The Internet is rapidly becoming a place where data is being generated in enormous quantities. This trend is largely due to easy access to the web through different mobile devices. Easy access to the web has been fueling the social media revolution due to which data is being churned out every second and by the minute mark a huge data set is being created. These data sets are complex and hard to process with the current crop of database management tools. There are hundreds of other data sets that are being created in many places which collectively form what is called as Big Data.

Prominence of Big Data

Social media websites top the list of key contributors to the big data reservoir. For instance, Facebook alone churns out an average of 300 terabytes of data every day, with close to 80 million pictures being uploaded to the website. Big data brings about serious complexities to both machines and users who are looking to extract required data from the huge pile.There is a serious need of devices that can store more data, notably hard drives, SD cards, USB devices, and more. An average hard drive at the current usage rate is required to store at least two terabytes of data. A few years down the line, the requirements may double or even triple.

As for the content that is generated and hosted on the web, servers and datacenters are constantly being upgraded to handle the additional load. Eventually, search engines are the most impacted, as they are required to process, index, classify and rank this colossal mass called big data. As the popular search engine, Google processes and indexes close to 25 petabytes of data each day. The alarming thingwith all these figures and stats are that they are likely to recede; in fact the figuresseem to steadily increase on a daily basis. Now let’s analyze how big data will impact the way search engines rank and list content.

Impact on Search Engine Rankings

With big data, the whole process of search engine optimization takes a hit and requires alterations to be made to traditional techniques. Keywords are the fundamental elements of any SEO strategy and with the prominence of big data finding your competitive keyword will be difficult. Traditional SEO techniques primarily involved targeting your top 40 keywords, but today SEO analysts are targeting close to thousands of keywords for effect SERP listing. On the flip side, search engines rank content based on the best matched keyword for the search query. So, with big data the targeted keywords list will be extensive.

In order to break down complex and raw big data, search engines are looking for new ways to categorize content. For instance, most of the high volume searches will comprise of a combination of content types, namely images, videos, documents, podcasts and blogs. Hence, search engines give more authority to different content types with the same keywords.As more and more users take to social media websites, search engines will value the content that comes out of these websites, as they are user generated and. So, presence on social media will be a must in the coming years to get listed on search engines.