Hey Siri…Goodbye SEO?

The utilisation of voice search technology or ‘virtual assistants’ has grown exponentially in recent years. Google stated that over 20% of all enquiries are voiced, and over 55% of millennials and 41% of adults use voice search everyday.

Screen-Shot-2015-12-10-at-11.52.23-AM-This graph from Google illustrates just how prevalent voice search is becoming-

What is the reason for this technology’s popularity? Well, consumers are growing time poor, impatient and lazy- thus, some consider typing not immediate enough and more effort.

Let’s be honest, why would you type when you can ask a virtual assistant a query without having to stop the task you’re currently undertaking.


Voice search is clearly a winner for consumers, but what does it mean for current practices in digital marketing?  

Jason DeMers from Forbes stated “if [virtual assistants] keep advancing in capability and sophistication, eventually they could come to replace all our traditional search algorithms”. Evidently, the proliferation of this AI technology means that marketing practices will have to adapt, particularly SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). If an organisation neglects to update their SEO practices this could result in becoming invisible to consumers.

Why is this? Well, current practices of SEO aren’t entirely compatible or effective because with voice search-

I believe that if businesses continue with SEO techniques as they are now and do not consider the effects listed above, this will detrimental as it will render them non-existent to a consumer who uses voice search.

How often do you use virtual assistants? Do you believe they will become the primary tool to source information in the future? Do you agree that this AI technology will effect SEO, why? 

Please share your thoughts in the comment section.


7 thoughts on “Hey Siri…Goodbye SEO?”

  1. Given the statistics presented, it does seem that Voice Search is becoming increasingly popular. However on a personal note, I still prefer sticking to the traditional method of pressing away on my phone screen for search results. But it is possible that Voice Search might become a thing in the near future if companies are able to ensure that Voice Search is convenient and efficient in its usage. And this would most definitely affect SEO, as companies have to now adapt and modify their SEOs to include an optimization for Voice Search, so as to capture more customer value.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ray, yes definitely! Presently, voice search is not overly accurate, firstly in registering what we ask it and secondly, providing us with results that are precisely what we seek. This AI technology is constantly being amended, so it will only continue to improve and this will encourage more individuals to start engaging with voice search. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


    1. Hi Kristel,

      It is lovely to hear from you and you have posed some great questions.

      Firstly, to prepare for a future where virtual assistants dominate- at a rudimentary level, the organisation needs to understand their target market. Once the organisation’s market is clearly defined, they should undertake a key word/phrase analysis. During their analysis they should be aware of how their potential and existing customers have sought them online through ‘qualifiers’ (such as adjectives, demographic, action requests and vendors). This will enhance an organisation’s ability to be discovered when a consumer utilises as a virtual assistant for long tail questions.

      It is also exceptionally significant to be ranked highly (naturally) on a search engine (e.g. Google). This means ensuring you’re adhering to Google’s >200 criteria for on-page optimisation. Also, aim for off-page optimisation (which can be attained through external and internal linking). A list of Google’s criteria can be accessed here: http://backlinko.com/google-ranking-factors

      Furthermore, keep digital marketing practices above board- avoid Black Hat Techniques (such as hidden content, link farming and meta keyword stuffing)- this will get an organisation into hot water as Google has penalties for these actions.

      Secondly, in regards to website design for accessibility- It is crucial that your website is optimised for mobile. Offer consumers quality and credible content, employ accurate titles and meta data and use appropriate inbound and internal linking. Once again, don’t forget to always focus on your audience.

      Thank you for your comment!


  2. I use my Google virtual assistant a few times a week, usually I’ll it when I cant be bothered typing, or when I want someone else to hear the response Google gives me.
    For example, when I was nannying, the kids wanted to know how many people where there in the world, so I said “lets ask Google”, so i asked the question out loud, and Google told me that there were 7.1 billion people. I also found that the kids had more confidence in the answer Google gave them, than if I would’ve quietly Googled it and then told them the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Shelley, virtual assistants are definitely a desirable function for those times you just don’t feel like typing or don’t have a lot of time to spare. It is interesting to hear a real instance where a virtual assistant proved handy and fulfilled its function. It is fantastic that we can learn new facts in a matter of seconds without even pressing a button. Thanks for your comment!


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