Essentially, the website set up today is like throwing everything at you. And there’s no decision mechanism, no way to differentiate what you’re interested in and what’s that to keep?
You know what Google’s trying to do is to take it from the query, but rarely can one question contains enough information.
Usually, there are a few pieces of information we need.
For Example, One of the clients, Carl, is trying to help people decide how to get to the grand canyon. It’s an overview of having them decide what they want to do because that determines whether they want to go to the west rim, the south rim, the east canyon, the area, or the north rim.
The grand canyon is one of the most evergreen things on the planet.
There’s erosion, and there’s a river at the bottom, but it’s still like, whatever you say about the grand canyon today is going to be true in 50 years.
I’m trying to help segment them to get to their answer quicker on how best to visit the grand canyon.
Tolstoy might be the way to do it, as that allows you to break it up into multiple steps.
Think about all the content you’ve already made and the questions that are treeing people down.
Do you know where you are coming in from and how much time you have?
You ask a couple of these simple questions, and note that you want to do eight questions before making a recommendation as a quiz app would.
You ask a question or two, feed them a little bit of value, and then ask another question along the way, like an actual consultation would be.
If you do that, you could eliminate 98% of the work in trying to make more content and making more videos because you’ve already said everything you need to say. You just haven’t asked the questions that push them down one path.
You have the content, but you don’t have the gating that moves them between the stage and the tree.
Do you like this or do you like that?
If you explicitly ask questions, you will already have all the content.
Usually, there are a few pieces of information we need. If we were to have a thousand Carls, they could all talk to people who want to know about the grand canyon.
What would that encounter entail?
You keep the website and put an interactive Carl in the corner.
That’s not the Microsoft Bob paperclip, as that’s not very helpful. I think that could be huge because it isn’t the whole. You could have the most beautiful video, the perfect shot, but it isn’t the best.
You could put together a decision tree pretty quickly, encompassing 80 and 20 most of the things you want to do.
That’s the goal, and that’s the challenge.
I’m trying to help you get to your answer quickly without going back and forth to Google and other websites. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish.
Build a tree at the top with questions. Don’t try to hike it up and down in one day.
So at the top, you have questions and queries, and you know nothing about them. And at the bottom, you send them the content you already have.
It might be your website.
What is Google doing?
If you just put some of that logic there, you will make a better experience for Google because what Google’s trying to do is they’re trying to imagine you’re the search engine.
Unfortunately, most of Google’s taking these queries because people don’t know how to search.
So, For Example, people type in grand canyon tours.
And if you’re Google, you’re thinking, ” Oh, grand canyon tours, what does that mean? Is it like a three-day trip?
How much money do they have? Is it for a whole family? When do they want to do it? What kinds of stuff do they like?
We don’t know when someone searches grand canyon tours, what they like.
So what Google does is say, well, I know that Jorge from Miami– maybe he wants to do this with other Hispanic speakers.
And I see that he’s been to Las Vegas, and I know that he does some hiking, and I see that his father is maybe a little older and they perhaps can’t walk as far, or maybe so Google knows something about Jorge because he’s logged in and has a Google account, or does other Google searches.
So they can sort of start personalizing the responses, even if Jorge types in just grand canyon hiking, but they can still guess what Jorge might like.
But even still, it’s not that good.
Google’s revolutionary change
In the next couple of years, Google’s moving into a revolutionary change in search is they’re moving into more variations of PAA (people also ask).
It could be that right now; you’re seeing just one PAA module. And maybe there’s another one.
But Google’s doing this because they realized how search used to be. You ask for one thing, and Google gives you the answer.
Like, what’s the capital Iowa? What’s the temperature outside? They’ll give you the answer.
That’s what a search engine does.
But Google wants to be more contextual. And they’re thinking that people asking about the tours– it’s part of this whole thing as they’re thinking about the price and the best interest to go, should I drive?
Or can I visit without a tour?
So these are all things that are related. Of course, people also ask this, but if I click on one of the PAAs, all of a sudden, it shows me more PAA on top of more PAA. So, how many people have suddenly fallen into the grand canyon?
You see how one PAA triggers more PAAS.
So can you see the interactive sequential question asking? Once you ask this, it just keeps it like driving.
As you further drive the fog, you can see iterative one step at a time. Each action leads to the following action.
Do you see how Google’s already doing this?
It’s interesting in the early days, when we had a call room, that was the challenge. People didn’t know what they wanted, so they’d keep asking questions, trying to put their arms around what they wanted. And it’s exciting now how Google’s trying to accomplish this.
And so they’ve announced embedding multiple PAA modules inside the search.
Well, okay. That’s interesting, so now my search results are all being.
Get tailored only to show me results that are relevant to my search. It is also kind of a PAA here.
That used to be like following the keywords people would search at the bottom. If Google’s doing that and if Google is organizing the way they are answering people’s queries based on what I just talked to you, this sort of interactive questioning where one answer leads to the next thing.
And pretty soon, you’re down the rabbit hole.
So we don’t want to fight what Google is doing. It would be presumptuous and full of hubris to assume that we know better than Google.
Google is doing this because it knows that people are more impatient and getting smarter about searching.
The average search query used to be two words. And now I think it’s three and a half to four. And by next year, it’s going to be five words.
People are getting smarter about searching.
So it’s going to lead people to more. It’s going to bypass things like your homepage and social media.
So, if I make grand canyon hiking trails and see a different set of search results, it’s not a local search result.
But they’re going to start showing more rich snippets. There are videos with universal search.
About the Author
You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.
You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.