September brought along some major changes in search. Google announced that a new version of its algorithm called Hummingbird has been launched and also that, soon, keywords won’t be provided anymore in Google Analytics. Google has been ahead of trends and a lot of the things it does reflect how the web as a whole changes. So this big news might give you some ideas that can be applied into other areas of the online marketing.
But why this evolution of the search engine took place only now? Was this improvement technically difficult until now, or did Google perceived a difference and a new way of searching in user behavior?
The other major change Google announced, the disappearance of provided keywords from Google Analytics, it may also be linked to a new pattern of searching for information, where keywords and queries aren’t processed the same way anymore.
How does this link to conversion optimization?
If we interpret these changes as a reflection of the direction internet is going, this means that consumer behavior will have a decisive role to play in the future of search engines and websites. Google’s new algorithm corresponds to a more human behavior and a human way of thinking. Pages won’t necessarily need to match exact keywords; they will rather need to correspond to specific topics.
All of the above point to an increasing need for testing and finding out what users want, why they have arrived on a specific site, are their intentions purely informational or are they searching to buy something?
Inward looking strategies might be the answer to handling Google’s mysterious attitude toward keywords. Conversion rate optimization will help you work more on site and respond better to customer expectations. Through CRO strategies you can see visitors’ engagement with the content and make the appropriate changes. The high quality content Google is always talking about may be exactly the content your visitors are interested in, and the one you might identify through CRO.
So, if you want to comply more with the new web trends in search and with users’ expectation, you should not be afraid of A/B testing or multivariate testing.