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How to Monetize for Voice Search

     
11:23 am on Oct 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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In the previous thread we looked at how to optimize for voice search [webmasterworld.com].

What's clear is that voice search is much more difficult to monetize, unless you have some ideas. I'd like to hear how you might find a way to monetize a voice search response.
VSERPs
10:52 pm on Oct 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've never used it, but as I can foresee there being problems with only proffering one answer, perhaps the way it will end up is third party companies leasing the stolen information from G, to run apps on a subscription basis. With G obviously getting their cut.

G will then offer a response in your chosen sexy voice "there are 243 answers, press your nose and shout yabbadabbadoo for first choice or select a category, history, local relevance, shopping, scientific." A bit like the wizard in the AI film.

So the key won't be the first to rank in G, but the one who can maximise their potential in ranking across several hundred apps, receiving remuneration each time their info is used. And if you like this idea and go on to make money, I will check my PM regularly for your goodwill. Ha.
11:38 pm on Oct 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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From the above mentioned previous discussion regarding voice search SEO on eCom pages:
I started remodeling my site by moving away from keyword structured pages to answer based content... more linear, phrasing content in a more definitive style. Explaining why widgets work, instead of just describing them. Giving historical background, using citations when applicable. Adding explanations to charts & graphs.

Still experimenting with this. Not all pages can use this approach. Info pages seem better suited than eCom, but even there this approach can be worked in.
A strong component of voice search is how AI goes beyond keywords to user intent. Questions phrased one way will get a different set of results compared to being phrased another way.
8:27 am on Oct 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Anyone have an Alexa device? Can you purchase products from Amazon marketplace by voice? Amazon has your account and billing, so it seems doable. The various Kindle tablets all have voice capability so they're also likely to place orders.

With Google Home and Android phones it seems more complicated. Google no longer uses Wallet on 3rd party sites (only their Android Play Store and Google Play Movies.) Google also doesn't have the retail front compared to Amazon. And now that SIRI is using Google for search results, the same for iPhone. Google might need to partner with PayPal to connect to website sales.
3:44 pm on Oct 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm still not sure how independent webmasters can monetize, even if they hold the coveted #1 and get their answer read out. If you're google, or you're on Amazon's Echo, you should be able to order goods and services, but if you're running an independent ecommerce store, how are you going to convert the information to a sale?

Are we destined to simply provide answers on voice devices?
4:49 pm on Oct 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I don't want to really repeat myself, but my other comment was more suited to this thread. There are a lot of smart people here. Are we actually asking how do we monetize our "answer" that is read out of a box like Google Home or Amazon Echo? Is this a serious discussion or a joke?

Whoever makes the box, they sell it for a profit. Their own content does not populate what it offers. These scrape content from content creators and use that content to answer questions to the people that bought the box.

This circles back to the same big question that is the elephant in the room that nobody here wants to even look at. It's called paying for content. Radio needs content (songs) and the song makers get paid for the use of their song. If Google paid for the answer box content then what? If Amazon or Google answer boxes had to pay for answers/content then they don't make profit on that box. Do they then make the boxes or not?

Monetizing voice search is about the most asinine discussion I've heard on here yet. Sort of up there with "how do I get my answer into the Google answer box". The only way to monetize is through some type of unionization. Otherwise you're just a dog yapping at passing cars.
5:45 pm on Oct 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Is this a serious discussion or a joke?
I'd say it's a serious discussion.

With the technology as it is today, there's probably no way to monetize it. But as the technology evolves and IoT devices become more ubiquitous, there could (should) be many opportunities. If Apple/Google don't provide ways, then some other H/W provider will come up with a better mousetrap and consumers will migrate to that platform because it is more useful.

One example:
Bob- "Hey Google, I'm hungry for pizza."
Google Home- "Alright, I see you have Pizza Loco set as your preferred pizza restaurant. Do you want to place an order?"
B- "Yes."
GH- "Alright. Connecting to Pizza Loco."
Pizza Loco App (or voice-navigated site)- "Hi, Bob!" (since Google and the app can communicate back and forth) "What would you like to do today? Your options are 'Order food,' 'Check on an order,'-"
B- "Order food."
PLA- "Alright. You have a stored favorite- Meat Lovers Heart Attack Special. Do you want to order this?"
B- "Yes."
PLA- "Alright. Do you want to add anything else to your order?"
B- "No."
PLA- "Alright. Your total is $19.43 with tax. Do you want to pickup or delivery?"
B- "Pickup."
PLA- "Alright. Your pizza will be ready in 15 minutes for delivery. Thank you for your order! Is there anything else you want to do at Pizza Loco?"
B- "No."
PLA- "Alright. Thank you for using Pizza Loco!"

Pizza Loco either pays a percentage of each sale to the platform provider or a monthly fee for access. The PLA wouldn't be much different from today's voice-driven systems when you're trying to get through to your bank or any other large company.

In terms of search, voice-enabled sites would be higher in the rankings when someone does a voice search. Example:
Bob- "Hey Google. I need a florist near me."
GH- "Alright. I found 7 florists near you. After I say each location, you can say 'Connect' to connect to their voice activated site or 'Phone' to call their phone number. Location 1- Flo's Florals. <pause> Location 1- Fiona's Flowers <pause>"
B- "Connect."
GH- "Hmm, I'm sorry, but that location does not have a voice-enabled site. Would you like me to phone them instead?"
B- "Yes."
GH- "Alright. Calling Fiona's Flowers..."
6:08 pm on Oct 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it's more complicated than this. At least for one type of voice query. A radio station can track and must keep their play list and pay out accordingly. Certainly a Google, Apple or Amazon have the brains to track (afterall they quote the source which pays out zilch now) what site and how often they use that site for a reply. Track that, then pay up. Of course the debate of royalties comes up. First step is telling the manufacturers of these voice boxes to pay for what they use. Oh, let's also consider that content being used in the boxes should be entitled to a cut of the device sales. Not that I want to split hairs.

