Is there a battle between Artificial Intelligence ( A.I) and local search, are we looking at war?
We have been watching the development of A.I. on the silver screen for more than 30 years. Starting with Hal in the space odyssey, through the Terminator franchise and up to the more benevolent Jarvis, Tony Stark’s AI assistant in Ironman.
We have been waging an undeclared war!
The reality for the digital marketing and local search is that we have been waging an undeclared war with AI for longer than we realise. Most internet users are just not aware of it.
Over the last five years, the battle of search Engine Optimization (SEO) for a page 1 position in Google. Or to secure audience visibility in the Facebook newsfeed have become an arms race of best practice.
All online platforms like Google and Facebook use secret algorithms to make positional decisions that affect the success or failure of your business marketing efforts. These platforms have been using a range of systems including artificial intelligence as a core part of the decision process.
The current thinking is that a phrase or sentence trigger the A.I. systems producing a more accurate search results than a simple keyword selection.
A.I. is now in the hands of the consumers!
However, more disruption is coming. Artificial Intelligence is now in the hands of the consumers, and that will change how search results are derived and presented. We know from our mobile phone use how integrated it has become. We can see it all around us; the phone is the default personal assistant and web search tool. Current data suggests that between 50 to 70% of all searches are from a mobile device. It will continue to rises as the technology of these devices develops to rival the desk machines within years.
This advance in technology has also opened a new option, “the vocal search.” People can now speak to their phone. Cortana and Siri are AI systems that learn about the user and seek to deliver the requested information. This speech recognition is standard on Windows 10 machines, and I know from our family experience our teenager prefers to speak than type.
Artificial Intelligence and Local Search
You may have read all about mobile search before, but vocal search? How does it affect your local search performance? These A.I. systems learn about their users; the program can access a range of data from the phone. So when a user asks for a dentist or plumber or an Indian restaurant. The request may come in the form of a sentence or phrase. The system will already know the user location, age, and sex and delivers relevant results.
Winning the A.I. war in Local Search. Take Action
As a business owner, you need to take notice of this development as local search has become more competitive. Much of this due to the influence and shift to mobile devices and small screens, as a response there is less space on page one. You can find out more about these changes at the link above.
The battle will be won with data, rich content and reputation management.
Data: This is about the accuracy of information across multiple platforms. It is important for the search engines that they can see and validate your location and contact information.
Rich Content: Back to building a destination on the web. Because the new vocal search is liable to be a phrase or sentence matched. The more varied content will have more opportunity to be found.
Reputation Management: This is social signals and local customer engagement on social media.
While this may seem to complicate the marketing world, it is driven by competition, progression and the change of consumer behavior.
The winners will take it all…
However while we are in this place of transition, there is a lot of opportunity for those companies that embrace Artificial Intelligence and Local Search by looking to enhance their local search opportunity.
For more information about managing your reputation and building your local search check out the frequency marketing dashboard.