Analysis

Have you Started Thinking About Voice Search Yet?

Peter Houston explores how voice search could change the future of SEO, advertising, publishing and media for What’s New in Publishing

Search is back.

Ever since Facebook put down publishers in favour of friends and family, social traffic has been on the decline. Publishers, already frustrated by the lack of revenue coming from social platforms, have been looking again at search for their traffic.

For operations geared to social distribution, re-building search traffic means rediscovering search optimisation strategy and increasingly that means thinking about voice too.

Voice search is growing fast

One stat that leads almost every report describing the growth of voice search: According to Comscore, in 2020, half of all searches will be voice searches. If you need more numbers, here are my favourites from SEO Tribunal’s bumper list of 106 Quick and Fascinating Voice Search Facts & Stats:

  • 600 million people already use voice-activated assistants at least once a week
  • 40% of adults now use voice search once per day
  • 52.8% use voice search when driving
  • 20% to 25% of mobile queries are voice searches
  • 39.3% of voice search users are millennials

The technology to support voice search is now all but ubiquitous, from desktop and tablet to smartphone and smart speakers. As access to the tech has spread, the range of voice-first activities has developed an increasing consumer familiarity with voice interfaces, from straight-forward search to remote device control or calling a cab.

Alongside accessibility, the biggest driver for the expansion in voice search is the incredible improvement in voice recognition performance.

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