In 2013 Google purchased a company called Nest. (just one of the companies it purchased in 2013). The technology that Nest develops and continues to improve is used for “smart homes”. You know, homes that are equipped with electronic devices, lighting, heating, etc. that are controlled via computer, phone or tablet. These devices have memories, they are automated, they are connected to a main computer and some are connected online.
In 2014, Apple announced their smart home tool called HomeKit. It’s supposed to come out in the autumn of 2014 so if you’re an iPhone or iPad user you should be able to get this very soon.
Now, these may look to you like just apps for your smart phones and tablets. But the impact on SEO and how we “search the internet” will be coming and it will have started with the use of these kinds of apps.
Daniel Cristo wrote a great article and I encourage you to read it. This post is my take on his article. He has many good points in there that I won’t go into so I say get a cup of coffee and spend a few moment reading it, you’ll be glad you did.
It’s difficult for us to see that how we search the Internet will change so drastically. Especially for those of us over 30! (whew, where did the time go?) But rest assured that changes are coming and those changes will have an impact on SEO and Internet marketing. How can they not?
The Future Of Searches and Shopping
A few nights ago my husband and I were watching The Wolverine and (as usual) I wanted to know the end of the movie before it even started. (I know, it’s weird, what can I say?) Anyway, the next morning I picked up my phone and the card on Google Now was about a news story on the movie The Wolverine. I didn’t search for that news story, but Google saw that I made a search for it and they are therefore giving me more. This happens all the time with the searches that I make. The point is, Google is “listening” to what I’m doing online. The future of these “smart appliances” is that they will be “listening” as well.
Right now, it seems that within 1-2 years many of us will have some type of “smart home” app on our phones. I don’t think that’s out of the question. A few of us will have appliances that we can connect to as well. In the article Cristo talks about “smart refrigerators” but there are other appliances currently available as well.
GE has smart ovens.
Whirlpool has smart washers and dryers
Well, you get the idea.
Right now, these appliances are in your home and connected to your phones but at some point, they will be connected to online services and they will then be “listening”. The example in the article is online grocery services. Amazon is expanding their Amazon Fresh service and with so many smaller online grocery services currently available throughout the country, it’s just a matter of time before it takes off. (I know when I lived in Florida I used Publix’s online service and absolutely loved it. They stopped it after a year I think. The mistake they made (in my humble opinion) is that they went too big too fast. But it was an amazing service!!!)
So, imagine your online grocery service being alerted that your refrigerator is out of milk. And let’s say that you have conducted searches for almond milk. You may start getting messages recommending brands of almond milk for your next grocery delivery. Maybe even coupons. Perhaps washing machines will hold large amounts of detergent and they will automatically dispense what’s needed for each wash. When that container gets low you may get notification that you need more detergent. Again, based on any previous searches, you can get recommendations for certain brands, coupons, etc.
Your searches will affect future purchases.
And not just searches. What you watch on TV, on Netflix, maybe even on Roku or Apple TV will also create a database of information about you which can be used by these smart apps to talk to you. I love SyFy movies, good ones, bad ones, I love them all. I may start getting notices about Comic Con conventions, a new Star Trek cereal, etc. I didn’t even search for that stuff but because of my “database” my apps are recommending what they think I will want.
Your TV – The Internet – Shopping
Years ago I read an article about how Google’s plan was to eventually be integrated with TV’s. Not sure if they’re still working on that but the concept was that TV’s would be equipped in such a way that I could just click on a product in the show I was watching and purchase it. Well, a simpler version of that has already started. Target and the show Cougar Town worked together to create ShopCougarTown.com. Check out this article explaning it.
TV shows are becoming more and more integrated with Twitter and Facebook and like Target, even creating their own sites. Audiences are voting and participating with the shows they are watching, in live time. It will get to a point when you won’t need your smartphone with you to interact with your TV. Your television set will be integrated with that technology.
The Impact On SEO
Right now, the goal of any SEO is to “get the word out” about the website they are marketing. Whether it’s through search, through social media, email marketing, videos, etc. There are many ways to do it but the core has always been the search results. Getting top rankings for keyword phrases the audience is typing in.
But as these trends I mentioned here continue, the act of typing in keyword phrases and searching will decrease more and more. As these smart appliances and our smart homes learn to read our databases the will simply recommend services and products to us. And let’s face it, humans are lazy. It’s so easy to be lazy! So, the chances that we will take action on these recommendations vs. doing the work ourselves, is pretty high.
When this happens, SEO will no longer be about rankings. It will be about authority, it will be about product placement and it will be about how interactive the company is.
By “authority” I mean the amount of knowledge on the website. Have you demonstrated that you are an expert in your field? The only way to do that online is to have as much information about your field as possible. The answers to questions users are asking should be on your website.
By “product placement” I mean getting your products on as many visible mediums as possible. Videos, online publications, tv shows, etc.
By “interactive” I mean social media sharing, online reviews, blog comments, local mentions, etc.
Yes, the times they are changing and they are changing fast!!! Time to retire!