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Source: This article was Published phys.org By Marc Saltzman - Contributed by Member: Issac Avila

Whether you already own one or have thought about it, you probably know Google Home ($129) is one of those popular voice-activated personal assistants for the home.

After saying the wake words "OK, Google" (or "Hey Google"), ask a question or give a command, and you'll hear a human-like female voice respond from its clear speaker—whether you want to hear a specific song, set a timer for the oven, or control your smart devices in your home (such as a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat).

But you already know all this, you say?

The following is a handful of lesser-known Google Home features, including a few tips and tricks, and hidden Easter Eggs.

Google Home can help you remember where you left things. Say something like "Ok Google, remember my passport is in the top drawer." When you need it in the future, ask "OK Google, where's my passport?" and it will tell you where it is, and what date you asked it to remind you.

 

Funny sounds. Want to entertain the kids? Google Home can play you recordings of animal noises and vehicle sounds. For example, ask what a horse or train sounds like. Google will sing for you, too! Simply say "Hey Google, sing a song" or "OK Google, serenade me," and you'll hear the assistant belt out a ditty. Ask it to do it again and it'll likely be a different tune. You can also ask it to drop a beat if you want to rap on top: say "OK Google, beatbox."

Play that song. Speaking of music, Google Home will find a song for you—even if you don't know the title. For example, say "Ok Google, play that song that says 'passionate from miles away'" and it will play Drake's Passionfruit. Your personal assistant can also be an instrument tuner; if you have a guitar on your lap, say "Hey Google, start an instrument tuner" and it will ask what musical note you want to hear.

Get flight prices ASAP. Say something like "OK Google, how much does it cost to fly from Los Angeles to New York today, returning Monday?" and you'll hear the lowest roundtrip cost. It can keep track of the cheapest flights for those dates and even email you a summary to your Gmail account.

Play games with Google Home. Say "OK Google, Mad Libs" ("the world's greatest word game") or "Hey Google, play Lucky Trivia." Expect more games to be added over time.

Personalize. You might've heard Google Home can detect different voices in your home. Therefore, if you ask how long it'll take to get to the office this morning, you'll hear a different response than if your partner asks the same question.

Shortcuts. Did you know you can create custom shortcuts for long phrases you commonly ask? For example, instead of "Hey Google, turn off all the lights in the house," you can say something like "OK Google, good night." To create a shortcut, open the Google Home app on your smartphone, enter Settings, and you'll see "Shortcuts" under "More" settings.

 

Google Home helps with homework. You can ask math questions ("OK Google, what's the square root of 729?"), get history help ("OK Google, who founded the United States?") or learn geography facts ("OK Google, what's the capital of India?"). You can even ask how to spell something, such as "OK Google, how do you spell 'emancipation'?" Try something trickier like "OK Google, what's 'quantum theory'?" or "Ok Google, search for monkey facts."

Weather forecasts. You likely know you can ask for weather information, but you can also for multi-day forecasts, too, in any city. For example, say "OK Google, "what will the weather be like over the next 5 days in Kingston, Jamaica?"

Voice volume. You can adjust Google Home's volume by swiping your finger on top of the unit, but you can also use your voice to change volume. Say something like "OK Google, volume at 50%," if you're not near the speaker.

Random. Google Home has a Magic 8-ball, of sorts. Say "OK Google, Crystal Ball" and ask a yes or no question.

Get organized. Google Home lets you access your calendar by simply asking for info like "OK Google, what meetings do I have today?" But you can also add events to your calendar using Google Home, too, such as asking "Ok Google, add dinner with Kellie tomorrow at 8 PM to my calendar."

My day. When you wake up, say "OK Google, tell me about my day," and you'll hear the date and time, weather, calendar events, and news. You can also change where you get your news from by opening the Google Home app and selecting desired sources.

Jetsons skills. If you own a Roomba, you can now initiate the vacuum cleaner using your voice. After you pair your Roomba with Google Home, say "Ok Google, ask Roomba to start cleaning." The future is here!

Categorized in Search Engine

OK, Google, why should I be optimizing my website for voice search?

