide-scale losses from unsuccessful tests
All of this together means that PageRank is becoming very difficult to measure, and that, as a result, how we approach inbound marketing (and how we gauge the results) has to change.
But don’t worry. HuFu is on the case.