Raj Nijjer is VP of community and oversees Community Development at Yext kicked off Auditorium 1 at Brighton SEO this morning with a great talk on how voice search is raising the stakes for businesses and changing the SERP’s.

Significant changes in the SERP’s
In short, intelligent search is search with no screens. To begin with, we should remind ourselves of the complexity of the SERP’s today – in contrast to 10 search results with blue links on one page years ago. Search has come a long, long way with frequent and constant updates to structured data.

The Knowledge Graph
Nowadays Google automatically sets filter for search. So if you’re not setting for your brands it’s not going to automatically show up in the SERP’s. When thinking of what search has become and the future of search, the question is: are devices such as alexa a dream or a nightmare? Is the fact that we now have a lot of means of devices for search

Your brand in the SERP’s
Marketers are the people making decisions for your brand – uploading data to Google local and yelp, as a marketer you need to be sure that you’re in control of all of this data. Google map maker shut down because google local is a more credible source.

By 2020 50% of searches will be voice search. This means that users are using intelligent agents more and more. Intelligent agents are all powered by search especially the knowledge graph – ensuring entities and attributes are accurate.

“If you are not in the knowledge graph, you just won’t show up”
If you’re not optimised and you are not telling search engines the most important information about your business you just won’t show up in the SERP’s anymore. It is crucial to make sure you are optimising your business information. For example, if you work in or with a client from food services you should prioritise that your Knowledge Graph must contain: address, phone number, menu details (schema has just come out with new menu guidelines).

Pages don’t rank themselves
Words such as ‘best’ and ‘popular’ followed by a keyword are automatically filtered. For example ‘best restaurant’ and ‘best Italian restaurant’ will both give completely different results depending on the location of your search and a number of reviews that each restaurant has. People are making decisions every day and intelligent agents are making these decisions for you.

Local businesses are beating industry giants because of the amount of reviews that they have. It is important to make sure that you stand out above the crowd and reviews are the best way to do this. It is marketer’s job to make sure that there are reviews for the business.

Voice search is the most fragmented search medium that there is right now because there are so many different devices that people are now using on a daily basis. You are not just optimising for keywords anymore, you are optimising for a variety of different means of search.

To conclude
Yext’s founding principle: YOU are the ultimate authority of your own knowledge.

This post is one of 19 in our Brighton SEO 2017 collection

Chloe Fair

SEO Executive

Chloe is an executive in our SEO team. She works with clients to ensure they are optimised to the highest standards both on- and off- page.