As time passes and new technologies evolve, the way people search the web has changed drastically and will continue to do so over time.
Smartphones dominate in terms of providing immediate gratification by dispensing local search results; moreover, Natural Language Processing is getting better with the evolution of artificial intelligence assistants like Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant and others.
Presently, semantic search is the trend of 2019, replacing the good old keyword-based search due to many socio-psychological reasons, three of which are:
Semantic Search emphasizes the natural way of human interaction: People are pleased when they can easily find answers to all their questions.
Semantic Search helps with multitasking: A driver can get directions while driving just like a cook can get recipe ideas while cooking.
Semantic search also seeks to understand natural language the way a human would; if you asked your friend “What is the largest mammal? And then followed that question up with “How big is it?” your friend would understand that “it” refers to the largest mammal: a blue whale.
Making machines understand and communicate with users would seem like some kind of magic, but the truth to it is that there are several scientific factors that contribute to making all this possible.
There are parts of computational linguistics, computer science, artificial intelligence, etc. that each plays a role in the process of achieving semantic search.
Speech recognition is what makes machines understand spoken commands.
Natural language recognition and processing lie behind the ability of machines to understand what people ask using natural language.
Conversational AI — the voice assistance component — allows digital assistants to interact with users in the form of a dialogue, answering questions, asking questions, giving directions, recommendations, etc.
Together, they comprise the “magic” of human-machine interaction; changing, in the process, the way users perform searches (and user behavior in general).
Goodbye to 10 blue links page. About 35% of voice searches are made through smart speakers that don't have screens at all. Hence, no more 10 blue links as search results. The voice assistant won't read aloud the whole search results, it will simply choose the most relevant and appropriate one.
Like all search engines, digital assistants strive for maximal value for users. Thus, individual preferences, location, search history, etc. are the main focus for the decision of the result to be provided subsequently.
We can’t predict if voice search will dominate in the upcoming years, but all we know is that it’s here to stay, so it is time to optimize for voice search.