Digital marketing is an industry that is very receptive to change; in fact it has to be to survive due to the constant shifts in the industry that occur almost monthly, whether it’s a new Google algorithm update or hot new tech that’s taking over the internet. At the moment, with the rise in sophistication of ‘AIs’ like Siri and Cortana, people are searching the internet using their voice a lot more than they used to and this has a massive impact on search rankings, because in the past when one would search for a restaurant in their local area they might search ‘restaurants LA’, but with voice search you’re more likely to get something along the lines of ‘Siri, what are the best restaurants in the Downtown Los Angeles region’ and this small shift is going to shake the industry up like pebbles in a blender.
The Effect on Content
As much as Google likes to deny it, one of the most viable ways to increase your search rankings is to link build – as long as you do it carefully, though. As I touched on in the introduction, search terms are going to get a lot more conversational instead of direct and to the point and so if your SEO campaigns rely on keywords then you’re going to have to update your practices. Conversational, long tail anchor texts are going to be become a lot more popular than they already are and keywords like ‘click here’ will probably be less so.
The industry is already working towards video content over written content, as is evidenced by the massive increase in script-writing jobs going on Elance. An increase in voice searches will fuel the ever-increasing need for optimised videos. Videos are a lot harder to get right and cost a lot more than getting some content written, but the benefits for your clients will be massive.
There are quite a few key players in the voice search game and they all function differently and have varying degrees of success. They also have a different set of pros and cons and all these factors will affect the search rankings which are going to lead to uncertainty. SEO experts are going to need to keep up to date on all aspects relating to this growing form of technology as its effect is going to be huge. Here are the key players:
- Apple – Siri
- Google – Google Now
- Microsoft – Cortana
- Amazon – Alexa
Another uncertainty comes from how these will affect local searches and what the result is going to be. Take the example I used in the beginning; all you need is a nice local LA SEO agency and you’ll be set on national and local searches, but when it comes to voice searches, how is this going to change and evolve? Many agencies will be reluctant to change so get in and nab some clients whilst this voice recognition software is still picking up speed.
These ‘AIs’ are all getting more and more advanced and are able to understand what you’re saying (whatever you accent or dialect) as well as learn and respond to what you need. The world is turning more and more into the film Her, but let’s hope that’s where it stops and it doesn’t become like I Robot.