How To Begin Preparing Your Content For The Voice Search Era

By Sahail Ashraf

How To Begin Preparing Your Content For The Voice Search Era

Anyone who uses search on a computer or a mobile device knows how quickly (and often how intuitively) the process gets you where you want to go. The Internet, and search engines, were created to help people learn more, and do more.

And above all, search engines have allowed us to find information at great speed. Whether you feel it stops us from being inquisitive human beings is immaterial. In the end, it makes everyone a little more capable. Search has brought information to billions of people. So what if search changed?

It is about to change, as it happens. There has been a quiet revolution in recent months, so quiet you may well have missed it. Voice search has slowly become a reality, with Siri and Cortana (mainly mobile phone-based) and Google Home (in our residence) showing that there is huge potential to help humans become more efficient and effective.

The only problem is, this kind of search does not require us to type things into an interface. The only requirement is a voice. And this has some implications for brands and the digital agencies that serve them.

How it’s working

Voice search is probably something that we all first encountered when Apple ran those TV ads that had joggers and other athletic people talking to their phone. Siri would answer back politely and generally make the jogger’s world a better place. Then the reality of using Siri set in, and frustration was the norm.

Times have changed, and this has meant that Siri, as an example of just one voice assistant, is now able to work more intuitively and has better voice recognition. Cortana (Microsoft) is also much more powerful now, and able to help people out much quicker than it used to. The software is getting better, and there have been predictions that voice search will be the norm for more than 50% of all search by the year 2020.

Whether that is coming true or not, you can’t fail to notice that people are starting to use Alexa (Amazon) and Google Home to try and manage their home lives better. The number of skills for Alexa, for example, has mushroomed in the last few months, creating a search portal that is looking more ‘intelligent’ every day.

All of this would be absolutely fine if search via text was exactly the same as it is on a voice activated device. But it isn’t, and this is the issue.

Why text search and voice search are different things

Well, it’s actually quite a subtle difference. When we search with text, via our fingers on a phone or computer, we use pretty similar phrases. For example, we may type ‘best places to eat’ into our phones and then wait as (invariably) Google finds us a list of pages.

With voice search you often have to use the name of the search device (‘Cortana’, for example) and you also find yourself having a more conversational tone. So it’s:

‘Hey Cortana, tell me the best places to eat Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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