Digital Assistants – The next big thing in Search advertising!


Have you seen the Google’s “OK Google” and Apple’s “Hey Siri”commercial? Both the commercial are an example of how the phone searches the inquiry that too just through the voice command. Such voice search assists are called Digital Assistants. A digital assistant is any program designed to perform a specific function directly for the user or any other program, and it can understand languages like English, French, or German. The digital assistant is also called as a virtual assistant that completes electronic tasks for the end user. Digital assistants take commands from the user and delivers results, like taking dictation, reading text or email messages, showing direction, or searching for content on the web.

Digital assistants are programmed with intelligence demonstrated by machines or software, machine learning, and most importantly voice recognition technology. The best way to explain digital assistant are those currently available in the marketplace, Apple’s Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft Cortana. To jump into the race, Facebook and Amazon recently launched their digital assistants. Facebook launched “M,” that works through the social network’s Messenger app and it is in the testing stage among the users in San Francisco. The online retail giant, Amazon, launched a stationary tower that is activated by voice commands or through an accompanying mobile app called “Amazon Echo.”

Traditional Search Engines

The way traditional Searches worked also has changed and with digital assistants the dynamics of the search engine will be exciting. The SEO strategies of the companies will be more competitive. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a dominant and cost-effecting strategy for organizations. More companies have been using their SEO approach and that has made it more competitive and fewer companies are able to get top rankings for keywords.

The traditional methods for SEO were when the companies would have set of keywords, phrases, and range of subjects. Google would then produce results for a user on a one-to-one comparison of specific search phrases or keywords. It became easy for companies to optimize and rank those particular phrases or keywords. Google now has changed the algorithm, called “semantic search” that analyzes the intent behind a search query and will find the most relevant answers to the question. With digital assistants, companies now don’t have to match on a one-to-one basis; instead focus on generalities.

Growth of Mobile Devices has led to the growth of Digital Assistants


Mobile devices have grown considerably and Google had admitted earlier this year that more searches are now done on mobile than computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan. The searches include mobile browser-based and Google’s mobile search app. Growths of mobile users have forced companies to plan their marketing campaigns concentrated on the mobile devices. In a recent Pew Research report, 46% of respondents said they could not live without their Smartphone. The growth of mobile devices has given rise to the search market growth too. Proximity to the mobile device is one of the many reasons people are more glued to it and prefer search on it over traditional computers. Google has extensively studied mobile search and app use and they have come up with a new term “micro-moments.” These micro-moments are defined as “the I want-to-know moments, I want-to-go moments, I-want-to-do moments, and I want-to-buy moments” that drive search behavior.

The advantage of the growth of mobile devices is that one’s connect to the Internet has changed considerably. Nowadays, The web can be accessible everywhere and with virtually any digital device. The growth of digital devices has encouraged brands like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook to come up with their digital assistants. Digital assistants have a more literal form of voice recognition software that has been applied to meaningful, functional systems. It makes it easier for users as it perform a function or find answers on the web. Digital assistants are growing more sophisticated by the day with companies continually upgrading them to a new level of superiority. If more users are dependent on digital assistants even in searches online, the dynamics of the search engine will change. The strategies and tactics by the companies will alter for the new refined approach. The magnitude of voice-based search will increase and the search or queries will become longer and conversational. It means that the companies has to upload content on the web to be more conversational. Digital assistants will take the technology a step further by giving concise answers rather than taking them to a website. Digital assistants come in handy as people will be consulting for more immediate, specific needs. It is growing fast and it can be seen in the Ford’ case. Ford recently announced Apple Siri Eyes-Free to millions of vehicles globally through sync software that will help the drivers to make phone calls from their address book, looking up phone numbers for restaurants, select and play music, asking about the weather, audibly send and receive text messages, and getting directions through Apple maps.

Digital assistants search not just the web but also files on the hard drive. Habits and histories are also considered by digital assistants. For example, Google tailors its results based on the users past reach online habits. Most importantly, digital assistants prioritize immediate, Knowledge Graph-like responses.

All the digital assistants operate separately, exactly how search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing operate independently. It is too soon to decide whether digital assistants will phase out traditional search engines, but it will gradually take over in years to come. Until then, it is worth the company’s time and money to invest in online presence. Businesses can do it by investing in great content and a presence on as many independent platforms and apps as possible to generate more visibility. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook have their own digital assistants to have an upper hand over the smaller players who will try to break into space.