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OK, Google: How Do I Optimize My Site for Voice Search?

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Voice search is growing quickly. Something we need to spend some time on getting on top of or we will be losing out. 

 

This is a very detailed article well worth the read...

 

 

 

“The destiny of Google’s search engine is to become that Star Trek computer, and that’s what we are building.â€

 
This was what Amit Singhal, the head of Google’s search rankings team, famously said about the future of Google’s search technology during a conversation with Guy Kawasaki at SXSW Interactive in 2013. During the past decade, Google has taken several bold steps toward this lofty, ambitious goal, and one of the most exciting advances has been in the field of voice search and natural language processing technology.
 
 
Meeker’s report also states that, as of May 2016, one in every five searches on Android devices is a voice search. In addition, Chinese search engine Baidu’s Andrew Ng speculates that by 2020, approximately 50% of all searches are going to be made via voice recognition technology:
 

 

 

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20% is a pretty high percentage of voice searches on mobile and it is probably even higher now. With Google and Amazon pushing hard to get to get the hardware in homes the desktop search such as it is will be shrinking as more people in the house start moving to voice.  

 

That is going to make a huge difference for seo as the traditional share of search keeps shrinking. 

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Well that was an article and a half.

Very informative I like the way they dug deeep.

It looks like there are going to be 4 things to focus on.

Good schema setup

Answering long tail questions

Near me optimization

My Business listing

Pretty much the same thing that we should be doing now however the schema and long tail questions are probably going to be the real key. People are going to verbally ask questions in long form so we really need to focus on showing google those answers so they can easily pick them up.

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It really sounds like google is going to use the same criteria for voice that it does for a normal search. The key seems to be that you will need to look at your pages and think about what questions they are answering and target those questions in your seo efforts.

 

Basically the same proceedure for attempting to get those position 0 listings. I imagine the algorithms are very similar since they are doing pretty much the same thing. 

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Well that was an article and a half. Very informative I like the way they dug deeep. It looks like there are going to be 4 things to focus on. Good schema setup Answering long tail questions Near me optimization My Business listing Pretty much the same thing that we should be doing now however the schema and long tail questions are probably going to be the real key. People are going to verbally ask questions in long form so we really need to focus on showing google those answers so they can easily pick them up.

 

 

It really sounds like google is going to use the same criteria for voice that it does for a normal search. The key seems to be that you will need to look at your pages and think about what questions they are answering and target those questions in your seo efforts.

 

Basically the same proceedure for attempting to get those position 0 listings. I imagine the algorithms are very similar since they are doing pretty much the same thing. 

 

 

I am pretty much thinking the same thing use schema to format the answers to the questions your pages are answering. Attacking it the same way you do the 0 ranking spot is a very good idea. 

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I think one problem we are going to have is that with companies like Amazon pushing voice activated devices into homes along with Apple phones and devices that voice search may end up being more fragmented than normal search. That alone is going force us to adapt or get left behind. I think this is going to benefit larger companies as they will have the resources to target all the different devices. 

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I think one problem we are going to have is that with companies like Amazon pushing voice activated devices into homes along with Apple phones and devices that voice search may end up being more fragmented than normal search. That alone is going force us to adapt or get left behind. I think this is going to benefit larger companies as they will have the resources to target all the different devices. 

 

More fragmented than google having 65% of the market? Probably so because of Amazon and Apple but I think it is going to come down to the 3 of them which is not really all that different than what we have now. Also having a more even split will be good in the long run since we will not be at the mercy of just one company having control of most of the market. 

 

I have not read through the whole article yet. Does it say how Apple and Amazon are powering their searches? If they are doing them in house rather than using one of the existing search engines that could make quite a bit if difference. 

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This whole move to voice is going to be interesting. Google has been pushing natural lang for awhile now and this is an extension of that. I forget the exact number but I think it is 70% of all searches are 3 words or more and this is only going to increase with voice searches as people are more likely to use longer phrases when they speak vs when they type. 

