Google has had the monopoly for so long now that it’s beyond synonymous with search, it is search.
However, deep from the Silicon Valley labs in 2011, a team of software engineers decided to launch a voice AI-enabled device that could respond to the human voice and react accordingly. That tech was Apple and its product name was Siri. In more recent times Amazon developed Alexa and virtually gave the Echo Dot device away (making little or no profit) to get it into the homes of millions of home users.
Its 2019 and Amazon dominate over 30% of the smart speaker market having sold over 40 million Echo Dots whilst Google has deployed more than 16 million of its Home devices.
Here’s the interesting part. 65% of 25-49 year olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once per day and half of all online searches will be voice searches 2020.
Some say 2019 is the year of voice search and I kind of agree. What’s remarkable is that for all these years Google has had the monopoly, but now there’s a new way to search. There’s a new Oracle in town.
Alexa is the king of voice search
Position zero as it’s known, is how virtual assistants tend to your search query. You get one answer, not two or three or pages beyond pages of results. Inevitably this is creating a new war for the first position and Google no longer dominates the algorithm. So, consider this, how will your business rank in the world of voice search, how will you bridge your customers with your business in the world of smart speakers and voice AI technology? One thing is for sure, the world needs a new Matt Cutts that can talk to us about how to optimise our businesses in this new voice-controlled world.
When opportunity knocks, answer the door
This is potentially a seismic shift in the age of the internet. AI is set to be our new digital companion and whether we like it or not our personal and work lives will involve a monumental step in our we interact with computers. The once thought of novelty is now a major search tool and swiping and touching screens is already starting to take second place to talking to technology.
It’s difficult to predict a winner, however, voice is definitely shaping up to be the user interface of tomorrow.
Businesses should embrace voice search early
For years we’ve been trying to master Google search algorithms and no business can say it’s either easy or perfect at optimising their content for the organic search results. Voice search optimisation (VSO) takes SEO to another level and adds the complexity of AI and natural language understanding. VSO is a grey art, at least for now. So best to get a head start and figure it out before your competitors do – if you’re to dominate your field in position zero.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.