Gaze into the Search Crystal Ball

August 17, 2017

The way we consume Internet content has drastically changed.  We are no longer tethered to hulking desk top computers, instead we can browse the Web as easily as drive a car.  It goes without saying that the way we search and consume content will change.  We have already seen changes, such as more ads appearing on movie, social media, and news Web sites.  Google Answers and Google My Business are also affecting how we access content without needing to visit a Web site. Entrepreneur shares predictions for search and content in the article, “How Changes To The Way We Search Will Impact Businesses.”

While the majority of us still type our search queries, the rise of digital assistants has made vocal search gain traction.  Vocal search means that we are using natural language to ask digital assistants queries.  This is actually better for search results, because we tend to simplify questions when we talk and search engines like simple search queries.  Digital assistants also change how we interact/consume our information.  Instead of delving into the results ourselves, we rely on a third-party device to provide it to us.  It will also change how we shop, especially if Amazon or another shopping site has a digital assistant.

Users are also seeking out an “everything-in platform,” where all the services they need from payments, shopping, and even ordering a sandwich are in one application.

Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP don’t take users too far away from the originating platform source, enabling them to return to whatever they were doing before something caught their eye. Solutions like Facebook Store integrate products for an in-platform shopping experience, tightening the gap between product discovery and purchase, while directing users away from Google’s fairly limitless shopping mall of possibilities.

Hyper-personalization might be the creepiest and have the most impact.  Search engines already gather information about us from our queries and then target us with related ads.  However, it can get even worse with beacon technology that can track and recommend services/products to us based on a store we just visited or where we are traveling too.  It will be the capitalist version of Big Brother.

Whitney Grace, August 17, 2017

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