We are at the beginning of a new year and after the past year the work is starting 2017 with a sense of trepidation.
That said, where there are challenges for some, there are opportunities for others.
And for those in the world of digital, social and content development we find ourselves with a good number of new technologies and processes that if we embrace can help us define how we are seen.
So, here are my predictions for what are the trends for the year ahead.
For many years we have been reliant on search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing in order to be seen online.
With Google being the giant, they have established best practice in SEO that created and established best practice, while creating an industry that supports it in generating the revenues that have made the company into a mammoth.
SEO helps sites be found, but search engine marketing helps companies be seen. Paying is what helps many differentiate themselves from many in the market. That was fine when written worlds ruled, but the rise of mobile and smartphones has meant that many people today search from their devices.
Here are some quick facts:
Shares of online searches initiated on a mobile device varies by industry
Searches for Food & Drink — 72%
News & Media — 64%
Retail — 56%
41% of people who started using voice searching/commands did so in the last 6 month, an increase from 19% who started between a year and six months ago!
Google and others are starting to battle it out to become the leader in voice search.
Google has ‘OK, Google’, while Microsoft has Cortana as it’s Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPAs), Apple has Siri, which uses Microsoft Bing, and Amazon uses Alexa.
Voice is here and how your site is coded and worded will influence how it ranks. Best to start getting it prepared.
Artificial Intelligence — AI
Artificial Intelligence was not that intuitive in 2016. But 2017 could see it making a breakthrough into the mainstream. Tech giants like IBM, Google and Facebook are investing BIG in AI.
At the end of 2016, Facebook’s Mark Zuckenberg unveiled it’s Jarvis AI driven IPA. Supported with the voice of Morgan Freeman, this IPA was developed to help Zuckenberg run his home. But, chances are that it will be offered out.
Zuckenberg himself has said in a note, “If you train a machine learning system on data from Google of people speaking to a search engine, it will perform relatively worse on Facebook at understanding people talking to real people. In the case of Jarvis, training an AI that you’ll talk to at close range is also different from training a system you’ll talk to from all the way across the room, like Echo”
What we saw in the presentation video is only a pitch to the general public. The possibilities of AI are immense.
Dr Simone Stumpf, a senior lecturer at City University in London, told the BBC that, “If a user is more engaged, then they might also be forgiving of mistakes, interact more — and thus provide more training data for the AI to get it right — and are less likely to abandon it.”
AI is already driving voice search, it will drive Chatbots. But the personality that we create for the front-end will confirm how we interact with AI driven applications.