Typically, the standard practice for any SEO agency is to focus on link building to improve visibility on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). Yet, what if there was no page to speak of?
Previously, we spoke about Semantic Search, a strain of SEO which involves search algorithms that understand the nature of a query, rather than just matching up keywords. Another, similar area to consider, however, are methods of searching without visible SERPS listings.
Right now, the number of such services is small but it is growing. Here are 3 of the most common examples and a little about how they influence search results.
Google Home (and Google Assistant)
When Google has a product with search capabilities, you know its worth considering. Google Home has plenty of SEO potential, operating as a smart assistant for home environments. It’s purpose is very similar to Google Assistant, the search engine giant’s answer to the likes of Siri.
Of course, these are two different things. Google home is built for a home environment and will likely answer different search queries, as compared to a mobile assistant. Still, both are powered by Google, so you can bet it’s very careful in which information and sources it chooses to highlight.
Siri is Apple’s digital assistant and arguably set the trend for future products. While Apple itself has not found huge success in search engines, it doesn’t necessarily rely on Google either. In fact, Siri typically uses Bing, although this can be changed to Google through a few means.
That said, since Siri is the only assistant on Apple’s ever popular range of iPhones and products, it is something to always keep in mind.
Cortana, on the other hand, is Microsoft’s answer to the aforementioned Siri. This is an interesting case, since the original Cortana was designed for use on mobile devices, although it can also be used with Internet Explore in Windows 10.
This means Cortana can be actually be used with SERPs, providing a voice-activated way of doing so. As we pointed out last time, people are more likely to ask direct questions when speaking, making semantic search even more important.
Similar to Siri, Cortana prefers to use Bing (since both Bing and Cortana are designed by Microsoft) but this can also be changed.
Why Does It Matter?
Some people may say this doesn’t matter, as the SEO opportunities are limited, but its important to remember that this still falls under organic traffic – something always worth pursuing.
Consider this: many of these devices use the highest ranking page they can find, or a page that has enough nodes and connections to provide the correct answer. This still uses the same algorithm as the search engine being used so, in essence, this is another avenue where your SEO success can be rewarded.
Likewise, this is an increasing area for local searching to prove effective. People on the go want to find nearby businesses and digital assistants, using GPS data, can easily pin point nearby locations. They can only do this, however, if you clearly display this information optimise your website to this end. So, if you’re a local business, have you tested these services to see if your company information comes up?
For now, this type of searching can still be considered a relative novelty, but its something to look out for in the future. This is something we’ve seen in recent history – with Google’s shift to favouring mobile pages, for example – so we shouldn’t be too surprised about any future changes.