Ronnie05's Blog

Of Vertical searches and Applications Indexing

Posted in Applications and User Interfaces, Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on December 25, 2013

A few eternities back, I had written a blog about vertical searches i.e Search which categorizes and indexes results not only as a part of information and discovery, but also as a part of a contextual experience – i.e Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action paradigm. You can read the blog here. Google takes the first steps to integrate vertical searches across platforms by Application Indexing and Ranking on its search engine.

Google is now planning to index the contents of the app, something it has not done before. This enables Smartphone users to open a contextually relevant app from mobile search results itself. This will change the search results a little bit and include links to apps along with the regular search snippet that Google already displays. However, these deep links to apps from within the search results would be displayed only on Google search results on Android.

This is a revolutionary enhancement made by Google in order to feed the demands of an increasing number of Android app users. Sites that already offer specific apps for their audiences can expect an increase in the number of users using their apps because Google would be sending direct visits to site-specific apps from the search engine result pages itself. This feature is currently available on Google search app version 2.8+ for Android 4.1+ and also in Android specific mobile browsers.

A search string will automatically enable Google to identify and list only those apps that are already installed in user Smartphone. Also, only sites that have app indexing and app deep links enabled would be shown in the search results. Also, with increasing usage of app indexing would eventually produce a ranking of apps as per its popularity index reliving the SEO paradigm all over again from the Applications perspective. All of this is rapidly adding onto the concept of Application based internet.

SEO is dead! Its time for Vertical searches to take over. Semantics come in next!

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on June 24, 2011

With the advent and evolution of Mobile as primary devices to access internet, the nature of search is beginning to change.Search has to evolve to keep pace with the changing nature of internet and be able to be relevant to browsing through mobiles as against through desktops or laptops.

Search 1.0
Traditional Web search is “horizontal” : complex algorithms, immense processing power, vast data centers, and even human editorial involvement are used in an attempt to span all sources to respond to queries.
These resources are used to “recall” all possible relevant links. The majority of the results produced are information resources and links to websites, rather than specific content. The user is faced with clicking through page after page of results. Broadband connections and powerful personal computers with large screens help make horizontal search useful, though often imprecise and labor intensive.

“Mobile” augments Search 2.0:Vertical Deep Dive Search
However search on mobile requires a different level of precision. Mobile,“on the go” users conduct their searches with less powerful, small screen devices and must deal with network limitations. They face an entirely different challenge and have different goals: 85% of the time they’re shopping for content they can consume on their phone. Results must be precise or the content simply won’t be discovered and consumed. Long click distances and click fatigue kill content discovery. The experience is frustrating for users and threatens revenue opportunities for mobile operators and content providers alike.

Mobile users are not looking at a million “matches” but possibly 10 deep matches, with huge degree of relevance, contextual applicability, profile understanding, local “sense”, social discover-ability and referencing and more.Users need to connect far faster—in 2-3 clicks—to the content in each of these relevant vertical channels, need linkages to payment gateways, social sites, rewards programs and much more. While there is a debate on how much content will be delivered: in terms of HTML5 web page or Applications, i would vote for Applications to be more versatile in doing the deep dives with user relevance. Add to this a decent dosage of Semantic Web and you have a huge opportunity to take search monetization to a new level with precision targeting and relevant solutions.

So where does SEO stand?
SEO, Adwords, Adsense are industries unto themselves which have allowed and helped users to refine data search and monetize effectively. However most of these techniques work on indexing the horizontal web- the dead links of Google. Search now is actively propelled by billions of bits of content created by the users collaborative, sourced from the crowd: Twitter and Facebook being the prime examples. These are examples of active web… always generating, creating and moving instead of the static web-pages of yore. Thus the delivery medium for these need to be mechanisms which are forever refreshing and renewing with new data.

Thus the challenge today is not SEO (ad placement), but to analyze, understand and cater to mobility experiences and i am betting my money on Applications and Vertical searches.

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