Coming up of Siri in 2010 has deeply encouraged the way for an age where consumers connect with the world of internet through their voices. Google’s focus on voice search has been planned and calculated for years. Sundar Pichai, CEO Google, has predicted this possibility some two years ago, just after the Nest acquisitions.
There are some issues and challenges brought by Google’s new assistant that marketers as well as SEOs should be aware of.
Google I/O 2016 Announcement
It was on May 18, 2016 when Google announced the launch of Google Home, a speaker that comprises of the new Google Assistant platform, resembling the Amazon Echo. The Google Home device has been designed to help users’ complete tasks in the real world, controlling Google assistant, designed to allow two-way conversations with people and accomplish tasks like booking reservations, when possible.
This technology has gained popularity in recent years as adults and teens started with embracing the utility of Voice search’s ability to deliver quick answers to queries and directions. It was by 2014, when Google took an extreme interest in voice search and released an infographic displaying higher percentage of teens and adults felt that voice search is the future.
Recent reports say that today, voice search is bigger than ever. It was during the presentation of I/O Keynote, that Pichai revealed that 20 percent of queries on Google’s mobile app and Android devices are from voice search, and the number is growing with each passing day.
Understanding Voice search issues:
Lack of data:
The biggest problem with voice search is there is no way of tracking it or measuring its impact on sales or understanding how it impacts organic traffic from Google. Though there are rumors that Google will provide us with data/Google assistant, right now there is available no such method of obtaining such data.
Expectedly, this will change and will become transparent by the time Google launches the Home device during the fall, this year. But when this will happen, it will not be perfect or open data that can be easily picked up.
Lack of Control
While Google’s aim with Google assistant is to help users complete their tasks by talking to Google, but this may not go well with every business model. Already, Google has started with taking content from publishers and using them in voice search to provide answers without allowing any control over the display and usage of copyrighted content.
Marketers have been okay with this so far but with the growth of voice search, this could lead loss of traffic to websites. Publishers who rely on advertising to survive, poses a huge risk to revenues.
If your organic traffic is coming from offering facts or stats, and Google decides to answer through voice, then there is a high chance that with the growth rate of voice search, you will gradually loss website visits, which could bring down sales.
With the growing rate of conversational search and answers, Google may have issues speaking out certain brand names correctly, especially if the brand name is an acronym.
Till date Google has not announced any solution for this, but will do so very soon. They might think their machine learning will figure out this or they are not at all concerned about this.
Sundar Pichai said during his keynote, “It’s not just enough to give [users] links — we really need to help them get things done in the real world.” Pichai also noted that Google has been “laying the foundation for this for many, many years.” Pichai made it clear that Google assistant will accomplish its goal of having two way conversations and helping users with real world tasks.
Voice XML, Voice-Powered Browsing and the W3C
Using voice to navigate information has been a dream for decades, and it was in the year 1999, when a group of tech companies assembled to create a way for humans to talk to computers, known as Voice XML. Voice XML is now overseen by the W3C, the governing organization of standards for World Wide Web.
Voice XML was designed to work with Natural language processing and also to empower voice browsers to regain information and read it back. Voice XML 2.1 or 3.0 is more than perfect for voice search.
Both Voice search and Google Assistant are exciting technologies that assures to make searching more useful and satisfactory. They come up with new challenges everyday and thus marketers must be ready to face all the challenges and finding out the best solutions.