Almost 10 years have passed since the invention of Siri – Apple’s voice search assistant. Back then, voice search wasn’t treated as a serious prospect of technology, but rather, something fun you could do with your phone.
The voice technology wasn’t as developed as it is today. Most of the time, the system couldn’t catch what you’re looking for, and the artificial intelligence behind it didn’t even exist. If you were in a rush and wanted to know about a nearby hospital, the voice search could’ve misunderstood you and given you search results for the closest “horse pit.”
Today, things have changed significantly. Technology is advancing and both the software and hardware behind it is outstanding. Apple’s competitors have also since joined the trend, and now the voice wars are raging. Companies are competing in which one is going to present a better option.
In the future, voice search assistants are going to represent an even bigger part of smartphone’s importance. Read on to learn more!
Artificial intelligence implementation
In the last few years, another technology entered the world of industry, called artificial intelligence. The first time this technology was introduced to the world was in 1998. A computer called Deep Blue used AI-driven software to play a game of chess against the world champion, Gary Kasparov.
Since then, AI was kind of forgotten. Even though AI and other technologies were well-known, they were not implemented for actual use.
Today, it is an industry worth tens of billions of dollars. By 2025 the AI industry is predicted to reach $169.41 billion, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.
One of the places where it finds use, of course, is the voice search industry. AI now backs all known searches. The software implemented helps the system recognize what the users ask for more easily. Based on many factors that the software calculates, it provides the best possible result.
Your smartphone gets its name from the fact that it’s smart enough to understand your needs. If you’re looking for plane tickets, it automatically understands that you need them from your location to someplace else and won’t bother looking for other cities around the world. If you often travel one distance, let’s say, New York – Austin, it will automatically get you the schedule of these lines. Voice search backed by AI needs only to say plane tickets, and based on your search history, it will give you what it thinks you are most-likely looking for.
That being said, it’s clear how useful AI for voice search is. What’s more important is that this mix of technologies will only become better in the future.
According to voice search statistics, in 2020, more than 50% of all search queries will be voice-activated. That means the traditional way of opening the browser on your computer, typing in the name of your favorite search engine, and typing in what you need is going to be a procedure that belongs in the museum of old technologies.
Instead, people will rely on searching through their smartphones. There are currently more than 3.5 billion smartphones in the world. They are all backed by some of the voice search options coming through the operating systems made by the companies producing those phones.
People find it much easier to speak than type, which is completely normal, right? The only thing that’s stopping them from doing it at the moment is the fact that they are used to something else. It takes time for technology to enter our lives and reveal to us the easiest ways to do things.
Also, only around 360 million people speak English as their first language, and most of these systems are made perfect for the English-speaking population. That’s why most of the voice search programs are focusing on other languages too. For example, one of the oldest ones among them all, Siri, speaks 21 languages. That makes it much easier for almost everyone on the planet to feel comfortable using it.
This is different from other assistants, though. Alexa, for example, speaks 15 languages, but Google has yet to reach this level. It uses only three languages at the moment, but it is planning to develop 20 more in the future.
An SEO game-changer
Since more than half of people are now using voice search assistants, businesses need to adjust their pages and marketing strategies all over again. Companies have spent a ton of money over the years to make the best of search engines, getting more visitors on their pages. But now, the rules of the games are changing as we move forward.
It doesn’t seem fair, but that’s the way it is. The SEO strategy companies use are also changing.
However, this might be good for those who are ready to adapt fast. One of the most important issues that companies will need to work on is the use of keywords that are now changing big time. The human mind works much differently when someone is typing and when someone is speaking, so key phrases are going to be different than in the past.
Home voice assistants
Statistics show that in 2018, in Europe and North America, there were 64 million smart homes. A home is considered smart when a speaker is installed and can control at least one item in the house.
Smart speakers use voice assistance for this. One of the most famous and most popular home voice assistants is the Amazon Echo. The Echo speakers are equipped with 7 microphones that are able to hear you from a distance and over background noise. This device is also backed by the Alexa virtual assistant which uses artificial intelligence to fulfill all the tasks you’re asking it to do.
At the moment, Amazon owns 61.9% of the smart speaker market. Google has 26.9%. You can say that in this area, Amazon is ahead of the game. This is not due to the best marketing, but rather due to the best available technology.
Every moment with a home assistant has become a potential search opportunity. But what does this mean? It means that our lives have turned into a constant search for information. For example, if you’re trying to fix the sink and you don’t know how to do it, you can ask Alexa. Results will come streaming in in less than a second, so you can be sure there will be no question left unanswered.
Since voice search makes it so easy for people to look for what they need at every moment in their life, it means only one thing for businesses – more sales. The marketing industry is doing everything it can to make people search for their products, while trying their best to convert customers.
With voice search assistant, shopping is becoming increasingly easy for customers, but it opens up many new questions and duties for marketers. If they manage to adapt in time, they can make this voice search game a good thing.
Do you remember how difficult it used to be to search for a brand before the internet? People had to scroll through thousands of pages in the phone book to find what they needed, and then physically go there to shop and transport the goods and products back home.
Now all you have to do is say the magic words – “Hey, Alexa.” And before you know it an item will be shipped right to your front door.