Voice search is gradually becoming the way that we search for information. Instead of the physical act of typing each letter of our query we can simply ask it with our voices the same way that we talk to our friends and family in order to ask a question.
In the past, if we wanted to search for something online, we would open our internet browser, navigate to a search engine, and type in our query. But now, thanks to voice search, it’s easier to find answers to our queries, and we can do this just about anywhere on our mobile devices. All you have to do is speak into your device and let the voice search tool do the work!
Voice search expands the range of search engine users, and developments in technology are allowing more people to use search engines like Google quickly and easily.
What Is Voice Search?
If someone is searching for a query using voice search, it simply means they’re speaking their query into their smartphone or device instead of typing their query into a search bar.
And now, Google is working hard to make sure that users who use voice search can get the same quality of results that they would get by typing their queries.
Voice search engines pull their information from the internet, and therefore have access to endless information. Amazon Alexa and Siri have become household names—quite literally! These systems and others like Google Home all pull their information from the internet when they respond to a user request. They do not house information separately, but are connected to the web just like you are when you’re using a browser on your computer.
How Does Voice Search Work?
To understand how voice search works, it helps to first understand what a Google featured snippet is.
When you make a search query, you’ll see that there are boxes of text that appear on the first page of the search engine results page (SERP) under “People also ask.” When you click on these boxes, Google’s top-ranking answers appear. These answers are pulled in from what Google deems as the most relevant and helpful answers to your query.
For example, if you search Google for “Best Dog Breeds for Kids” you’ll see that the featured snippet gives you questions and answers related to your query. All you have to do is click the first featured snippet box, and you get a list of the best dog breeds for kids.
Now that you know what Google featured snippets are, you can understand that voice search works by pulling in answers from those featured snippets.
How to Optimize Your Local Business for Voice Search Results
Voice search is directly correlated to the top search engine results, so it’s more important now than ever to optimize your business for voice search.
In fact, more people are using voice search every day—and the numbers are only predicted to grow. Currently, Google says that 20% of mobile device searches are made using voice search, and experts predict that this statistic will more than double in the coming years.
If you’re a local business owner, it’s critical to optimize your local business for voice search so you can be found by the increasing number of voice searchers.
You can get in touch with an SEO firm to help you optimize your local business for voice search for best results.
The Future of Voice Search
Voice search is already changing the way we engage with the internet. Rapidly advancing technologies are making sure that users’ search queries are yielding accurate results. Why is the future of voice search bright?
- Instead of typing, people are speaking into their devices more frequently.
- It’s highly convenient when you’re on-the-go or can’t use a keyboard.
- It’s easier and quicker to speak rather than type.
- Voice search is listening to the habits of search engine users, and making advances in technologies to fill those needs.
- Google is parsing together information about your voice searches, your internet browsing habits, and personal information you make available to paint a fuller picture of your preferences and to tailor results specifically to you.
More convenience, ease, and accuracy? These points show that voice search is likely to be used more often in the future.
How Do Voice Search Systems Like Alexa and Cortana Work?
Advancements in voice recognition softwares are making voice search more accurate and helpful. Voice search systems or virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana work by:
- Combining speech recognition technologies with search queries to provide relevant answers.
- Voice recognition technology hears your spoken query, matches it to relevant queries already present in Google search, and presents answers that best match your query.
- Answers are spoken back to the user instead of shown in the web browser.
Search Engines and Voice Search
In general, people speak more conversationally than they type. Therefore, voice search results need to accommodate longer voice search queries that contain topics and conversational speak, not just single keywords.
Typed queries usually eliminate words like conjunctions or other words that would be included if the words were spoken, but queries made using voice search are called “natural language” because these queries mimic actual human speaking patterns. To accommodate this new way of searching with spoken queries, search engines are more equipped to understand language and the meaning of our words.
Because of the rise in voice search, SEO tactics are quickly changing to meet the needs of this new wave of search preference.