As usual, Google's onto something, and their latest hunch has to do with voice search. They've been putting a lot of energy into developing it, and with good reason: Mary Meeker found that a whopping 20% of all mobile searches were made by voice in 2016 while comScore projects that 50% of all searches will be made by voice in 2020.
As more and more people decide it's easier to just hold their phone up and say stuff instead of typing out search words, Google's been busy partnering with business giants like Walmart and eBay to tap into the trend's growing e-Commerce potential.
While competitors like Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa are making inroads, Google's got a huge advantage because it operates in so many more languages. Also, they ostensibly field some two trillion searches a year.
All this foreshadows a big shift in SEO strategy for companies who acquire customers by search. For example, Forbes found that most voice searches are specifically action-based. In other words, you're more likely to say to your device, "best Japanese food in New York" than "does God exist?"
What this mean for companies remains to be seen, but Duane Forrester, author of "How Voice Search Changes Everything," advised companies to hire a skilled Digital Knowledge Manager who can implement the process across multiple platforms.
He shared some more tips with Search Engine Land in a recent interview:
"Things like Schema markup help an engine grow trust in your website and content, so take advantage of that. Being secure shows an investment in protecting consumers, again an area the engines favor and actively support. And if you really want to walk a mile in your customer’s shoes, to really learn what their journey is like, you’ll buy the main voice-enabled devices on the market today."
Basically, he's giving you permission to go out and buy the latest gadgets. After all, "you need it for work!" Keep in mind, though, that the latest voice-command hardware has nothing on Google in terms of influence - perhaps precisely because Google Voice is just a free download away.