Are voice searches changing the nature of SEO?

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Are voice searches changing the nature of SEO?

Over the past few years, the number of voice searches has more than doubled and makes up around 20% of mobile searches. Tools such as Apple’s ‘Siri’, Windows’ ‘Cortana’ and ‘Okay Google’ have made the medium of voice search more accessible to smartphone users worldwide and may have an influence on ad campaigns and even the SEO industry as a whole.

The impact of voice search

A rise in voice searches will have a big impact on how our ad campaigns are run, as more searches will have a conversational tone and utilise long-term keywords. For example, if you wanted to find out who won the England-Slovakia match, a typed search would be something like “England Slovakia score” whereas a voice search would be something like “Who won the England Slovakia game?”. An increase in conversational queries means that the keywords you’re targeting needs to change in order for your ads to be shown to the right audience.

To get the full scope of how voice searches could affect ad campaigns, we asked a couple of our team to get their perspective.

Telis Aivatsides – Data & Insight:

At this point, there isn’t a way to discriminate between normal searches and voice searches. Looking for natural language queries manually is the only way to get an idea of how users use voice search to find a website.

“Intuitively, the increased usage of voice search will eventually result in a richer set of search keywords, making analysis more complicated. Stripping stop words from the queries might be needed, while natural language processing tools could also be applied to detect semantic relations between queries.”

Chris Philpot – Technical SEO:

Voice searches will increasingly change the nature of searches. It’s going to boost mobile searches even more, and it also means that people are going to be searching for long tail queries a lot more often. Perhaps most interestingly, it’s going to change what constitutes a search. Technology such as Amazon Echo is always listening and trying to help you (trying to sell you things) as it learns with each search you make. Eventually, you might find the technology reminding you about things based on your routine, rather than you making the searches.

“What this means for us is that we can move away from writing stuffed title tags and SEO copy, and instead focus on actually answering user’s questions and addressing their pain points because that’s what search engines will be looking for.”

What do you think about the potential of voice search to change the nature of SEO? Is it a fad or something whose impact on your campaigns should be taken into serious consideration? Let us know @RocketMill – we’d love to hear from you!