Google indexes trillions of webpages. Not billions. Trillions. Searching using the keyword ‘Zombie’ provides me with 305,000,000 search engine results, in a mere 1.15 seconds. That’s an awful lot of content to trawl through – an awful lot of communication that I am probably going to completely ignore. Instead, I’ll click on the top few webpages, skim through the content, and then make another search.
Moving to a One Answer World?
We are a society that on the one hand edges closer and closer to the need for instant gratification in every aspect of life, including communication (hence the rise of Snapchat, WhatsApp, the emoji…) and on the other, is exposed to more and more forms and sources of communication and information. The result – we have become disillusioned and disconnected with most of these sources. We want the answer and we want it now. We don’t have the energy, the time, or the inclination to research. Lots of companies have already identified this millennial pain point, and their new forms of technology feed into this need for instantaneous information with great alacrity. Take Google Home for example. Or Amazon’s Alexa. Voice search provides us with the ability to belt our questions on a whim and hear a single answer. That single answer is the solution to our need for quick information, but it is also the problem. Technology is deciding which answer we hear and closing us off from all of the other possible perspectives.
In some instances, this is not a problem. If you want to know what the weather is in the places you’re just about to head out to, then there will (probably) only be one type of weather. If you want to know what the time is in New York City, then one answer will most definitely do. It is a problem however, when technology decides which news article to read to you about the latest political coup. Or, when it gives you the answer to a moral dilemma. Before, we would sift through the information and make our minds up for ourselves. Now, if we move into a society where we are disengaged from information and choose to live by whatever the one answer a piece of technology provides us, we have lost the ability to think (and communicate) for ourselves. We have become zombies, losing our communicative autonomy, and this is not what we should be.
Content is King
This is not only the fault of the communication zombie, however. The blame also lies with those people creating the content to sit on the webpages that nobody wants to read. People today often don’t even have the time to read exceptional content – so why would they waste their time on bad content? The old adage goes ‘Content is King’, and this has never been truer than it is now.
Search engine optimisation is the process of improving your website to help it rank better in search engines (something that is necessary for all websites now that Google indexes so many pages). Content is a vital element of good search engine optimisation because search engine optimisation should focus heavily on making the user experience the best that it can be. Thus, we can fight the problem of content and communication disillusionment online, and slay those modern zombies by directing our attention towards online content. Stripping away the fluff and replacing it with what people need to know.
Alex Eade is a zombie slaying expert from Footprint Digital