Whether your potential customers are asking Google, Siri, Cortana, or Alexa, trust me—you want to be the answer. Google says that 20% of all searches are voice searches and I’m certain that number will only continue to skyrocket in the coming years.

Are you ready to claim a spot in that 20%? Are you even convinced that you should be doing whatever you can to benefit from that 20% statistic? Or perhaps—even if you’re already convinced of the importance of getting in the voice search game—you don’t even know where to start.

Let’s talk it all out. Let’s talk the what, why, and how of voice search SEO.

 

What Is Voice Search & How Does It Work?

As far as SEO jargon goes, voice search is probably the easiest to understand. Voice search is simply any search a person performs on the internet using a voice command instead of typing or text.

But you probably knew that. Heck, you probably already do it yourself. Maybe you’ve even performed a voice search today. (“Hey Siri, is it 5:00 yet?”)

Even if you do know what voice search is, I’m guessing that—like most people—you’re not entirely clear on how it works.

I don’t want to get too far into it, but I do think a basic breakdown of how things work will be handy before we dive in. Put simply:

  • A user initiates a voice search by pressing a button or addressing the device’s voice assistant with a pre-programmed voice command (“Hey Siri”, “OK Google”, “Alexa,”, “Hey Cortana”)
  • The user asks a question or gives a command, such as, “When Does SEO The Movie Come Out?” or “SEO Movie Release Date”
  • Depending on what kind of technology the voice search system uses, it’ll pick up on little packets of sound—whether those packets are individual syllables, words, or entire phrases and sentences
  • The voice search system will then translate these units of sound into text (using at least 1 of 4 methods) and then initiate that search just like it would a text search.

Whew! The good news is that we don’t need to worry about that too much. But isn’t it cool to know what goes on behind the scenes?

How Voice Search Affects SEO

Voice search is changing the way we use search engines in huge ways.

In short, voice search makes search inquiries way more conversational in nature. Which makes sense, since so many of the digital assistants who aid in voice searches make it feel like we’re talking to actual people sometimes.

This affects our voice search strategy in a number of ways, but we’ll get more into that below.

By 2020, voice search will account for 50% of searches

But that’s not all—voice searches also tend to change the nature of keywords themselves, including question words like what, how, when, and why.

Oh, and one last thing we should keep in mind: most digital assistants answer voice searches solely with—well, their voices. With the spoken word. Which means—for those of us in industries of a more visual nature like art or fashion—we’ll need to get clever about how we’re creating and describing our content.

Let’s get into it!

Use These Tips For Your Voice Search SEO Strategy

So how do we take advantage of the search landscape that’s resulted from an explosion in voice search? With these 5 tips, of course.

1. Use Microdata

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By using microdata, your site can feature rich snippets/cards like those above and can also help Google better understand what your site/content is all about!

Adding microdata like location, phone number, pricing, menus, and operating hours for search engines was crucial before, but it’s even more crucial now with voice search and SEO. Microdata helps search engines understand what is on any given page which is key for Voice Search.

How do digital assistants find this information from your site? By you having an organized and easily readable sitemap. Include all this information in pages labeled on your sitemap to make sure search engines know exactly where to find your microdata. You can also test your microdata with Google’s handy Structured Data Testing Tool.

Not sure what microdata you should cover or how to implement? Check out this guide from Search Engine Land.

2. Talk Like Your Customers Would

It’s not just about keywords anymore (not that it has been for some time anyway). It’s not just about robots and algorithms anymore, it’s about people and how people actually talk (Natural Language). That’s what Neil Patel recommends when it comes to voice search: “Think like a human.”

People aren’t searching for “Amazon Echo” anymore.

They’re searching for “where to buy Amazon Echo near me”, and “best prices on Amazon Echo”, and “Google Home versus Amazon Echo.”

The trend is shifting from short and stiff keywords to more human, more specific, and longer-tail search terms.

 

In short: phrases and longtail keywords are the way to go. Keep this in mind when you’re creating content and using keywords on your site pages. We’ll have to be mindful now more than ever to be genuine and specific in our keyword use.

3. Ask The Questions Your Target Customers Would

Again, it’s all about keeping language natural here.

It’s not enough to just figure out what your target keywords are and match them up with their longer-tail counterparts. You’ve got to make sure you know what kinds of questions those keywords will be hidden in, too.

