voice-search

The Business of Voice search And Its Potential Commercial Applications

Voice search is basically a feature in smart devices that enables users to perform internet searches through a voice command. Being a dialog system, it can be accessed by activating the feature and speaking into the microphone. The device picks up the voice and searches the internet for whatever the user demands. In the simplest of examples, a person driving a car who can not use a device because of being on the road presses a single button and speaks for whatever is required.

Why does voice search matter?

Humans have been seeking comfort since the advent of time. Moving from caves and jungles to skyscrapers and highly civilized societies, a lot of comforts has been achieved through the centuries. Communication developed over time and an era of smart devices was entered into.

Laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and smartphones began to be considered essential to existence. They bridge the physical gap of thousands of miles with the click of a button. Features in these devices provided further ease and convenience to users by integrating new technologies into them. One such technology is voice search.

How does voice search work?

The device is configured in such a way that it first recognizes the language the user is speaking and then picks the keywords which the user speaks. After that, an internet search is initiated by the device and the results are obtained. In case a screen is available, the device displays the results. It can also be configured to speak out the results to the user. If a screen is not available, the results are simply read out to the user like in the previous scenario. 

To make sense of what the user is trying to say, the device must be equipped with a language understanding capability. The basic English language is found in a majority of the devices given it is an international standard. However, many devices are also able to recognize different languages and perform searches accordingly.

Due to the wide range of where these devices are operated, the language issue is something that will be completely eliminated in the future. Smart devices having voice technology add to the convenience of the users and enhances the user experience.

More and more devices are being integrated with this technology and their use is also becoming widespread. As customers shift towards this trend, it indicates a change in the strategies that businesses need to employ in order to remain on track. 

The evolution of search

Businesses have online websites where they present their products and services. Due to the shift towards online modes of shopping or even obtaining information, a large number of websites have surfaced all over the internet. To remain relevant and make sure the website pops up when the users search using particular keywords, websites use metrics to ensure they are among the top results.

This is done through a process known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines rank websites according to a predetermined ranking system. This is achieved through an algorithm that uses a lot of metrics in assessing which websites should be displayed first to enhance user experience. Unlike paid ads, search engines cannot be paid to get higher rankings. The only option for businesses is to design their websites in such a way that they remain relevant and are able to compete with other websites after a user search is initiated.

According to Google officials, twenty percent of the total searches on Google are now initiated through voice search. Among youngsters, the percentage is even larger. For better optimization, businesses have strategies in place. However, with the increasing use of voice search, the metrics need to change or be updated. When a user types, it is mostly keywords, which initiate the search being conducted by the search engine.

The search engine finds the most relevant websites and ranks them for the user to choose from. This is no different from what happens when a user generates a voice search. The search engine follows the same pattern of picking what the user said and search the internet for possible results.

The only thing different now is the fact that typing is different from speaking. While the user might type keywords, due to the interactive nature of voice search assistants like Siri and Alexa, the search is conversational. For example, while typing a person might search “nearby restaurants”. These two keywords will guide what the search engine displays. In the case of voice search, the person might ask “which restaurants are offering dinner right now?” The difference in the number of words used or how the sentence is structured might produce different results from what was displayed through the search performed by typing.

The future of voice search

Due to this shift in the way users now search and interact with their devices, search engine algorithms might display different kinds of results. The built-in strategies that businesses have employed currently to stand out might now need a shift of focus since those were text-based and now there is an increasing shift towards voice-based searching. To successfully maintain or achieve higher rankings by the algorithms, businesses now need to develop new strategies.

These strategies should not only have the capability of dealing with the existing search methods since the majority of searches are still typing based. Besides, businesses need to utilize the market that exists due to the use of voice searches when users interact with their devices. With further development and enhancement of technology in smart devices to be able to make sense of different languages, more and more traffic will move towards voice-based searching.

According to estimates given by Google, around 71% of the population between eighteen and twenty-nine years use voice search. Statistics indicate a far bigger percentage of overall searches to be voice-based. Businesses need to revise their strategies and ensure that both markets are tapped in properly for profit maximization and business sustainability. The future is changing and giving room for creativity, which should be prioritized by businesses, which want to remain relevant.

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Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get The FourWeekMBA Flagship Book "100+ Business Models"