We all know how occupied we are with our phones and you see every 98th person in 100 members using their smartphones. We spend most of our time with our phones, from using it in house, on roads, in metros, office, and till we close our eyes, it is just like a companion in our lives without which even a day cannot be spent. It is very evident that searching on phones is something that every human does, so, businesses that are having online presence should think of this and then plan their business strategies.
Nowadays, any SEO company that wants to provide services is concentrating on the visual search rather than on the text-based search. Before telling you why this is happening, you tell us the reasons for you to get attracted to a website. Is it through the content of the images present?
We say it’s both. Yes, it is like only the content can add beauty to an image and vice versa. So, it is very apparent that the visual is as important as the text.
Now let us learn more about the visual search.
What is a visual search?
If you have opened a search engine and started looking out for stuff that is kinda the same but different or something that you don’t really know but would recognize if you see it, then the visual search will give you an answer for that. Visual search engines search the images or patterns based on an algorithm that it could understand and give out relative information based on the query made.
It is one of the biggest emerging advancements in the realm of artificial intelligence and machine learning. It has the potential to transform how consumers find and buy the products that they like.
Why is this important?
Every new technology that emerges will not have the potential to change the world, but there will be a few which will have the potential to change the way people interact with the world.
The algorithm of the visual search technology will help to tie a group of new themes, outfits or new look together in a way that only the texts would have never captured.
Let us look at few of the figures and numbers of visual search
- There are 35% of the marketers who have planned to optimize for visual search by 2020.
- 21% of the advertisers believe that visual search is the most essential trend for online businesses.
- 55% of the consumers say that this is very helpful in improving their style and taste.
- About 50% of the respondents prefer visual information over text-based information.
Now that you could envision the actual growth of visual search, let us look at how does this works.
We all know that humans have the most visualizing power and can identify an image within 13 milliseconds. In order to put the same theory on the machines, points and dotted lines are created to make it easy for the machines to identify the images just like humans.
For example: Suppose you have a screenshot of a dining table that you wished to buy but don’t know where to find it. Then you can search for it by placing the same image on the visual search engine. With this, you will be able to get similar kinds of images and will help you find the matched image very soon.
So, the technology here can identify multiple shapes and outlines of the presented image and display the related one to the user.
When it comes to how this works for a company, businesses like Google, Bing or Pinterest will benefit the most. These visual search engines depend on a neural network that uses machine learning so that the systems are regularly learning and growing in their field. Basically, we said companies like Google because Google Lens has a huge amount of data from which search functionality is improved. With the improvised version, Google lens will identify the objects in the image and match the same to the local retailers and customer reviews.
Brian Rakowski has said, “Being able to search the world around you are the next logical step” and yes, this is so real to be true.
How can consumers benefit from this visual search visibility?
We already spoke a lot about visual search, now let us get to the point of how this will benefit the users.
1. Rapid Gratification: Visual search will empower the people to uncover the information about the surroundings just by directing the phone towards anything. After pointing out the phone, the related image will be visible on the screen and the user will get what they want and be satisfied immediately.
2. Easy discovery: The users without having to struggle much can find the exact product that they are looking for. From a whole lot of data present on the internet, this algorithm will show the users similar images that they might be interested in buying.
3. No middleman: Unlike the text-based search, where Google will show the products within the website Google suggestions. In visual search, users can cut down the middleman and can able to find the product that they need and add that directly to the purchasing basket.
Who are these big players ruling the visual search?
With the growth in the visual content, it isn’t surprising that the way users are searching for a product is changing. Many big players have taken this as an advantage and started concentrating on visual search technology. We all know a picture is worth 1,000 words and thus visual search is on the rise.
1. Google Lens: This is an app of Google, which analyses a wide range of photos once a user points at something. It gives out information about the thing or product, making it easy for the user to gain information.
Example: The user can just scan a paper that is of different language and get it translated immediately, call the number mentioned on the paper or add to events for the dates mentioned. And the user can also look out for the name of a plant or animal that they have seen somewhere.
2. Pinterest Lens: Users can find this on the Pinterest app, where they can open the app and look out for a camera symbol. They can click any picture from shirt to car and search for it. The related images are shown in the image list. It is more useful for the ones who are looking to shop.
Example: Target has integrated the Pinterest lens into its application and made it easy for the users to get the required items. The product that they want can be uploaded in the target app and get the information about the product.
3. Snapchat: They have partnered up with Amazon where the user can point the camera to a product and wait till an amazon product card pops up. This will take the user to the product page of the image mentioned and the user can make the purchase from there.
4. Asos: It is a brand that has incorporated visual search in their business. The users can match up to their favorite celebrity dresses by searching the same on the app and find similar products in the catalog.
Lastly, we would conclude that text-based will always remain an important part of the search engines because that is the only way keywords can be assimilated into the metadata. Maybe it can never replace the text-based search, but this one is definitely a trend to watch out for every business that is having an online presence.