Microsoft Edge. Cortana. What Does It Mean For Search Marketers?
Hey, Search Marketers. It’s Time to Get Acquainted with Microsoft Edge and Cortana.
In case you hadn’t heard, Microsoft Edge is the new web browser developed by tech giant Microsoft, now included within all Windows 10 operating systems. Edge will replace long-time browser Internet Explorer as the default web browser, but Microsoft says they will keep Internet Explorer up and running to best serve “enterprise customers.”
So, what makes Microsoft Edge special?
- It offers users the functionality to search the web without so much as opening a web browser.
- Users can hover over page tabs to preview the webpage, eliminating the need for numerous clicks.
- It gives users the ability to save articles to a Reading List and view them later from any Windows 10 device.
- The new Microsoft Edge “Hub” houses Reading list, Downloads & Favorites all in one place.
- Web Notes can be used to annotate webpages, highlight items on-screen and type notes. Users can then share the annotated page with colleagues or friends.
- Personal assistant Cortana (much like Apple’s Siri and Google Now) is available at the click of a button.
Cortana- It’s More Than Just Fun to Say.
The development of Cortana began several years ago in 2009 as a part of the Microsoft Speech products department, headed by GM Zig Serafin and Chief Scientist Larry Heck. The duo established the vision, mission, and an ongoing plan for the digital personal assistant and, from there, built a team with the expertise to create the first-run prototypes for Cortana, according to Wikipedia
Cortana has been available to Windows phone users for a while now, but with its integration into Windows 10 and its introduction to broad, new audience, Cortana is bound to become a much more popular application in the mainstream.
What Does Cortana Do?
- Highlight text, right click and select “Ask Cortana” to learn more about any topic.
- Set reminders and link them to your mobile device.
- Set location-based reminders, like reminding you to “pick up toothpaste” when you are near a drug store.
- When the Cortana icon appears on a shopping site, click it for coupons or promotional offers. For example, I tested this out by visiting OldNavy.com and Cortana appeared in the top navigation to ask “Can I interest you in a coupon?”, followed by this:
- Track packages, flight statuses, sports score or stocks and receive alerts on your device.
- Can’t answer a phone call while in a meeting? Get a ‘missed call alert’ on your PC and send a text back without leaving your desktop.
- Make sure your site is optimized for mobile and provides a great user experience.
- Be sure your business profiles are fully completed on popular data aggregators like BING, Yelp and Google.
- Optimize for long tail keywords, especially location-based keywords, “conversational” keywords or keywords in question format.
- Use rich snippets to markup important information on your site so search engines can understand more deeply what your business does.
- Does your business have an online store? Cortana can display coupons to users based on data pulled from coupon provider, Shopular
What Does Cortana Mean For SEO?
When beginning to think about SEO optimization for Cortana, base your efforts on the same guidelines used to optimize for other digital personal assistants, like Siri or Google Now: