The main criteria for SEO and AEO in the future - understanding and credibility

Original author: Jason Barnard
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By sending a request to Google (or Bing), we formulate the problem that needs to be solved, or the question that needs to be found the right answer. The meaning of the existence of these search engines has always boiled down to easily and quickly direct users to the best possible result .

With the growing popularity of voice input, search engines are increasingly striving to provide the one and only right solution and increasingly rely on criteria such as understanding and credibility.

What needs to be done to take advantage of this?

In this article we will consider:

  1. Overview of the current state of affairs.
  2. Search engine development trends.
  3. What you need to do today.

Translated to Alconost

Overview of the current state of affairs

Desktop PCs → Mobile Devices → Voice Input

Search is developing along with the devices used - and this is the most important thing. The transition of users from desktop PCs to mobile devices has significantly influenced (and continues to influence) the behavior of search engines. The use of voice queries will have an even greater impact - both on how users search and on how search engines provide answers.

Voice communication is by its nature more verbose, natural ... and ultimately requires a single answer. What does this mean in the context of the relative importance of positions in search results?

In the 2000s, when desktop PCs prevailed, the position on the first page of delivery was considered success, the next few pages were an acceptable result.

Here the user selects the best solution (answer) from 10–20 options.

In today's mobile world, success is the 3rd place in the SERP. An acceptable result is the top half of the first page.

In this case, the user selects the best solution (answer) from half a dozen options.

Google and Bing from systems for simple search are turning into systems for receiving answers to questions asked in a natural language (English "answer engines", optimization for them - AEO). Therefore, success can be considered the first position (and increasingly - “position 0”), and the third place is an acceptable result.

In this situation, the user accepts the proposed best solution (answer), but can still choose one of two or three other options (with some effort).

Acceptable Search Engine Rankings

What does this mean for natural traffic?

While 2018 is coming, it's too early to worry. This year the situation will not seriously change. But this is just the right time to move from the principle “either the first page or nowhere” to the principle “either the first position or nowhere” and begin to prepare the site and company for a new paradigm.

But when 2020 comes, it will be time to worry.
It is unlikely that anyone would call it unreasonable to suggest that by 2022 search traffic will be equally divided between desktop PCs, mobile devices and voice input.

  • In 2005, the first place was given 30% of the market share.
  • In 2017, the first place was given 40% of the market share.
  • In 2022, 60% of the market share will give first place.
  • ...
  • In 2026, the first place will give already 80% of the market share.

As you can see, the shift towards greater importance of the first position in the issue is accelerating.

We are gradually moving to the moment when making voice searches becomes very convenient, so the ability to take the first position in the search results (No. 1, “position 0”, “recommended option”, “response window”) will be crucial. Competitors are already in the know - and are working on it.

However, tearing your hair out is not worth it - not everything is so gloomy:

  1. The importance of the “No. 1 or nowhere” trend will greatly depend on the market and type of business. In the general case, this will primarily affect niche markets and local business representatives.
  2. The number of verbose clarifying queries will increase, so you can get to the first place in at least some issues, thus sharing the risks.
  3. Voice search will not be able to completely replace mobile devices, as they did not replace desktop PCs.
  4. It is important to remember that desktops, mobile devices, and voice input will still drive their share of traffic . What exactly will be the distribution, one can only guess.

Search Engine Trends

This is exactly what Google needs in the first place.

Understanding. Google search algorithms need to understand who you are and what you offer - then they can consider your offer as a potential candidate for the best solution.

Credibility. After it became clear who you are and what you are offering, your offer can be selected as the best of several options - for this Google relies on such a concept as relative reliability.

In the new world of answer search systems, the most important is understanding and credibility.
The rest is secondary.

What can Google algorithms understand now?

A basic understanding of

Google’s algorithms does not start from scratch: they already understand something about a variety of brands - basic information. And for most brands, this is pretty good basic knowledge. Below are some numbers from the website (which measures brand authority).

