Google Launches New Voice Search Markup

Google Release New Voice Search Schema

Google have launched a new voice search or “speakable” structured data to adapt to the rise in voice search. This structured data is code which can be added to your content to mark up sections which may be most relevant to be read aloud by a digital assistant. This is a brand new feature which is in experimental stages in the US, but may be rolled out to the UK in the near future.

What is voice search?

Voice search is a speech recognition technology used by digital assistants that allows users to search for information by speaking aloud.

It is gradually becoming a more popular way of interacting with technology as 20% of mobile search queries are now being initiated by voice. It’s predicted to rise to 50% by the end of the decade.

Other digital assistants such as Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant are also on the rise. According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), Amazon has sold 5.1 million Echo devices since its introduction in 2014.

While voice search has primarily been used to complete simple tasks for users, such as telling the time, reporting the weather and setting reminders it is now more capable and accurate in answering complex queries.

How will voice search affect SEO?

Whilst not directly affecting SEO at the moment, it is likely to have an impact in the future as it could change the way users interact with sites.

Google digital assistants such as Google Home and Android devices report the top results from the search engine result pages (SERPs) to users. Therefore being at the top of Google’s results is more important than ever.

The aim of SEO has always been to organically increase the visibility of pages through quality content and answering the queries of users with a focus on keywords. But optimising for voice search involves thinking about how people actually talk.

For example when users currently type a phrase in to Google, they will most likely use keyword based terms like “best cafe Sheffield”. With voice search, users are more likely to use sentences, such as, “which is the best cafe in Sheffield?”

Voice search is unlikely to replace traditional mobile and desktop search methods for the time being. However, optimising for voice may become a useful technique for some industries in the near future. To learn how to prepare your website for voice search, contact us!