What is Google Voice Search?
Google Voice Search, also known as Search by Voice (Yes! That microphone symbol!) It is a Google product that allows users to use Search by speaking on a computer or a smartphone. That means the device search for data upon entering information on what to search for the device by speaking. It is in addition to the traditional way of typing a search and both works well! The question is, what are users going use in 2017?
Initially named as Voice Action which allowed one to give speech commands to an Android phone. Initially, it was available for the U.S. English only and later extended to understanding and replying in American, British, and Indian English; French, Italian, German, and Spanish.
In Android 4.1+ it got merged with Google Now. In the year of 2014, this new feature was added to Google Voice Search, allowing users to choose up to five languages and the app will automatically understand the spoken language. Expect to see some boost in freelance jobs because of these changes
Capabilities of Google Voice Search:
Voice search is now capable of interpreting and responding to:
- If you ask Google to show you a picture of a whale and based on your accent if it shows some different pictures, you can spell out each letter of which pictures you want to see, and the response will come back in a similar way with correct pictures shown on the screen.
- You can ask for context sensitive help asking related questions one after another, and the search results are according to the context set by earlier questions. You can also drill down the questions, like searching for a country, then a city and then a specific place in the city and you are likely to get more accurate results. It means, the way we are doing a search is completely changing with voice search!
- The current location is ‘default’ while showing you any results. It is not new, as it was there for showing the search results with typed keywords also. The only interesting thing is while asking these questions; the search engine has already got the feature of understanding and using location details also. In this case, you do not have to keep repeating your current location, and a name of the restaurant is related to your current location only. You get a voice response as an answer to your ‘voice query’ along with a map or search results on the web page.
- The voice search can be directly related to what is ‘on screen.’ It means if you have already opened a particular page and you want more information the same place or person when you ask for pictures or anything else related to that page, the context gets set to the page currently open in your browser. Isn’t that very cool and human-centric?
- You can ask questions about yourself related to your phone number, office address and things like that like referring to ‘my’ and the search engine understands who is asking the questions. OF course, there are some pre-requisites, and you need to have your information available on the net. You can get more help once you ask these questions. You can give it a try with ‘what is my IP address?’ J
There are also discussions about Google working on conversational shopping as well, but we need to wait and watch for the new features!
Changes in SEO Landscape:
Google is constantly changing the SEO strategy with features like Voice Search, Accelerated Mobile Pages, and Machine Learning/Google Rank Brain. Voice search is growing very fast, and some survey shows that more than 40% people in the US are already using the voice search daily. The trend is only increasing, so what are the challenges and changes for SEO?
Excellent SEO strategy starts with keyword discovery and websites thrive through a search when they identify most matching keywords, and then use SEO to position highly on the search engines for these terms. The Voice search is changing traditional keyword discovery, favouring more contextual, natural phrases over prior short-tail search language. Common voice searches can often exceed long tail phrases, extremely long-tail keywords compared to traditional desktop and mobile searches.
Another major impact of voice search is the importance of being in the top position, becoming the default and if you don’t adopt the changes quickly, you can lose the top position fast! The website that closely matches the user’s query will become the top resource.
Effective SEO Strategy
If you are a marketer, your focus is going to change with new Google features and the SEO strategy you used so far is also going to impact in a big way. Whether it’s related to mobile first or long keywords or voice search, you will have to keep updating thousands of web pages to keep matching the new trends and accommodate quick changes to keep your position in the search results. We can see that going forward, the website that most closely matches the user’s query can help beat out their competitors by being the leading resource.
Change in Search Construction way:
The new way of searching has shown a drastic departure from the way on the construction of search and these searches are inherently conversational. Many users will be seeking answers to everything from simple to complex queries that require in-depth, but concise, information.
The queries issued to voice assistants can become as detailed and as specific as any conversation with a real person. Here, both keywords and content need to sound natural with all of the detail and specifics that you would expect in an actual conversation. You may see more freelance writing jobs to accommodate these changes.
You went using short keywords, and you moved to long string keywords, but now you have to master another art of showing the search results based on voice queries. You can no longer blast your message out to customers and hope to attract the audience you desire. At the very least, you can expect to see businesses providing more question and answer style pages as well as more in-depth pages dedicated to a single topic.