The Search Engine industry has changed a lot since Google and Yahoo first started their rivalry (a rivalry that ultimately saw Google becoming the dominant search engine), and much of the changes come not from the search engines themselves, but from the side of the users.
According to a recent statement from Google’s Head of Performance, Matt Bush, the rise of voice search, as well as the number of devices that have become capable of accessing the Internet. It is no longer the sole domain of desktop and laptop computers, as even budget phones and handheld consoles these days have fully functional browsers.
According to Bush, Search as we know it has ended, and that marketers must stay one step ahead of how technological advances are evolving people’s search behaviors, if they want to stay relevant.
The sad truth is that mobile remains an untapped opportunity for many marketers, with almost half of major brands still devoid of a mobile-ready site. This is made worse by the fact that mobile users have already overtaken the number of desktop users by a large margin, and failing to take advantage of that is willingly limiting the potential venues for marketing, branding, and interaction with customers and clients.
According to Bush, marketers need to expand beyond keywords in order to prepare for the future in which voice search is more preferred by users. He further added that majority of the activity and development happening in Google right now is driven by voice search, as they prepare for the time when people start to become more familiar using verbal controls instead of typed keywords to get what they want.
For marketers, this means all of those years targeting specific keywords and using conventional SEO tricks will have to fall by the wayside, in favor of what Google has always told them to do: provide relevant information, quality content, and basically give users the experience they want.