Tag Archives: keyword

Why people use search engines?

In 2012 the world made 1.2 trillion searches on Google. What do we turn to search engines for information?

Why we ask search engines for information?

Everyone uses a search engine for one of two reasons. Hoping to resolve some problem, is the first, or, secondly, to achieve some goal which is usually linked with expanding knowledge. Choosing correct keywords to represent information, however, proves difficult for people.

Clay and Esparza take a different approach as to why people use search engines. They conclude that there are three categories:

Research
This is linked to looking for answers to queries, as well as, finding data or information to make a decision.
Shopping
Usually these transactional queries use phrases, such as, “best price” or “free shipping”, for instance.
Entertainment
The vast information on the addictive web means people will happily spend a long time on a search engine to find various entertaining sources.

One study analysed the impact of task phrasing and found that different phrases produces different results. This is important for digital marketers, for instance, because they need to think of the various ways people ask for the same information.

It is a good idea to think about the 4 types of web search queries (informational, navigational, transactional and connectivity) and match these to your website. Knowing about keyword searching allows you to make your website visible for more search queries. This, in turn, allows more people to discover your site which allows your organisation to grow organically.

Processed information allows us to have wisdom.

Data, information, knowledge and wisdom.

Presentation of SERP

  • Position and relevance of results changes how a searcher examines the information they asked for
  • Search queries and snippets go hand-in-hand because long snippets lead to better search performance for informational tasks but degrade navigational performance

It is also worth noting, through click-though rates, that we are biased towards highly ranked results. When we ask for information and the results appear to be relevant to our search query approximately 33% of us are likely to click the first organic link. It is a good idea to monitor the rank and position of your keywords.

If you are checking what position keywords appear remember to minimise personalised results by using, for example, incognito browsing mode, cookie removing software and sign out of your user account. Everyone’s results are different due to personalisation.

Analysing user’s search behaviour allows us to conclude that most people, on average, search for 2-3 keywords. Think about what your audience will write and see where you rank for these terms.

Why do you use search engines? Tweet Gerald.

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References

  1. Barsky, E. and Bar-Ilan, J. (2011) The impact of task phrasing on the choice of search keywords and on the search process and success. Journal of American Society for Information Science and Technology. 63(10) pp. 1987–2005
  2. Belkin, N.J. (2000) Helping people find what they don’t know. Communication of the ACM. 43(8)
  3. Clay, B. and Esparza, S. (2012) Search engine optimization all-in-one for dummies. John Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, NJ.
  4. Zeitgeist. (no date) 2012 Search Trends: The World.

April 2013: Search analysis of Gerald Murphy’s Search

is bing better than google
bing is better than google
is bing a better choice than google
why i like bing better than google
better than google
2013 which is better bing or google
is bing better than google? 2013
The Is Bing better than Google? post was an excellent match since each of these keywords appear in the title, URL and body of text.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/privacy/cookies/about/?source_url=/privacy/bbc-cookies-policy.shtml
Although this is an URL someone has copied it into the search box and looked for mentions of that URL. In my post what are cookies? I referenced this URL so it returned a hit.
does yahoo access cookies to advertise
Yahoo! advertising and cookies was a very good match to this query because important keywords matched the title.
“the internet is a(n) ________ whereas the web is a(n) ________”
the internet is a(n) ________ whereas the web is a(n) ________.

What is the web? discussed the difference between the internet and the web.
url created by gerard murphy
Although my name was incorrectly spelt (Gerald vs Gerard) this blog’s index page was a hit. Spelling mistakes can affect ranking since there is a mismatch of keywords.
post a blog comment mobile website designer
My post on Mobile search and responsive design was a good match for this query since keywords matched “mobile”, “design”.
technorati search
Gerald Murphy’s search now on Technorati was a good match but the searcher, in this case, may have wanted to find information on Technorati’s search facilities. Search engines do not always get keyphrases in context.
google laptop
Google’s new laptop rumour was a good match for this query but the ranking would not have been very good because this was a one off article about Google’s laptop rumour on a search engine blog. It would have ranked high if this blog was about Google or laptops.
how long does it take to get bing webmaster tools show data
how long takes blog appear in bing search
How long does it take Google, Yahoo and Bing to index a website? was a good match for this query. I suspect that this was a quick query (i.e. the searcher wanted to find out numeric data then leave).
xbox 360 specifications
The newsjacking post on Microsoft’s new Xbox returned a hit for this query because the Xbox 360 was mentioned in the post. This post, furthermore, was about Microsoft’s X box so the search engine knows this post was relevant to an Xbox searcher.
does google index tumblr
what word search to put when searching for jobs
These queries do not have a specific blog post to match for. Because search engines know this blog is about search engine technologies they returned this blog since keywords are a match “google”, “search”, “searching”.
google complies with laws
Google complies with EU laws was a good match for this query since most of the keywords appear in the title and some in the URL.
geraldmurphysearch.wordpress.com+simply-put-keyword-searching
This advanced search, comprised of +/and commands, was an excellent match for this blog because of the Simply put: Keyword searching post.
gerald murphy seo
This blog was an excellent match for this query. My name and the term “seo” features a lot on this blog.
quality seo uk 2013
Quality, SEO and Google was an excellent match for this query because these terms frequently appear in the text, title and URL.
html “title tag” seo
Simply put: Title tag and SEO was an excellent match for this query because almost reflect the title tag of this post. These terms also appear frequently in the body of text.

Importance of search analysis

Why is search analysis important?

I have been posting, quite openly, the searches I get for this blog (see analysis one, January (2013) analysis two). But why do I do it? A few of these reasons, in no particular order, can be found below:

  • To inform my readers how search works. If you know why a search query returns a hit you will develop an understanding of how search works.
  • By analysing results I can see which terms are, in reality, being used. Are there any other terms I would like to see? If so, I can work on these by placing them in future posts.
  • Carrying out an analysis of the searches on my blog also displays my enthusiasm for search.
  • By carrying out an analysis I get to re-post the terms on my blog. By doing so, I am adding to the amount of times these terms appear on my blog. By doing so, these terms will continue to rank high. A search for “gerald murphy seo” in the UK allows this blog to rank extremely well.

So, search analysis allows you to identify how people are finding your site on the web. This analysis allows you to focus on improving specified keyword analysis (by running a search you received to see what rank a specific search query has) which in turn can allow you to improve a ranking for search queries. An analysis also allows you to think about the future. What content are you thinking of publishing? How can you develop, and improve, a search?

A Feb analysis will be posted in a few week’s time.