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The Effects of Voice Search on Google’s Search Algorithm

The impact of voice search on SEO

Voice search has taken the world by storm. According to Google, 27% of the online global population is already using voice search on mobile devices. It also predicts that 62% of the smart speaker owners will use voice technology to make purchases in the upcoming months.

This rising tide of voice search is set to bring about a significant change in the SEO landscape. If you want your website to rank high on Google, you can’t ignore this trend.

It’s not long before optimising your website for voice search becomes just as important as optimising it for mobile devices. So, it is important to understand the effects of voice search on Google’s search algorithm:

Natural, Conversational Language

A significant impact of voice search on Google’s search algorithm is that it now values results with content that has a more conversational tone so that it can answer voice search queries.

This means that you can no longer solely rely on keywords. The natural language and ability to address the searcher’s intent now carries more weightage in the eyes of the Google algorithm.

The intelligent personal assistants (IPAs), including the Google Assistant, are more determined than ever to provide the searchers with direct answers to their informational queries rather than providing a list of websites.

As a simple example, when you voice search “what’s the population of US?” the Google Assistant will immediately come up with the answer “331 million”.

Similarly, for transactional and navigational queries, such as “tickets for Jumanji movie” and “PayPal app,” Google will prioritise websites that can provide direct answers.

Therefore, adopting a conversational tone in your website content is now more important than ever. Optimise your content by using simple sentences and phrases that Google can recognise as direct answers to search queries.

Local SEO

Google now shows a map with your current location when you search “where am I?” Likewise, when you search, ‘things to do in London’, you will be presented with the popular attractions in the city. This wasn’t the case 3 to 4 years ago,

Having said that, voice searches are 3 times more likely to be local-based than a written query. According to Search Engine Land, consumers prefer ads that are located nearby over others.

Since the most important thing Google algorithm cares about is the search intent, local business websites are likely to rank better for queries in the future. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses with a local presence.

Final Word

Voice search is set to bring yet another significant change in the way Google’s search algorithm ranks websites. Based on what we’ve discussed above, you should start optimising your website for voice search starting today.