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Voice Search - who cares?

     
7:36 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have read yet another article about optimising a website for Google Search.

I'm 65 and I doubt I will ever buy one of those boxes which will allow me to search by voice. No only is my age a factor but also the scary thought that the box will be listening to every word said in listening distance. They are probably recording all of as well but in a couple of years time this will be stopped. Google and Amazon will admit that a rogue programmer caused the system to record everything.

My question though is why should i put any effort into getting my website into the voice SERPS? What will it benefit me, the writer of the content?
7:46 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You aren't doing it for you - you are doing it for the people you are trying to attract to your site. Right now there's no real benefit, but in a few years or less you will see more and more searches done by voice - some users will be voice only. It's just another form of traffic. It's like if another search engine came along - do you know how important they will be in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years? No you don't - so you don't ignore it - you just work it into your strategy
7:49 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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it's not just those boxes, all smart phones do voice search!

although i do understand your question ... it seems to me there is zero benefit to the writer of content for voice search regarding amazon echo and the google and apple equivalents. regarding voice search with cell phones then search results can be shown just like type in search ... however i agree that with a tendancy for voice search, where is the benefit to publishers or experts when they are just quoted with no credit and certainly no potential ad revenue.

in this respect i'm glad i sell products rather than advertising space. however of course it is encroaching into the purchase of products too.
8:27 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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nomis5 - I'm older than you and I use voice search all the time.

Much of my professional music studio is connected to Google Home (slightly modified) and instead of walking through the studio to turn on a component, I just ask Google to do it , then play back the file I'm looking for.

When driving, I use voice search to find products at local businesses and the connected Google Map navigation then gives me voice directions to drive there in real time.

Mobile devices currently make up 60% of all searches. These devices are perfectly set up to use voice commands. The users are fast learning to do this.

All types of business and information sites can be optimized to utilize voice search. In fact, with the recent implimentation if AI in both Google and Bing Search results (SERP) the use of structured data to accomodate voice search is a necessary attribute to keeping your site relevant.
8:29 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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it's not just those boxes, all smart phones do voice search!
Not to mention the upcoming onslaught of IoT devices.

Will people be using their refrigerator to do voice-activated searches about your site? Maybe not. But for some sites, there might be relevant searches.

The power will be in the future when voice search will do more than just return a snippet about/from your site. Example: someone looks in his refrigerator and realizes he's out of mustard for his sandwich he's planning to make. Asking his IoT device how long it would take to have some mustard delivered through Amazon's delivery service makes him realize it's easier/faster to just have his refrigerator order a from the local deli to be delivered instead. Unfortunately, that deli never optimized its site for voice search (or voice fulfillment), so he ends up ordering a pizza instead from the local pizza restaurant that DID plan for the suture.

Sure, it's not going to help out publishers very much (if at all). But for people who are selling things and can take advantage of scenarios like this, this is the wave of the future.
8:37 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is voice search genuinely different? I thought it was all the same algorithm with voice recognition overlaid on it.

On the phone, I keep hitting 0 until the menu gives up and transfers me to a human. I'll talk out loud to the cat, but not to an inanimate object. Can't blame it on age, though.
8:56 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The problem with voice search is that you have to be number 1 in the results. Also as mentioned above and depending on your business model there is very little chance of getting any ad revenue or getting any revenue period if you happen to be for example the pizza place in the number 2 result.
8:58 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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On the phone, I keep hitting 0 until the menu gives up and transfers me to a human.
So you're the one!

The problem with voice search is that you have to be number 1 in the results.
Currently maybe, but Voice Search Results List (VSRL) will surely evolve with more demand.
9:17 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My ex wife who can't hook up a computer does voice search 65 so nomis5 time to do the right thing. Get your baby set up for voice search through structured data and your done.
9:38 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The dynamic of Voice Search, and more and more of all search, is people asking questions.

To get that number one spot, the web page needs to give a succinct answer to the question asked. Older web pages can easily be reworded to do this.

