Until recently, the voice search function has been associated primarily with fantasy film productions. The heroes of science fiction movies used the possibility of communicating with artificial intelligence by voice, using short, voice commands. Today, voice search technology is implemented in most smartphones and computers.
Google, as one of the leaders in implementing modern technologies, is pushing the envelope in this field. Soon voice search is to become an important tool coupled with SEO. The first effects are already noticeable.
Voice search and SEO – table of contents:
- Voice search – features, usability, popularity
- Voice search technology in connection with SEO
- What does this look like in practice?
- Why should you optimize your website for voice search SEO?
Voice search – features, usability, popularity
The tool is designed for voice search of all necessary information, both on the Internet and on the device itself. Using voice search you can check the nearest train schedule, set the alarm clock, or add products to the basket in your favorite store.
Almost all the world’s IT giants have bet on the development of technology. Google is developing its product called Google Now, Apple has developed Ciri, and Amazon is using the Alexa system. Although the voice search function was initially intended only as an improvement for people with disabilities, the huge potential has also been recognized for SEO reasons. All thanks to a mysterious mechanism under the enigmatic name “Hummingbird”.
Voice search technology in connection with SEO
Google’s Hummingbird algorithm is a complex intelligent search system based on the user’s formulation of complex phrases. Earlier SEO phrase recognition systems focused on short, usually two-word terms, without analyzing the search context. When an Internet user searched by voice for example for the phrase “stadium Cracow”, the algorithms provided specific information about sports facilities in Cracow.
The breakthrough presented by Google consists of the personalization of search results according to user preferences. This means that the voice search engine “learns” and analyzes what content is most relevant to the Internet user. This is crucial for SEO reasons.
What does this look like in practice?
Google’s voice algorithms learn to distinguish phrases due to three contexts for SEO:
- informative (who, why, how);
- navigation (I would like to go to, how to get there);
- transactional (buy, book, trade).
In the first case, SEO optimization is about presenting guides, tools, FAQs. The second it is centered around services available in the search area, store tags, information points, etc. The transactional sphere focuses on convincing the user to make a purchase. This can be done through videos, product information sections, online stores.
This mechanism guarantees matching content as close as possible to user expectations. It can be predicted that the effectiveness of the so-called long tail in the context of SEO will grow. It has to do with the fact that the search engine will analyze the displayed information in terms of its usefulness for a particular person.
Why should you optimize your website for voice search SEO? It’s all in the data
Research conducted in the United States by eMarketer indicates clearly that you should. Americans who prefer the time savings and convenience of searching the web use voice searching increasingly. One in three U.S. residents used voice search technology in 2019, and more than 70% of U.S. Internet users prefer to use voice search instead of sending a query using the traditional typing method.
It is worth noting that despite the constantly developing technology of using speech, the Internet users mostly limit the use of voice search to checking the weather, searching for information on the web, navigating or playing music. Considering the huge potential and advantages of voice search, the popularity of this form of searching the web will grow rapidly in the coming years and all the businesses should be ready for it.