This is the third article in a series about The Death of the Business Website. The other articles are:
We at dLook have been thinking ahead—to the next 5, 10, 20, even 50 years to the future of marketing your business online. At the turn of the century, many businesses—especially small- to medium-sized businesses were slow to make a website and lost market share because of it. Right now, the same thing is about to happen—and it relates to adapting to the new way that people find content online. Google used to help you find what you are looking for (e.g. a plumber); now it just gives you the answer. And the way it does this is by using advanced algorithms which increasingly involve Artificial Intelligence.
But the answer is not always as simple as a date, a quote or any single string or text, link or image. Sometimes you are doing research and find yourself having to skim through numerous articles. In the future, you will just have to sit back and watch a video….
Modern day readers of the visionary Neuromancer by William Gibson are still captivated by the scene in which the protagonist does research in cyberspace. He just speaks a query into the computer and it automatically creates a documentary-style video containing the info he is looking for.
Neuromancer was published in 1984 before the advent of the internet and yet it is still so far ahead in what it envisioned (in fact, this research scene is the least of what it prophesies). Web users have are increasingly preferencing image and video content, but, the reasons why we still read so much on the web are:
- Not all information has been made into video, as the editing process takes a lot of time and money.
- Videos are harder to skim through than text. For fast, specific information, text is still the clear choice of research medium.
- It is a well-known rule-of-thumb that textual information is ‘deeper’ than images or videos. Documentaries fly in the face of this rule but they are so outnumbered by essays and articles that overall, text does go a lot deeper.
But we believe that the next revolution in the web will be what we call ‘algorithmic video’, and this will solve all three problems. What is this zany idea that you are reading here first?! Ok, so you type a query into Google and the algorithm that interprets your search doesn’t just return the most relevant links, text, images, sound and video—it edits them into a documentary. Then you just sit back and take it all in. For research, this is far easier, more entertaining, more memory retentive and more efficient. x It’s like TV and that isn’t a bad thing. Video has a reputation for being shallow but that doesn’t have to be the case with documentaries. It can be informationally even richer, because video is processed 60,000 times faster than text by the brain. And this is actually one reason that we naturally prefer them. The other reason is of course of our preference for less work. And TVs provided the ultimate in relaxation whereas the internet was actually a step in the opposite direction due to its heavy textual and interactive nature. But algorithmic video restores the laid-back quality of TV and whilst this seems like a negative thing, remember that it is delivering you the information that you need to know.
Objects in videos would be clickable, so that you can browse the web through links, but without leaving the video. For instance, you click the Sydney Opera House it takes you to a new video about the Sydney Opera House. So you can browse the web without leaving the video.
You can see how this would change everything. The website would become not obsolete, but mainly just an information source to be crawled by Google’s AI and integrated into the video experience.
In fact we predict that Google’s entire first page of search results will become a YouTube-like cinema, and the textual links will start on the 2nd page.
What Does This Mean For Online Marketing?
If text links are moved to the 2nd page of Google, then Google’s main revenue stream—advertisements—will be within the video itself. This may occur in two ways:
- Pre-play advertisements: like present-day YouTube—these are ads that play before the video plays
- Integrated advertisements and sponsored content: these are advertisements and links within the video itself that have been paid for by the business. For instance, a business may pay to be featured as the plumber recommended by the video in 1000 web searches.
You can see that (2) is the more leading-edge method and also will probably become the most prominent. (1) is a waste of time for the user, and is easily blocked by ad-block software. However, (2) is too integrated to be easily blocked and moreover, is still useful to the user because it provides with the functionality they requested in their search.
What Does Algorithmic Video Search Mean For My Business Today?
It means the slow but sure death of the business website (as we know it). Having an online web presence is even more crucial than ever, but it will become less important for your website to be attractive to humans and more important for it to attract Google’s bots. Most modern businesses spend large sums on maintaining a flashy, stylish website, and you will be relieved to know that this won’t be an accepted requirement for much longer. Instead, small- to medium-sized businesses will do better to opt for dLook Express Website pages which are webpages that are well-designed for users on PC, tablet and mobile. But, they are especially optimised for Google’s bots. They have all the key info on your business that bots are looking for: name, location, opening hours, images and SEO tags.
When you make Express Website pages, you are optimising the chances of your business’s details being selected by Google to show up in a ‘card’ on the search results page. These cards which you would have noticed—deliver the key info that the searcher is looking for without them having to click any web pages. So they just search for a plumber and it comes up with your number. These cards are only the start of this new kind of search results—where Google just gives you the information directly. So we at dLook recommend making free dLook Express Website pages now. These pages are valued at $295 each and give your business a head-start into a future that is about to hit the headlines like a speeding train.