I get a measurable amount of walk-in traffic due to voice search (I always ask how they found me.) A little more difficult to calculate with a web page.
9:41 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm of the white-hair/no-hair generation, and I use voice search on my Android smartphone all the time. It works remarkably well, even for queries that include foreign words or proper nouns--which means that, as far as I can tell, there's no need to "optimize" my site for voice search. I'm happy to get out of the way and let the search engines do their job.
11:08 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't think the OP was asking whether people used voice search. Off topic police. To the OP point, simplify the situation. Imagine you create music/songs. Then imagine that the radio stations that use your music/songs play them freely and you make zero dollars. They will mention your name, but the last time I checked, saying your name on air isn't cashable at the bank. So OP, if you can come up with a scenario where the radio station can send you money for mentioning your name only, then start with that. Sure the radio station can sell ads or use your song/music as a reason for tuning in, but what you get in return is air. A mention. Maybe that's brand building and that's going to churn out millions in the following years, but be sensible about it. Fact: you don't get a dime for the sales of the hardware yet you (and I) help to populate the brain of the device. Similar to how musicians populate a radio station with content. Big exception here, the radio stations has to pay a royalty for playing your song. For now, the voice boxes are just profit for the companies that sell them. They will attach their services for the real $$$ and we will provide free information in the form of answers thanks to our content. So for me, I wait until one day the musicians realize that the radio stations should be paying MONEY to the content creators for the content that they are churning a profit from. But as many geniuses here like to do, they like to give their music to the radio stations for free just in hopes of hearing the name of their song which to them, is better than any royalty cheque would ever be. As it stands, let the talking boxes sales grow to epic proportions, then when they start reading news to people, the newspaper industry can deal with this issue. Clowns can't achieve very much, this much I know.
11:55 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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For now, the voice boxes are just profit for the companies that sell them.
Maybe, but if you keep thinking that way, the rest of us will enjoy the fruits of innovation. The internet is no place for luddites. If you don't stay relevant, you fall behind then complain that the deck is stacked against you.
11:28 am on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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>> Maybe, but if you keep thinking that way, the rest of us will enjoy the fruits of innovation.
You mean the one other person in the niche. With only 1 position only 1 will enjoy the fruit, if Google doesn't eat i first.

Unfortunately listings on search result pages have been shrinking for years. Years ago you could still get clicks on page 2. Now days with small mobile screens and the amount of ads, and other info boxes displayed by Google only the top 3 positions really mean much anymore.

Staying relevant is important but much harder to do now.

If the service you supply is something people would do a voice search on and can be offered easily up in a sentence then your business may be in trouble. (if you rely just on Google Search)
11:39 am on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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As I think MrSavage explains, my post was aimed at the financial recompense I might receive for appearing top in Voice Search. With the boxes, I see no financial recompense will ever occur because none will ever come to my website because of them.

I suppose I do need to get one of those boxes and also start use voice search on my mobile as well. Only that way will I know if I am missing something in my understanding.
11:40 am on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have come to the conclusion that I don't want to stay relevant since I know the products I want and I know where to buy them.

Everyone I know who has bought one of these things, all in the UK I must stress, have disconnected them within weeks for various reasons, I'll ask tonight.

Personally I loved Cortana when it first came out and so did all my friends who had Windows phones, honestly, every single one of them have now disconnected it as far as they can simply for it being so damned annoying plus I have also noticed that many Win10 machines I get in have done similarly.

As someone who has never even contemplated implementing this on any site therefore never even looked into it, what is the technology and the costs involved.
12:18 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Voice Search - who cares?

It's here, whether we like it or not.
There are benefits, no doubt, but it's not for all.

If voice search is a way to drive traffic then let's have a go and see how it works. I'm sure it's not going to work with every site, but for those it does, they will benefit. I also believe that voice search will come more into its own with localization. Again, if you're a small business selling locally you could benefit from some voice search optimization. I agree, being number 2 for a generic term is probably not worth it, but if number 1 drops out, who knows.

It's all changed, so experiment, experiment, experiment.
2:10 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Here is a real life example. Radio DJ says, here is "Wonderful World by MrSavage", and he plays my song. His referencing me is all I get out of the deal. That reference to my name isn't paying for my time, my talents and my product that I produced. Google says, "According to CNET...." blah, blah, blah. All CNET gets in a mention. Well golly. This is what has to happen. Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple are all smart enough to track what they scrape for voice. They could track. They could tally. They could in fact tell you how many times they sucked your content (song) for free to use on their box. They could in theory PAY YOU, PAY ME (insert song name here). That's how this gets monetized. WIll it ever happen? No, because clowns give stuff away for free and clowns don't know it when they are the slaves to the system. Clowns would believe that in no way could these tech giants ever be able to track the number of times they referenced your content for their own profit and brand market share gains. Some clowns want to be first in line to give it away. Just because. Golly geez some day it might pay off. Yeah, okay.
2:37 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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How to make profit from voice search
#1 Learn how to optimize for voice search
#2 Realize that it mostly overlaps with your pre-existing SEO efforts so any benefit is a bonus
#3 Voice search can help with brand awareness, more site traffic, more phone calls and yes even more sales it is all extra profit.
(Of course it is all very YMMV)

Voice search is like image search. It is a different way people will use to search online. If you're an e-commerce store, are you really making massively bigger profits from image search? Doubtful, but who cares. Trying to rank your site in regular SERPs overlaps a good bit with image search optimization. Image search might send you some extra traffic and that might convert into more sales. Of course some smart people figured out how to leverage image search for certain industries to make more profits. Voice search is a similar situation. Will voice search greatly boost your sales, YMMV but probably not. However since optimizing for voice search results is basically overlapping your pre-existing SEO efforts, who cares? If you get creative you can probably think of a new way to profit online by leveraging voice search.
3:58 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Voice search is like image search.


