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The Future of Search - 2019 and Beyond - Clark Boyd


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The future of search is perhaps more predictable than it has ever been. We can see the respective strategies of Google, Amazon, Pinterest, and Bing in front of us already. There are four key tenets of the future of search. It will be:

- Brand- driven
- Sensory (visual search and voice search will shape this, in particular)
- Accurate (A search query will be needed with decreasing frequency)
- And yes, it will be mobile (of course)

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The Future of Search - 2019 and Beyond - Clark Boyd

  1. 1. The future of search 2019 and beyond
  2. 2. 1 2 3 4 The future of search is: Brand-driven Sensory Accurate And yes, mobile
  3. 3. The future of search is: 1. Brand-driven
  4. 4. 82% of people will click on an SEO result because they know the brand. This far outweighs any other factor and as screen space decreases, this will grow in importance.
  5. 5. Sneaky Amazon results Shopping (Expect to see a lot more of this) Paid search Lots of other options(Good luck) “SEO” A typical commercial query today, above the fold, on desktop:
  6. 6. ● Standard ● Taller Organic Cards ● Local 3-Pack ● Quick Answers ● Shopping/PLA ● Rich Snippets ● Site Carousel ● Site Links ● Site Image Carousel ● Top Stories / News ● AMP ● Google Flights ● People also ask ● Category ● Images ● Videos / Trailers ● Live ● Top sights ● Reviews ● Blogs ● Knowledge Panel ● Carousel ● Apps ● Google for Jobs ● Recipes ● Scholarly Research ● Weather ● Game Scores ● Twitter Tweets ● Discover more places ● Send to Google Home ● People also search for ● See results about ● Widgets ● Found in related search ● Quotes ● Events Over 37 SERP features now available A number of these will be relevant to every business.
  7. 7. Branding needs to influence every digital asset. Having a ‘brand voice’ will become a quite literal requirement and forward-thinking companies are experimenting in this area already.
  8. 8. YouTube Display TV There is consistency in this branding across YouTube, TV, and Display.
  9. 9. Home The gekko is even there on the homepage to welcome us. Click through to the product pages, however...
  10. 10. We can safely term this ‘SEO content’. It has none of the brand’s character and, while the information is important, could be written by any insurance company with a keyword list and a keyboard. These are the pages that digital assistants will pull information from, so they need to be more than keywords stitched together with prepositions. Too many brands think this is ‘optimizing for search’, but the industry has changed - for the better. SEO
  11. 11. Traditional ‘SEO content’ does not respond to the modern consumer’s needs. If a digital assistant can’t find anything suitable, it reverts to a traditional SERP. On mobile, that means SEO is even less likely to get the click. If SEO doesn’t take control of this content space, another team will.
  12. 12. 61% of consumers aged 18-34 discover new products through social media. Google and Amazon both want to encourage discovery beyond the search bar - they know this shift has happened. Content creators have not kept pace, however. Data: ClickZ, Era of Ecommerce.
  13. 13. 14 Machine learning can only be as effective as the learning materials we provide. Brands are still stuffing their pages with stock images; the technology is there to provide better results, if we start producing better content.
  14. 14. The future of search is: 2. Sensory
  15. 15. Shopping has always been visual - we’ve just been taught to do the opposite online.
  16. 16. capitalizing-on-the-new-customer-journey/ Screens remain a vital part of the shopping journey.
  17. 17. People who do shop through their smart speakers tend to buy paper towels, detergent and other home staples.
  18. 18. From a recently-filed patent by Amazon:
  19. 19. Undoubtedly, people are speaking to their voice-activated devices in growing quantities. There is an opportunity for brands to sell products/services through these interactions, as in this Google example. But this is not ‘voice search’. It’s not even search. In the Amazon example from the last slide, the device infers an underlying intent state and preemptively makes a recommendation. This is much more likely to be the future of commerce through Alexa/Google/Siri/Cortana.
  20. 20. New structured data formats hint at a much more interactive future for search
  21. 21. What does ‘voice’ really change today? It’s great to know the question, but only if it affects the answer.
  22. 22. Input Output Use Cases Voice Voice One answer Actions Voice Text Multiple answers Device with screen Voice Image Shopping Directions (local listings) Image Image Shopping Ideas Historical user data (‘searcher’ not directly active) Suggestions (Voice/image/text) The search engine knows enough to preempt and answer the query
  23. 23. Intent state Input Output Open to ideas Looking for a style Looking for a specific type of product “Which sneakers should I buy?” Ready to buy “Adidas originals white” The impact of visual search on user journeys:
  24. 24. The future of search is: 3. Accurate
  25. 25. Without the need for a query, results are served to the user based on their likes and past behaviors.
  26. 26. Increasingly, the SERP answers the query without need for a click.
  27. 27. These are the spaces we need to influence - even if they do not result in a click.
  28. 28. The future of search is:
  29. 29. Paid search clicks continue to rise - especially on mobile.
  30. 30. The search process occurs in the background. Choice is taken out of the consumer’s hands.
  31. 31. People are asking questions in a way that implies an expectation that the search engine ‘knows’ them. This isn’t just about going on Answer the Public and picking out a few questions for a new FAQ page. Your audience is asking what they, as an individual, should buy or do or visit. A very personal question to ask a computer...
  32. 32. LOCAL LISTINGS Google Posts is a tentative foray into social media-lite, but Google does have an advantage on the local front. It’s not just about NAP optimization - it’s about content and branding too. Place your screenshot here
  33. 33. Search: The New Customer Journey
  34. 34. Informational queries Video search Image search Vertical search engines Position Zero Ratings and reviews Social media Product comparison Product questions Assistant Search for store Subscribe and save
  35. 35. The future of search 2019 and beyond Thanks! Get in touch with any questions: gital/