If your website is new, you need to start publishing the kind of content that search engines are asking for.
If your website is old, then you know you need to do the same, but this time first try to be the selected choice of the search engines to display your website as part of their response engines.
But, wait a minute, let me introduce you to two new concepts:
- Question Engines
- Answer Engines
I’m sure you’ve never heard of these two concepts, although the idea behind them should be very familiar to you.
The point here is how important it is that you understand why you need to embed them in your mind.
What are the Question Engines?
The question engines are users; they can be humans or bots/algorithms. Either way, they are looking for answers. These answers are regulated by search engines. You can think of the search engines as regulators or arbiters who decide which component of the answer engine to display to or for the question engines.
Two main actors can represent question engines:
🤷♂️ Humans, like you and me, looking for answers to our doubts or information needs of any kind.
📈 And bots or algorithms like web crawlers or search engine algorithms that try to understand everything about a website to index it in their databases to later be placed in a specific position that represents a place on the search results pages.
The question engines are millions of users (humans and bots) working together to shape the search engine results pages. All of them, not just Google.
Why is it important that you understand the relevance of the question engines?
If you don’t suck all the power out of what you just read, you could lose the ability to put content on your site that people and bots are really asking for.
It’s not about creating content; it’s about creating the kind of content that users want. The more they ask for that type of content, the more meaning that “question” will have in the answer engines.
You can put as much content on your site as you want, but if no one is asking for that content, the amount of organic traffic your site could get will always be insignificant.
Why haven’t you ever been told about question engines?
Well, you see, online marketing success is for people, marketers, who think out of the box. Yes, there are thousands of online marketers out there, but you know that the successful ones are a few. The reason is simple because few online marketers really understand how the internet works.
The ones who know, or in a smaller scenario, the ones who understand search engines better, those are the ones who are successful.
Takeaway: Focus on the need for the Question Engines. Don’t go and just publish untargeted content on your website, but be the answer to the questions in your industry.
What are the Answer Engines?
Have you ever approached someone to ask them about something you didn’t know, and the person knew less than you?
Avoiding that is the main goal of Answer Engines. We call search engines because the first actionable step that search engines activate for you is a question, a search, a query. They must have a huge database of information to try to answer your queries as best they can.
But they usually can’t create all the answers to all the questions out there, so they need us. Yes, they need you and me through a well-prepared website with information that the answer engines can use to satisfy the searcher’s needs, or as previously explained, the question engines.
Answer engines can’t just provide any answers; they need to be as accurate as possible. For this reason, they have implemented algorithms, several of them, to try to “understand” (for lack of a better word) the content types of websites.
These companies, big ones like Google, Yahoo/Bing, QQ, Yandex and others, try to provide answers to search queries on the web pages of their search results pages, but not as accurate as they would like. However, they are trying to get better every day by filtering out quality content and bad content.
Why answer engines and not just search engines?
The main purpose of search engines is to answer questions, so we call their pages “search results.”
They do the searching, they deliver the results.
In other words, you ask the questions, they provide the answers.
The more often the question is asked, the more often it will be asked, and the more traffic it will drive. True, the search engines need to be prepared with answers. However, if they narrow down a query too much, they start pulling other indicators or gathering signals to determine not only who is the best candidate to fill a relevant position in the search results, but also what users are saying or how they are interacting with that candidate (website).
Question and answer search engines are the big players in SEO and paid traffic.
If you don’t do this right, you will fall behind in the results of your digital marketing strategies.
Remember that your website is part of the answer search engines if it is relevant to one or more search queries. You need to align your content strategy with that because everything should be geared towards providing answers to the search queries out there.
Websites that answer questions have a better chance of ranking higher in the search results pages of answer engines.