Even though almost every smartphone user has full access to voice search, many are completely unaware of it. It feels like an open secret, almost. But it’s true; if you have a stable internet connection like Charter Spectrum, chances are you can start using voice search right now. Yet even though voice search serves the same function as traditional search, people are reluctant to use it, and there is this weird stigma for using it.
That may be changing, however. Two years ago, Google shared stats regarding Google Voice, and reported that 75% of users have used it. Today, that number is 92%. For some perspective, only 14% of users used Siri when it was first released.
2017 introduced us to Home, which is Google’s voice-activated speaker, powered by Google Assistant. Prior to that, Amazon released Echo in 2016, and it has become one of the brand’s most well-known products ever since. Right now, Assistant is available on over 400 million devices, including Google Home, Android phones, televisions, and more.
Here are a few things that many tech experts have predicted about voice search going forward.
- Nearly 30% of all the searches will be processed without using a screen by 2020. – Mediapos
- 50% of the total searches will be voice searches by 2020. – Comscore
- By the time we reach 2019, the voice recognition market will be worth $601 million. – Skyword
- We predict there will be around 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020. – Activate
But why? Here are some stats that indicate a few reasons.
- Almost 43% [of users] believe that searching by voice is relatively faster than going to a website or an app, because humans are able to speak 150 words per minute, while they can type 40 words per minute. – Katherine Watier
- 82% of Amazon Echo smart speaker owners have subscribed to Amazon Prime. – Geomarketing
- Over 2/3 of current owners of Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers are considering and looking to get another smart speaker in the next six months. – Strategy Analytics
- 28% [of users] believe that voice search is a much more appropriate way for searching. – Katherine Watier
- 21% of us do not prefer typing on their mobile phone, and that is the reason they like voice search better. – Katherine Watier and Statista
- 42% [of users] find it useful and easy to use while they are driving. That is their reason for using voice search. – Katherine Watier
Here are a few additional facts that you should know about voice search if you’re an SEO.
- There are over one billion voice searches being done per month. – Alpine.AI
- Google voice search inquiries by the end of 2016 were up 35 times more than they were in 2008. – Search Engine Watch
- 40% of adults are currently using voice search once a day. – Location World
- By May 2016, 1 out of 5 searches on an Android app in the US were done via speech. – KPCB
- 25% of people aged between 16-24 years are using voice search on mobile. – Global Web Index
- 41% of the total people using voice search have only started in the last six months. – MindMeld
- 60% of the users started using voice search within the last year. – MindMeld
- 11% of the total people using voice search started doing so over three years ago. – MindMeld
- 19% of iPhone users use Siri every day. – HubSpot
- Only 9% of people said that they have had used AI personal assistants like Siri or Cortana. – Ask Your Target Market
- 45% of people using AI personal assistants use Siri, while 33% have used Google Now. 27% had used Microsoft’s Cortana, whereas 10% have already used Amazon Echo or Alexa. – Ask Your Target Market
- One out of five adults online had used voice search on their mobile device in the previous month. – Global Web Index
- 37% of the users use Siri at least once a month. That applies to 23% of Cortana AI users, and 19% of Amazon Alexa users. – HubSpot
- 325.8 million people used voice search in the past month, which makes up around 10% of the online population. – Internet Stats
- About 11% of the respondents who already possess an Amazon Alexa or Google Home device plan on getting a computing device. – Voicelabs
- Application development for Amazon Alexa went up 500% in the second half of the year 2016. – Voicelabs
- About 500,000 Google Home components were transported in 2016. – Bloomberg
- 65% of Amazon Echo or Google Home users said that they cannot imagine going back to the days before they owned a smart speaker. – Geomarketing
- 42% of voice search users stated that voice-activated devices have rapidly developed as an essential part of their lives. – Geomarketing
Challenges for SEO
Gone are the days when users would type a word and find their answer on the first page of the results. Voice search, no matter how much convenience it is bringing to consumers, is bringing along new trends and challenges for SEO experts.
It is better to evaluate, comprehend, research, and use caution in order to come up with new trends and stay on top of the search engine results. We all need to understand that there is a new natural phenomenon which is going to take place.
First of all, there is a shift from typing words to using one’s voice, and everybody types different than the way they speak or would ask for anything. Where we used to write “Amazon CEO” to find the answer, more people are likely to ask something like, “Who is the CEO of Amazon?” while using voice search.
That is where the game changes. We used to avoid words such as “who,” “is,” and “of” while doing web searches. The questions are going to get larger in size, hence we cannot rely on 2-3 keywords to get massive traffic to our website.
Voice search is predicted to be used more for local use. The pronunciations and spellings of the same word will differ. This is going to be a greater challenge for SEOs than anything else mentioned so far.
The Bottom Line
So if you’re still wondering why people are starting to use voice search more frequently, we have one word for you: convenience. Businesses have already made things much easier, like calling, texting, locating directions, and doing research, particularly in circumstances while driving or cooking, when your hands are occupied.
It is becoming more and more acceptable and trendy to chat with your personal assistant in public. Google’s amount of voice queries doubled from 2014 to 2015. If that isn’t enough to convince you of voice search’s rise, know that 33% of all queries for Microsoft’s latest released Cortana were made through voice.
Voice search is all set to practically conquer the whole lot of technology. Soon, we will be chit-chatting with our refrigerators, as well as asking our TV sets questions. The stigma regarding voice search will eventually disappear, and has already started to do so. Voice search is rising at a faster speed than traditional search. This brings challenges for SEOs, who will need to alter their methodology.