Finding things on the internet becomes less important when people stop looking.
People haven’t stopped looking yet, but they’re doing it less. Why? Because they don’t have to search for content anymore. It comes right to them. Content is being discovered and pushed right to them by their social networks.
Why head off to Google or Yahoo to conduct random searches on keywords when friends, family and colleagues are sorting through news and information for us and sharing it with us via email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube?
I can’t remember the last time I searched for social media news on a search engine. My social network sends me breaking news, trends and thought pieces on my industry in a constant timely stream. I’m updated on industry happenings by watching my Twitter and Facebook streams.
I can get a sense of trends and news through the headlines and can glean “hot” news by what items are most popular or by what is trending. And then when a specific topic of interest comes along from someone I trust – I can click on it for more information and details.
I only time I use search engines is when I’m looking for something specific. When I know the information is out there because I’ve read it before. Or I’ll use a search engine as a shortcut to websites I frequent. I find typing out “New York Times” in Google is quicker than clicking on my bookmark tab and scrolling through my favorite websites (yes, my bookmarks are a mess!).
When Google launched Google+ it wasn’t just a play to cut into Facebook’s success. It was an admission that the days of search – particularly paid search – are numbered. It isn’t going away anytime soon, but like any technology that has become mainstream it will slowly decrease it time.
Google knows that web browsing is already passé. Who surfs the web anymore? Instead people browse their social networks. That’s where the activity is taking place because the content on social networks isn’t random. It is customized for each individual. We built those social networks around us. Our Twitter streams and Facebook News Feeds have become our personalized news sources.
Newspapers, if you will, created specifically for us.
As a result, web browsing or searching the internet becomes less satisfying and more time-consuming.
That’s why the new frontier isn’t SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The new frontier is sharing – and figuring out how to optimize sharing. The art of writing content and crafting short headlines (tweets and status updates) that trigger the sharing impulse and make people want to click-through is where we are headed.
Keywords and SEO are still with us and will be for a while yet. But the good news is that creative, bold, insightful and smart content will win. Content with multiple layers and interactivity will win.
Brands on the forefront of content creation – of inventive and innovative content – will be the winners in the new world of sharing optimization.
Is your content worth sharing?