How Voice Search Will Disrupt the Google Algorithm

Digital voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Siri have already begun to cut into Google’s monopoly on Search Engine Optimization techniques. With 25% of consumers reporting they plan to purchase a smart speaker in 2019, the industry is preparing for even more changes.

Stricter laws governing the use of phones while driving have boosted the use of voice search. Each day, nearly 40% of Americans search for something on the Internet using Siri, Cortana, Alexa, or Google Home daily.

voice search seo tips

If you’re in charge of the SEO strategy for your website, it’s time to consider voice. Optimizing the results of voice searches will require different methods than those used in the past. As voice searches increase, SEO techniques will change. First, you need to understand why voice search is different than traditional text searches.

Voice Searches Have One Correct Response

Voice searches present one answer that may not require additional follow-up. Text searches typically produce links which are likely to answer your question and will lead you to another site.

So far, the data about voice searches reveals that they are often action queries. For example, “Okay, Google, what is the closest Thai food restaurant?” or, “Alexa, what is the difference between influence and confluence?”.

Voice Compatible Devices Use Browsers Other than Google

SEO professionals should already be researching the alternate search engines used by digital voice assistants if they want to stay on top of the premier list maintained at Google dominates text searches, but Alexa uses Bing. Amazon’s digital voice assistant is present in about 72% of smart speakers in US homes.

Voice Queries Are Longer and Include Question Words

Users want direct answers that help them complete a task in real-time. Rather than relying on the presence of a keyword, voice SEO should include more long-tail keywords and sentences that answer questions.

Digital Assistants Give the Most Relevant Answer

Google uses your location and search history to answer queries. Google Home will cite the source of information when delivering an answer and often sends a link to the user’s phone as the answer, “here is what I found for Thai food.” Alexa delivers instant answers verbally without links, which is a trend expected to continue.

Tips for Adjusting Your SEO

As voice continues to expand, SEO strategy should be focused away from simplistic answers. Google and Alexa can answer “What is the score of the NBA game?” more succinctly and directly than your website content. Your content plans should involve more complex opinions, analysis, tutorials, and other information that is hard to aggregate and present simply.

Remember that voice is additive; it won’t be replacing text search. The majority of your SEO marketing toolbox should target content that will rank traditionally, with less than five percent tailored to appeal to voice queries.

Those who work in the Search Engine Optimization industry should plan for a rise in voice search in addition to the traditional text search. Content will migrate toward complex, in-depth analysis of topics rather than relying on landing in the top ten links shown. Optimizing for voice will require some adjustment, and as more data emerges, expect the tactics to evolve.

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