Can you imagine if we actually talked to one another the same way we’ve historically talked to search engines? It would make for some awkward interactions.
“Minneapolis movie showtimes.”
“Um… come again?”
“Showtimes Captain Marvel 55441.”
“Are you –”
“Movie showtimes cheapest theater arcade games. I’m feeling lucky.”
“Sir, this is a Wendy’s.”
It’s only fitting I suppose that our adherence to Google’s robotic algorithms has, in turn, made us more robotic. Searchers became trained to speak in the engine’s keyword-driven language. Marketers crafted SEO strategies accordingly.
Today, the advent of voice search is making our conversations with search engines more… conversational. It’s not incidental that we activate this feature on our smartphones or voice assistants by addressing “Alexa” or “Siri” — this dynamic is very much intended to humanize the devices, which is a little creepy and dystopian if you think about it, but it’s best not to think about it.