Voice Search Technology: Quick and Fascinating Facts

Modern mobile devices are making life easier for everyone, so it is not unusual that most people nowadays have developed an “addiction” towards smartphones and can’t imagine a day without using them. An aspect of mobile use that has become particularly popular today is voice search or voice-enabled technology, and it is slowly changing the way people scour the world wide web for information.

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Therefore, it makes sense that voice search has had a huge impact on how we approach the search engine optimization. If you want your website to be truly optimized for voice searches, you can read some SEO company reviews and hire an expert to help you. However, if you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person, here’s some helpful info about voice search to help you get started.

What is Voice Search?

It is a speech recognition technology which gives its users an ability to search by saying terms aloud, instead of typing them. It is most commonly implemented in smartphones or other web-enabled mobile devices by the biggest technology companies in the world.

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When Was Voice Search Introduced?

Its beginnings date back more than half a century ago in 1961, when IBM introduced the first speech recognition tool called IBM Shoebox. William C. Dersch’s invention was able to perform mathematical functions and perform speech recognition, as it recognized 16 spoken words and the digits 0 through 9.

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What Can Voice Search Do?

Since the creation of IBM Shoebox, hundreds of voice-enabled systems and software have been developed. The most recent voice-enabled devices have numerous abilities such as searching the internet, getting directions, calling and texting, checking the weather, scheduling reminders and events, setting alarms, and many more.

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Several Statistics About Voice Search

The digital marketing agency HigherVisibility conducted a survey on 2,017 mobile phone users to find out when people use voice search and got the following results:

  • 52.8% when driving.
  • 21.3% when doing another activity.
  • 7.5% when watching TV.
  • 7.4% when working.
  • 5.5% when cooking.
  • 2.6% when exercising or walking.
  • 2.3% when showering or using the bathroom.
  • 0.4% when with friends or family.
  • 0.2% when in bed.

Let’s take a look at the primary reasons why smartphone users worldwide decide to use voice-enabled technology:

  • Doing online searches – 60%.
  • Finding information on a product in which they are interested in – 51%.
  • Asking questions – 50%.
  • Asking a fun question – 49%.
  • Asking for directions – 42%.
  • Making a call – 41%.
  • Playing music – 41%.
  • Asking for the weather forecast – 40%.
  • Finding a local business – 34%.
  • Finding info on a local business – 34%.
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These are just some of the facts which along with a hundred other can be found in the following infographic about voice search technology:

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What is the background of voice search technology?

Google first introduced voice search technology way back in 2011. At that point in time, it was more of a novelty than a core feature that a business could really depend on. That said, with the passage of time, there were a number of technological innovations involved in voice search which has now put it right on the forefront of all new age digital technologies.

The adoption of voice search technology among users has been swift too. Statistics report that more than 50% of smartphone users engaged with voice technology on their devices in 2020 alone. With smart speakers now commonly found in households across the globe, voice search is on the cusp of breaking barriers in terms of usage in the digital segment.

Which technology is used in voice search?

Voice technology is built on a software program that is then integrated into a hardware device. This physical device possesses the capability to decode the human voice.

Many often refer to voice technology as speech recognition software or voice activate software too. With the introduction of accessible devices like Alexa, you will find these voice-enabled products in various parts of a typical smart household. Not only does it offer convenience, but it also helps automate a number of household operations.

Is voice search technology the future of digital?

With 55% of teenagers taking to voice search, the space is expected to grow at an exponential rate in the next few years. Experts predict that voice-based shopping is estimated to grow to USD 40 billion by 2022.

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