Tech advancements: How do you search for information on the internet?

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How do you search for information on the internet was a question we certainly asked in the mid-1990s. original hotbot logoThe first search engine that I used was Hotbot, which launched in 1996 when I was in high school. It was slow or maybe it was the super slow connections we had back then! Forget about WiFi! Computers were plugged into the wall then!

Then Google came around a couple of years later and today Google sees 8.5 billion searches – with a B – per day

So it made sense for people to ask how do you search for information on the internet? And as it turns out, about 30 years later they still ask that question and certainly there’s been some changes. The types of search engines that are out there has evolved. The early search engines were purely based on text and were pretty simple when compared to today’s constantly-changing algorithms. But, I’m not a technical kind of guy, so this isn’t about how those algorithms work exactly but about the different ways that you can go about searching the internet for information.

Let’s discuss:

Let’s talk SEO and content

Text-based search engines 

This kind of search has been around for the longest. Type in your question and Google or another search engine gives you the answer. You can also search in the toolbar of Safari and Chrome and it searches your default search engine. You can change the default engine in the settings.

Voice search

the new echo pop with alexaVoice search is basically when you are verbally talking to a device and ask for something. “Hey Alexa (or Siri), what is a content performance culture?” And then Alexa or Siri respond verbally to your question. 

You can also verbally ask questions in a web browser if your device – like an iPhone – has voice dictation turned on. It will then use the default search engine to respond with written search results.

Read next: Making voice marketing part of your strategy

Visual search

Visual search can now be done through Google Lens or even the Amazon app. Point your camera at something and you’ll get results just like you would with a text-based search engine.

Read next: The Power of Visual Search Examples to Rank in Search

Image search

Image search is two-fold.

Firstly, your unique images, infographics, whatever that you use on your website can rank in Google under the Images tab and at times images are shown at the top of text results. So using and tagging images on your website correctly is a must and part of a good SEO strategy.

Secondly, people can search by uploading images to Google Images to get results.

Read next: How original photos can help you rank higher in Google Image Search 

AI in search

Certainly, artificial intelligence has the potential to make our marketing careers easier, more efficient and probably even disrupt them. Google has already announced that AI will improve search for the end-user and AI engines like Perplexity AI are taking internet search results to a whole other level. Ask them a question – also called an AI prompt – and it spits out the answer while also mentioning the source content.  Here are the results when I asked it to tell me about myself.

AI search results for Christoph Trappe

Final thoughts

How people can search the internet for information and doing so effectively and successfully will certain keep evolving and these are just some of the main ways that are currently available. 

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