 

Ranking for QUESTIONS rather than words is going to be the key going forward

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I think that long term having multiple companies on a more level playing field is a good thing for us. However during the transition there is going to be some pain as everyone has to adjust. 

 

That is why I think trying to get out in front of voice search now is the best thing to do. Waiting until you have to do so is a recipe for failure. 

 

Voice search is going to become a majority of searches in a much shorter time period than most people are thinking....

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I think that long term having multiple companies on a more level playing field is a good thing for us. However during the transition there is going to be some pain as everyone has to adjust. 

 

That is why I think trying to get out in front of voice search now is the best thing to do. Waiting until you have to do so is a recipe for failure. 

 

Voice search is going to become a majority of searches in a much shorter time period than most people are thinking....

 

 

So if you had to pick 1 or 2 things to do first what would they be?

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I think that long term having multiple companies on a more level playing field is a good thing for us. However during the transition there is going to be some pain as everyone has to adjust. 

 

That is why I think trying to get out in front of voice search now is the best thing to do. Waiting until you have to do so is a recipe for failure. 

 

Voice search is going to become a majority of searches in a much shorter time period than most people are thinking....

 

Do you really think voice search is going to take over quickly? It seems like it is going to be quite awhile before people are talking to their computers like in Star Trek. 

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So if you had to pick 1 or 2 things to do first what would they be?

 

 

I would go all in on schema and answer questions about what ever product or service you are selling. Target the questions that people are going to be asking about whatever it is you are selling. Like JT said you need to answer questions because that is how both voice searches and those zero ranking spots are filled. This way you are targeting both voice and regular search results. 

 

 

 

Do you really think voice search is going to take over quickly? It seems like it is going to be quite awhile before people are talking to their computers like in Star Trek. 

 

 

Yes because it is already happening. Now people are not talking to their desktops but they are talking to their phones which is now responsible for over 50% of searches and they are talking to those (in my opinion stupid) appliances that Amazon and Google are selling. 

 

Seriously how many people are talking to Siri on the iPhones? Way too many... 

 

How many people now have an appliance in their home with no other purpose but to talk to it and have it find and do stuff for them? Again way too many... Amazon has sold millions of those things in the last couple of years.

 

This is something that has been coming for a long time and it is just recently that the hardware and software have gotten to the point that it works "well enough" and it is only going to get better. 

 

Just look at how quickly mobile phones took over. The iPhone is only 10 years old this year and now just about everyone has a smartphone, they have sold billions of them. All the pieces are in place for voice to grow extremely rapidly and yes I think it will be much faster than most people think.  

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Do you really think voice search is going to take over quickly? It seems like it is going to be quite awhile before people are talking to their computers like in Star Trek. 

 

We can debate on how quickly the move to voice search is going to be but fast or slow it is coming. Even if you think it will take longer you might as well prepare for it before it is too late.  Personally I really have no idea how quick the change will come but better to be prepared earlier then later. 

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We can debate on how quickly the move to voice search is going to be but fast or slow it is coming. Even if you think it will take longer you might as well prepare for it before it is too late.  Personally I really have no idea how quick the change will come but better to be prepared earlier then later. 

 

This makes sense. Even if the change is slower it is better to go after those searches because most people will not be doing so yet. Even if the search volumes stay low for awhile if there are less people targeting them you stand a better chance of grabbing a larger percentage of the results. 

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I would go all in on schema and answer questions about what ever product or service you are selling. Target the questions that people are going to be asking about whatever it is you are selling. Like JT said you need to answer questions because that is how both voice searches and those zero ranking spots are filled. This way you are targeting both voice and regular search results. 

 

Thanks that makes sense. I am not really familiar with the zero ranking you are talking about what exactly is that?

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Thanks that makes sense. I am not really familiar with the zero ranking you are talking about what exactly is that?

