The Influence of Google Voice Search in 2019
In search engine marketing, voice search is increasingly becoming a popular way of searching for content over the internet. The impact of voice search is already being felt by major changes in the algorithms of search engines like Google and the popularity of virtual assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri.
The Emergence of Virtual Assistants.
The massive leaps in technology have made virtual assistants virtually available to anyone with a smartphone that is connected to the internet. Virtual assistants can be found in almost every smartphone. Google has Google Assistant built-in with Android Phones, and Apple has SIRI in their smartphones and Homepod for home-based speakers. Microsoft is also jumping in the bandwagon with Cortana already available and built-in laptops and PCs that have Windows 10. Other major players in voice search are Amazon with its echo.
The widespread availability of these virtual assistants has heralded the rise in voice search as a driving contributor for search queries in search engines. Google has already adapted to this by allowing users to use voice search directly from the web browser.
How does Voice Search Work
Search engines like Google have made crucial changes in their search algorithms to accommodate voice search and this is evident in the Google Hummingbird update. Google Hummingbird is the first step towards voice search optimized search results. The update gave the Google search engine the capability to process and understand “conversational search.”
Conversational Search as the name suggests allows Google to understand conversational search queries like “What time is it today?” or “Where is the nearest gas station?. The update allowed Google to understand interrogative statements like how, what, when, where and why. The update also allowed Google to process semantic search. Semantic search moves away from displaying search results based on the exact keyword from the search query but also displays results that are related to the context of the search.
The update has dramatically improved the accuracy of search results and significantly shifts the focus away from simple keywords to give users a better result by understanding the contextual meaning and other factors of the search query.
Voice Search and Local Search SEO
Voice search and local search go hand in hand in search engine optimization (SEO). Local SEO also plays a role in voice search since Google also takes into account contextual data other than the keywords on the search queries. The contextual data also includes the user’s geographical location and the relative location of the result’s location. For example, if a user is located in Portland Oregon and searches for “What are the best restaurants in the city?” then Google will display results that are relevant with respect to the user’s location and provide a list of Oregon’s best restaurants.
The Importance of Google Search for Businesses in 2019
The future os voice search for 2019 and beyond is shiningly brightly with studies showing at least a majority of owners of virtual assistants using it for search queries at least once per day and more than 20 percent of users use it for e-commerce and online shopping.
With the number of users for voice search also rapidly increasing it is only a matter of time before it becomes the norm. Large business enterprises have already recognized the importance of voice search and have already implemented measures to leverage on this functionality. Take for example the automotive industry, the automotive industry has rapidly capitalized on voice search and has adapted it to car entertainment systems. This means that voice search can be done from the car, on the phone and, on the computer. From this, it means that businesses are able to reach their audience in every aspect from work via computers, at home via mobile phones and tablets and even while they are commuting.
The importance of voice search can be highlighted by the increased reach of businesses even if their audience is not in their desktop as well as improved visibility because users can find your content even if they are not on their desktops or physically handling their phone.
Voice Search Impact on SEO
Voice search will have a large impact on search engine optimization (SEO) because it changes Google’s search algorithm like the Hummingbird update. The strategy for SEO has changed since the update and consequently a gradual shift of focus from keywords to a shift to longtail keywords.
Statistics have shown that Voice Search has directly affected how users interact and use with search engines.
- 76 percent of home speakers that have enabled virtual assistants are used by their owners at least once a week looking for businesses in their local area.
- 53 percent of smart home speaker owner perform search queries daily
- 27 percent of users visit a local website through voice search
- 58 percent of users have used voice search for information about local businesses.
Theses statistic give businesses a glimpse of how voice search will impact SEO in the future and having an SEO strategy to leverage this emerging trend will help businesses stand out from the rest of the competition.
SEO Strategies for Voice Search
Time and tested SEO strategies still apply to voice search optimization but voice search optimization focuses more on local search.
- Implement a mobile-friendly website. Voice search is primarily used by mobile devices and having a mobile-friendly website will go a long way in improving website visibility in voice search results.
- The site should be indexed in Google Business, Bing Business, and Yahoo business to optimize for local search results.
- Content is the webpage should be optimized for local search queries.
- Long tail keywords. Since search results are more than just keywords other contextual details should be included like location, target audience, and even specific details for example, “the best restaurants in Portland.” or “top 10 things to do in winter when in Portland.”
Voice search will have a significant impact with search engines and with popular services from Google like Google voice search it is only a matter of time before the effects ripple through search engine results rankings. Semantics will definitely play an important part in search engine optimization as it clearly shows in recent Google algorithm updates. Voice search has also highlighted the importance of local SEO as evident in user behavior and search engine results rankings.
Businesses will have to adapt to mobile-friendly websites as a majority of voice search users are using their mobile phones for search queries and Google itself has highlighted the effects of a mobile-friendly webpage in connection with search engine results ranking. Getting website indexed in Google business is also an important aspect for voice search optimization with Google prioritizing local results based on location.
To help businesses adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of search engine marketing Vernce provides businesses with quality SEO services to make sure that they stay ahead of the competition. Small and Medium businesses will be significantly affected because of the focus of voice search at a local level.