What is the future of search? If you ask 20 people you might get 20 answers.
The truth is that the future of search will depend on a number of different factors.
Technological change – what is possible?
Business investment – what do they build?
Consumer behavior – what do we like?
More and more, it is looking like Voice Search will be a big part of the future of search.
What is Voice Search?
That may seem like a silly question to some. Voice search is exactly what it sounds like, searching with your voice.
What started as a convenient option for mobile Googlers has taken on added significance thanks to the rise of personal assistants like Siri and Alexa. Google tells us that as of 2017, 20% of all searches done on mobile devices are voice searches. That is a significant number of searches. And it’s growing every month.
But where voice searches done on Google still lead a user to a search engine results page (a SERP), new voice search tools have eliminated the SERP entirely. For devices like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple Homepod, the entirety of the interaction is spoken and heard. Gartner predicts that nearly 30% of all searches will be done without a screen by 2020.
And therein lies the potential issue for many companies.
Will Voice Search Destroy Your Business?
When searches occur entirely via a conversation with virtual assistants, the first result is often the only one that matters.
While users are given the ability to set preferences for certain types of searches or commands, the majority of these voice searches will return one result. And if that result is not for your company, too bad.
If the prospect of a voice search world scares you, you are not alone. Rather than bury your head in the sand or hope the future never comes, there are things you can do now to prepare for this inevitability.
There are tools and tips out there to begin optimizing for voice search today.