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Digital Assistants: Taking Search Optimization to a New Level

First and foremost, when we talk SEO (Search Engine Optimization), we tend to instantly think of Google and other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo. However, there’s actually much more to SEO. The practice covers optimization for anything and everything that is heavily designed around search. This includes vertical search such as Indeed, Yelp or even YouTube.

All of these, when you really think about it, appears as a website with a sophisticated search function. What new age SEOers probably want to keep at the top of mind is the most basic meaning of SEO. When you do so, you’ll quickly realize there are other types of search engines appearing on scene that shouldn’t be ignored: Digital Assistants – aka, Siri, Google Now, Cortana, Facebook M and Alexa.

digital assistants
image source: CNN Money

We all know that the digital consumers are moving towards mobile search. With that in mind, it’s only natural that more and more people may begin to adopt the use of digital assistants and move towards voice search. First and foremost, Siri and other digital assistants do have their own algorithm, which may as well continue to become more sophisticated over time. It’s also beneficial to check which search engine does a said digital assistant refer to for answers? Is it Bing? Or is it Google?

Here’s the catch, apparently, it would seem that in the future digital assistants would evolve towards not relying on any of the search engines that originated from desktop. The news of Applebot signals that Siri may have its own crawler and search engine functions in the future.

When you really think about it, search engines are the most fundamental building block of artificial intelligence; machines automatically learning and improving through experience. In simpler SEO terms,

we’re talking algorithms and for instance, Google’s knowledge graph. The web crawler and algorithm work together to index and define which websites contain what information and which to show for what sort of search terms. It’s about developing better heuristic models and expanding the search engine’s knowledge graph.

While it takes a lot of trial-and-error as well as research and experience to truly understand and begin optimizing well for digital assistants, here are some tips to get you started:

–          Pay attention to your social media channels. While from a branding perspective, some social media channel works better than others, for digital assistants, it would seem all and any social media signal and activity is important.

–          Make sure you have claimed all your business listings and that all the important information such as phone numbers are correct.

–          Optimize your content for mobile. Mobile search terms differ from desktop search terms. For example, someone searching via mobile may more often add a city or ZIP code to the search term.

Essentially, with digital assistants and the internet of things just around the corner, the game of search optimization may be set for a huge makeover.

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