Earlier this year, Google once again changed the search engine optimization (SEO) game by officially announcing its "mobile-first" index at SMX Munich. Considering that over 60 percent of all searches originate from mobile devices these days, this shift toward mobile optimization and prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in search rankings makes plenty of sense. However, as Roger Montti of Search Engine Journal points out, the reign of the mobile-first index might be a short-lived one if voice search, virtual assistant apps, and artificial intelligence (A.I.) have anything to say about the matter.

Dubbing the next iteration of Google's all-important rankings system the "voice-first" index, Montti points to a variety of factors that could herald an accelerated shift toward voice-search optimization that easily eclipses the rate of change that occurred between Google's traditional desktop-oriented search index and its mobile-first successor. Specifically, placing a greater emphasis on A.I. tech development for Google Assistant, reshaping the requirements of the Structured Data Tool, and leaning deeper into the power of semantic search via tools like "Talk to Books" all help make Montti's case that the voice-first index is lurking just beyond the horizon.

Going just a bit further and looking at some of the other recent rollouts for voice-centric technologies, including the ability make purchases by voice directly from Google Assistant-enabled devices and Google's constant emphasis on finding the "one true answer" that addresses user intent within each search query, helps cement the notion that the future of search is a voice-friendly one.

Are the winds of change actually blowing in the world of SEO? Why is A.I. the key to unlocking the full potential for a voice-first search index? To explore these questions and learn even more about the signs that point to the rise of a voice-first search index in the not-so-distant future, as well as how your dealership can prepare for this new take on the user search experience, be sure to check out the full story from Montti over on Search Engine Journal by clicking the link we've provided below.

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