Google Now: What Does Predictive Search Mean for You?


Google Now: What Does Predictive Search Mean for You? image google now 300x164You’ve undoubtedly heard of Google Now by now. Although Google’s latest search innovation has been around for over a year, it managed to fly a little under the radar until the release of the app for iOS this spring.

Here’s a quick refresher in case you’ve somehow missed the details. Google Now is basically a magical assistant with a goal of making it a million times easier to find the info you need right now. Before you even ask, “cards” appear on your phone predicting what info you’re going to need next, whether you’re thinking about sports, weather, traffic, movie times, or the news.

This month, Google debuted a new set of cards that focus on travel and logistics. For instance, you may find a card pop up with flight tracking or details on hotel reservations. All of these cards are meant to help you better manage your life and keep you connected to what’s important to you.

The Privacy Problem

So how can it possibly work? By learning from your search patterns so that it can begin to predict your next move. As Google creeps more and more into every aspect of your online life, there are more and more apps and tools that give Now insight into your life, such as Gmail, Google Search, and Google Calendar. The genius of Now is based on a pervasive lack of privacy, but most people find Now so useful that they’re willing to overlook the inherit creepiness of the concept.

Making Search Conversational

It seems to me that the primary effect that Now has on SEO is that it forces search to be more language friendly. As Now gains more influence, search must become more conversational, which will mess with many of today’s standard SEO practices. Guillame Bouchard suggests that Now should encourage a transition from tactical to strategic SEO. In other words, SEOs need to switch to more adaptable and personalized approaches in order to accommodate this more language-centric form of search.

Keeping Search Local

Since Google Now promises a greater integration of search with our every day lives, the logical conclusion is that Now is going to be huge for Local SEO. That means that it’s crucial for your keywords, links, meta tags, and other SEO components to connect you with your local market!

So how can you adapt your strategies to coordinate with the goals of Google Now? Focus on Local SEO best practices and then work to improve your understanding of how your customers interact with your brand across a variety of devices. We’ve already had hints from Google that Now is not going to be limited to mobile for long!

What cards would you like to see added to Google Now? How are you adapting your SEO tactics in light of Now?

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