What questions will your customers need to ask to find you? That’s what we need to figure out, and those are the keywords and phrases (or actually, questions) we need to include in our site content. (FAQ pages are great for this.)

How do you figure out what questions your target customers are asking? I recommend by starting with a tool called Answer the Public, in which you can type in short and simple keywords and get back data on how those terms fit in with search queries around the web.

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Let’s say you offer content marketing services. How do you find out what potential customers are asking about content marketing? Answer The Public has a few ideas.

4. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly

clip_image010Image SourceWay to go Wikipedia! Isn’t it nice to know that Google really just wants to help you succeed, and at no cost to you? Their free tool will grade your site and even point you in the right direction for how to go about improving your scores.

I mean, you should be doing this already. But the rise of voice search makes having responsive web design more important than ever.

That’s because more voice searches are initiated from mobile devices than from desktop computers, and that’s probably because—well, what do you usually carry with you wherever you go? Right—probably not your laptop.

Your first step is to find out just how mobile friendly your website already is, and you can use Google’s free tool Test My Site for that.

The report you get back will help you be able to hone in on exactly what you need to do to improve your mobile friendliness. If you’re really starting from scratch on the mobile responsiveness front, I recommend tackling the basics first.

5. Dive Deeper With Semantics

Semantics may sound like this big, abstract thing, but all it is is the deeper “why” behind what searchers are saying.

For example, you may just be asking Alexa how much Nike Flyknits cost, but Alexa won’t just answer your question with a price tag and leave it at that. She’ll also probably be thinking about your question and learning things about you, namely that you’re in the market for shoes and you’re willing to pay a premium price for them.

 

Another way search engines use semantics is by making inferences when you ask questions, which is demonstrated fantastically by Wordstream’s in-depth study on semantics in voice search.

To take an example from their study, using semantics in search is like asking, “What planet is Gamora from?” without first having to let your digital assistant know that you're referring to Zoe Saldana’s character in Guardians of the Galaxy.

What does Google’s focus on semantics mean for you? It means that you should not only be focusing on the literal content of search queries but also on the intent behind the search inquiries.

Why are people searching what they’re searching? It’s not enough to know what questions they’re asking—we also have to ask ourselves why they’re asking the questions they’re asking.

If you can dive deeper into this why and weave it into the fabric of your website, you won’t have to worry as much about keyword use. Because—if you can offer valuable content that’ll answer your readers’ questions with authority and a genuinely helpful attitude—Google will recognize that your site is the answer on the most organic level.

Hey Siri, We’re Ready To Win At Voice Search Now

Do you have enough to add to your SEO to-do list now?

I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me—the dividends you’ll get back over time are totally worth the upfront work. If you can, try adding just one of these 5 tips to your to-do list each week and tackle them one by one, starting with the least advanced and abstract (using microdata) and ending on the more complicated stuff (responsive design and semantics). And then cheers yourself with a drink.

On that note, let me wrap us with one final question—a question not for Siri or Alexa, Google or Cortana, but for you: Hey Reader, how will you make voice search SEO a priority this week?

Source: This article was published searchenginepeople.com By Sam Algate

Categorized in Search Engine

The multi-dimensional travel buying journey is gaining yet another route to market as we increasingly turn to voice search when planning, purchasing, preparing and enjoying travel.

NB: This is an analysis by Kevin Mullaney, head of digital at Flagship Consulting.

Considering that 60% of travel searches are carried out on mobiles, it was only a matter of time before users started ditching text in favour of talk.

 

comScore predicts that by 2020 the majority of searches will be voice activated, which isn’t too far-fetched – considering the fact that 60% of users have only used voice for the first time in the past year, accounting for about 10% of the online population.

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Even when asking longer form, natural language queries such as:What are the best

“What are the best four star hotels near Vale de Lobo in the Algarve?”Google can still provide a useful range of results based on the known relationships between hotels [business type],

 

Google can still provide a useful range of results based on the known relationships between hotels [business type], four star [business attribute], Vale de Lobo [town] and the Algarve [region]:

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Google can also deliver highly accurate answers for queries around places to eat and things to do, by feeding from the structured data it has in its maps platform.

