SEL: Voice Search Looks to Turn Local Search on Its Head

Another medium and another platform is set to challenge SMBs in the ever changing, complex world of local search: voice.  Current estimates of voice search use range from 10-25% of all searches and comScore predicts that by 2020 a full 50% of all search will be by voice.  At that rate, businesses need to consider the implications of voice search now.

And as if SEO wasn’t complicated enough, a new player is emerging via voice search – Amazon and its standalone personal assistant Echo.  Perhaps users’ poor experiences with Siri and Google Now in the past have made the Echo’s interface appear more accurate and reliable.  The truth is word recognition and accuracy have improved significantly over the last few years, now exceeding 90% and continuing to rise.  Nevertheless, the Echo is selling like hotcakes – it is outselling the Kindle and at this rate could sell over 150 million units.

Others are playing catch up now with Google to release Google Home, Facebook its personal assistant “M,” and Apple a standalone device for Siri, all of which will further spur voice search’s growth.

Early indications show voice revolutionizing search.  Unlike the shift to mobile, the use of apps, and the time spent on social media giants like Facebook, voice search has the potential to change how search is performed, scramble existing keyword indexes and even bypass many current search media.

In this month’s Search Engine Land column, I take a look how voice search is exploding and at some the changes to expect including the following:

  • The difference in search queries typed into a search box and those spoken to a personal assistant.
  • Changes to SEM and other keyword triggered marketing.
  • Getting found on Amazon Echo.
  • Action oriented queries compared to discovery-oriented search.

These changes are new and developing and likely to generate a lot of questions from clients about whether to invest in voice search and how to best tackle it.  Although there are many issues that are yet to be determined, marketers need to learn quickly the nuances of voice search and how it will impact local search.

Check out the article for more details about the topic:  The Voice Search Explosion and How It Will Change Local Search.

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