In just one year, 2015, quest for virtual assistants like Google Voice Search, GoogleNow, Siri and Cortana jumped from that statistical zero to 10% of overall search volume, globally. That is the equivalent of 50 billion searches a month being performed by voice search. – LSA INSIDER
Virtual Assistant, also referred as VA, has often been the topic of discussion, but has not been taken seriously. While it had everything essential for a futuristic tool, it did not really have any positive impact on revenues when it first entered the technology sector. In addition, many reports suggested that VA did not have any positive impact on the searches. But, it all has changed with the recent technological advancements.
In today’s digital age, virtual assistant and voice search has gained immense popularity among the masses. Moreover, the development of such VAs have increased at a rampant pace. Why? The primary reason is that it offers convenience and is super quick to help you search on the go making your overall technology usage hassle-free. It all depends on the Voice Search you are using – over time, Google Voice Search, Siri, and Cortana have significantly improved. As a result, not only it looks cool to have a voice search abiding your commands but it has also become extremely reliable.
With such massive demand, marketers have started to think of ways to develop a strategic plan for SEO that revolves around voice searches. According to Google Trends, “Google voice search queries in 2016 are up 35x over 2008.” This suggests that voice search has the potential to surpass traditional keyboard searches. Another factor is the mobile boom; as the usage of a smartphone to quickly access any important information is more than using your regular PCs, laptops, or tablets. Consequently, the majority of the voice searches are performed through smartphones.
Apart from this, voice chats have also become popular as they are super-fast and reliable. In a short span of time, voice and speech recognition technologies have significantly improved. In 2015, the word error rate was nearly 20% which has now been minimized to only 8%.
What is Google Voice Search?
A function or feature that allows the users to search anything on Google, using voice commands is known as Google Voice Search.
Google lets its users utilize Voice Search on PCs, tablets, and smartphones. To access Google Voice Search, from a smartphone, users have to provide voice command to their Google bar; just say ‘Ok, Google’ which is a ‘wake phrase’ for Google to activate and respond to your search.
How will Google Voice Search redefine the future of SEO?
Until now, only 20% of all searches on the Web is a voice search. But, ComScore has predicted that 50% of all searches will be voice searches in the coming two to three years. Whereas, another source claims that nearly 30% of the searches will be done without a screen by 2020.
If this is not enough, here is how Google Voice Search is going to reshape the future of SEO in the coming few years:
Location Based Context
One of the best features of Google Voice Search is that it will always display results whose context will be based on locations. For instance, if you are traveling and want to know the distance to the airport from the hotel you are staying in, you ask “How far is the airport from here?” and Google will understand that you want information of your current location.
Emphasis On Mobile
The emergence of voice search is making the use of smartphones more and more important at this point. It is believed that voice searches are accountable for more than half of all search queries that users perform using a smartphone. Thus, this has forced marketers to analyze and evaluate the voice searches to boost their SEO.
In the digital age, it is important for marketers to understand that mobile devices hold significant importance and should be prioritized before PCs. Similarly, most voice searches are done on a smartphone as well. Hence, SEO specialists should look for a way to optimize content for mobile devices if they want to rank higher on voice searches.
Ever since Hummingbird was released in 2013, the trend to include exact-match keywords in SEO and marketing strategy has become obsolete. The reason is that when a user is on a mobile phone and needs to get access to information within a second, they have more urgent needs in mind. Google has divided such urgent needs into four types which are categorized under ‘micro-moments such as: I-Want-To-Know Moments, I-Want-To-Go Moments, I-Want-To-Do Moments, and I-Want-To-Buy Moments.
Google Voice Search along with other virtual assistants goes beyond just performing search queries. Geomarketing reported that “42 percent say voice-activated devices have quickly become “essential” to their lives.”