The Future of Search: Voice Search & ChatBots

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We have clients ask all the time, “What’s new in search? What should i be looking for?” And we always have an answer. Today’s answer though, is for a slightly
more distant future, but one we should be preparing for.

Enter: voice search and chatbots.

Voice Search

Many of us are aware of, and many of us use, Apple’s Siri. Sure, Siri has caught a lot of flack over the years as ineffective and frustrating, but Siri
is getting better. Plus, the newest Apple operating system for desktops and laptops will now have Siri built in for better voice search and voice commands
when NOT on a mobile device.

And just for clarity, know that 20% of searches from a mobile device are now attributed to voice search.

How Does Voice Search Affect SEO?

The first thing to understand is that there are no definitive ways to currently optimize specifically for voice search. But, as time marches on and more
experiments and testing are done, we’ll know soon enough what needs to be done on a website in order to make it more ‘findable’ during voice searches.

Secondly, know that voice search is on the rise and it isn’t only Apple who is in the game. From Microsoft to Google, voice commands and voice search is
a growing technology (and growing in terms of adoption by consumers).

Third, the way people type and search can vary greatly from how they search via voice — the implications here (as stated as still unknown above)
will lead us (and other SEOs) to have to modify websites in order to be better optimized for voice search.

Again, this is coming down the pike and there’s nothing to rush out and do just yet, but we’d rather be proactive and keep you informed!

ChatBots: What Are They?

ChatBots are programs that use voice commands and search in order to seem like a human is having a conversation with artificial intelligence.

A good example of a popular ChatBot is Amazon’s Echo (Alexa). What are some things you can do now?

  • Ask Alexa factual questions that she responds to conversationally.
  • Have Alexa add items to a calendar or shopping list (that appear on your mobile device).
  • Ask Alexa to tell you about local pizza places/bars/movie theaters.
  • If you like Domino’s Pizza, you can ask Alexa to order you a pizza, she’ll order it for you and debit the cost from a credit card on file.

The point is, as more people adopt having artificial intelligence in their homes and workplace, the increased rise in voice-related searches will greatly
increase. And, as of this writing, Alexa queries Yelp for local business information (so you had better have a good presence in Yelp if you want to
be found as a small business).

Furthermore, later this year, Google will introduce its own in-home Artificial Intelligence ChatBot that will have Google search results under its belt
for an increased voice-activated search and search result program.

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