Although seemingly a fairly new tech innovation, the use of voice search has actually been around for quite a while. Back in 1961, IBM first introduced the IBM shoebox, the first speech recognition tool.
According to a voice search statistics report by SEO Tribunal , the tool only recognized 16 words and digits, including the digits from 0 to 9. It could solve the answers to simple arithmetic problems, and was operated by speaking into a microphone. The device then converted the sounds of the voice into electrical impulses.
Today, voice recognition is getting more and more accurate, and this can be demonstrated if you look at voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Siri. You are now able to do a vast amount of stuff using voice recognition, whether it is as simple as setting an alarm on your phone, sending a text message, or even turning off the light in your living room.
So, why has voice search suddenly had a spurt of popularity and usage if it has been around for so long? Well, one of the most obvious answers is that today personal voice assistants are included in many new mobile phones by default.
For example, iPhone users don’t get a choice about whether Siri will be included in their devices. During the 2016 holiday season, Amazon Echo was Amazon’s top selling product, which meant that countless people had it in their homes at the start of 2017. The sale of this product, coupled with Google Home, is set to expand even further in the next few years.
Voice search has been pretty evolutionary for digital marketers as consumers are now saying exactly what they want, rather than ambiguous searches when using text. When it comes to typing out a search, people tend to be lazy and will use as few words as possible.
With voice search, however, this is not the case. They unconsciously change their behavior and feel the urge to give more information. It is also common for users to turn their voice search into a question, which is not always the case when it comes to typing out a question.
Voice search, especially on mobile devices, is clearly on the rise. This is why companies should be changing strategies to take full advantage of these new opportunities.