The Arrival of Voice Search and Why You Need to Prepare For It

Search engines are always working hard to return better results for users’ queries. They frequently update their algorithms to improve customer experience and return results that best answer the search terms entered by users. User behaviour itself is changing as more people now prefer voice search over typing. No one can deny the importance of voice search these days, especially with the rise of digital assistants and smart home devices. Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and Alexa are the sign of things to come as science fiction transforms into reality right before our eyes. There are still significant challenges to overcome but the pace of progress so far has been phenomenal and it is only expected to continue. They are also collaborating, as it was recently announced that Alexa and Cortana would be accessing each other to provide a better user experience. Advancements in voice-based search also tie in closely with other developments in fields like IoT and machine learning.

 

As per Google’s own report, about half of all Android users already use voice search at least once every day. Understandably, the numbers are biased in favour of younger users, particularly teenagers. Even so, when taken together, this demographic represents the bulk of online business drivers. This is precisely the reason why you need to work to make your website voice-search friendly. As you may have guessed, voice searches are a breed apart from normal searches we are so used to. Consequently, before you make any drastic changes to your website, it is important to understand how voice search is different from text-based search. Here are few things to keep in mind.

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Web Content Writing Tips – How to Write Kick-Ass Content All the Time – Part I

Let’s face it – writing content is not easy – no matter what your client says about his 2 year old son winning the Booker. Writing good copy for the web can be difficult as hell – and we are being quite mild about it. In fact, unless you are a die-hard fanatic intent on writing great copy time after time after time, you are more likely to fling aside your content writing career and pursue a much easier job like walking on hot coals.

 

But let’s not dilly-dally about how difficult it is or what alternative career choices you have. Instead, let’s focus on:

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4 Reasons to Consider Google AMP Seriously

This is the opposing view of the piece we had published on August 1, 2017. To read the counterview first, please click here.
 
Google is undoubtedly the most used search engine in the world. Their influence has shaped the way the internet has evolved and has had a marked effect on how allied industries function, particularly the way SEO works. As their dominance grew, Google started to come down heavily on unscrupulous practices to boost search rankings. While many of their steps have made the internet (and search engines) a better place, Google has used its position and popularity to their advantage, at times making the internet abide by their rules.
 
Many people felt strongly about the algorithm update that rolled out in February 2011 after many popular and top-ranking websites lost their ranks overnight. This was the Google Panda update, which heralded the age of demoting and penalising low-quality websites. Looking back, this was probably the best thing to happen to the World Wide Web in this decade. There have been many other updates with codenames such as Hummingbird and Penguin that would follow over the years. While algorithms change and evolve, some things remained constant – many webmasters continue to express their frustration after every update. Then there are the digital marketers who simply refuse to give up the old ways. This breed has accused Google of monopolising the online search world. Yet, there is no denying the fact that the algorithm updates have brought many welcome changes. It certainly raised the bar for websites’ quality to rank high in the search results.
 

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About What We Write

This post unlike anything else we have been putting up recently is more in the nature of an introduction to what we write on our blog. We think it is the right thing to do, i.e. to let you know that what we write about has some context. The fact that we are doing the ‘right thing to do’ some months (or years) after we should have done so is neither here nor there.

 

If you are one of the rare few who read our blog or have stumbled on it by mistake, then you are likely to think that we do not have any clear theme on which we write (more on this later). One day we may be writing on Google’s latest update and another day we may be writing something on content writing. The reason behind this is simple – we are highly influenced by what we read online (which we do a lot) and more times than not, we want to say something about it. In some instances, it is an original train of thought but other times, it is highly likely that someone or the other may have voiced (or will voice) an opinion that will be same or similar in some way to ours. Though we do not like to think that someone else may have already (or will in the future) put up something along the same lines as us, the genesis and proliferation of ideas thanks to the frenetic internet means that someone probably already has (or will). Okay, no more tense words about the past (or the future) in long convoluted bracketed sentences.

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The Google AMP Conundrum – For Better or For Worse?

Google’s push for the AMP project has attracted its fair share of opposition. The criticism is well-founded – it does feel uneasy when an industry leader tries to force its future down a specific path. Google maintains that AMP is optional but the alternative may seem bleak if you are trying to penetrate a mobile market or demographic. The biggest concern is arguably the need to maintain two versions of a website, should you choose to adopt AMP. While it does improve user experience, the additional workload and higher costs could potentially hurt smaller businesses.

 

Another problem with AMP, definitely a far more disturbing one, is being completely glossed over by many people, many of whom are regarded as experts. The problem is while the AMP-enabled mobile page will load very quickly, it is actually displaying a cached copy, pulling the content from Google’s own servers. This means that while a user may be accessing content that you put on your website, they never actually leave Google. This goes against the very essence of a free and fair internet and some may even argue that Google is taking advantage of another’s hard work. Now, there is a new development on the scene. Since the last few days, Google has been running an experiment that directly affects audio-visual content. Depending on your geographical location, device, and settings, if you search for a movie, the trailer starts to play automatically. In many cases, clicking on the trailer is taking users to YouTube or the PlayStore. The fear is that this concept could be scaled to keywords that predominantly return video results. Google certainly seems to be testing the limits of what they can get away with.

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