So any travel businesses looking to attract guests will want to focus on their local presence in Google My Business, Bing Maps and Apple Connect, as well as other key directories like Yell and Thompson Local which share their business data with a variety of other local data sources (such as satnavs).

Beyond claiming and fully populating business profiles on key directories, all travel businesses need to implement schema markup on their websites in order to tell search engines the key business information that will help it deliver answers.

Things like address, availability, pricing, events, business category and any other attributes customers might be searching for.

2. Unstructured Content – give the people what they want

The real challenge facing search engines is they are only confident in returning accurate results for things they have been asked many times before, adjusting the results based on what users historically click on and find most useful.

 

15% of daily searches, however, are still completely new to the algorithm; and this trend is only set to increase as longer form, more personalised voice searches become the norm.

For example, if Google is asked to find the same Algarve hotels as before but with slightly different search criteria (e.g. “with a swimming pool”) or it is asked to plan a more complicated multi-leg trip to smaller regional airports, it will defer to Expedia or Skyscanner search pages.

This is because it has encountered new search parameters it doesn’t recognise (i.e. things that aren’t currently supported by schema markup).

And where search engines fall short, travel brands can step in to provide value, creating lots of informational micro-content which fill in Google’s gaps in knowledge.The types of content travel brands might want to explore would be:

The types of content travel brands might want to explore would be:

  • FAQs: individual pages which directly answer very specific conversational questions. “When is the best time of year to visit Hong Kong”, or, “What is the exchange rate between the Yen and the Dollar.”
  • How-to guides: short, number labelled step-by-step instructions to common problems. “How do I apply for a visa for Vietnam from London?”
  • Destination guides: providing top picks and tips for specific situations and locations. “Top things to do in Malmo when it’s raining.”
  • Planning: helping travellers fine the right parts of the world to visit. “What are the best beach holiday destinations in November?”

By creating this targeted long-tail content, travel brands are able to corner off local markets and take home all the spoils from a single search.

 

Unlike regular results; Google only returns, and reads out, the top answer or result which is a small ‘snippet’ of travel content.

So in return for providing the right answer, Google will be giving a robotic shout out to brands and will link to them exclusively.

To do this, travel brands need to listen to customers and catalogue all the questions people are asking when they call, speak with a customer services representative or a travel agent.

Sourcing these questions directly from customers, in their own words, will help inform the voice search strategy and enable businesses to surface for more voice searches.

Following this strategy won’t just help travel brands secure their voice search future but also help reach more customers no matter the device or input method, as answers become more common on desktop and mobile search too.

Although this answer based approach will attract relatively few searches individually, they all add up to an aggregated pool of interested and informed travellers.

This exposure should last in perpetuity, making a real difference in the long term and boosting a brand’s overall share of search.

Source: This article was published tnooz.com

Categorized in Search Engine

"OK Google, help me out!"

Google Home, the diminutive smart speaker powered by the Google Assistant bot, wants to invade your living room. But once you've plugged it in and connected it up to your Wi-Fi, how do you use it? We're here to help.

In terms of what it can do, Google Home still lags behind Amazon's Alexa devices, such as the Echo. That's particularly true when it comes to third-party plug-ins from your favorite pizza store or audiobook app. Nevertheless, the smart speaker can take care of a lot of tasks. To put it through its paces, try out the commands below.

1. Look up travel times

"OK Google, how far is it from LA to San Francisco?" "OK Google, how long does it take to walk from Santa Monica to Hollywood?"

Google Home knows its directions, as you would expect with Google Maps working away behind the scenes. You can question it about distances (which are usually based on driving), or ask it how long a journey will take with a specific mode of transport.

 

2. Find great places nearby

"OK Google, what restaurants are nearby?" "OK Google, what are the best bars in New York?"

Speaking of location-based queries, you can look up nearby venues, get Google's recommendations about places to go, and learn the travel times to those places. It doesn't work quite as well as a query on the Google Maps website, but it's handy to have in a pinch.

3. Find answers from the web

"OK Google, how many days until Christmas?" "OK Google, what is the capital of Norway?"

