search engines

The future of voice search: 2020 and beyond

What does the future hold for voice search? If you search the web for these words – or a version of them – you’ll encounter no shortage of grand predictions.

“By 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen.” Or, “By 2020, 50% of all searches will be conducted via voice.” (I’ll come back to that one in a second). Or, “2017 will be the year of voice search.” Oops, looks like we might have missed the boat on that last one.

A marketer’s guide to Chinese search engines

In July the China Internet Information Network Center (CNNIC) published its bi-annual report into the state of the internet in China (report in Chinese).

The report is a good guide into the browsing behaviour of netizens, the common phrase used to describe Chinese internet users.

The report is based on surveys sampling 30,000 Chinese residents older than six, from all of China’s administrative regions.

In this article, I’m going to examine the implications of the report and use the findings to help guide B2B marketers to understand the search engine market in China.

Why you need to Schema now, not later

Last week I came across a great thought-provoking article by Carrie Hill on Search Engine Land outlining a few underutilised ways of implementing schema.

Much of the article was technical common sense until I read the words: Schema Now, Not Later.

Anyone that has read my previous posts on Econsultancy (especially those on the Knowledge Graph) will know of my love of all things structured, which is why it was such a joy to hear others lauding the virtues of schema.org mark-up.

Why your brand needs ‘organisation markup’

Google recently released a blog post outlining how Schema.org organisation mark-up can be used as a way for publishers to tell Google which preferred logo they’d like to appear against their search results.

This had previously been available to brands on Google+ but its availability has been extended following a shift in behaviour by the search engines to try and display this information in a completely new way.

Google’s Knowledge Graph: one step closer to the semantic web?

Google was rather busy last year with algorithm updates and product launches, but that didn’t stop it from taking strides towards the “internet of things” and a more semantic web.

As I wrote in my recent search engine analysis 2012 saw Google announce to the UK one of a number of aggressive product announcements that may well prove to become the most game-changing (in the long run) in terms of the web.

Enter the Knowledge Graph, a database of over 570m of the most searched-for people, places and things (entities), including around 18bn cross-references. A truly impressive demonstration of what a semantic search engine with structured data can bring to the everyday user.

More than 75% of searches result in click-throughs

More than 75% of searches in July resulted in clicks through to websites, underlining just how adept search engines are at delivering relevant content.  

Stats from Experian Hitwise show that Bing and Yahoo had the highest proportion of ‘successful searches’, meaning searches that resulted in a click-through, with 84% and 86% respectively.

Ask and Google both achieved a success rate of 76%, however it should be noted that it is increasingly common for Google to give users the answer to a query without them having to click on something.

As part of its new Knowledge Graph that was rolled out in May, Google now shows information relevant to search queries in a column to the right of the search results.

Search engines driving less traffic to Facebook Pages: report

Some advertisers may be questioning their investments in paid Facebook ads, but even the brands most unhappy with Facebook’s paid advertising offerings are, by and large, continuing to spend big bucks on their Facebook Pages.

Those Facebook Pages may not technically be owned media, but Facebook Pages are free, and brands have more control over them than anything else on Facebook, so they’re often treated like owned media.

How to view regional search traffic in Google Analytics

As a web analyst, I have been playing around with Google Analytics for many years now and have increasingly enjoyed watching and waiting for new features that a)add better ability to gain insight about a web business and b) make my life easier!

Features such as custom variables and event tracking have been an absolute gift in terms of being able to understand who visits my clients’ websites, which features are interacted with and what value this delivers my clients.

Frustratingly of course, there are areas where things could just be a little bit better and that’s where (in all honesty) we get to have some fun by re-working the way Google Analytics delivers data by creating hacks and being creative with filters.