So if the box can (and does now) know the "source" then they can certainly track it and log it and pay out accordingly. However, dogs barking at passing cars is about all this amounts to. Afterall, we certainly don't have the ability as content providers to speak about such things because it's just too darn political. Then we have geniuses who are trying to get into something like the Google answer box so they can give their works and usefulness away for free. We can't fix stupid can we? But in general, where exactly to webmasters congregate? Oh right. Here I think.
7:11 pm on Oct 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@LifeinAsia - I think you're onto the right idea. Common services and tangible products would initially be the most adaptable to voice purchases.

Specialty services would require a slightly different approach. It may be necessary to develop new code tags to accomodate how various options are selected.
6:33 am on Oct 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Oh goodie, let's all buy and shop for products via a box that sits on the counter. No need for images, comparisons, etc. Let's ask the box what the cheapest hotel room is and the box can use (scrape) Trivago to tell me the cheapest option and I don't even need to visit Trivago. The box can call the hotel and I can talk to the box (like a phone) and book the room. No heavy lifting required! Oh a whim, I'm going to buy a new laptop from a voice box. Don't people have a hard time with conversions on mobile devices? Take away the screen and conversions are how much harder? Let's talk about a solution for 0.001% of the real world scenarios. Ordering a product or service via a voice box. That's an interesting take. These things are for answers and controlling things in your home. Voice purchases? LOL. And people think mobile phone purchases were a challenge. Finding solutions for things that are not a problem comes to mind here.
6:58 am on Oct 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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You don't have to participate. Just let technology pass you by. Ignorance is bliss. The future is for those who want it. The luddites can stay where they are, which will of course soon become the past.

Personally I find innovation stimulating... invigorating. I may not be able to aquire all the skills required to keep up, but I'm all in for the stuff I'm able to do. That's why I'm on the web.
8:16 am on Oct 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We don't yet know how voice technology will eventually be utilized in search and eComm but it's on every device. Those that can wrap their heads around it and figure out how to make it work will be out front.
2:00 pm on Oct 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm going to decide what is or is not worth spending valuable time that I have in life to work on and care about. To cater time to figuring out a solution for something that is so far fetched? I'll take a pass. A few people are good at picking up on trends. I guess dealing with the reality that these boxes are about taking and not giving is a bitter pill to swallow. So it should be. The "monetize" anyone gets now is having their website name mentioned as the source. No tracking cookie, no money, not cut on the profit from the sales of the device. You/we are giving the radio station free songs to play and they get the ad money. The idea of the box talking about local services? I think that exists right? Google maps anyone? The boxes can tell you things that a map can tell you. A box in ecommerce? Alright, people with lots of time can make themselves useful with that. You work on that and I'll take in a nice sunset or some time on the beach. Think about it. If these boxes are going to be used for selling, it will be to their own ecosystem. Amazon? Yeah, makes sense. How is anyone here going to benefit or get ahead of Google or Amazon for their own services? They want the boxes in your house for their benefit, not yours or mine. Like I said, aside from product or service listings on our websites, we have to have some value in the content. A solution or answer of some kind. As it stands the box will make use of your value without you getting anything in return except for a mention. A mention/credit that has zero residual value. Meanwhile these boxes create profit for those selling them. If that's not the issue begging for a solution then I don't know what is. The solution is to decide how investable is putting time into a website that has content that can be used by others for free with no residual value. Slowly but surely most of our websites are losing relevance. Unless of course there are other players coming into the market that are going to direct traffic rather than hold onto it.
4:45 pm on Oct 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We each can decide to ignore or address this issue but this issue is not going away. For businesses that decide to take a pass , they will still be impacted because the general public is adopting this new avenue of interaction. It would be like taking a pass on PPC and then wondering why your SEO metrics are changing. The online environment is very interconnected. For the best chance of business survival we all should strive to evolve as fast as the online landscape is evolving.

Let's not forget that a recent study found 57% of the 20 million smart speaker owners have bought something with their device. There is definite money potential here and it will likely grow over time. So I encourage other business to ignore this so I will have less competition.
6:45 pm on Oct 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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No need for images, comparisons, etc.
True. I see it as best for automating/streamlining repeat purchases (like in my example). If I like a very specific type of pizza (with 7 custom ingredients), if I can order it with a few phrases through Google Home/Alexa/some other device, I'm going to be more likely to do that than call the place, specify the order (which the min. wage kiddees tend to mess up 9 times out of 10), and grab my wallet to give my credit card number (and hope they don't screw that up too).

Also, say I'm listening to Pandora, hear a great song, and decide I want to buy the CD (I'm assuming people still buy CDs?). "Hey Google, buy this CD." Done. No asking what the name of the song/album is, then going to Amazon (or wherever your preferred place is to buy music), searching for it, putting in your cart, checking out, etc.

The box can call the hotel and I can talk to the box (like a phone) and book the room.
You won't always be able to get the Internet rates by going through their reservations number. Besides, in the time it takes to wait for the next operator, you may have been able to complete your reservation already online.
12:09 am on Oct 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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One way to do it is for the Major SEs to standardize new HTML tags, or even add an attribute for existing product tags, that would specify the wording for voice choices. This wording would be what the customer hears from the speaker as well as activating your payment/shipping account.