Discovering the Future of Search at HubSpot #INBOUND15

Molly Bruno

Written by Molly Bruno on Fri, Oct 09, 2015

You can’t talk about inbound marketing without touching on the importance of search. Effectively understanding and using search terms is one of the main parts of an inbound marketing strategy. Whether the conversation is about Google, SEO or keywords, it all comes down the same thing: how do the words we type into search engines affect the results we see? 

FutureofSearchOf the vast amount of topics covered at HubSpot INBOUND15 conference, one session dared to take on what can be the overwhelming subject of search. While the mere mention of machine learning and artificial intelligence might leave some running for the hills, CEO of Distilled, Will Critchlow, broke down the changing landscape and future of online search by concepts most relevant to inbound marketers today.

Search is undergoing dramatic changes, according to Critchlow, and here is what you need to know: 

Google gets you.

When you take a moment to think about just how much search engines are designed around your searching habits, it’s mind-blowing. You can type in virtually anything, and within seconds, algorithms are put to work to provide you with the most relevant answer. But, it wasn’t always this way, according to Critchlow. 

He explained that search used to only involve matching the exact words you use to search with words on a web page.

Screen_Shot_2015-10-07_at_2.15.21_PMToday, that has changed radically, and we rely on Google to simply understand the context of our searches. Now, if you type in “best pizza shop in Philadelphia,” Google knows to use implicit information for context to provide a result. 

For example, the implicit information Google discovers here could be that you are an iPhone user, on the street, in Philadelphia. Understanding both explicit and implicit information in our searches has made search engines supremely aware and able to deliver the types of the results we expect, according to Critchlow. 

Key takeaway: Search today is becoming less about keywords and more about the intent of our queries.

Mobile: You think you know, but you have no idea.

We know, we know… creating content for mobile devices is important. But, why? Global mobile traffic grew by 69% last year and one in five millennials access the internet exclusively through mobile devices, for starters. According to Critchlow, social media is an enormous part of mobile search - and if social is mobile, content marketing is also mobile. 

With over 50% of Facebook users accessing the site through a mobile device alone, and Twitter and email following closely behind, Critchlow emphasized the importance of “mobile-first” marketing. How can you accomplish mobile-first marketing? 

  • Design content specifically for mobile devices in mind.
  • Use tools (such as Google Chrome or HubSpot’s content editor) to test out mobile optimization and preview content among different mobile devices. Are images and links adapting and working properly? Does the content flow well on a mobile device?

Key takeaway: Ultimately, if your content is not mobile optimized, you could be drastically cutting down the potential for your best content to be seen and shared.

Did you attend #INBOUND15 this year? If so, we would love to hear your favorite takeaways and insights. Couldn’t make it this year? Stay tuned. Our inbound marketing agency will be continuing to blog about our ultimate takeaways. And if you happen to live on the Florida-Alabama Gulf Coast, join us for next week's #GulfCoastHUG where we'll host an informal discussion about all we learned at #INBOUND15. It's the CliffsNotes version! Register here.

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