From lifestyle decisions such as discovering new places to eat and go on holiday, to everyday tasks like reviewing the weather forecast of finding out when the next bus is due – what was once used as a virtual directory to find websites related to a specific topic, it has now revolutionised how we live our daily lives. Pioneers such as AltaVista and Lycos have been and gone, replaced by the giants of today - Google and Bing. With that change, new technology has arisen - searches are faster, with complex algorithms showing the most relevant content at the time of the search.
But it's not always convenient or safe to use a device to search with a screen and keyboard, and with voice recognition technology being more advanced, it was only a matter of time before the science-fiction dream of voice search became a reality.
Statistics show that the number of searches using voice is increasing, and as the number of devices that support and even encourage voice search become ubiquitous, there is no sign of slowing down. Google Home, Amazon Echo and soon Apple’s HomePod are becoming common in households.
Voice searches differ from typed queries, being more verbose and usually in the form of a question or instruction. This means that optimisation will need to focus more on both mobile and voice searches.
It is, therefore, more important than ever from an SEO perspective to make sure your content is relevant. Old school methods such as keyword stuffing have not been an effective way of increasing a website's position in Google for some years now, but the belief persists, with some 'SEO Experts' vehemently using the practice today. It's vital to remember that if the website cannot be interpreted by a machine and conveyed to a human in a meaningful manner then it is effectively useless.