The Future of Search and Search Engine Optimization
We saw a lot of big changes happen to the search engine landscape in 2016. Google updated different parts of its algorithm. Bing and other prominent search engines are doing the same thing. All of these efforts are being made to make search engines smarter and more humane, allowing them to answer questions and understand complex requests.
2017 will be the year when more of these changes are implemented. We are already seeing plans for a better Google Assistant integration with smart home appliances. The Google Home router acts as a bridge between users and the Assistant. Voice search will be a big hit this year too.
The Shift Towards Voice
Voice search is not something new. We have had voice search capabilities on our phones for a while now. If you’re an Android user, for example, you can hit the microphone icon from the home screen. Apple’s integration of Siri is even more seamless, allowing iOS users to do so much more than search for information.
While voice search is a handy feature to have, the market for it hasn’t really grown as big as top companies expected. Only around 20% of all Google’s users actually use voice search on a regular basis. People are more accustomed to button presses and typing to find the information they need.
Fortunately, the market is experiencing a number of important changes too. Aside from smart home appliances, we also have smarter cars and other devices. A better way of interacting with search or devices is needed; voice may very well be the answer.
Voice Search in Action
Let’s take Google’s voice search as an example. Google now uses artificial intelligence or AI to process and deliver information. The AI is programmed to learn about human languages in their most natural forms. You can actually have a fairly good conversation with Google Assistant; voice search makes the whole experience more fluid and enjoyable.
Voice search itself is also more powerful. You can do so much more than search for information; you can tell your Google Assistant to turn off the light or book you an Uber ride home without even looking at the screen.
These changes matter. The latest study from Northstar Research noted a substantial increase in voice search users. 55% of teens are now accustomed to using voice search or voice assistant. 41% of adults use voice search and commands more than once every day.
The Impact of Voice Search for Businesses
Voice search will greatly impact businesses. If you’re using SEO to reach more potential customers, you will need to start to focus less on keywords and more on natural language. Search engines are now designed to understand natural language and long-tail keywords; these are the new ways of reaching the right audience.
Voice search also has the potential to boost local SEO. Local businesses know more about the common words and queries used by the people in the area, which means these businesses have more chances of reaching the right audience.
These changes are happening and they are happening right now. It is time to change with the market in order to stay competitive and enjoy a better SEO performance in general.