What will the future of search hold for marketers?

Libby Margo in Growth hacking on 16th of Apr 2019
machine learning seo

Machine learning SEO

More than 20 years ago, Google started its quest to organize the world’s information and make it useful and accessible to everyone. Since then, a lot has changed. The Internet has grown and the way we communicate and look for information has evolved. More importantly, Google has transformed from being a simple, yet effective, search engine to something so powerful and so woven into daily life that its name has become an often-used verb.

Roughly 3.5 billion searches are conducted on Google each day, with people using Google not only to ask trivial questions but to also discover new information and connect with others. At a recent “Think with Google” event in Sydney, the company’s Fellow & Vice President of Search Pandu Nayak discussed how search has grown since the early days of Google — and it will continue to evolve.

And as new users come online, Google aims to build experiences that will show them what they can do with search, and how they can access their information easily and quickly. AI, machine learning (ML), and speech recognition will play significant roles in the future of search, but the ability to successfully enhance the search experience is reliant on continually looking to the future of search. Here, we elaborate on Nayak’s insights:

Thanks to technological advances, AI and ML are providing capabilities that have not been possible in the past. While AI and ML algorithms have been around for quite some time, the ability to automatically generate valuable insights by applying complex calculations to big data very quickly is a recent development.

Netflix’s AI-driven focus on personalization has allowed it to provide tailored content for each subscriber and create binge-worthy shows that viewers will rush home to watch. Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage company, invested heavily in AI so it can monitor data from their self-service soft drink fountains. These fountains allowed customers to mix their own drinks and after mining the data, Coke’s marketing team discovered what flavor combinations were popular; this resulted in Coke launching a new drink based on what their customers selected, the Cherry Sprite.

At Autopilot, we’re excited to see how AI and ML will help us make the Autopilot experience better for our users. In fact, we’re just getting started with the recent launch of our new Smart Dashboard. By extracting key information and statistics from all your journeys onto the dashboard, you can view and customize valuable journey or email insights in one place, enabling you to work smarter.

AI and ML have helped companies achieve significant breakthroughs in speech recognition and voice search. Take Amazon, for example. Their “Alexa Everywhere” strategy has seen the company open the voice-powered virtual assistant to third-party companies and command 70% of the voice-enabled device market in the United States.

ML has also enabled Google to improve its speech recognition capabilities, shaping how users will communicate with each other. Last year, Google Assistant made a phone call to a hair salon and successfully booked an appointment with a staff member who was so convinced that she was speaking to a real human! You can check out the very cool interaction here:

Voice is set to be big — and it’s very likely to be more popular than traditional search. With experts predicting that up to 50% of online searches will be voice-based by 2020, marketers will need to optimize their content for voice. Get ahead by ensuring your website speed is up to scratch, your SEO game is on point, your landing pages are optimized for conversions (try using Instapage), and ensuring that your website content actually answers your customer’s query or solves their problems.

Looking forward

The future of search is looking bright indeed. AI, ML, and voice search will all become critical drivers for further innovation and allow Google to advance the search experience for all users. Better still, these advances will present genuinely powerful ways for businesses to grow and discover interesting patterns about their customers.

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