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Contact South West Web Marketing Could Voice Search Affect The Future Of SEO?

... Then along came Siri and Google Talk..!

Voice-based search queries have not traditionally been a significant consideration for search engine optimization (SEO); people usually would rather type their queries into a browser directly, therefore avoiding the errors and that can come with automated voice translation from accents and so on. However, voice recognition technology is becoming more accurate and pervasive, making it a possible influencer for future search engine algorithm developments.

Siri V Google Talk

At the moment, voice search is a rising influence, though not yet a prominent influence, so its role in the world of search is still being explored and understood. But if Google and Apple continue refining their voice-based technologies, search marketers everywhere will need to adjust their strategies to accommodate them.

How Does Voice Search Exist Today?

Voice search currently exists in a few different forms. Most notably, Google offers a voice search function on its site, noted by a microphone-shaped icon that’s tucked away and rarely noticed. With this system, users can speak their queries aloud rather than typing them, conveniently initiating a search without ever touching a keyboard.

Voice search also exists in the form of virtual personal assistants, like Apple’s Siri. Siri has become exceptionally more sophisticated over the years, and can now help users with organizing tasks and storing information in addition to performing Web searches.

Google reports that 55 percent of teens are now using voice search, with 40 percent of adults currently using it. Those numbers don’t indicate an overwhelming majority by any stretch of the imagination, but they’re certainly up from numbers we were seeing just five years ago. Voice search is becoming more popular, and will likely continue to grow as the technology becomes more advanced and accurate.

What Are The Important Qualities of Voice Search?

A person using voice search usually has different intentions than a person using traditional search. Similarly, while the fundamental search algorithm is the same for both voice and traditional search, there are different query types that voice search tends to fall under. Understanding these differences can help you prepare for an audience who prefers voice search, and can help you adjust your strategies to accommodate them.

So Do Keywords Take Another Step Back?

Google has been diminishing the relevance and power of keywords, because too many search marketers fell into a habit of over-optimizing their content by stuffing keywords into content and as anchor text for backlinks, and not enough webmasters were focusing on content that simply delivers value to human readers. The Panda algorithm update, which started rolling out in 2011, fought back against this, starting to eliminate keyword-based search results in favor of broader and more sophisticated means of populating relevant pages in search results.

Voice search makes keywords even less relevant; rather than typing individual words into a search bar, users speak their query, usually into a phone. Doing so naturally encourages users to speak in a conversational way, creating unique and different queries to be processed by search engines, bypassing the need for keywords and instead rewarding sites with content that falls in line with the user’s request.

Semantic Search Becomes More Important

The Hummingbird algorithm update, back in 2013, introduced a new element to the world of search: semantic context. Rather than the keyword or context-based searches introduced initially by the company, semantic search analyzes language in a natural way, deciphering the meaning behind the search query rather than the search query itself. This may not seem like a major distinction, but the consequences it had for search marketers was staggering.

So for example instead of "Private Label Dating" a semantic search would be "What is Private Label Dating?"

Semantic search put one of the final nails in the coffin of keyword-based optimization, instead favoring sites who worked to give answers to common questions, or solutions to common problems. Successful searching is, after all, a matter of figuring out what users need and giving it to them. For search marketers, that meant covering more specific topics and including more natural long-tail phrases in the body of their content.

Voice search will increase the relevance of semantic search, mostly because users will be speaking naturally in order to enter a search query. Searches will become more conversational, and search assistants like Siri might step in to continue that conversation—at least some day.

Search Needs Are More Immediate

There was once a time when searchers had to go to a specific place in order to perform a Web search. Today, they can do it immediately. Mobile devices have small screens and are often used on the go, making vocal search a more popular option for users on the move. People using voice search are usually looking for something to fulfill an imminent need, such as:

Finding a nearby location for a restaurant, store, or other establishment
Getting instructions or advice on how to start or finish a project
Obtaining quick information, such as dates or figures

This means an increase in voice-specific search could correspond to an increase in value for content that answers questions or gives immediate advice.

What the Future Holds

There’s no telling how many technological advancements in the world of voice-based search are right around the corner. In a matter of years, voice search technology could become far more advanced and more prevalent, making it the search medium of choice for the majority of the population. Apple’s commitment to developing Siri and even smaller mobile devices like the Apple Watch seem to be an indication that hands-free integrated experiences are the way of the future.

Though some elements of voice search are unpredictable, we can reasonably assume that the major tenets of voice search today will continue to grow: keywords won’t matter, semantic search takes priority, and people will use voice search when they have an immediate need.

Some voice search options will likely evolve to dissect user queries and give immediate answers, without the need for lengthy SERPs (like we currently have). Google’s Knowledge Graph is already an indication of this, and increasingly small devices like the Apple Watch could benefit from an immediate question-and-answer format. If that’s the case, search engine optimization, as an industry, will continue its rapid evolution.

What You Can Do Now

Let’s assume that SEO will still be vitally important over the course of the next several years (since it probably will). If you want to capture a larger share of the voice search-using audience, incorporate a few additions to your existing strategy:

Write more content that answers questions. Give users very specific information, preferably in a format that poses and answers a question, such as “how do I build my own dating website?” or “what is white label dating?”
Forget keywords. Instead of trying to build rankings, focus on giving your customers information on the topics they seem to want most.

Start an online forum. It will encourage natural conversations and exchanges, which will increase your value in semantic searches and naturally bring up topics (again, in question-and-answer format) that people will search for.
Keep watching the development of voice search technology. As it evolves, it could dictate the future of online search as we know it.

Article by Jayson DeMers - First seen on Forbes.com July 2014

To learn more about Private Label Dating follow @datingfactory - For more SEO tips for the Online Dating industry then follow @dating_seo

Tags: Marketing Strategies, Search and Google, What is Voice Search?