By 2020, 30% of all website sessions will be conducted without a screen. Now, you may be asking yourself, how is that possible? It turns out that voice-only search allows users to browse the web the Internet and consumer information without actually having to scroll through sites on desktops and mobile devices. And this new technology may be the key to successful brands in the future. Voice search essentially allows users to speak into a device as opposed to typing keywords into a search query to generate results.
At the Sixth International Conference on Learning Representations, Jannis Bulian and Neil Houlsby, researchers at Google AI, presented a paper that shed light on new methods they're testing to improve search results. While publishing a paper certainly doesn't mean the methods are being used, or even will be, it likely increases the odds when the results are highly successful. And when those methods also combine with other actions Google is taking, one can be almost certain. I believe this is happening, and the changes are significant for search engine optimization specialists (SEOs) and content creators. Let's start with the basics and look topically at what's being discussed.
The component parts of a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy may have remained relatively constant, but their definition and purpose have changed entirely. Driven by trends like visual search and voice search, the industry's scope has expanded and evolved into something more dynamic. This delivers on a genuine consumer need. According to a report from Slyce.it, 74 percent of shoppers report that text-only search is insufficient for finding the products they want. It is unsurprising that Gartner research predicts that by 2021, early adopter brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search will increase digital commerce revenue by as much as 30 percent.
When is milk not milk? This is no trick question -- it's a distinction that artificial intelligence (AI) is going to have to learn to make in order for eMerchants to fully leverage the potential of machine learning. To one customer, "buy milk" means buy a gallon of whole milk; to another, a 1.4-liter jug of unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Digital shopping lists, apps and virtual assistants must understand this and not force the customer to spell it out each time before these platforms can successfully become the new normal. "We think about things in shorthand, not in terms of specifics," Dave Barrowman, Skava VP of Innovation, told PYMNTS' Karen Webster in a recent webinar.