Pretty much anything you can type into the Google search engine is going to work on Google Home, particularly more basic web queries that have a simple, short answer. The speaker pulls information from Wikipedia and various other online sources.

4. Listen to music and radio

"OK Google, play Fleet Foxes." "OK Google, play a dance mix."

Google Home doesn't use Bluetooth, but you can cast audio to it from any app that supports casting (which is a lot of them). Alternatively, ask to hear music from Spotify or Google Play Music directly—you can set the default player in the Google Home app.

5. Check your schedule

"OK Google, what am I doing next week?" "OK Google, when's my next appointment?"

Google Home plugs straight into your Google Calendar (at the moment, no other calendars are supported), so you can ask about what you've got coming up, when you're supposed to be in a meeting, and various other questions about your schedule.

6. Review the day ahead

"OK Google, tell me about my day." "OK Google, how's the weather?"

Ask Google about your day, and you'll get a weather forecast, a few snippets from your calendar, and some brief news updates. You can configure all of this in the Google Home app. Alternatively, just ask about the weather, either today or at some point in the future.

7. Learn a new language

"OK Google, translate 'beer' into French." "OK Google, translate 'where is the train station?' into German."

It's easy to forget just how many apps and services Google has, and here's another: Google Translate. Google Home will make foreign visitors feel welcome, or just help you with your pronunciation. It's one of those features that makes Google's AI feel almost like magic.

 

8. Get math help

"OK Google, what is eight miles in kilometers?" "OK Google, what is 100 dollars in euros?"

Google Home can work out conversions between units just as easily as the Google search engine. Test it with distances, lengths, temperatures, and more. The smart speaker can also perform basic calculations, and even flip a coin or roll a die for you.

9. Play voice games

"OK Google, play a game." "OK Google, play Lucky Trivia."

Google Home comes with a selection of basic games you can play with your voice, including Lucky Trivia and Crystal Ball. The former gives you a selection of trivia questions and can be played with friends; the latter essentially acts like a comedy Magic 8 ball.

10. Set alarms and timers

"OK Google, set an alarm for 7 AM." "OK Google, set a timer for two minutes."

Want to adjust the time you wake up in the morning? Google Home can handle it without breaking a sweat. Head to the app if you need to view, edit, or delete any timers and alarms you've set, or if you need to adjust the alarm volume—the default version is pretty loud.

Google Home

David Nield/Popular Science

Use Google Home with your TV

 

11. Tweak your shopping list

"OK Google, add milk to my shopping list." "OK Google, what's on my shopping list?"

Google gladly adds and removes items to and from your shopping list for you. Voice commands let you request this service, and you can also have the speaker read your list out loud. If you'd like to avoid bringing a smart speaker to the grocery store, you can also access the up-to-date list through your Google Home app.

12. Browse the dictionary

"OK Google, spell 'onomatopoeia.'" "OK Google, what does 'meteoric' mean?"

Whether you're stuck for the definition of a word or need to win a spelling argument, just ask Google Home. Again, it taps into the pooled knowledge of the internet to pull out an answer for you. You can also ask "what's another word for..." to hear a list of synonyms.

13. Watch videos on TV

"OK Google, watch House of Cards from Netflix on my TV." "OK Google, watch YouTube on my TV."

Got a Chromecast? Through the streaming device, you can ask your Google Home to beam videos straight to the TV (though the request needs to be something easily understood as a voice command). This trick works with Netflix too, if you link your account to the Google Home app.

14. Play music on TV

"OK Google, play R.E.M. on my TV." "OK Google, play relaxing music on my TV."

The same trick goes for sending music to your Chromecast. As long as you say the magic words "on my TV" at the end, whatever you ask for gets sent to the big screen. As with playing tunes on the Google Home speaker itself, you can set your default music player in the app.

15. View your photos on TV

"OK Google, show photos on my TV." "OK Google, show photos from Sydney on my TV."

For another Chromecast trick, you can display your photos on a much bigger screen. (Currently, Google Photos is the only supported photo service.) You can get creative with the pictures you want to see, thanks to the smart technology inside Google Photos. Try asking to see specific dates or places or people, and see what your television displays.

Google Home

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16. Stay up to date on sports

"OK Google, who are the Denver Broncos playing next?" "OK Google, what was the LA Lakers score?"

