Martina Mercer

How Generation Y Use Google Search

If you’re over 30 you’ll have fond memories of when Google search first launched. Along with Google we used Ask Jeeves and other search engines to find what we wanted, and we did used to ask full questions of our search engines such as, “Where can I find a shop that sells replacement bulbs for my Audi car headlights?”

This long tailed question style of finding answers soon disappeared along with the popularity of Ask Jeeves (although some of the older generation do still use this search engine) and we became more savvy as we realised we only needed a few words to find the information we needed.

That original query quickly turned into Audi headlight bulbs as it became the norm to use just two or three words for a Google search. Many of us still search like this although we may add a location or include a negative search term to exclude results that are not relevant.

Generations of Google Searchers Have Evolved

When training with Google earlier this year, at their London campus, I learned that Generation X and Y are now searching in a completely different way to what we’re used to.

Our searches have evolved alongside the growth of information available on the internet, and it’s this deluge of content that generation X and Y are sifting through with their advanced method of searching.

Two or three keywords used to be enough, but now, there’s so much competition for those spots in Google, that younger users are finding this doesn’t produce the results they need quick enough. Of course, they do produce relevant results, but the X and Y generation find it takes too long to scroll down the page to unearth the page they seek.

This is why children and teens have now reverted to the five or six keywords for searching, with keywords being the operative word. Instead of asking a long tailed question, like in the Ask Jeeves days, these searchers are removing any unnecessary words or “stop” words, such as and, with, where, can, find and instinctively using the keywords that will narrow the search dramatically and produce the best results.

Our Audi Headlight Bulbs becomes:

Buy Audi TT Replacement Headlight Bulbs London

It’s fair to say that this search should throw up either a product page for the actual bulbs or a store close to the customer’s location, allowing the user to checkout in seconds, or to buy the bulbs nearby the very same day.

The user didn’t want to be presented with bulbs for other Audi models, the user didn’t want information on how to fit the bulbs, the user wasn’t interested in the history of the Audi headlight, the user wanted a first page full of options for completing the task they set out to, when entering the six words just a nanosecond ago.

The Impatient Generation

Time is precious, time is fleeting and generation Y realise this. They’ve grown with the internet and have had access to the wealth of information from the start and so expect it all at their fingertips all the time. Many of us over 30 are still in awe of just how much we can access through Google and other search portals, as we still remember the traditional methods of the Yellow Pages, the Library, or relying on a friend’s recommendations. We forgive if we’re presented with irrelevant results, generation Y does not, their expectations grow faster than technology can progress and it’s only the savviest brands that can keep up with the ever-changing rules of the search!

This is why it’s always important that you choose a dynamic PPC Agency with a finger on the pulse of all generations, from 8 to 80 in order to minimise your Adwords spends and to bring you the greatest profit.

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