As a greater percentage of web searches are performed on mobile devices, and even desktops are beginning to adopt voice search features it is clear that the way people are searching is changing. Individuals who are speaking their searches rather than typing them typically behave differently. They often use a more natural sounding search which is phrased more like a question. As more and more people begin using voice search options like Siri or OK Google it will require marketers to adjust their keyword strategies.
Even the head of Google search spam, Matt Cutts has chimed in about how voice searches are affecting searches both today and in the future. He acknowledges that people are more likely to use natural language and less likely to use search operators and keywords. He went on to say, “At some point, we probably have to change our mental viewpoint a little bit.”
Cutts said that this shift is already in the works for Google and that the aim is to always improve the search results for the customer whether they are typing in their search or speaking it. In addition, people use many words differently when speaking compared to typing. The word “and”, for example, is used in search engines today to narrow a search to only include results that have both the topic before and the topic after the word included on the page. When people speak this word it is often used to try to get additional information.
While keywords are still an important part of SEO and marketing today, this will likely change over the coming years as people continue to use more and more voice commands. Search engines will need to keep getting smarter when providing results as well. With voice searches there are many different ways to say the same thing, especially when regional and cultural differences are taken into account.
What impact do you expect to see from these changes? Are you still using keyword focused SEO strategies on your sites?