Google Home is able to look up sports scores, fixtures, and results for you. Over time, it can even learn your favorite teams. If you head into the News section of the Google Home app, you can add a localized sports section to your daily briefing as well.

17. Learn about movie details

"OK Google, who won Best Picture?" "OK Google, who's in Beauty and the Beast?"

 

Google Home seems to be a movie fan. The speaker can provide information about movie casts, running times, awards, and so on. What it can't do, at the time of writing, is tell you what movies are showing nearby. But Google will almost certainly add this feature in the near future.

18. Check on flights

"Is my flight on time?" "How much are flights to New York?"

Over time, Google Home will probably add more personalized data from Gmail and your other accounts. For now, you can check up on flights, whether that's getting details about an existing trip (this only works if the information is in an email) or researching future trips based on destination or flight number.

19. Control your smart home

"OK Google, turn off my lights." "OK Google, raise the temperature one degree."

Right now, Google Home doesn't have as many third-party plug-ins as the Amazon Echo—but they're growing in number all the time. If you've got Philips Hue lights or a Nest thermostat, you can control them via Google Home voice commands. For more information, check out our beginners' guide to smart homes.

20. Hear poems and jokes

"OK Google, read me a poem." "OK Google, tell me a joke."

One area where Google Home particularly impresses is in the smaller, less obvious touches, such as the ability to read short poems or tell jokes. The smart speaker also contains a few easter eggs—for example, try asking Google Home, "Where's Waldo?" or "What are the three laws of robotics?".

Source : popsci.com

Categorized in Search Engine

“Tea, Earl Grey, hot.”

Those words, uttered countless times by Captain Jean-Luc Picard on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” perhaps sum up what the vision of the future was even just 20 years ago. It was a concept of a world in which we could directly speak to our computers and receive immediate feedback – a reaction to meet our needs in real time. As we roll into 2017, we move forward, as well, with the voice-enabled revolution, bringing our homes one step closer to having the conveniences of the 24th century in the world of today.

So What Are Voice-Enabled Services?

iPhone users perhaps know voice-enabled services better than most, with the launch of Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, as part of iOS 5 back in 2011. This “virtual assistant” allowed users of the latest iPhones to speak to their phones to complete a number of basic commands, ranging from composing text messages to asking about the weather – along with a smattering of joke responses. Perhaps you remember saying “Open the pod bay doors” to your iPhone, harkening the assistant’s response to the famous line from “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

 

While cracking smart responses was one of Siri’s strong suits, its arrival to the scene in 2011 perhaps had a far greater impact in bringing the concept of speaking to our devices to life and in the hands of millions of active smartphone users. It wasn’t long before many felt comfortable working with Siri and communicated by talking TO their phones instead of through them. Since then, numerous other applications have appeared on the market, most notably Google Voice Search, Microsoft’s Cortana, and in recent months, Amazon’s Alexa.

Let’s Talk Talking Hardware

Of course, voice-enabled services only work if there’s a proverbial ear listening, and that’s where hardware comes in. We’ve already covered the iPhone, and in the years since, Siri has found a home on Apple’s other devices, including the iPad, the Apple Watch, Apple TV in 2015 and – late last year – moving to the company’s computer line as part of macOS Sierra. This has made it ubiquitous for Apple users and means help from the digital assistant is only a “Hey, Siri” away at nearly any time.

Google Voice Search

Google Voice Search made the next play, rolling out and evolving from its earlier incarnations to become a similar personal assistant for Android devices. As with Siri, users ask questions for Google to search and receive answers in real time. Stuck at the airport in Cancun and need to learn how to ask “Where is a taxi?” in Spanish? Pull out your phone and ask Google Voice Search to get the answer you need in seconds.

Microsoft

Microsoft’s voice interactivity truly came into its own with the launch of the latest console, Xbox One. When connected with the Kinect – “Kinected,” perhaps? – owners can ask the entertainment system to control a wide variety of functions, including watching TV – even a specific channel – switching to a specific game or app (like Netflix or Amazon Video) or to record a highlight gameplay clip. This functionality brought voice control out of our phones and into the living room. Voice activation’s place in the home only expanded with Siri’s addition to the Apple TV and our next entries – Google Home and Amazon Echo. Like Siri, Microsoft’s digital assistant has been further upgraded as well, developing into Cortana, a voice-activated personal assistant that has become an option not only on the Xbox, but also on PCs, allowing spoken interaction and engagement on a range of topics.

