Digital Illiteracy affects how online content is perceived and distributed in Bangladesh
Did you ever try to find a Bangla language or Bangladeshi content online but couldn’t quite remember the title of the video or address of the website? It bound to have happened to anyone that uses the internet. For English language searches, trying a combination of relevant and unique keywords search normally helps find a content you forgot the title or web address for.
But for Bangladeshi content, it is often more frustrating. It affects everything online and that is why search engine optimization or SEO is so important for anyone uploading anything on the web, if they care to be seen that is.
SEO plays a pivotal role in online businesses. It is the key to generate traffic for all types of websites. By honing this skill, businesses can achieve high organic rankings in search engines.
This process enables brands to pinpoint what their visitors are looking for online. These businesses can use this information to create lucrative content. Websites can be adapted to locate, record, and generate content that helps retain customers. The results that are displayed are based on complex algorithms. They are also known as search engine ranking factors. These algorithms abide by several rules before positioning a certain website on the results list.
According to Oberlo, Google had been visited 62.19 billion times and processed over 3.5 billion searches every day in a 2019 study. There is no doubt that this marketing channel can help businesses earn steady dividends. The right content will provide continuous traffic to websites over time. Claiming a spot in the top search results will also lead to a large number of customers.
However, Google admits that it is harder to provide for specific searches. What users are seeking might be hidden within paragraphs. Recently, the company introduced passage-based indexing. This enables the search engine to understand the importance of specific passages. The results now rank individual passages instead of the webpages.
Google will still index full pages. It will only show the desired passages to the user’s query on the search engine. This breakthrough will help users acquire information more swiftly. Danny Sullivan, Google’s search liaison, claims the new feature is simply a ranking change. It is much different from “featured snippets,” which is primarily used for voice search.
Previously, Google would find relevant content by paying close attention to page titles or headings. It ignored any information that could be found within the page. This new feature highlights any section that is relevant to your topic.
Online businesses operate in a highly competitive market. Millions of users seek products or search for solutions every day. However, the ongoing pandemic has transformed conventional shopping methods. The lockdown may have compelled users to stay inside their homes but it did not drive away their demands. The shoppers simply shifted online. Entrepreneurial organizations and individuals are using social platforms as selling points.
The e-commerce industry in Bangladesh is flourishing. According to Statista, the market is worth $2 billion this year. It is anticipated to grow and be worth $3 billion by 2023. Online users prefer search engines for product or service recommendations.
Websites that appear in one of the top suggestions tend to gain most customers. Challenges are met here. The absence of infrastructure increases the fear of online shopping. Poor digital connectivity or financial services were thought of the root causes, but true the culprit behind the veil is lack of digital literacy.
A study conducted by the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development found that almost all rural households own a cellphone. However, half of these households did not have access to the internet. According to an article in Dhaka Tribune, the majority of people can exchange text messages. However, they are trailing behind when it comes to basic digital literacy. This includes using search engines to obtain information.
A potential reason this rift exists is that the Bangla language is not used. The vast majority is looking for localized content. Internet users will find digital content in their native language more trustworthy. Incorporating multilingual SEO services is not an easy localization process. Languages such as Hindi and Bangla have their scripts. Complex processes must be executed to ensure search engines are tied to the websites.
India decided to incorporate voice searches to optimize SEO services. A study claims that new users are more comfortable with speaking than typing. This enabled the poorly educated citizens to utilize search engines too. Other countries are making use of other search engines to incorporate their languages.
Japan is inclined towards Yahoo while China predominantly uses Baidu. Exposing SEO across multiple domains is a commonly used strategy too. According to an Indian newspaper, 68% of Indian users think digital content within their regional language is more dependable than English. Using English to optimize a website is simply an easy route, not a successful one.
This shows that digitalization in Bangladesh still has a long way to go. The country must first uncover barriers in terms of awareness and ability. Connectivity comes next. The infrastructure is more developed in urban areas than rural ones. A survey conducted in 2018 stated 17% of the people that do not own mobile phones are for the lack of mobile coverage.
The country must begin to increase online education awareness. Digital access should not be binary either. Bangladesh must first find a way to connect people to digital technologies and services. Designing for inclusion will help improve the capacity of development and change.