Google Home: Accelerating Voice Search Growth

Google Home

Well, Google has finally done it. Their recent announcement answered the question many have been asking for months, “When is Google going to build one of 'those' devices?” The answer is now. At Google I/O, the company unveiled its new Google Home device along with a personal assistant called ALLO that surely will be integrated into the home device. This is a significant turning point in the IoT (Internet of Things) space because, what might be referred to as Digital Assistant 1.0 (the Amazon Echo) does not have the search experience or capability that Google will be able to integrate into their Digital Assistant 2.0 device.

Voice search is growing. Google Home will accelerate that growth.

Google announced at I/O that 20 percent of all searches have voice intent, which is quite a staggering number considering there 100 billion searches performed each day. Also, in January of this year, our partners at Brightedge reported 58 percent of all question queries have voice search results in Google. The addition of a Google device that requires only voice input should accelerate Google’s indexation of voice content as the search engine evolves to support the Home device experience.

Brands must make a heavier investment in building web page content, leveraging UX teams, and working with SEO specialists to ensure that all content has both SEO keyword and semantic voice relevance (schema technical requirements) if they expect to reach and engage their audiences through this new device.

Content Strategy

The Google Home device will not use an Open API (like Amazon Echo) to build content skills (app experiences, news feeds, quizzes, login management of services). This will limit the open content you can promote and share with users. To maximize your chances of success, it’s imperative to ensure that you create the best voice content and optimize it to rank well in Google search results. Smart investment in content creation, content marketing, and content rollout schedules will be essential.

Also, Google will rely heavily on entity search (Google Knowledge Graph), so SEO will be extremely important to the optimization of all your brand’s Knowledge Graph entities. It will be important, for instance, to ensure that your brand has accurate and up-to-date entity information because Google Home will rely on this data for voice content information to share with consumer queries.

Future State

Google has mentioned in past articles, that Voice Search will be available as a paid format in the near future. A home device that could easily serve up both paid and organic voice search results is definitely something Google is considering. What this will ultimately look like is not yet clear. It could initially be something as simple as the user saying “Keywords + ready to buy” or “Keyword + information” or “more information” command words. This might eventually evolve into a personal assistant that makes decisions based on past behavior, potentially becoming Digital Assistant 3.0.

Final Thoughts

The content evolution is happening. It is (finally) no longer the year of mobile. Now is the year of voice content and content relevance. Google is clearly invested in creating a fixed focus around the growth of voice content and related consumer behaviors. Brands that don’t start to do more – by leveraging both mobile voice search and the soon-to-be-released voice-activated Home device, by creating teams or working with partners to create voice search content programs – will undoubtedly see diminished brand presence in the near future.