Google Home

Google stepped up voice recognition with the introduction of the home-centric hub, Google Home. This networked home device is capable of listening to your questions and providing a range of services without requiring any manual inputs. This includes all the capabilities of Google’s voice search – “OK Google, how many tablespoons are in a cup?” – and receiving spoken answers in return. It’s also capable of integrating other useful features into your life, including your daily calendar and task lists, managing your entertainment – music and video playback, for example – as well as controlling internet-connected devices throughout your home, like thermostats, lighting or smart TVs.

 

Amazon Echo

Finally, Amazon has introduced the Echo, a similar home hub device powered by Amazon’s new AI – Alexa. Like Google Home, the Echo is designed to offer a number of resources to owners. Whether you’re looking for information on a particular topic, need to place an order, want to play music or even control other aspects of the home – more on that in a minute – the Echo listens and responds, placing your order with the ecommerce giant for delivery or pumping out the latest hits from your favorite artists. The Echo and Home perhaps mark the latest high water mark and the next step in the greater evolution of search and shopping.

What Does Voice Search Mean for Business?

Cutting through the chatter – quite literally – the burning question now is what does this all mean? And the answer may seem as confusing as this cycling interaction between Siri, Alexa and Google Home.

Voice capabilities further expand upon something that has been trending in SEO for the past few years – a push toward more natural content. From a writer’s perspective, this has meant putting copy online that not only provides good information, but also engages the reader, entices them to read more and provides details – whether fact-heavy topics or casual knowledge subjects – in an easy to understand way.

The same concept now advances on to voice. As people start having conversations with their devices on search topics, we need to begin adapting our search optimization approach in kind. Let’s use a hypothetical case to illustrate.

Searching for Answers for My Clogged Sink

At my home, my sink has clogged, and now I’m in need of a plumber. While screaming expletives at the backed up pipe – which hasn’t solved the problem – I remember my Google Home is on the kitchen counter and say “OK Google, what plumbers are nearby?” My Google Home hears my request and searches online for plumbers near my home and gives me a list of options, providing phone numbers for me to call, as well, to request some help.

 

This example illustrates several key aspects of the changing nature of modern search. Before having a Google Home, I would probably have gone to my computer or pulled out my smartphone and typed in a relevant search phrase (probably something like “Plumbers near Buffalo NY”). Instead, I’m asking my home device for plumbers nearby, which relies on a second key aspect of search – location.

Making sure your business’ location is accurate, properly classified (in this case, as a plumber) and searchable in Google and other search engines is incredibly important for anyone looking to be found in this context. If I live a block from the fictional plumber Buffalo Backups, but they haven’t listed on Google My Business as a plumber, I’ll likely get the number for Nickel City Pipes and Clogs two blocks away instead, since they have updated their location information and classification for Google Home to identify them when I asked for plumbers.

Natural Context

Finally, that brings us to the context of my search – most notably, I’m not using a robotic approach to search any longer. Before my Google Home I would have searched for what I needed with a few keywords – “plumber,” “Buffalo” and “near.” Now, though, I’m having more of a conversation with search, using natural language to find what I need instead of using the search patterns I’ve been using for years.

This also means content and SEO needs to respond in kind. Now, it might be better to write a blog that seeks to answer those questions more clearly. While I review my options for a plumber to come give me a hand, finding a blog titled “How Did My Sink Get Clogged?” from a local plumber might be exactly what I’m looking for – and can perhaps help me prevent this from happening again.

Listening to what new technologies are bringing to the table is the key to succeeding in the evolving marketplace and the adapting world of search. By understanding how people are finding you – and how best to make sure you’re found – you can make your business’ voice heard and customers will listen.


Author : Ryan Yaeger

Source : http://www.business2community.com/brandviews/mainstreethost/ok-google-voice-search-01766080#hp8VmVOGfTyJYH0g.97

Categorized in Search Engine

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