The Future of Search Is Voice


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Voice Search, Images and Visual Content are the future search. This is a talk I gave at #InboundYVR on November 29th, 2016 about where I see heading and how voice search will play a key role.

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  • Tonight I wanted to talk about search… or at least where we are going. The future of search is voice, images and visual content. Tonight lets talk about voice.
  • We going to try and cover 3 areas… What is voice search. What does the data say and how to act on it.
  • What do you think of when you hear voice search? … pause 10 seconds.. If no one has an answer I’m going to put my friend Jesse on the spot.
  • Some might think of Iron Man with Rob Jr. and his PA Jarvis that he talks with.
  • If you’re a nerd like me you might have watched season 2 of Mr Robot and saw the scene with the FBI agent and Amazon’s Echo.
  • Those are voice search but at a higher and more complex level I feel. Voice search isn’t that complex from a user POV. Yes it’s complex to execute and make happen but we can go much simpler then Jarvis or Echo or Google Home.
  • If you look at Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report each year then you’ll see that voice search has taken off in the last couple years. It was a minor action we took in 2008 - 2013 but by 2014 it was starting to take off like a rocket ship, which has been because of access + technology. Siri was added in 2011 The technology has become easier to use as it didn’t require software that wasn’t built into your phone. Plus more people started to take their phones as their first device and desktops were more of an after thought.
  • The access is what has really seen voice search take off. If you only have access to voice search on your phone then you might not use it as much because out of sight is truly out of mind as a feature. However, in the last few years we’ve seen more tech from cars, to digital assistants to software on our desktop have voice build in. Voice is now an option on almost ever piece of tech we could or would own.

    Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report:
  • Where does this take us into the future? I’m not one to predict the future as I feel we should shape the future we want then try to guess.

    Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report:
  • by 2020; Baidu chief scientist, Andrew Ng, thinks 50% of searches will be by image or voice search on Chinese search engine Baidu.
  • 30% of respondents found voice input faster than using text, which also makes sense as humans can speak almost 4 times as quickly as they can type, at an average of 150 words per minute (spoken) versus 40 words per minute (typed). While this has always been the case, the ability of technology to accurately parse those words and quickly deliver a response is what is really beginning to make voice input faster and more convenient than text. Google Study: Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report:
  • If we know why and where people are using voice search. Then we have to ask ourselves what are they looking for. Hound app, which to be honest I had not heard about until this report came out put most voice searches into 4 main categories. Even if you’re not in the local search game, can you act on this knowledge? If you don’t think so… wait until a few more slides and you might change your mind.

    Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report:
  • We seen a few of the ways we can think about voice search. We looked at the data behind it… at least the past which can help shape the future but won’t cover everything. Google still gets roughly 20% of text based searches that have never been done before each day. I don’t see that changing for voice search. There are 4 ways we can act on voice search and how we think about it for our businesses.
  • Instead of having 2 - 4 keywords in a search quires. We’re seeing people ask longer tail questions around their needs. Peaking at around 7 words but can be longer then 13+ words long for a voice related search.
  • Personalized + Context Driven answers. Our ability to understand wide context of questions based on prior questions / interactions / location / other semantics is going to become even more important in the future.
  • If you’re not sure what people might be asking for your brand or industry. I’d say check out, which grabs data from Google and Bing’ auto suggest and gives you insight and motivations behind what people are searching for. Gold mind of a tool for just about any marketer or business owner.
  • Gone are the days we’ve ads on the right hand side of a desktop search result. Google is pushing mobile and with projects including AMPs and Mobile Indexing; both are real threats to how we search and what is shown for our business and brands. We have to be careful to not only think about Google but also think about Bing. They own 20% of SERP in USA and UK and just because your content or site looks great on Google doesn’t mean you’re killing it on Bing.
  • Even if we were just to stick with Google but this could equally apply to Bing. How does your content look when someone uses incognito or isn’t logged in. I have gotten better this year but even I still somethings forget that I should see what search results look like on other devices and software beyond Chrome and Android. I’m not my customer many times. Because looking at these 3 results for the same search, you’d think the results should be closer then they are.
  • If we reimagine keywords, intent and SERP. Then a somewhat logically area is to relook at your competitors. They aren’t always going to be who they use to be. It may be hard to compete with Wiki or IMDB..ect But that’s the challenge with the changing landscape. Your competitor list just doubled and now you’ve to defend your castle and brand from two flanks.
  • “While voice search and commands are unlikely to replace typing completely, in many Asian languages it’s harder for people to type using a small keyboard. For instance, character-based languages or languages with a lot of diacritical markers, like Vietnamese. People find it easier to speak rather than type on their phones.”
  • The Future of Search Is Voice

    1. 1. The Future Of Search Is Voice @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    2. 2. Agenda @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR • Voice Search • The Data • How To Do
    3. 3. Voice Search… What Do You Think Of? @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    4. 4. Voice Search…Call Home? @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    5. 5. Call Home @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    6. 6. 2014 - 2016? @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR • Siri: 1 billion June 2015 • Bing: 25% Windows 10 taskbar • Echo: 1 MM sold 2016 • Ford Cars 2017 • Connected Home
    7. 7. 2017….2020? @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR The Future?
    8. 8. @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    9. 9. Why & Where Do People Use It? @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    10. 10. @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    11. 11. How To Act On It? @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    12. 12. Reimagine Keywords @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    13. 13. Reimagine Intent @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR Who & how when and where… …rising almost as fast as how based questions.
    14. 14. @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    15. 15. Reimagine SERP @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    16. 16. Reimagine SERP @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    17. 17. Reimagine Competition @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    18. 18. One More Thing… @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    19. 19. Vietnam… @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    20. 20. The End <> Questions? @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR
    21. 21. Research @DuaneBrown #InboundYVR report-tell-us-about-voice-search/ about-voice-search teens.html from-pubcon-2016-las-vegas