Voice Search and Content Readability

Last updated 6/26/19

An update to this blog, funny how just a year ago voice search was just coming to the forefront in regards to SEO. Now it’s here and it’s more prominent than ever. “There are reported to be 118 million smart speakers now operating in US homes.

It is believed that today, 2 in 5 adults now use voice search at least once per day, and by 2020 it is estimated by many experts that half of all searches will have shifted from the keyboard to the microphone.

Google revealed that 20% of searches through the Android Google App are now voice searches, and with the company recently announcing that its new version of Google Assistant (due to be released later in the year) it will be 10 times faster than its current version. That combined with the fact that voice search recognition is now at a point of 95% accuracy, it only makes sense that as consumers, we are moving towards the technology more and more.”

As Google is focusing more on voice searches and mobile indexing, content readability is increasingly becoming a top priority with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). First, you must provide the content! It’s a constant reminder that content is still king and blogging is crucial for proper online marketing. Consumers need validation, need proof that you are the top choice. The way to become the top choice is by making your content stand out from the rest. Once you understand what kind of content to pump out, make it good! Get in the mindset of the consumer. What are they searching for? How are they searching for it? What do they want to read about and see when they get there? We not only have to consider the right keyword focuses, but we need to ensure the content we publish is “readable”, that consumers of all sorts can get the information they hoped for no matter their reading pattern.

As Google is focusing more on voice searches and mobile indexing, content readability is increasingly becoming a top priority with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). First, you must provide the content! It’s a constant reminder that content is still king and blogging is crucial for proper online marketing. Consumers need validation, need proof that you are the top choice. The way to become the top choice is by making your content stand out from the rest. Once you understand what kind of content to pump out, make it good! Get in the mindset of the consumer. What are they searching for? How are they searching for it? What do they want to read about and see when they get there? We not only have to consider the right keyword focuses, but we need to ensure the content we publish is “readable”, that consumers of all sorts can get the information they hoped for no matter their reading pattern.

voice search

“Google will, increasingly, assess the topic of a text the way humans assess the topic of a text. People scan through texts, read subheadings and the first sentences of paragraphs. People look for transition words in order to quickly abstract what the main conclusion of an article will be. All the things humans do while reading a text, are things Google will do. That means that the structure of your text, the way you write your paragraphs, will become increasingly important. Core sentences (the first sentence of every paragraph) will gain importance. Having a clear and logical structure in your text will be invaluable.” Read more on Readability by Yoast.

The Key Findings

There were several key findings that were either consistent across the three devices, or that clearly defined the differences between using voice search through a speaker and using voice search through an Android smartphone.

Below are the key findings from our research:

  1. Close to 80% of the answers returned were from the top three organic results (for Android Phones, 72%)
  2. 70% of all answers returned from voice searches occupied a SERP feature (with 60% of those returning a Featured Snippet result)
  3. When analyzing backlinks, Page Score and Trust Score were slightly higher for answers’ URLs regardless of the device.
  4. Backlink anchors and keywords within a title matching the voice search query are present in over half of answer URLs for Google Home and Home Mini.
  5. Text length of the answers returned was nearly the same for every device (around 41 words on average).
  6. Text complexity needs to be simple and understandable for the average reader (ranking around 8 on the Flesch Kincaid Grade.
  7. Pagespeed is very important for all devices — for a majority of questions, the answer chosen by Google loads faster than the average page speed for all other results in the same SERP.
  8. Well-linked pages (internally and externally) are favored within Google Home and Home Mini searches.
  9. Over a third of the answers do not use schema. Different schemas are used, with Article and Organization being the most popular, with low percentages. In non-answers, the use of schema is more prominent, but still no single type dominates.
  10. HTTPS and URL depth seem to be irrelevant for Google Assistant’s selection (because there was no tangible variance between answers and non-answers).

Source

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