 

That is the extra listing at the top that google uses to answer the search query. Picked from one of the first page listing but not always the number one spot so if you work it right you can leap frog over listings above yours. Richard linked to a couple of articles about how it worked and some ideas on how to get your listings to show up there.  

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Thanks that makes sense. I am not really familiar with the zero ranking you are talking about what exactly is that?

 

 

Here is one of the posts Chadrick was talking about. There was another one but I could not find it. 

 

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I keep thinking about Scottie talking to the computer mouse whenever voice search is brought up. I wonder how long it is going to be before most people do not even use a keyboard and mouse any longer. 

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I keep thinking about Scottie talking to the computer mouse whenever voice search is brought up. I wonder how long it is going to be before most people do not even use a keyboard and mouse any longer. 

 

My guess is much faster than most people think. We are going to see a huge improvement and expansion in voice capabilities in the next few years. 

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I keep thinking about Scottie talking to the computer mouse whenever voice search is brought up. I wonder how long it is going to be before most people do not even use a keyboard and mouse any longer. 

 

Funny as that was it is not going to be all that long. I recently watched a video where they had kids (12-16 years old) trying to use computers and games from the 80's and it was pretty amusing. The same thing is going to happen over the next couple of decades where your children or maybe grand children are going to be completely lost trying to use a keyboard and mouse from current computers. 

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Funny as that was it is not going to be all that long. I recently watched a video where they had kids (12-16 years old) trying to use computers and games from the 80's and it was pretty amusing. The same thing is going to happen over the next couple of decades where your children or maybe grand children are going to be completely lost trying to use a keyboard and mouse from current computers. 

 

That is almost certainly going to be the case. AI, VR, and voice recognition are in the very early stages like computers in the 80's. It is only going to get much better and cheaper than it is now. 

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Funny as that was it is not going to be all that long. I recently watched a video where they had kids (12-16 years old) trying to use computers and games from the 80's and it was pretty amusing. The same thing is going to happen over the next couple of decades where your children or maybe grand children are going to be completely lost trying to use a keyboard and mouse from current computers. 

 

I have seen similar videos and you are probably right. The iPhone is only 10 years old and look how fast smartphones change everything in such a short time period. Now it is hard to think about what it was like without them. Pretty crazy

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In 10 years computers and the way we interact with them is going to be much different, 

 

I just read an article within the last couple of days about a headset that Microsoft has in beta test. Super light, fairly cheap and is the equivalent of of a 75 inch monitor. It is not going to be for games since it does not have all the motion tracking sensors but more for business where you can replace your monitors in a work environment.   I currently have a three monitor setup and it would be nice to replace all that and the big desk that it takes to hold it with a headset. Might be enough to move me back to Windows for my primary machine. 

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I have seen similar videos and you are probably right. The iPhone is only 10 years old and look how fast smartphones change everything in such a short time period. Now it is hard to think about what it was like without them. Pretty crazy

 

 

In 10 years computers and the way we interact with them is going to be much different, 

 

I just read an article within the last couple of days about a headset that Microsoft has in beta test. Super light, fairly cheap and is the equivalent of of a 75 inch monitor. It is not going to be for games since it does not have all the motion tracking sensors but more for business where you can replace your monitors in a work environment.   I currently have a three monitor setup and it would be nice to replace all that and the big desk that it takes to hold it with a headset. Might be enough to move me back to Windows for my primary machine. 

 

It is actually pretty interesting if you think about it. For hundreds of years people used the same types of tools in their daily lives and now people have problems using tools just a couple of decades old. The rate of change is increasing rapidly. 

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My problem with all the voice and IOT stuff is that all the info is sent off somewhere to be processed rather than local. The security of most of these devices is abysmal and they are getting hacked and taken over all the time. A lot of the IOT devices are being turned into huge botnets. 

 

I am really waiting until we have the processing power available to have these devices work without sending my information to who knows where. Just not really safe or secure at this point. 

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