Voice search has hit the mainstream and will continue to grow in popularity and as a result will fundamentally impact on how we use the internet and internet connected devices. As a result companies and their online assets will have to adjust the way they work to get the most out of the new human/machine interface.

To get to this point a number of things have had to develop to provide us with the platforms to deliver useful voice control.

The first is speech recognition which has improved because machine learning is now a practical reality.

The second is the Internet of Things has developed hugely with a large number of physical things connected to the internet around our homes.

The third is awareness and usage of virtual assistants such as Google Voice, Cortana and Siri which are all now widely used on a huge number of smartphones.

Taking each of these elements means that the usage of voice search has reached a point where many people now use it as a primary way of searching for information.

As a result, we must now consider how this impacts search engine optimisation. An example of this is we are likely to see greater emphasis placed on ‘long-tail search’ as search queries are likely to become more representative of natural language. Using queries like ‘Best restaurants’ may instead be searched for like ‘What are the best restaurants near me?’

Now is the time to start planning SEO strategies and looking at the impact of long-tail search and how natural language will impact on how your site and its content are found and returned using these platforms.

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