Google’s latest foray into the smartphone market is already making headlines.
The Google Pixel comes as the search giant’s first attempt at smartphone hardware since the inception of its Nexus line.
As with most things Google, early reviews look positive.
Journalists seem especially impressed by the integration of Google’s new voice-assisted search platform, Google Assistant.
Google Assistant is the next evolution of the Google Now platform, and looks to bring increased functionality and a more human element to voice search.
It’s a smart move in the wake of voice search’s increased popularity.
Google’s own data shows that 55 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults use voice search more than once a day.
This data, combined with the recent push by Apple to integrate Siri deeply into the iOS ecosystem, has the mobile world primed for a personal assistant revolution.
What we’re left wondering is how this voice search revolution will affect mobile SEO. Undoubtedly there are changes coming, but what these changes are is up for debate.
Knowing what lies ahead will play a vital role in adapting SEO practices as voice search becomes standard.
Let’s take a look at what we know SEO affects so far.
Speak It, Don’t Type It
The written word and the spoken word don’t always translate well to one another.
Keyword strings that returned relevant results in a voice search don’t always return positive results in a text search.
For example, let’s say you own a movie theater. Your keywords are probably tailored to your location and some combination of the words “movie, theater, cinema etc.
That’s fine for traditional text searching, but not so much for a voice search.
Customers searching by voice won’t hit your keywords. Their search will probably look like “Where can I watch a movie,” instead of “movie theaters in Atlanta.”
Start changing your targeted keywords to what people are likely to say not type.
There Can Only Be One Result
This title isn’t 100 percent accurate, but the sentiment remains.
Voice search is aimed at functioning as your personal assistant. After all, Google Assistant is named as such for a reason.
Google’s increased emphasis on psuedo-human interaction means that voice search results don’t return in lists.
You’ll receive the “best” answer to your query based on location, relevance, etc.
If you’re ranking as the “best” answer this is all fine. However, when “best” varies by location, it is not possible to return your business every time.
This means that your website will experience decreased visibility.
Google is banking on data that shows 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches, with 88 percent of these consumers using their smartphone to do so.
It’s an uphill battle against your smartphone’s GPS that you can’t win.
What you can do is ensure the rest of your SEO is strong enough to return your business when customers are nearby.
Are Paid Results Finally Gone?
Maybe. We’re holding onto the hope that voice search will mark the end of paid search results.
The Google Assistant platform simply isn’t conducive to paid results. As discussed above, the platform emulates a human.
Allowing a company to buy the singled returned search result will destroy organic search and SEO as we know it.
Here’s to hoping Google stays away from paid results and continues to allow successful marketing, and not money, to dictate SEO.
The voice search revolution is beginning and has real potential to shake up mobile SEO.
It’s our goal to mitigate the effects our customers feel from changing mobile SEO by staying up to date with the latest and greatest in SEO techniques.
Mobile SEO is ever evolving, and we intend to evolve along with it.