It’s official. Google Glass will be openly available for purchase later this year. That means two things:
- Expect to see a lot of new Glassers soon, and
- it’s time to start thinking about how such technology will change the way consumers search.
Below, we’ll take a look at seven areas likely to be affected and how you can prepare:
1. Death To 10 Blue Links
A search on Glass won’t return a page with 10 blue links, rather it’ll use info cards:
As you can see from the screenshot above, you can only view one info card at a time. To move to the next card, you need to swipe forward with your hand, which is much more cumbersome than scrolling with a mouse. As a result, if your site shows up on the third or fourth info card, most users will never see it.
Are the majority of your traffic-driving keywords below position #1 or #2? If so, you may see a dramatic drop in traffic when searches move to Glass or similar technologies.
Focus your SEO and paid search resources on securing the #1 position for less popular searches, even if it means losing rankings for more popular searches where you’re lower down on the first page. You’ll need to keep a close eye on Glass adoption trends to time this strategy properly.
2. Image Search
Imagine the future of shopping in your local grocery store with Glass.
Instead of having isles and isles of shelves stocked with products, the store only needs a few “display” products. Using Glass, you stare at the display product to see additional information such as price, nutrition facts, recipes, product reviews, stock levels, etc.
Wink once to add the product to your virtual cart. When you reach the register, the products in your virtual cart are there, ready to go. Just stare at the purchase QR code for a price total, and wink to complete the transaction using Google Wallet. No physical shopping carts, no accidentally running into overstocked displays, no throwing out your back lugging bottles of soda around in those little plastic hand baskets.
Is this the future of retail? Possibly. But is this the future of search? Yes, because every time you stare at a display product using Glass, you’re automatically searching the internet for related information. Coupons, recalls, price comparisons, reviews — it’s all content that must be created, optimized, indexed and ranked if you want the consumer to see it when they’re considering buying your product.
As a marketer, does your content strategy include the type of content that shoppers would use in a retail setting? Have you figured out how to tap into valuable, consumer-generated content at scale?
3. Audio Searches
Shazam is trying desperately to be the search engine for audio. You’ve probably used their app to identify new music on the radio; but, did you know that you can also use it to identify a growing catalog of TV shows and TV ads? The problem with Shazam’s app is that it’s on your phone, and nobody wants to have to dig out their device and hold it up to the TV every commercial break.
But, imagine if you could automatically identify any audio sources with Glass. Google already has music recognition capabilities, why not add a feature that auto-identifies music, TV shows, or commercials through Glass? When an audio clip is identified, Glass could give you the option of buying the song on its Play store, seeing more clips of the show on YouTube, or showing an ad to buy the product before the commercial even ends.
Think this is wishful thinking? Glass can already perform audio searches to identify songs you’re listening to.
As a marketer, is your paid search program taking into account when your TV or radio ads are running? Have you created supplemental content on your site that corresponds to the ads you’re running?
Glass is quite good at translating spoken words from and into different languages. It wouldn’t be hard at all for Google to translate a search query into multiple languages, delivering the best search result regardless of the country of origin.
This would mean there would be no more google.com, google.de, google.fr, etc. It would simply be Google. And instead of your site competing against the top sites in your country for that #1 spot, you’d be competing against the #1 sites globally. Kind of like an All-Star game, but for search results.
As a marketer, are you ready to compete globally? Is your site’s imagery and messaging multi-cultural?
5. Apps For Glass
We’re just starting to see companies invest in app store optimization. All too often, businesses invest a lot of money in a great Android or iPhone app, but nobody downloads it because they fail to optimize for the app store. Well, get ready for app store optimization to spill over into Glass apps.
There is a small but growing list of apps available for Glass. And while we need to be aware of how to optimize apps for searches within the Glass app store, we also need to keep an eye out for new ways consumers might engage with our content.
Have you considered how live video broadcasts or augmented reality might play into your content marketing strategy? These types of media will be very popular with Glass.
Without apps, a smartphone is just a dumb phone. If Glass doesn’t impress you with its core set of features today, see if you still feel the same way when it has a million cool apps and virtual reality games.
6. Google+ May Overtake Facebook
Google+ is very integrated into Glass. Most things you do with Glass somehow involve your Google+ contacts and circles. If you thought you could share a picture or host a hangout on Glass with your Facebook buddies… guess again. You’re going to have to get them on Google+ first.
Once the early adopters of Glass start bringing their friends over to Google+, users are going to have to make a decision as to which social network they should spend their time on. If your Facebook friends start leaving the site in droves, it ruins the network effect, and Facebook will begin to enter into the death spiral.
Once marketers realize nobody is using Facebook, the advertising budgets will move, Facebook’s stock price will fall, talented employees will jump ship, and board members will demand a new CEO. In other words, things could get ugly very quickly.
If Google+ becomes the leading social network, Google’s search algorithm will benefit from a more complete social graph. This will help further differentiate Google’s results from other search engines. SEOs may see themselves back in the day of having to optimize sites differently to rank better in different search engines.
Has your company figured out Google+ yet, or are they still trying to reach 1 million likes on Facebook?
7. Search Gets More Personal
When you’re searching with Glass, you’re automatically logged into your Google account. That means a few things for marketers:
- Google’s personalization capabilities get stronger as they collect more personal information through Glass.
- Search results will surface more content from Google+ contacts, as more of your friends will be using Google+, thanks to you dragging them over.
- Fewer search results can be shown due to Glass’ small screen. Instead, results are shown through small “info cards.” This means the first result must be highly relevant (personalized). It also means that the knowledge graph will be leaned upon heavily for direct answers to questions as opposed to sending users to web pages.
Have you built-up your following on Google+ so that your content appears higher in the search results of your followers?
Are you using Influencers on Google+ to distribute content so their followers see your content in the search results?
Have you dug into the knowledge graph to understand how to get your content into its system?
What’s The Timing Of All This?
It seems like every year since 2007 has been “The Year of Mobile.” But the truth is major tech trends like mobile or human wearable computers like Glass don’t become mainstream over the course of a year, but rather over the course of a decade. Marketers that watch the technology trends today can better anticipate the search trends of tomorrow, and start preparing for them now.
So how about it? Now that Glass will soon be for sale everywhere, will you jump in and pick up a pair? How do you think Glass will change search?
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.