Remember Google from a decade back. Which one do you prefer? The Google of 2008 or the Google of 2018?
Google is much more specific now. It’s understands the context and intent of the search and shows the most relevant results.
The evolution of the biggest tech giant has been nothing short of mind blowing. But search marketers need to up their game to evolve with Google or they risk losing.
Let’s take a look which direction online search is moving in and what it means to the search marketers.
Virtual assistants have been around for quite some time and just in case, you thought you could ignore it, here’s something you should know about it:
In 2015, around 50 billion voice searches were made a month and Comscore predicts that more than 50% of total searches will be voice searches by 2020.
What I am trying to tell you is that voice search is indispensable. People spent way too much time browsing on screens and typing things before voice search changed everything.
As a search marketer, you should be concerned about optimizing your website for best voice search results.
Natural Language Processing is central to voice search.
What is natural language processing?
A computer science area blended with artificial intelligence concerning the interaction happening between computers and human languages (natural).
It’s the ability of a computer to understand and produce human language (involving speech). Virtual assistants use natural language processing heavily through artificial intelligence and new developments are underway for helping people communicate with computers for regular, everyday tasks.
Voice search has already begun influencing the search behavior of internet users across the world. In the distant future, taking out your smartphone and actually typing a query may as well become obsolete.
Search Marketers need to focus on improving user experience by offering better voice search results.
According to experts, page speed is central to voice search. An average voice search result takes around 4.6 seconds to load. So, search marketers need to make sure that their websites load faster.
Google’s voice search particularly prefers HTTPS websites and shows short, to the point answers.
Moreover, the higher your domain authority, the stronger your chances of producing better voice search results. In voice search, social engagement plays a huge role so it’s best to produce socially shareable content to increase your chances of appearing on voice search results.
Another huge factor that search marketers and writers should keep in mind when optimizing for voice search is readability. Google prioritizes readability so make sure that your content is easily readable (preferably 9th grade level readability). Long form content is another favorite with Google Voice Search since it’s usually all-inclusive.
Desktop search results influence the voice search results heavily and if you can manage to claim the featured snippet position, you will definitely rock the voice search results.
Rank Brain, Artificial intelligence and integration
The world of search engines have made the switch to artificial intelligence and Google’s AI, Rank Brain, is something that no search marketer should turn a blind eye to.
Artificial intelligence is also heavily involved in voice search but Rank Brain is something that’s influencing desktop and mobile search results heavily too.
Google’s Rank Brain enters the picture when really uncommon and unique queries are made. Google has already prioritized user experience and utilizes Rank Brain to ensure that it produces the best results when searchers make broad queries that Google finds hard to decipher.
Rank Brain evolves every second, absorbing the search behavior analytics and information that it receives from across the world. It takes semantic search into account and focuses on offering contextual and integrated response.
The center point of Google’s AI is searcher’s Intent. Rank Brain saves the day when the Google Algorithm finds it hard to decipher the searcher’s intent.
For example, if you type Audition in Google, Rank Brain will help you get the most relevant search results. But before these results appear, the broad query confused Google too where Rank Brain helped and resorted to semantic search and numerous other factors.
Now, if rank brain wasn’t there, Google will end up producing results like the entire history of Audition with an array of irrelevant results. Rank Brain takes the entire natural language and search behavior in consideration before showing results.
Moreover, you can integrate your device using artificial intelligence and get updates. For example, it’s a reality that if you are supposed to pick someone up and you make a reminder on your calendar for the task but if their flight gets cancelled, AI will update you about the delay.
In fact, if you frequent a subway or an automated public transportation system, you will be informed of the arrivals and departures throughout your duration at a specific station.
Google now accurately offers millions of results for billions of searches through artificial intelligence. Behind each of this search is a well identified search intention and context.
Artificial intelligence helps Google identity searcher’s intention and the search’s context.
Understanding this search intention and context and applying it to your content strategy will help search marketers rank better in the future.
AI can especially help marketers predict shopper’s needs and maximize their leads by guiding these shoppers following an intuitive approach.
What does this mean for search marketers?
Search engines are growing dynamic and Google has come a long way from its keyword stuffing and spammy link, page rank days from a decade back.
Big names from Google have themselves stated that they dream of a world that where Google will answer the queries before they have even been made.
Mobile search has definitely turned the world around for search marketers but they need to grow smarter and empathize with their targeted users. Website speed has always been a big factor in deciding the website’s ranks but search marketers now need to focus on query intent and context while designing content strategy and curating content.
Virtual assistants are brilliant and no more just a marvel movie reality. Moreover, they are amazingly convenient and are making lives easier by letting searchers get solutions and answers without really typing a query. The SEO value to semantic search, natural language, voice search, Rank Brain is huge and knowing how to use it to your advantage while adding to the searchers’ experience will definitely prove to the most valuable information to search marketers in the coming years.
Voice search is an opportunity that a huge chunk of the search marketing world has been blind to for a terribly long time. It’s also intricately related with local search and as Google is stepping into a new era of search, it’s definitely defying predictions and designer better ways of finding more accurate, relevant results based purely on advanced techniques.
It’s even possible that search may even become screen less in near reality and search engine results pages may become defunct.