Last year was massive in terms of search engine awareness in the public eye. Everyone knows Google of course - it’s a verb after all - but last year saw the monolithic company hit news front and centre. From privacy concerns to whether they are doing enough to show users reliable information, they suffered just about as much as Facebook. And that’s saying something.
But regardless of all this, Google still demands the primary spot at the SEO table, and will do for maybe eternity. So, when you sit down for that dream digital marketing job interview in the digital marketing field, you need to know what you’re talking about. Here are a few things to keep in mind...
Unless, of course, Google announces some major changes, what we all focussed on last year should stay pretty consistent: mobile is king, brand is important, content marketing isn’t going anywhere, and closer attention needs to be paid to UX.
On top of this, with a closer look at SERP, structured data should be gone over with a fine tooth comb as we keep seeing prioritisation of rich snippets and knowledge graph displays. Though that leads us to the next point...
Something that not many people are talking about, and that you could blow your future employer’s socks off with, is a discussion around the confirmation bias issue facing search engines.
Google SERPs have been found to aid users’ confirmation bias tendencies by allowing them to easily, subconsciously skip over results they don’t agree with, and find links that mirror their existing beliefs.
No one’s exactly sure how big a change this will create in the way Google operates, but it will probably have some effect on the design of SERPs, where the company tries to highlight factual information and reliable sources, and more clarity around structured data presentation. Their purchase of Superpod last year is probably a tip of the hat to this.
Privacy and security. The first 20 years of Google’s growing reign over our lives saw a marketers dream of easy user information. Whether you agree with that morally or otherwise, it has enabled unprecedented audience tracking and potentially unrepeatable conversion rates (when used right).
But from what’s happened in the recent past, Google won’t just be focussed on facts. They’ll also double down on protecting user privacy - and making sure users know that - and prioritising trustworthy sites (that includes something as simple as making your site HTTPS).
So, this may seem like a short summary of what is a complicated beast of a search engine, but going into an interview with some historical and thought-out perspectives on Google will make you seem the real deal to the people on the other side of the table.
What do you think will be Google’s focus in 2019?