These days, my inbox is overflowing with all kinds of questions about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Many of the questions are about data and vendors (so much confusion about vendors – Oy!) but there are also a lot of questions about Natural Language Processing, Conversational AI, and especially Voice Search.
One of the most common questions about Voice Search? It goes something like this…
“Why do I need to optimize my site for more than just Google? My SEO/Paid/Fill-in-the-Blank person says Google is where we get the majority of our outside traffic and sales. Your recommendation to pay attention to the other engines as well seems like a colossal waste of time and money. We don’t all have the cash reserves your big clients have.”
The variations on this question are endless, and the ones that come in bold, ALL CAPS, 18-point font are especially nasty. They’re also typically written by old-school direct marketers who wrote me similar questions when the “Internet Schminternet” was first gaining popularity. I was much younger then and had far more patience for bad manners, but I digress….
If nothing else, you need to optimize your sites for more than just Google because of Voice Search.
Voice Search will be one of the BIGGEST game changers we’ve seen to date.
BIGGER and BETTER than the “WORLD WIDE WEB” was to commerce 25 years ago.
There are a lot of players in the Voice market, including Alexa, Siri, Google, Cortana, and Bixby.
Alexa is owned by Amazon.
Siri is owned by Apple.
Google Assistant is owned by Google, aka our current Overlords.
Cortana is owned by Microsoft.
Bixby is owned by Samsung.
And we’re not even mentioning the international players, some of whom are far more advanced than the US players.
Right now, Siri dominates voice search usage from mobile devices, and Alexa has a firm hold on the Smart Speaker voice search market. Google Assistant has solid traction on both.
Why does that matter?
Although it changes frequently, several of the Voice Search folks use another company to help supplement their results. Example: Microsoft owns Cortana and uses Bing to power their results. Do you know who else uses Bing? Alexa.
Yep, it’s already messy, and we haven’t even talked about the others.
The point is that you can undoubtedly choose to optimize your site for “just Google.” It just means that you’re putting ALL your money on Google being the one who controls Voice Search on ALL the phones, ALL the intelligent speakers, ALL the appliances, ALL the auxiliary devices, and so on.
Even if you’re a seasoned gambler, that’s a whoppingly BIG bet.
Agree? Disagree? How do you think the Voice Search game is shaping up? Tweet @amyafrica or write email@example.com.
Want some cold, hard stats about Voice Search? Click here now for the Voice Consumer Index. It’s FREE.