The headline of this article is a really famous misquote, yet thanks to the internet it still persists today. It is attributed to Charles Holland Duell who was the United States Commissioner of Patents which of course is the grain of credence which gives the myth life. If you want to know what he really said you can read it on Wikipedia but it does raise the question, are we running out of things to invent?
This question was prompted by a recent question from a client about how people are searching and finding them on the internet and after careful analysis, we established that despite a headline number saying that most people found them from a single word or ‘short tail’ search the truth was that most of their visitors were from the ‘longer tail’ searches of three or more words.
Add to that a quote in 2007 from Udi Manber who was at the time Google’s VP of Engineering who said that 20-25% of the queries that they were seeing at that time they had never seen before and you start to wonder where search is going.
New inventions, fads, fashions and searches arise every day, and if evidence was ever need of that then take a look at this graph. July 2012 zero searches. October 2012 the peak of all searches for the term “Gangnam Style“.
Love it or hate it the term was a completely new one which spawned a thousand imitators and spread worldwide in months.
Thankfully this particular trend is now on its way out but the point here is that we can’t predict what the next fad or fashion is going to be. What we can do however is to research where the search trends are going and help clients to build sites that answer these questions even before they are asked.
Building good content on your website has never been more important and if you do so you’ll find that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. On the other hand, if you do have an original product or idea then you do need to find a way of promoting this, and if you do it right then you too could be the next Gangnam Style internet success.
Clearly it would seem we are not running out of things to invent; in 2009 almost 22,000 patents were applied for in the UK alone. Worldwide the number is in the millions. And with this inventiveness comes the requirement to search for new things and that means new search terms, search volumes and search trends.
If your business is standing still or going backwards in search then perhaps now is the time to review what you are targeting and how you are doing it. The results may astonish you.