3 eCommerce SEO Predictions For 2017

The SEO landscape has changed so much over the last few years, it’s almost unrecognisable. Changes are made to the algorithms so often, you have to think not only about the new changes, but also about changes that may impact things in the future. Below are 3 of my predictions for 2017.

#1: Voice search will grow

Voice search is something that has been on an upward trend over the course of 2016. With products like the Amazon Echo becoming extremely popular, people are starting to realise how ‘talking to a device’ can save them a lot of time when trying to find or do something they want. We’re now coming out of that period were people think there’s something odd about talking to a device, rather than a person.

We’ve had Siri on Apple products for some time now, but 2017 may be the year that the technology of voice recognition will come into its own. Voice search is getting more accurate and able to handle many more accents, with reasonable ease.

I don’t believe that voice search will have a huge impact on desktop or mobile typed searches, but there’s certainly going to be a large market for voice searches. As the point of voice search, is to remove the need of a user typing, it will be interesting to see how Google and other search engines handle the results and how those users will get directed to an eCommerce store.

#2 Image detection searches

Instagram ended the 2016 year with around 600 million monthly active users. That’s a lot of people uploading and sharing images to friends, family and people who want to follow the adventures of other people via the medium of images. The most recent statistics that I could find, showed that something like 60 million new pictures are uploaded on a daily basis. Can you imagine all the physical products that are shown inside these images?

There have been a few ‘image recognition’ companies that popped up in 2016 promising that they can extract products from images. Thus, enabling people to enter an image and then for the products to be returned in a search result. The technology for this sort of thing isn’t quite there yet. However, with companies like Instagram holding so much image data, we may see these sorts of companies starting to heavily invest in image recognition.

There’s huge potential for companies like Instagram to offer their own advertising networks where it detects that $2,000 handbag in an image, and show an advert to those viewers to buy it at online stores. 2017 will not be the break-out year for this sort of technology, but I’m certain we will start to see more growth.

We’ve already seen Google implement this sort of thing in their image search results back in 2016 but the results can be flaky at best. There is certainly a lot of potential for this in the coming years.

#3 Amazon will take more of Googles search volume

Many years ago, you would always start your product search on Google. If you wanted the latest Iphone from Apple, you would do a quick search on Google. However, Amazon has started to take some of that search volume, with consumers starting their product searches directly on Amazon. It does make sense in a lot of ways. Why do people need to go through Google if the top 3 results they get are from Amazon anyway?

There is a lot of debate in the industry as to how much of the market that Amazon has for product searches, but I’m sure we’ll see Amazon taking a bigger chunk in 2017. With products like the Amazon Echo, Amazon is ensuring that people think of ‘Amazon’ when they want to search for something. Throw in the Amazon Prime benefits that people are eating up, and it’s a recipe for success.

Whilst this is a perfect situation for Amazon, it’s going to be something we need to keep an eye on. If Amazon can get a large percentage of people to go straight to them, instead of going through a search engine, it has the potential to shake the foundation of eCommerce sales for independent retailers.

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