How Voice and Mobile will Transform the Future of Search

May 10, 2016

With the introduction of Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana and Amazon Echo's Alex, personal assistants have spread to mobile devices and with it, a more sophisticated type of voice technology.

Back in 2014 over 50% of teenagers were using voice search to carry out their online queries on a daily basis. We can only imagine where that percentage lies nearly two years later. With mobile surpassing desktop in total searches in 2015, it is a popular prediction that mobile voice search technology is only going to advance, but what does this mean for marketers and SEO experts? Prototype takes a look.

What we know about organic search

2015 was a big year for mobile. In April 2015 we saw the arrival of mobilegeddon, the dreaded mobile algorithm update that saw Google favor mobile friendly websites in mobile search results over those not-so-friendly out of date websites. This update saw those badly optimized, slow-to-load websites take a dip and CFO's all over began to dig in their pockets for extra cash to throw at their company website. Following this update, Google announce that the amount of searches made on a mobile device had, in fact, surpassed desktop, and that digital professionals should think with a very mobile first approach, to well, everything.

What will happen next in organic search

This is always left open for speculation, as Google does tend to keep its Google cards close to its mighty Google chest. However, one could presume that as the changes continue to roll out in favor of mobile, and with over 50% of centennials using voice search technology on a daily basis, that soon voice search results will eventually impact SEO. And quite significantly at that.

Why will SEO strategists need to adjust for voice search? Won't it be the same?

This is an interesting concept to ponder. Arguably, search results may not change at all and users will simply speak the simple search they type into the search bar into their phone. Or, we could see many variables begin to affect the results.

  • Will the voice-search algorithm updates encourage more long tail keywords?
  • Will SEO strategists have to reconsider which keywords to optimize pages for based on the more conversational tone users have when speaking their requests as opposed to typing?
  • Will the algorithm begin to pick up on gender, tone and accent?
  • How will this impact targeting and advertising if you can know, for sure, that the person searching is an African woman who lives in London?
  • Will pages need to be optimized for more questions based on geographical location to match what searchers are looking for?

Understanding the future of organic searchUnfortunately there is no way to predict when these changes will be made to search engines, if at all. Google typically updates its algorithm over 500 times per year, and with the larger updates, they will offer a formal announcement. In the meantime, the best way to stay on top of trends is to use the latest and greatest in mobile technology, whether that be search or any other mobile search tool that pops up. Chances are, if you know how to use it, you will know how to use it to your advantage when the time comes.

Prototype Interactive, an agency for SEO Dubai, is constantly on the forefront of up & coming or current trends in marketing, search, mobile and web development. If you have any questions about any of our areas of expertise, please contact us.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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