Search is undergoing changes every day. Changes that even marketers are unaware of. Technology and the increasing use of mobile devices set new types of search. Namely, voice, answers and predictive search. Along with these new types of search come new opportunities for brands to reach their audience.
Google search especially has changed so much in the past 10 years from just a list of websites in its early stages to a place where we begin our online journeys. We now ask questions and we find answers. Because of Knowledge Graph* (2012), there has been a steady increase in search results that yield answers.
This increase has also brought different ways of ad placements both in web and mobile within the result/answer itself.
For brands this is very important. The rearon is because they can related themselves in a more direct way with what is been searched by users. They appear right in front of the user’s eyes. And it’s not invasive. They create an actual value for the user since they directly correlate with the search.
As for the advertisers, it is evident that this also creates a great value and surely increases engagement and exposure.
“Open the pod bay doors HAL”
The rise of mobile devices usage gave space to voice search among other things. Speech recognition made voice search easier and the opportunity for advertising will arise.
The increase of voice search was even confirmed by Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai where he revealed that 20% of mobile search queries were actually voice searches.
“We are pushing ourselves really hard so that Google is evolving and staying a step ahead of our users. All the search queries you see behind me are live queries coming in from mobile. In fact, today, over 50% of our queries come from mobile phones. And the queries in color you see behind me are voice queries. In the US, on our mobile app in Android, one in five qeuries – 20% of our queries – are voice queries and that share is growing”. (I/O Google Keynote 2016)
So, based on the above fact one can assume that Google will create relevant advertising products that will deviate from traditional advertising. Lets take into account a fictional example:
User: “OK Google, book a flight ticket to Barcelona between May 1st and May 5th”
Google: “You have two choices available: Lufthansa.com at 250 euros or Aboutickets.com at 200 euros”
This is just one of the hundreds possible scenarios that can be packaged into an advertising product.
My guess is that it won’t be long, before we see Google create something solid.
Predictive search: find it before you search it!
As with all things Google, the search engine giant is able to know many of our habits, interests and preferences. The launch of Google Now (2012) and Google Assistant (2016) seem to pave the way of providing information we need before we search for it.”There are amazing possibilities here for brands when Google starts linking what it knows about the products and services users are interested in, with the brands looking to provide them.” says David Towers, Digital Partner, Head of Search
Global Solutions & EMEA, MEC.
“For example, if Google knows that every time I stay in London I like to stay at the Marriott County Hall, wouldn’t it be helpful for Google to suggest that I book that hotel when it sees a message in my Gmail account indicating that I have just booked a flight to London?” David Towers points out. Relevant brands I guess would be willing to pay for ads that would convince travellers to make their bookings through their services.
However, predictive search is largely based on the fact that the user is freely giving this knowledge to Google (which in a way it does).
It is evident that Google is looking to enrich search in different ways and various platforms. Technological progress dictates that user behavior and habits change so search has to change as well. With it advertising will change as well and has to find new innovative ways to reach consumers and provide them with useful ads the moment it is needed.
*Knowledge Graph refers to the program where Google is building a massive database of information.