Infidigit’s Kushal Thakkar talks about how Immersive Applied sciences may remodel search engine optimization in 2041
Immersive technologies are already redefining the way we interacted a few years ago. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality are no longer limited to science fiction films, but are used for various activities.
It is only a matter of time before these immersive technologies change the way people consume information. If this potentially happens, the search engine optimization (SEO) approach will need to change too.
But to understand how SEO would come into play two decades later, we need to understand how mixed reality is perceived and consumed. Given the speed at which our communication devices (read: phones) are shrinking, mixed reality may only need a digitized wearable lens to come to life.
Under such circumstances, websites as we know them today would be out of date and part of nostalgic archives by 2041. Instead, platforms would synthesize text, videos, images and sound to create immersive experiences that project information in mixed reality. Virtual characters and scenarios could be created and customized to present content in a way that is most attractive to the user.
Let’s say you want to buy shoes. The virtual shoe store is presented in your environment. You choose the shoe and try it on on your own foot to check the fit, etc.
There would be several such immersive experience memories and information zones. Search engines will continue to play the vital role of directing you to the right business or area of information that is right for you based on your search query and your experience history.
User / buyer personas have always been part of marketing strategies. But two decades in the future, the user persona will be the decisive element for personalizing content and overall experiences.
Let’s say you are doing a “how to make a cake” search online. Instead of providing multiple results, it will immediately show you the best result that matches your query and history. A virtual avatar would appear before your eyes to guide you through the process in a realistic 3D environment. If the information isn’t what you’re looking for, just go back and ask the search engine with a refined query, “How do you bake a cake without eggs?” The search engine then projects a new experience in relation to the updated query.
This approach to providing content can already be seen in voice search. Google selects the most relevant website that contains the response to the request in focus and usually assigns it a featured snippet position based on set criteria. The content highlighted in the snippet is what will be read by voice assistants when someone searches for the query in question.
Similar to the current rivalry for featured snippets for voice-activated queries, there would be stiff competition in the future to be selected by search engines as the source for the first virtual experience played on a lens or similar device.
So it will all boil down to SEO specialists tweaking the factors that are most important to those custom results for maximum visibility and engagement. Similar to the refined approach of today’s SEO practices for websites, marketers would have to improve the speed of the virtual experience stream, optimize content for the highest engagement in the shortest possible time, among other things.
Audio files would also be an influential factor as the mention of the focus keywords in the audio file would help search engines determine their validity for a particular phrase or query. Hence, keyword research and its placement would play a key role in future content development activities that prioritize intent.
Even then, that entire content development process would only be part of a larger strategy. There would be several other factors like internal linking that would evolve. As an upgrade to internal links on today’s websites, the portals would have interacting links that create immersive connections between and transition between various related modules. These internal connections could then serve as an important reference point for search engines to weight the usefulness of a platform or modules according to user intent, and an important focus for future SEO marketing efforts.
But as search engines advance in technology, so will the tools that help monitor and track this activity. SEO could likely be further democratized as marketers have access to more tools to tweak their strategies with minimal effort and intervention.
However, SEO is and remains much more than just performing a few checkpoints. In the data-heavy world that will evolve into the future, data-driven approaches from SEO experts will still drive the biggest growth stories with promising ROI. Something that consultants like Infidigit are already doing in the present. And companies looking to set new milestones in terms of visibility and ROI will likely continue to choose experts, just as they do today.
By- Kushal Thakkar, Founder and Managing Director, Infidigit