SEO Without SERP – The Future of Organic Search

SEO Without SERP – The Future of Organic Search

Anna Kowalska

As technology becomes even more integrated with our day-to-day life, what impact will that have on SEO?

It’s a question that’s causing much debate in the digital marketing world. After all, the rise of the digital assistant in the home is expected to increase sharply in the next several years. Estimates are suggesting that devices such as Amazon Echo and Google home will surpass 15.1 million sales in 2020. But can such a compact and unassuming device really change the landscape of SEO?

What are digital assistants?

For those not already familiar with this latest tech trend, you’re guaranteed to come across it sooner or later. These smart speaker devices are best placed in a central hub within the home – a family room or kitchen. Just like Siri or Cortana for handheld devices, these are voice activated. Make a command and the digital assistant will come to life to answer your request or complete a task.

In this new age of convenience, the digital assistant is here to make your family life easier. Whether you’re making a shopping list, setting a reminder for an upcoming event or asking for a tasty tea-time recipe, this device if your go-to.

Currently, there’s actually far more to the digital assistant than straightforward commands. These can be linked to music systems within the house as well as the lights and heating. While it may seem lazy, there’s something very appealing about having everything synced at your very word.

Both Google and Amazon are pioneering this tech with their ‘Echo’ and ‘Home’ devices respectively. As other leading companies jump on the bandwagon, we can only expect the technology to become even smarter over the next few years.

SEO is Evolving

Of course it is! SEO is always moving in a new direction and as marketers we must follow the trends to realise the rewards. But there’s some radical differences with this new form of searching than anything that’s been seen before.

Firstly, it’s important to realise that most search queries for a digital assistant won’t be business related. Given the nature of this design, much of the focus will be on home related enquiries or commands – ‘play my personal playlist, set a reminder to go to the dentist on Wednesday, add carrots to the shopping list’ and so on.

Most of the time, the search session ends once the request has been completed, which is usually very quick.

What’s in it for us?

So for marketers, there’s only two categories that provide an opportunity to promote and showcase your product or service. That would be ‘Facts & Info’ and ‘Local Guide’. Both of these use web or map search results, generating little snippets from the web as answers to the request. Google Home for example, also includes a link to the website in the ‘Home’ app.

Optimise for snippets

If you’re able to optimise for featured snippets, you’ll optimise SEO for voice actived requests. After all, snippets were created exactly for the purpose of a single-result search device such as Google Home.

That requires a level of brand recognition or page loyalty. Are you the most knowledgeable bank of information on a given subject and does your audience rely on you for answers? If that’s the case, you’re more than likely to gain that unprecedented spot as the snippet.

That said, there’s still plenty of unanswered questions – how likely is a user to follow through with a click after the command is completed and is there any plan to monetize Google Home with adverts?

We’re still in the early stages but for now, all we can do is wait and watch as the future of organic search unfolds.