Once in the top 20 percent, you can get a significant competitive advantage.

In-depth understanding

Google’s algorithms lack details and confidence in the knowledge gained - what I call “in-depth understanding”. Today, Google has such a level of understanding for very few brands - perhaps five percent or even less! Here are the most seductive opportunities:Google gives a significant advantage to those brands in respect of which there is confidence in the correctness and sufficient detail of knowledge.

Note. The first line goes far beyond the schedule and reaches almost 80%. This means that Google’s algorithms do not have an in-depth understanding of more than 80% of brands.

Reliability from the point of view of Google

As already mentioned, search algorithms do not start from scratch: they already have an “opinion” about the reliability of specific brands (good or bad). The validity of this opinion is supported by a lot of information.

Once in the top 20 percent, you can get a significant competitive advantage.

What to do today

What to do to get ahead of competitors.

Informing. You can relax and hope that the algorithms themselves will "understand" your brand and your offers. And you can actively "communicate" with them, giving information about who you are and what you offer.

Conviction. You can relax and hope that the algorithms themselves determine that you and your offer are the best of the best. Or you can try to convince them that your proposal is the best and deserves more trust than the rest.

Let us take a look at this from the other side: now all responsibility is on you.

Inform - so that search engine algorithms understand you and are convinced that your brand is the most reliable solution.

Methods that will help to effectively inform search engines and expand their brand knowledge

Tip. Drive your brand name into the search now and see what appears on pages 1 and 2: you need to work to ensure that all the results on the first pages reflect a positive, consistent and unambiguous idea of ​​who you are and what you do.

  1. Semantic HTML5.
  2. Structured layout.
  3. Quality materials using the appropriate vocabulary.
  4. Provide links and mentions on the pages of the most suitable brands and improve their quality.
  5. Receive confirmation from third parties (not related to you) and increase the level of confirmation.
  6. Confirm and increase the value of external references and links on the brand website.

Techniques That Help You Convince Google That You Are Trustworthy

Tip. Look for your brand name by adding the word “reviews” and see what appears on pages 1, 2, and 3 — this is what Google considers to be the most representative public opinion about your brand. Your first priority is to work to ensure that the results on the first two pages represent your brand only on the positive side.

  1. Promote positive results from pages 2 and 3, replacing them with negative ones (no need to spam fake reviews - this will turn against you).
  2. Positive reviews on the respective platforms that appear on pages 1 and 2.
  3. Ask reporters to update the articles that appear on the first two pages.
  4. Positive reviews and customer reviews on social networks (including your reaction to them).
  5. Confirmation of industry colleagues (associations, conferences, etc.).
  6. Get good support from opinion leaders and journalists.
  7. Provide links and mentions on the pages of the most suitable brands.
  8. Confirm and add value to everything listed on your own website.

Marginal note. Understanding and credibility must be developed simultaneously.
In order to give credibility to the brand and its offers, Google needs to understand who you are.
Credibility without understanding does not mean anything. If you understand, but do not trust you (bad reviews, negative opinions on social networks, etc.) - this, of course, is bad. Understanding without trust can destroy a brand.

Future Cheat Sheet for Answer Search Systems

  • Google algorithms need to be understood, and your task is to inform and educate them.
  • Google's algorithms are looking for reliable information, and your task is to convince them that you can be trusted.

Understanding and credibility together ensure brand authority

. Note. The article was written based on the results of an extensive study that I conducted since January 2017 for the site In addition, to illustrate the current level of understanding that Google’s algorithms have and how they take reliability into account, some figures from the data from were used. The following shows how much information we collected and analyzed last year.

About the translator

Translation of the article was done in Alconost.

Alconost localizes games , applications and sitesinto 68 languages. Native-language translators, linguistic testing, cloud platform with API, continuous localization, project managers 24/7, any format of string resources.

We also do multilingual contextual advertising and promotion of multilingual sites .

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