Voice Search: the Search Engines of the Future are Here

The search segment is developing in a meteoric way thanks to the voice search, the voice search.


A search system that goes beyond the applications in smart mobile phones, due to the progress and improvement of personal assistants and the internet of things. Therefore, we can consider that voice search is one of the most relevant trends of 2019. I tell you more about it!

According to the technology giant Google, “20% of mobile consultations are voice searches. The fifth part of people with mobile phones talk with their devices instead of writing.”

And the trend does not remain solely in these data. We discover how voice search is developing in other areas of interest, what impact it will have at the level of SEO and what will be the route and the next steps of this search system in full rise.

Relevant data about voice search

Without a doubt, it is easier and more comfortable to talk than to write, especially for users of mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets, which in most cases are doing other activities simultaneously.

In general, we can write an average of 40 words per minute, while through speech we can exceed 150. This considerable increase is already evident in the conversations made through WhatsApp. The use of voice notes is replacing written messages; When it comes to explaining something longer, we prefer to express ourselves in a spoken way. You too?

Some of the most relevant data about voice search, in figures:

  • As predicted for 2020, 50% of the searches will be made through speech or images, according to Comscore, so it is necessary to correctly develop the voice SEO.
  • Cortana, the virtual assistant created by Microsoft, has more than 133 million monthly users.
  • According to MediaPost, “in 2020, around 30% of searches will be carried out without a screen”.
  • Also in 2020 “we estimate that there will be 21.4 million smart loudspeakers in the US. UU. “, As predicted by Activate.

From all these data it can be said that the voice search is in full expansion phase, and not only thanks to the use of smartphones, tablets and computers, as virtual home assistants or smart speakers will play a fundamental role. Although, for now, the impact of this trend is more evident in Anglo-Saxon countries, it begins to gain special relevance also in Spain. It’s just a matter of time!

Domestic virtual assistants

Virtual assistants like Siri, the most popular and humanized, created in 2011 by Apple; Cortana, the intelligent assistant of Microsoft; Google Now or Bixby, the most recent, developed by Samsung, are only the first step in the segment of virtual assistants.

Digital assistants for home use, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, have come to make life easier and more comfortable for users in their own homes.

Both play a key role in the transformation of search engine marketing and SEO methodology, which will have to adapt to this new paradigm to meet the special characteristics of voice search.

Characteristics of voice search and SEO impact

One of the most important differences between voice search and conventional search is that the user tries to solve specific questions or doubts. They are carried out as they would pose to a person, which is why different factors intervene such as intonation, semantic richness, grammatical construction and the local character of the search.

These elements are essential to develop the adaptability of SEO at the voice search level, so that it is possible to adjust the way in which we generate online content. We analyze each circumstance particularly:

  • Intonation. Voice search implicitly involves the intonation of the user, a fact that clearly marks the difference with respect to the written search. The intervention of the artificial intelligence will be essential in the near future so that the devices can interpret the intentionality and the state of mind, analyzing the intonation that, by default, accompanies the voice.
  • Semantic wealth. Semantics plays a special role in voice search, since in written searches we use a telegraphic language, without taking prepositions, articles, conjunctions, etc. into account.
  • Long tails, more complete and complex grammatical constructions. By the use of semantics and more natural language, in the search by voice increases the number of words we use.
  • Local strategy. This type of searches are carried out mainly to obtain answers to day-to-day questions, therefore, geolocation will be fundamental for its correct development.

Factors such as the correct application of specific semantics for voice search and the use of structured data will allow creating an effective voice SEO. Therefore, working with related keywords and long tails will be possible to properly position our content. In addition, it will be necessary to give greater importance to the speed of the web and its optimization.

What is Google Hummingbird?

Due to the factors related especially to the type of language mentioned above, it has been necessary to create a specific algorithm that is faster, more precise and more efficient to adapt to the evolution of the voice search, known as Google Hummingbird.

The new voice search format allows us to ask questions to virtual assistants in a more natural way as “good restaurants to eat in Barcelona”, instead of the “good restaurant Barcelona” that we used until now.

This progress requires that the search systems understand what we are looking for, in essence, more complex questions carried out with the use of the voice. From this need arises Google Hummingbird.

Next steps of voice search

It is considered that in the next five years there could be an important growth of the devices with voice assistant.

Big companies specialized in technological development are investing to carry out this type of tools that allow to facilitate the daily life of the people.

As indicated by Juniper Research, a British technology research company, the commercialization of this technology will reach 80,000 million per year in 2023.

The evolution of Smart TV and the new training of Smart Home Devices devices will address more serious everyday tasks such as security at home, control of lights and temperature, among other applications, which will meet the vital and daily needs of users .

In addition, the use of voice search will be applicable in ecommerce businesses, a trend that allows buying even by voice, a utility that is still in gestation phase, since only 2% of users who own devices with Alexa have purchased something through voice search at some point of the year, as Forbes explains. In this same study it is qualified that, despite the low impact of purchase through voice search, “39% of consumers say they trust the recommendations of ‘personalized’ products of their smart speakers.”

Adapt the systems and sales methodology of e-commerce companies will be essential for this option to achieve the planned goals, whose growth to a mass market will exceed 40,000 million dollars in the US. UU and the United Kingdom in 2020.

Voice search is here to stay and transform our daily and professional life thanks to the use of new technologies in a more efficient and faster way. Will it meet our expectations?