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What is Contextual Search?

Up until now, search has worked something like this: a search engine user types in a word or phrase into a box, and the search engine/website returns a list of webpages that it considers to be important and relevant to that search. The ranking and order in which these webpages are presented depends on a multitude of variables as search engines strive to provide meaningful results.

Over the past few years, search has gotten a lot better in a variety of ways. One notable improvement takes the search engine user’s location into account. Location is part of what experts call “contextual search”, which is now even more important with the advent of mobile computing. Where we are and who we are makes a huge difference if the search results that we want and the contextually aware search engines are working to use that information to decide what results to return to us.

However, contextual search actually presents a huge challenge for search engine optimization, as being on page one will no longer be good enough. Instead, the webpages in positions 1, 2 and 3 will receive reliable traffic especially in mobile usage where devices have limited space to display data.

Written By: Jeff Harrison 

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