Quick access to the world wide web, social platforms, mobile apps, and smartphones causes information discovery to consume our daily lives. After many transformations of search engines, new technologies are in development to make the ability to index information easier and more accurate than ever. Search technology that was once limited to simple search engines has paved the way to include voice, social, and site search.
These technologies champion a better user experience, and subsequently drive a greater affinity between consumers and advertisers.
Ask Jeeves was one of the first search engines to humanize information gathering by putting a face to a user’s query with an image of a polished butler. Well, step aside Jeeves; Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Bixby, and Google Assistant are here to provide an answer to search queries with an instantaneous response from a voice assistant. According to Google, 1 in every 5 searches made with the Google Android App is a voice search. comScore says that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. Voice technology is a game changer for the search space. Instead of being overwhelmed by pages upon pages of documents to peel through, a friendly voice delivers one answer for all your needs.
Voice technology not only provides search results, but also takes actions, and in the near future voice assistants will be able to anticipate needs. Out of dish soap? Just ask Alexa to order it, and the dish soap will be at your door within 48 hours. The time between discovery and conversion will only get shorter with voice search. Because these new voice assistants deliver a premium user experience, customers are becoming even stronger advocates of Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and Google.
With the impressive nature of voice technology, advertisers are eager to get a piece of the action. When it is time for consumers to ask Alexa to order dish soap, advertisers will soon be paying a premium to be the dish soap that arrives at that customer’s door. 360i president, Jared Belsky, notes in AdWeek, “’In the near term, [organic search] is going to be the way to get your brands represented for Google Home…Then ultimately, the ads auction will follow. You’ll be bidding to get your brand at the top of searches. I believe that’s the way it will go. Think about it—it has to.’” While we are not hearing ads from our digital assistants just yet, we will start to hear ads trickle into our search results once consumers have readily adopted this new technology.
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, enable users to create and share ideas, photos, and information through virtual communities. Users perform search queries in social search engines to discover user-generated content such as news, videos, and images. These platforms are constantly improving their tech capabilities to create new tools in order to drive time spent on the app or website.
In the last year, Pinterest released a product to improve social search called, Pinterest Lens. This new technology allows pinners to point their smartphone camera at an object and discover ideas associated with the object through image recognition software. Pinterest’s technology focuses on the discovery phase of search and aims to drive inspiration with visual search. Search Engine Watch states that “Pinterest’s visual search technology is aimed at carving out a position as the go-to place for discovery searches. Their stated aim echoes the opening quote from this article: “To help you find things when you don’t have the words to describe them.”
Improving visual search increases time spent on the app or site, and it instills a smoother and more accurate search function on social media. Brands and advertisers are taking note of this innovative social search technology. Target recently announced that it will incorporate Pinterest Lens technology into its mobile app. Advertisers hope to improve product discovery and conversions through this innovative visual search tool.
While site search is not new, there are some changes in site search as Google is shelving their site search product on April 1, 2018. Site search technology allows users to find their answers quickly and easily.
At Ad.net, we understand the need for more efficient search capabilities, which is why we developed a proprietary search technology product called, SearchIQ. Better site search means a better user experience, which is pivotal for publishers to remain relevant in the digital age.
Implementing SearchIQ has many unique features and benefits for publishers. To start, publishers see an increase in their website’s SEO rankings, a lower bounce rate, and an increase in time on site. In addition, publishers have access to analytics in order to gain insight into the type of content their visitors are searching for. This feature empowers publishers to create new content and keeps visitors coming back for more, which ultimately results in a more engaged audience.
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