How is voice search impacting SEO?

Voice search and its implications in SEO is a big topic. In this post, we look at the statistics mentioned in the top 20 articles for the search query: “impact of voice in SEO”.  Most of them discuss the growth of voice search and its adoption by demographic.

Share of voice search:

The takeaway: most sources agree that today’s share of voice search is about 20% and will grow to 50% by 2020.

  • ComScore expect 50% of online searches will be made by voice by 2020. (searchrise.co.uk)
  • A few resources reveal the fact that approximately 20% of the users are voice searchers and the percentage is keep on increasing continuously. (techcolite.com)
  • Around 20% of queries that are asked on Google’s mobile app, Android devices are voice searches. (dotzweb.com)
  • Depending on which survey or expert you accept, local searches represent somewhere between 20 percent of 30 percent of all voice search queries. (practicalecommerce.com)

Frequency of usage

The takeaway: the rate of daily usage is increasing, and 41% of new voice users only started 6 months ago, which shows how emerging this market is.

  • Google reports that 55 percent of teens and 40 percent of adults use voice search daily; and, according to Google’s Behshad Behzadi, the ratio of voice search is growing faster than type search. (searchengineland.com)
  • Nearly 27% of 2,000 people surveyed use voice search at least once a week, and approximately 22% of these use it every single day – a number expected to grow as AI continues to improve and new devices reach the market every year. (jeffbullas.com)
  • In fact, 40% of adults perform a voice search once per day.” (digidiscuss.wordpress.com)
  • “41 percent of all adults have used voice-activated search on their mobile devices at least once (most frequently, to get directions), and more than 55 percent of mobile phone users between the ages of 13 and 18 use voice-activated at least once per day (most frequently, to initiate a phone call).” (propeller.co.uk)
  • It was also stated that 41% of people using voice search last year had only started in the previous 6 months, and that 1 in 5 searches on an Android app in the USA were through speech. (sozodesign.co.uk)

Demographics

The takeaway: voice search seems more prevalent among teens, but adults are feeling more comfortable with it and make them feel tech savvy.

  • A study from Northstar Research stated that 55% of teens (13-18) and 41% of adults used voice search more than once a day. (translatemedia.com)
  • The study also concluded that people generally use voice search while multi-tasking with 54 per cent of teens using voice search socializing with friends and 23% of adults searching hands-free while cooking. (translatemedia.com)
  • There’s very little data right now on personal assistant usage, but one report suggests over half of adults (56%) are using tools like Siri on their mobile devices. (geonetric.com)
  • Adults are feeling more comfortable with it: 41% talk to their phones every day and 56% say it makes them “feels tech savvy.” (glean.info)

Local-based search

The takeaway: hyperlocal and personalized experience.

  • Mobile voice search is three times more likely to be local-based than text search. (moz.com)
  • It is three times more likely that a voice search will produce local results than it is for a text search. (creativeclickmedia.com)

Technology improvement

The takeaway: it looks like voice technology is ready to go mainstream.

  • Today, Google’s speech recognition error rate is only 8%, down from ~25% just two short years ago. (moz.com)
  • In fact, two years ago word error rate was over 20%, but current speech recognition word error rate is as low as 8%—a huge leap in a short amount of time. (searchenginejournal.com)
  • A report by USA Today shows that the word error rates had come down to roughly 8 percent from 25 percent a few years ago. (resultfirst.com)
  • With Google‘s assistant, nearly 70% of requests are “natural” or made in “conversational” language, and technology has evolved enough that voice recognition accuracy is now at about 95%. (sozodesign.co.uk)
  • With time, word error rate has decreased to 8% and getting better at picking up speech quirks. (aimteck.wordpress.com)

Schema markup

The takeaway: there will be plenty of optimization work to be done by digital marketers.

  • With only 0.3% of websites using schema markup today, you’ll be capitalizing on a huge source of SEO. (jeffbullas.com)

Mobile vs. Desktop

The takeaway:  search results from desktop and mobile are dramatically different, which also requires different SEO strategies for both worlds.

  • BrightEdge (my company) research found that 79 percent of keywords return different results across mobile and desktop, which points to the fact that users expect different content depending on their context. (searchengineland.com)