Voice Search & What You Should Know About It For 2018
Advances in technology have introduced innovative ideas and products all over the world. One such innovation is voice search. Globally, consumers conduct more than 50 billion searches a month. In 2016, the voice searches made up 20 percent of all searches and queries. The percentage increases each year as more devices (such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops) enter the market thus making it easier for consumers to conduct searches via voice.
The most frequently asked questions below should help you to understand voice search better.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search refers to the technology conducted using human speech. Users can perform this type of search using software apps. It can also be done on smartphones as a service. Any web-enabled device that you own can also help in carrying out voice search. It includes various products too such as iPhone Vlingo and Google Voice Search. Others are Siri, Cortana, and Alexa to mention a few.
Four players are the most dominant in this field, and they include:
As you may have noted from this list, the players also dominate the tech world in general.
According to Forbes, a revolution is in the offing. Voice-recognition systems are more sophisticated than ever before. Consequently, users have little trouble trying these new developments. Voice-recognition apps are more accurate too. They feature fewer errors thus able to give users exactly what they need. As the revolution continues taking effect, voice search will soon be as normal and common as using a smartphone to browse the Internet.
Compared to the typed search, voice-based searches are more popular because of many factors. One, they tend to be more conversational. Users can be as informal as they want with voice-based searches. That’s not the case with typed searches though. Search engines and software have learned to be more conversational because of this growing trend. Your interaction with the search engines follows what would happen if you were speaking with a friend.
What is more, you can ask multiple questions under one category via voice and the software or service will understand and offer you accurate answers. Try the same approach with a typed search and the search engine will soon get confused. For example, you could type, “who is the best footballer in the world?” in your search engine and get an answer. Any question you ask about that player henceforth must include his name lest you create more confusion.
You could ask all these questions via voice-based apps and services without confusing them.
How Voice Search Works
Voice search works by speech, as you probably know by now. The software or service relies on voice command to do whatever the user asks it. The service works courtesy of speech recognition technology. The first such technology came into existence in the 1950s and 60s. However, it was limited by the fact that it could only grasp digits or figures. It’s only about the mid-1980s that the first seeds of what is the modern voice-based search systems were sown.
How does this technology work though?
Whether you call it voice search or speech Application Programming Interface (API) doesn’t matter. What matters is the technology that makes it function the way it does. That’s what you ought to understand. The technology behind it all relies on Phones and Phonemes. The search software or service is designed to manipulate these two aspects of human sound. It then analyzes and processes the real bits to recognize the sound.
It works by combining many disciplines such as mathematics, computing and complex linguistic.
The computer (software or service) turns every spoken word into its written form before carrying out the search. It relies on different approaches to accomplish this. The first approach involves recognizing the spoken words in their entirety before comparing it to one stored in the system’s memory that sounds just like it. The second approach analyzes patterns and features, which means breaking the words down into a bit for easy recognition based on its key features.
How Voice Search Changes Everything
Voice-enabled assistants are now friends with humans. They have changed everything. It has transformed lives. It has introduced digital assistants into the human life. It enables users to function in a hands-free format. These days, you could be driving and issuing orders to faceless people anywhere. You could order the refrigerator, car or music system to do something that you would normally have to stand up and do yourself.
Voice search technology is in the kitchen too. You can use it to search for new recipes or learn more about the kind of food you wish to prepare without switching your laptop or desktop on. You can use it to learn the right time for stirring dishes or asking it to explain some of the wine pairings you are considering for the next meal time. You could also use it to prepare a grocery list for the next time you go shopping.
It has impacted web content too. Website owners and marketers can no longer afford to ignore it. Voice search is the tool that bridges the disconnect between marketers and consumers. It has made search queries a bit longer. It has introduced the need for publishing content in the most natural language too. It has forced website owners and marketers to learn to optimize their sites for voice search.
Voice search is changing:
- How we navigate our world
- How we purchase whatever we want
- How we obtain new information
How Voice Search Will Impact SEO
The search engine has also left a huge impact on SEO. It’s now almost “suicidal” to fail to optimize websites for search engine optimization. The need for typing search queries, keywords and key phrases in search engines has diminished somewhat. In the past, users only had to type whatever they needed on search engines. Thanks to voice search, they now have to do this with the help of a voice-enabled assistant.
Today, voice search has made semantic searches more important than before. Semantic search simply refers to the search engines’ ability to understand what you exactly need through the query you just delivered by voice. It has also transformed SEO by making it mandatory to post the type of content that customers really want. The content has to fit customers’ needs in terms of the function as well as tone.
It’s now important – more than ever before – to own a mobile-friendly site. Brands names now have to do more to go through the radio test successfully. Local businesses will have no option other than to rely on directories. In the next few years too, voice search will most likely take over and become the most dominant way customers use to conduct searches online. In the next few years, SEO will not be what you have known all along.
Voice Search Tools
In any trade or industry, one needs the right tools to be successful or do a proper job. The same in the voice search industry. You need the right voice search tools to do whatever you want. Fortunately, there is a ton of options available to users here. The search has exposed users to a new world of opportunities that are only accessible with the best tools. Some of these tools include:
- Google Assistant
The competition between these tools is quite intense. The competition is great news for a user as it guarantees them the latest technology, excellent products, and affordability. The tools offer you an avenue for asking your questions verbally. The same tools then provide the answers you need almost immediately. They work similarly to typed searches or queries. The tools have in-built systems that transcribe spoken commands to text before analyzing and answering you.
The tools are usable in everyday life and tasks. Twenty-five percent of all US shoppers rely on these tools to learn more about the specific products and services they would like to buy. Three-quarters of people with voice-activated speakers say they use them as part of daily routines. Voice-stimulated devices have proved critical to about 20% of adults who own them. The tools have become too integral in life such that 65% of adults can’t live without them.
Millennials seem to have embraced these tools more than any other group or generation. That’s to be expected considering how open and receptive to this group is too new technology. Men are also the most likely to use these tools. The main reason for this is they want their hands to remain free for other tasks. What is more, users don’t have to switch laptops and desktops on to type a search query. They consider these tools more convenient and faster too.
Voice search is here to stay. Its dominance will only increase. In the United States, it has proved too popular to an extent 60.5 million Americans rely on it. Learn to leverage these tools in your business and general life too. After all, voice search is already here changing everything we know about life. It’s taking over the search industry. In fact, most experts believe that it is the future of the search industry.