Today we use our voice to communicate more with our devices than ever before. Voice assistants on smartphones, and smart watches, and smart speakers are everywhere. Overtime, we’ve gotten more comfortable relaying more complex commands to our voice assistants as well.
So it’s not hard to imagine that voice tech is slowly setting the benchmarks and rules for SEO in the future. With voice search becoming the default medium for search, this is a certainty. Let’s see how exactly what voice tech for SEO will lead to.
Voice is Becoming the Default Medium for Search
At the moment, nearly 3.25 billion people are using voice search and assistants. This is nearly half of the world’s population. While most don’t have flagship smartphones or smart speakers, they’re using some form of voice search. Hence, the world is become more and more comfortable with using voice search.
So it stands to reason that in the future, more and more searches will be carried out through voice. This means that more conversational queries and questions will be put into Google. It also means that Google will have to adapt to this new medium of search. This will mean more specific queries and longer keywords.
More conversational queries will mean that companies and businesses will also have to change their marketing. They will have to design webpages and improve their ads to better communicate to their customers.
Snippets will also become more valuable as a result. Smart speakers and smart voice assistants won’t read huge paragraphs. Neither will users prefer huge blocks of text being read out to them. Companies and businesses will have to reduce their word count and increase their optimization for niche audiences.
That will involve coming up with more and more specific keywords and phrases to appeal to certain niches. This will increase the likelihood that voice search locates an optimized web page faster.
The Google Hummingbird Update
Google’s Hummingbird Update focused on semantic search. It prioritized recognizing context through accumulation of data. This will be a game change for SEO voice tech. By the phrasing of certain words and sentences, the meaning of a query can change. That recognition is still not innate to software.
With Hummingbird, that will improve through an iterative process. This update will ensure that reading not just the keywords, but the query in its entirety will be favored. That alone will impact SEO on a huge level. Short keywords will become less and less relevant.
Voice Assistants are Rising in Popularity
According to Juniper Research, consumers will interact with nearly 8.4 billion devices that feature voice assistants by 2024. Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are only the tip of the iceberg. Huawei has also jumped in to the arena with its smart speaker and voice assistant. Those aside; Microsoft’s Cortana, Samsung’s Bixby, and lots of other smaller players are jumping into the game. With so many voice assistant offerings from big companies, their use is bound to increase. This will force SEO to become more voice-based in the future.
It’s only a matter of time until SEO becomes overwhelmingly voice and conversation centric. Not only will this determine how marketing and search will evolve, but how we evolve with it.