Jolina Pettice

SMX West Keynote: Level Set on Search 3.0, 4.0 and More

SMX West - Danny SullivanSMX West, in Santa Clara, kicked off today with a keynote from Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Land.

Danny started off the conference by talking about the different generations of search, of which many of us have experienced, the generation we’re in now and where he thinks the industry might go next.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Search 1.0 – Keywords – All about the keywords on the page and what ended up as keyword stuffing for the large part.

Search 2.0 – Links – Search results followed the democratic process and ranked websites based on the number of links (votes) the website was receiving.

Search 3.0 – All content is good content – Universal/Blended search is where we are today. This is the search engines’ integration of news results, images, videos, etc into the search results.

Search 3.0 provides a great opportunity for companies to own more real estate on the first page of the search engine results, if they are willing to leverage additional online channels, or sites, by executing:

–Image Sharing
–Video Sharing
–Social Networking

Search 4.0 – Personal Means Perfect? – Coming next, and by next I mean right now and in coming months, is Search 4.0 or Personalized Search.

The search engines, particularly Google, are shaping search results based on:

–What you personally do or visit
–What others you know do or visit
–What people in aggregate do or visit

A good example of this is one often used by the TopRank team. For example, you may search for ‘Mustang’ in the search engines. Do you want information on the car or the horse?

The search engines are now using past search history to determine what types of results to display. If you had been researching cars online, specifically the Ford Mustang, the search engines would then display car results.

Danny talked briefly about Search 5.0. One topic he touched on is the impact human refinement may have on search. Search sites like (humanly edited) and (not humanly edited, but still leveraging “make sense” categories) may gain popularity. We’ll see!

Next up is the Track about Blended Search aka Universal Search, obviously a hot topic at SMX West.

SMX West Keynote: Level Set on Search 3.0, 4.0 and More” was originally published at Online Marketing Blog.

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  1. Jolina, thanks for posting this article, I was wondering the way searching was going to go in terms of future algorithyms. The personal search method (Search 4.0) sounds very complicated, but should return slightly better results.

  2. Thanks for the rundown. Had planned to be at SMX, and your well-organized synopsis gives a great insight into the sessions.

    It will be interesting to see how search results vary depending upon how one is logged in on their computer. Many of us have different logins for Google and Yahoo. I’ve already seen different results depending upon how I’m logged in (via toolbars, email, etc.).