Voice search is nothing new, Google has had it for years and Siri, Apple’s “intelligent” personal assistant, debuted in 2011. Now with Microsoft (Cortana) and Amazon (Alexa) entering the market, we are experiencing a return of the search engine wars. Here’s why you should care. More than half the adult population are now using voice assistants like Siri and Alexa and that number is growing exponentially. Search king Google already ranks mobile optimized sites higher. Voice optimization in the next natural step.
So what should you do? The difference between traditional search and voice search is a direct function of how search first came to be. Anyone who has done research at a university library will recall that search on a library terminal is keyword based and very terse. Voice search and command is based on natural language. Instead of typing “Greek restaurant Center City” into your search engine you are likely to ask the question, “Where is the nearest Greek restaurant?” The change means that digital marketers will have to work harder to craft online information that gets them found. That means “long tail” search terms. The Greek restaurant isn’t a random example. Search Engine Optimization for hyper-local businesses like restaurants will become even more difficult.