I just came across this interesting article on TechRadar that has some pretty thought-provoking ideas on what to expect from search engines in the near future. Since this is a pretty salient topic for PPC geeks like us, I felt I just had to put in my two cents.
The article goes over a few things that are old hat in the PPC realm – the rise of local search (you are using geotargeting, right?), the increasing sophistication of image and video search, etc. There was one point that got me thinking, though. The author, Paul Douglas, proposes that we’re in for a new revolution in long-tail keyword phrases. Next-generation search engines will be able to process queries like “I want to buy a laptop that has a 15 inch screen, a 400GB hard drive, and costs less than $800″ and deliver relevant results. Compare this to our current situation where one would need to type in “discount laptops,” make some notes, revise their search, and generally spend all afternoon browsing around.
Naturally, this would cause a revolution in pay per click strategy. It also raises some interesting questions. How could you even bid on a phrase that specific? If two-to-three keyword phrases become obsolete for information seekers, how will the search engines modify their ad sales models accordingly? Will we start bidding on users intentions rather than their exact keywords? How could you even do that?
Douglas also points out that a leap in technology would be significantly hindered by the users themselves – we’ve been trained to seek information in small-keyword phrase bursts. Even if we implemented this new advanced search algorithm tomorrow, it would take a while for people to adjust to the new style of searching for information on the web. All of this speculation just further drives home the point that in order to be a successful PPC manager, you have to stay on the bleeding edge of information technology, and predict these trends while they’re still on the horizon.