IF this were to be true then I wouldn't go anywhere near it after G's image theft and thinking out loud about it, it probably is a reasonable analogy, why should I do all the work, again, for the search engines to benefit from?

Let's get it right, I do not get 1% of the PVs I used to have these days v pre-Google image theft, will this be similar?
5:54 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It is clear some people don't want to deal with voice search.
So don't care about voice search, just quit.

It seems a bit silly for me to spend time trying to convince people to compete with me for online profits. The less people that want to deal with Google, the easier it is to succeed. Everyone should quit SEO today (and preferably 301 redirect their traffic to my sites).
6:05 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Imagine if the music industry shared that same philosophy with Napster. Sure, sure. The music industry asked how they can make money by allowing their music to be given away for free on Napster. Or was it the music industry's failing because they didn't want their music to be free to everyone? Enlighten me about making money from giving things away for free. What a wonderfully futuristic thinking. Giving things away for free. How wonderful and heartwarming.
6:52 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Enlighten me about making money from giving things away for free.

Affiliate links and ads links have always worked well for us.
7:14 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It is clear some people don't want to deal with voice search.


It's not about dealing with it, it's what benefits, if any, may/will it drive to sites?

I have been mightily raped by Google once, it ain't going to happen again, therefore we all need to know the benefits of implementing this IF there are any or is it just the current fad for certain groups of people?

What will pi$$ off many a webmaster will be that IF they implement this to see the likes of only Google/Bing benefiting from it, well, don't say I didn't tell you so, however if it can be implemented in a fair and equitable way, then fine ... However we ALL know that is never going to happen since Google/Bing simply take, and take, and take what they can without any recompense to the originator whatsoever.

FWIW a question. Does anyone know when voice search is used the most? Office, home, work? Honestly I can say I have never seen anyone using it in public but then again I'm not a visitor in an unknown place etc. I also have never used Uber!

I'm sure that info must be out there somewhere, oh, hang on, let me ask Cortana, and the answer in May 2016 was 20%:

[searchengineland.com...]

I also found this recent post which reckons 1 billion voice searches a month:

[alpine.ai...]

That's interesting:-)
7:36 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It's not about dealing with it, it's what benefits, if any, may/will it drive to sites?

Please don't quote my comments if you don't actually READ THEM.

I don't mean to sound harsh but my first post literally answered that exact question.
8:57 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Tetchy techy today aren't we?
9:20 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@goodroi as you say ranking for voice search is probably very similar to your pre-existing SEO efforts so that part is a no brainer.

Lots of people use voice search but they tend to be one off short answers that Google can read back.

The problem is for webmasters who get revenue from ads which are viewed when a person visits the page. If Google is just going to read back someone else's text there is no point visiting the webmasters page, in fact the user may not even know where the content came from. Plus you have millions of search results and only the number 1 spot will ever be read.

Finally what happens when Google starts replying with just ads. Remember they want to make money off of this too. If I ask Google "What is the best pizza place close to me?", Google could instead just tell me to head to Example Pizza because Example pizza was the highest paying ad on AdWords.
9:31 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone know when voice search is used the most? Office, home, work? Honestly I can say I have never seen anyone using it in public ...
Until I read this thread I hadn't thought about, let alone used voice search much.

But I see people using this frequently in restaurants etc around here, usually older, as in probably retirement age people. Not so much with younger people.

Just a casual observation.

So I tried a few random voice searches that I might otherwise use a regular search for. I was pretty amazed at how well it worked.

Now, how do you tell if a site visitor arrives via voice search?
1:44 am on Mar 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Gotta ask ... most of the time (I don't have a cell and won't but have friends that do) voice search gives an answer (like the answer box). I have yet to hear that answer give a URL from where that answer came from. Voice search is what it is, but it's not even close to image where at least the URL is listed and clickable.

I can see both sides above. I can also look back through history, not only the internet but all the rest of it, too, and see where this is going.

Sadly, the gate is open, the cows are out of the barn, and there's no fixing things. The web is advertised as "free", most websites operate as "free", the search engines are "free" and only the advertisers make a buck. MEANWHILE, you do what you can to drive traffic and voice happens to be one of those avenues ... but I wouldn't help it take more, but I will make sure I can at least keep playing.

Voice search is "answers", make sure your content is "answers" and you will place ... somewhere.
2:07 am on Mar 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Tried a bunch of product, service, info searches.

I'm seeing an answer box or product carousel at the top of the page (under the search box) and maybe/maybe not a map below that then several normal serp lists. Just tap the listing title and go right to the website.

More to explore
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