How “OK, Google”, “Hello, Siri” and “Hey Alexa” are impacting Search Engine Results Pages (SERP)?

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How “OK, Google”, “Hello, Siri” and “Hey Alexa” are impacting Search Engine Results Pages (SERP)?


We all are familiar with using voice commands for asking recipes, for turning on/off lights, looking for places to eat, playing music/ videos etc. Why is the use of voice command is increasing exponentially, simple, its faster? The average query length for voice is 4.2 words, and the average query length for text is 3.2 words.

An average person types 110-150 words per minute whereas speaks 38-40 words per minute.


What is Search Engine Results Pages (SERP)?

The pages served to users once they enter their search query (specific terms, phrases, Keywords) in a search engine like Google are called Search Engine Results Pages. Following are the different SERP features:

  • Organic Results: Listings of Web Pages that appear as a result of the Search Engine’s algorithm. (Search Engine Optimization of         content and websites)
  • Paid Results: Listing which are bought by bidding on Keywords like Google Ads.
  • Featured Snippets: Listings presented in special boxes providing users with a concise, direct answers to their questions.
  • Knowledge Graph: Listings with information gathered from various sources as infobox.


What is Voice Search?

Voice search is a technology that allows user to perform a search on the internet verbally, it could be by asking a question on smartphone, computer or any other smart device. It is not only a thing of future, but it has also become a part of our daily lives.

As per Wikipedia -The search method is the same as the performing normal search on the website, the difference is the search is conducted using speech, rather than text. The mechanism includes automatic speech recognition (ASR) for input. It can also include text-to-speech (TTS) for output. Users might sometimes be required to activate the virtual assistant before performing the search. Then, the search system will detect the language spoken by the user, then detect the keywords and context of the sentence. Next, the device will return results depending on its output. A device with a screen might display the results, while a device without a screen will speak them back to the searcher.

How voice search is impacting Digital Marketing?

The primary way this impact occurs is through Search Engine Optimization. A survey was conducted by Perficient Digital in which people were asked to select their “First Choice” for how to use their phone to perform a search:


Voice Search and SERP

There has been a shift in Google’s algorithm with increase in Voice Search. RankBrain is a component of Google’s core algorithm which uses machine learning (the ability of machines to teach themselves from data inputs) to determine the most relevant results to search engine queries. Pre-RankBrain, Google utilized its basic algorithm to determine which results to show for a given query. Post RankBrain, it is believed that the query now goes through an interpretation model that can apply possible factors like the location of the searcher, personalization, and the words of the query to determine the searcher’s true intent. By discerning this true intent, Google can deliver more relevant results.

Voice search changes how people search in two important ways:

  1. Searches are longer.
  2. Searches are more conversational.

Voice Commands are more like how we talk or ask questions? The keywords are like natural phrases, slangs and not computer language.

For example: If you have to search “How to bake a chocolate cake”? you will type the query with important keywords “Bake Chocolate Cake”. But when you search the same query with voice command you may something like “OK Google, how to bake a chocolate cake at home”?

These factors have a big impact on how one does keyword research and SEO.

Voice search changes how people get Search Results

Google is slowly changing from a search engine to an “answer engine”. In fact, thanks to SERP features like Knowledge Graph and Featured Snippets, the number of organic clicks have dropped by 37%. Why? You don’t need to visit a site to get your answer. It’s right there in the search results.

 Keyword Research in times of Voice Search:

  • Use Long-Tail Keywords
  • Use more Question oriented Keywords
  • Use more Conversational Keywords
  • Have an FAQ page
  • Snippets Optimization.

The rise in Voice search technology will continue into the foreseeable future. Voice search is already affecting digital marketing, especially SEO.

Businesses must begin to change the way they do keyword research. Similarly, they must start to optimize their content for voice search if they expect to gain from the voice search revolution.


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Written by Tarundeep Kaur, freelance content strategist and writer passionate about SEO and Social Media Marketing in Plano Texas. Loves to cook and paint in her free time.You can reach her on Linkedin