Google gave us a New Year’s gift this last month by providing evaluation guidelines on how the search engine analyzes voice search queries and produces results. These guidelines provide insights into how you can improve your SEO for Voice Search.
This comes around the same time that Amazon reported that one of their best selling items among its Prime members of 2017 was their voice search console Alexa. This supports most industry-leaders’ predictions that voice search is a large part of the future for Search and SEO. Combine the amount of home devices with Cortana and Siri, and it doesn’t take long to appreciate how widespread voice search consoles are.
Google says that the guidelines, which can be found below, are distributed for the purpose of helping the “research community build and evaluate their own systems.” Whether this is their sole intention or if there are other benefits is a mystery. One can’t help but find this has some added benefits: It operates as a call for ideas to help the search engine improve, to help AI algorithms improve as a whole, and most notably for marketers and business owners, some clues to improve SEO for Voice Search.
The Main Points
- The Guidelines first speak to the length of the answer. The key here is to provide answers in your site that are brief but sufficiently detailed. Think about yourself as a user of voice search and how much time you would listen to a result before you were satisfied with the information provided.
- The next guideline speaks to grammar and formulation. A good way to ensure that your answer pleases the user (and search engines) is to make your content clear and unambiguous. It should also read conversationally.
- The guidelines also speak to elocution, though there is not much that you can do for this, aside from perhaps choose words that are more common and easier for a robot to pronounce.
Taking a step back, understand how voice search is most commonly used. It often is Local (i.e. used for the purpose of finding something nearby) and associated with queries more commonly searched on a mobile device. Your page speed needs to be fast just like it does for other types of search, so it is wise to take advantage of tools like AMP and Facebook Instant Articles. Make sure your business’s information is complete on Google MyBusiness.
Here’s a previously released 160-page Quality Guideline on Voice Search if you’re interested in learning more.
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