Users of the new iPhone 4s are quickly taking to Siri’s search capabilities. Imagine verbally asking a question and getting an immediate response, without needing to visit Google, Yahoo! or Bing to conduct a search. Which would you choose? That’s right: Siri. Don’t believe it? Watch this video:
While this is fantastic for users, it could be crippling for the major search engines, and completely change the face of SEM/SEO (at least local SEO/SEM).
Using iPhone 4s & Siri for Search
Instead of using the iPhone to conduct a Google search for a local business, Siri allows iPhone 4s users to ask her for the “best auto repair” shop in their local area (for example), and she’ll give users several options with the highest ratings. This also could become crippling to services such as ServiceMagic, who easily connect home owners with pre-screened home contractors.
For SEOs & SEMs, we’ll find a way to optimize for Siri, but the big losers could be the major search engines and online services who connect users with businesses, as an alternative to search. Just think about it, what if you stepped into your basement and noticed it was flooded. If you had your iPhone handy, would you use Siri to help you locate a local plumber? Admit it, you probably would.
So, what can you do as an SEO or SEM expert? Here’s a few tips:
- Build reviews for your products and services from as many review/eCommerce websites as possible, and quickly. When Siri is asked for the “best” of something, it’s using this data to produce results.
- Review and optimize your Yelp local listing and do what you can to rectify poor reviews.
- If you run a local business, ensure that your Google Places and other search engine local listings are in place so that you can be found by Siri.
- Optimize your website for mobile search.
Siri has the potential to completely change the online search game, and potentially take down Google’s local search business. Only time will tell.