Search Past the Search Engines


Back in November Facebook announced it had dramatically increased its search capabilities.  Then Pinterest started talking about its new visual search feature, allowing users to click on an image to search for other similar images.  Could search be about to change dramatically?


Google has dominated search for what seems like forever. (OK, we know there are other search engines – but how many of them have become a verb in their own right?) Realistically this isn’t going to change overnight but we do think we’ll see some changes in 2016.


We can see how the type of visual search that Pinterest has recently announced could become incredibly popular for the fashion and interior design sectors.  How this develops during 2016 will be interesting to watch.


We’ll also be keep a close eye on Facebook and its search function next year.  Google might be the undisputed leader when it comes to search engines but Mark Zuckerberg appears to have his eye on search, and we all know that Facebook is not to be underestimated!


The Facebook search bar used to be about finding friends or groups or pages.  Changes have meant it can now be used to search for topics or news in a similar way to searching for trends on Twitter.  You can now find historical posts from friends as well as information on any subject from other users as long as it is publicly available.


Where Facebook search hopes to be different is that your results will be personalised.  Facebook will use your social activity (the posts you like, the friends you have, the topics you take an interest in and comment on) to inform and prioritise the search results you see.


Some people might find this type of personalisation useful, while others will consider it invasive – as always there is a balance to be found between personalisation and privacy.  Facebook simply says it wants to build “an improved reputation as a place to search for real-time news and conversation.”


Another area that is having an impact on how we search is our increasing use of mobile devices and searching on-the-go.  Search via mobile apps has been increasing and experts are predicting that apps will account for a much larger proportion of search in 2016.


One thing is certain: as ever, SEO is changing and evolving and 2016 promises to be as interesting (if not moreso!) as in 2015.