Search is More Than a Directory

An interesting Wednesday morning presentation from John Battelle at Inbound Marketing Summit discussed the evolution of search interface. (Ironically, I am unable to locate the presentation via the search giant John follows). Battelle covered the current transition from text-based queries on search engines like Google to audio, visual, and location based search made possible by hand-held devices of the mobile web. TellMe – acquired by Microsoft – is an early example of the transition to voice based search.

Battelle also emphasized the increasing importance of branding through search by demonstrating the initial presence of various companies through search. In our Googley world, customers increasingly develop their first impression from a Google query instead of an indulgent microsite or corporate hub.

So is your search result page more similar to a website or a yellow pages entry? Mine is still largely a text-based “Find Me Here” experience, requiring action from users for additional information. However, I will be working to transform thanks to inspiration from John. Initial task is ensuring my social web activities are immediately present to provide a visual representation of my personality and professional services.

Stay tuned to for additional information on how search results can be used for more than simply locating your brand through YouTube, Flickr, or Twitter (FYI: Here is a great script for adding Tweets into search results). The times are changing.