The Age of Assistance

During my recent visit to Google NYC, I got to sit in on an interesting talk by Amy Swartz from the Google team. She highlighted just how ‘curious, demanding and impatient’ we are increasingly becoming when searching on our mobiles, home devices, smart TVs, laptops and more….

Over 21.6m households are now headed up by millennials, up from 13.3m in 2013. With this change comes a shift in how we rely on the digital world every day.

Over 20% of searches are now done by voice – this will be up to 50% in no time with the increasing options for mobile search. So how does this affect the way we search?

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Length of keyword terms

When you select keywords for your campaigns, do you mainly go with 1 or 2 word search terms like most do? Think about how you would perform a voice search, would you say one or two words e.g party balloons, or would you say “where can I buy party balloons online with fast delivery?”

How we voice search is different to typing, opening up huge opportunities for long tail keywords and phrases to catch those lower competition, longer key terms.

‘Near me’ searches

One of the most interesting things to me in this ‘curious, demanding and impatient’ era is that we now expect so much more from a search engine, without probably realising we’re doing it.

Several years ago, it was important to include ‘near me’ or ‘in london’ for example in searches, so we appeared when locally relevant. Amy explained that there has been a significant drop off in these searches – Google users simply expect the search results to be near and relevant to them without having to type it in or speak it.

Increase in immediate searches

There has been a huge 150% increase in travel searches for stays ‘today’ or ‘tonight’ on the platform. We are in the age of assistance, where we rely on Google like a digital concierge there to help us instantly when we need it.

The rise and rise of mobile is obviously a contributing factor, but it’s an interesting change in expectations that we are no longer prepared to wait for anything (I’m blaming Amazon Prime for my own impatience!)

So with this ‘curious, demanding and impatient’ attitude to search, Google has the big job of evolving to meet our growing needs. Check out our next blog to see how Google is moving into an ‘AI first world’ to make search results even smarter….

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