Top 5 search trends in 2017

Monday, 13th Nov

The general manager at the media agency I work at asked a really interesting question. She asked, “What is the biggest search trend right now?” I paused for a moment as there were so many search buzzwords floating around in my head. I then replied that there isn’t just one search trend, but a multiple of unique changes and trends that have begun to shape how we buy, optimise and use search in 2017. With this, here are my top 5 search trends for 2017.

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1. Death of the search box

With the rise of digital personal assistants such as the Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, the way people interact with search has begun to change. Gone are the top 10 organic search results and ridged search phrases, replaced with location-centric reminders, spoken long-tail search queries and knowledge sharing. This new wave of digital interaction no longer requires a user to perform even a single click to reach their desired information or website.

2. Not just Google

Search engines are the primary place consumers turn to get an immediate answer, however, other platforms such as Amazon, YouTube and Pinterest find consumers spending an increasing amount of their time searching for answers, products, inspiration and knowledge. Each day, the average consumer spends over 40 minutes on YouTube and almost 14 minutes on Pinterest.

3. Greater emphasis on imagery

Leveraging computer vision and AI technology, Google Lens’ augmented reality functions allow consumers to better understand the visual world around them and take digital action. Simply pointing Google Lens towards a store provides you with immediate access to the business name and listing information – such as consumer ratings and peak store times – all from a single image. The technology’s potential is huge, like digital personal assistants before it, augmented reality image recognition will continue to change the way consumers use to search.

4. A generational reliance on Dr Google

According to Google, 1 in 20 searches are health-related. In early 2017, Google created new health cards. These cards, written by a team of medical doctors, help people self-diagnose and seek appropriate help. Over time, consumers have developed a reliance on searching for any answers they desire, so it is the natural progression that this behaviour of using search to unobtrusively measure their health will only increase. As this technology becomes smarter and more reliable, the hyper-connected younger generation will continue to turn to their devices and ‘Dr Google’ for instant answers to alleviate self-doubt regarding their health.

5. Personalised search experiences

Personalisation is nothing new within search, with historical website views and GPS location tailoring results for consumers every day. As Google’s AI gets smarter by connecting a myriad of data points so does its ability to connect to its consumers at scale. But is providing 100% always on soiled, yet personalised content to consumers a good thing?

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