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This post brought to you by Bing Network . The content and opinions expressed below are that of Jason Yormark.

The speed at which technology is evolving is at breakneck speeds. We’re living in an unprecedented era of technical evolution, and it shapes practically every facet of our daily lives. It was only a few years ago that people only owned one or two connected devices, but now that has evolved into people owning an entire ecosystem of connected devices…phones, laptops, tablets, TVs, even our cars. And at the center of all this technology is a concept that even pre-dates any of this tech; the ability to search and find information.

The landscape in the search game is changing. What once was dominated by traditional keyboard/desktop based search is being replaced by natural language. While desktop searching is averaging a -1% decline, smartphone and table search growth have grown 17% and 28% respectively (Year-over-year search growth, by device. From comScore’s “2015 U.S. Digital Future in Focus” white paper. Q4 2014). Voice powered search is the future as more and more people get comfortable and are beginning to trust the technology. Look no further then Cortana, Microsoft’s voice powered virtual assistant where over 2.5 billion questions have already been asked.

In addition, it’s not just the technology we use to search that is changing, but also the way we use it. Natural language is becoming more and more common when it comes to voice powered search which demands that the technology keeps up. Terse, keyword based searches are no longer the norm as people become more comfortable with asking more common language styled questions in their voice powered searches. Searches such as, “Who is the best hitter on the Chicago Cubs?” or “Show me the best prices for hotels in Seattle.” are queries that are much more common these days.

So what does this mean as a business owner and why should I care about this shift in the Humanization of Search?

  • Ensure you are always re-evaluating your digital content strategy around natural language as more and more users are searching for information in this way. Always think about how a user would ask a question about your products and services, and use that as a guide.
  • Continue to familiarize yourself with emerging technology as users leverage multiple platforms in their digital lives. Technology such as virtual reality is a good example of an emerging tech that is sure to become more of a driving force in consumer engagement.
  • If you sell products online, always be thinking about how to help search engines better match relevant queries to products in your data feeds. Optimizing these feeds ensures the right people find your right products.

Like any small to medium sized business owner, you have to manage your time and money wisely. So anytime you can take advantage of an opportunity to maximize both, you jump on it. The combination of the Bing Network’s reach and technology advances is unmatched. Windows, Xbox and Office, all backed with Cortana are delivering industry leading technology in voice powered search, and all the data that comes with that usage. Syndication partners such as Yahoo, AOL and the Wall Street journal add to their reach of 170 million searchers of which 56 million are exclusive to the Bing Network. The breadth of high quality data the Bing Network drives ensures your investments reach the right people at the most affordable cost.

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