Where would we be without Google,Facebook and a few other things I feel I could never live without. I recently dropped my Galaxy Note 2 onto a car park floor and even though I had purchased the stronger cover for the screen as luck would have it, it rotated to the exact point the cover did not protect and cracked the screen. It was at that very moment I realised how much I relied on that phone. I was in the middle of no where and Google Maps had guided me to the address, I did not have a working phone to call someone for directions and I also just realised that I would not have access to Spotify for the drive home as the phone would not be functional to play through the car stereo via Bluetooth.
Is was at that very point, I came to realise how much of my life was reliant on that piece of technology. So without my phone, I got in the car and began to drive what I was hoping to be, the same way home. Lucky for me I saw a petrol station about 5 minutes into the drive and asked for directions. ( I don’t think I had asked a petrol station for directions in 10+)
I am sure the above story, will be familiar with several of our readers and we embrace more and more technology into our lives. The company that drove me to that location (Google Maps), that made my phone’s OS (Android) and also the company that helps us navigate the web on a daily basis (Google Search) has launched a new service which I think will make my life a lot easier. Even if it is just on trivia nights.
The new feature is Google Conversational search.
You may have noticed the addition of the MIC icon on the search bar on google.com.au if you are using Chrome ( Latest Version only I think) , When you click this icon you can speak into your computers/phones microphone and asks any question you like. It will type the question into the search box and bring up the resulting searches. Wow you say! This is amazing, well not really this type of thing has been around for ages. Speech to Text was even on my old hp ipaq rw6828.
What is different is that you can now talk to search box, you can speak and search as if you were just asking Google a question.
I tested it out on one of my favourite searches “Who is Australia’s fastest Hosting Company“
As you can see it makes searching a lot easier. But what about if I was to say, “What is the contact for Crucial Paradigm?”
That is one way, But you will also shortly be able to say, What is the contact number for them? Google using the previous search as a reference will be able to work out that when you said “Them” you meant Crucial. This makes it alot easier. Because you would not ask a serious of questions when having a conversation with someone. You would say things like “Them” , “It” etc. So Google needs to work out what you are referring to. This is the challenge to make it truly a conversation.
What does it mean for SEO?
This is a big one, How will it change the way people are doing SEO, no longer will people be searching “Italian Restaurant Botany” they will be searching using voice and asking a question. What is the most popular Italian restaurant in Botany that has BYO? This is where website owners will need to start to produce much more content for Google to index. It can only display the results if the content is on the site. This means that site owners will need to start implementing thing such as rich meta tags , microformats, microdata such as those found on schema.org or this great article on them.
I think that content will be the big thing that will make all the difference in capturing your share of the new conversational search traffic.
I have collected some great articles from around the web on the new Conversational Search for you to get some more in-depth technical details on what Google has released.
Hope you enjoy, testing and searching with this new feature. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.