Voice Search & It’s Impact On SEO

When you read about future trends in the world of SEO one of the most common concepts earmarked for future domination is voice activated searches. In fact voice search is here now, Google offer the option to make voice searches on Chrome already and it also features in tools such as Siri but it is tipped to become much more main stream in the future. This will naturally have a big impact on SEO as it will change the way searches are made as well as the way results are supplied. Here are some impacts that voice search will have on SEO as we know it.

Keywords Will Change

We have a way of typing queries into search engines which isn’t really conversational; it’s more concise and succinct. The queries that people use for voice activated searches are more likely to be more natural and posed in the form of questions. So for example if you are looking for a pet shop in London you will probably ask, “Where are the best pet shops in London?” as opposed to typing ‘pet shop London’ into a search engine. Because they are more conversational, voice queries are more likely to become more long tail. So what does all this mean for SEOs?

Websites Will Need To Answer Questions

Instead of optimizing a website to be the best match for popular search terms that are related to its industry, SEOs will have to ensure that a website provides the best answer to the questions that people pose using voice search. This might mean that the site needs to be more informative and aim to be an authority in their chosen field offering succinct answers.

SERPS May Be Cut Out

Instead of providing a list of results i.e. SERPs, search engines will try to give the user an automatic response to their query. For example if they ask for the best pet shop in London then Google (or whatever search engine they are using) will attempt to give them an immediate answer or they may come back to them with a question to define the area they are in or what type of pet or product they are looking for making it a much more interactive experience which cuts out the SERPs.

Long Tail & Detailed Queries Will Be Encouraged

This is pretty much the opposite of what is happening in modern SEO as the longer a keyphrase is the less results are shown as the amount of websites that match that specific sentence are greatly reduced. With voice searching it will be the opposite as the search engines will be trying to identify what the user is looking for and so the more information they give the more in depth results they can offer.

Is It Positive Or Negative For SEO?

Some people may see voice search as a negative for SEO and no doubt there will be the usual cries of “SEO is dead” that takes place anytime there is a change to the industry. However I think that voice search will actually be a positive thing for SEO. It will shake things up and offer users another way to search for information. There will still be a need for traditional search engines as some queries require informative results and if people are shopping for products for example then they will want a list of relevant websites instead of a short answer as people will always want choice.

It’s true that the way SEOs approach their work will have to change if voice search becomes main stream but we have done it before and we can do it again. As technology develops there are going to be inevitable changes to the way we approach SEO and I for one think we should embrace these changes, not fear them.


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