Anyone with an even slight interest or concern for search engine optimization ought to be taking the advent of personal assistant apps very seriously. Siri – the iPhone’s famous add-on consisting of a voice-activated web search service operated by artificial intelligence – is just one of several such services that has been introduced across many smartphone operating systems in the past few years.
With mobile-based web traffic expected to multiply four times by the year 2015, any amateur internet marketer should see the writing on the wall: traditional SEO is set to change drastically or be completely eliminated all together.
This is due to the fact that traditional search engine optimization rests on the algorithms created by breaking down human web searching habits. Remove the human from the search, as services such as Siri are trying to do, and the way in which information is found online is fundamentally changed. As mobile technology advances and personal assistant apps become better, traditional text-based keyword-laden searches – the bread and butter of SEO – will fall by the wayside. In their place will exist a new form of web search, one in which AI evaluation of a vocal command will result in search results.
While tactics and strategies for marketing through a yet-to-be underway technological leap are impossible to compile as-of-yet, internet marketers can keep the following in mind when contemplating the future of the personal assistant app search:
Ratings and Reviews will Really Matter:
Right now online ratings and reviews only sort of matter to web marketers, because the more important thing is whether or not potential customers can find them. But services such as Siri will search for appropriate businesses based on aggregated opinion alone via sites such as Yelp and TravelPost.
Non-e-commerce will no Longer be Immune:
Many locally-based businesses could successfully evade SEO for the most part, but not anymore. Locally-based businesses will be forced to start building an image through social media and business review sites. Otherwise personal assistant apps will be unable to detect their existence.
Pay-per-click is a thing of the Past:
PPC hasn’t been a profitable source of revenue for anyone under a PageRank 4 since before Obama took office. Personal assistant apps have done nothing but seal its fate as an archaic earner of Internet marketing income. With AI doing the searching, no one will be clicking anymore, at least not as much as they used to.
Keywords Still Matter (for now):
Don’t let all of this talk of a Matrix-style takeover of web searching scare you into thinking the world of SEO as we know it is set to completely crash and burn. While things are certainly going to be different, traditional text-based searches will remain a sizable portion of how people find information on the web. Just expect the majority of searches to originate more and more from personal assistant apps and not humans typing into a search engine.
The more obvious changes will be in the diversity of tasks personal assistant bots take on. In the medical field, one can easily envision a time when electronic medical records software is controlled remotely by AI, allowing doctors and nurses to call up information on a patient by verbal command only. Pretty much all traditional industries will be tempted by the opportunity to outsource menial labor to AI personal assistants. The resulting new formulas and marketing ploys will only be created by those savvy enough to have seen the change coming. That means you.