Voice search features have subtle implications to search engine optimization but continue to increase in importance over the years. It is said that voice queries continue to gain prominence with the public as compared to the manual typing of queries on smartphone search boxes.
Artem Abgarian, the Senior Customer Success Manager of Semalt Digital Services, specifies the voice search and its relevance for SEO performance.
What Is Voice Search?
Speaking commands into a device with the hope of receiving an answer constitutes a voice search. Many top digital technology companies continue to include personified voice search features on their devices. Examples include “Ok, Google” for Google, “Siri” with Apple devices, “Cortana” by Microsoft, “Alexa” in Amazon, and “Bixby” for Samsung.
Over half the total number of Google searches emanate from smartphones. Out of these, twenty percent of them trace back to voice commands without the users touching their screens. Currently, voice searches approach ninety-five percent of the English language, rendering them more accurate. Based on Google findings, it is the equivalent of the human voice recognition accuracy.
The reason for the voice search popularity is the increased usage of in-home digital assistants with minimal interfaces. For example, Amazon Echo’s Alexa and Google’s Home device rely solely on verbal requests and commands. They are both fun and useful, which is why most users tend to form a pet-like attachment to them making conversations more natural.
Conversational search is among the most significant trends in search engine optimization with 70 percent of all search queries consisting of natural language. People speak to their digital search devices in the same way they would ask questions directed to other people.
Voice Search Relevance on Google Search Results
Google continues to make great strides in conversational search, stemming from voice search, and consequently answering questions. It is learning to recognize and interpret the words human use to ferret out the user intent and deliver the most relevant results.
For example, in the case that Google receives three identical search queries concerning where to buy shoes, it has to adjust its search results based on relevance to customer intent. “Where can I buy shoes?” is a factual request. “Where should I buy shoes” is an opinion-based query. “Where to buy shoes” is a blend of opinion and facts, resulting in the neutrality of the verb that shows intent. These differences indicate that variations, the intent behind each variation, and the ability to serve specific results have a significant impact on the meaning that Google derives from the search.
Google has more straightforward responses for other cases. Google’s objective is to serve as a one-stop shop for returning results and directing users to the exact page containing the information queried. It resembles giving a single definitive answer, which is what Siri or Alexa do when users ask them questions.
Brands and e-commerce sites fear that the answer cards pose an immense threat on the amount of traffic to a site and rate of clicks. It might be true, but answer cards are here to stay and the best option for businesses, is to compete to win them or risk being overtaken by their competitors.