SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Lessons from 1,000 Voice Searches (on Google Home)

Last Updated: May 23, 2017

Posted by Dr-PeteIt’s hardly surprising that Google Home is an extension of Google’s search ecosystem. Home is attempting to answer more and more questions, drawing those answers from search results. There’s an increasingly clear connection between Featured Snippets in search and voice answers. For example, let’s say a hedgehog wanders into your house and you naturally find yourself wondering what you should feed it. You might search for “What do hedgehogs eat?” On desktop, you’d see a Featured Snippet like the following: Given that you’re trying to wrangle a strange hedgehog, searching on your desktop may not be practical, so you ask Google Home: “Ok, Google — What do hedgehogs eat?” and hear the following: Google Home leads with the attribution to Ark Wildlife (since a voice answer has no direct link), and then repeats a short version of the desktop snippet. The connection between the two answers is, I hope, obvious. Anecdotally, this is a pattern we see often on Google Home, but how consistent is it? How does Google handle Featured Snippets in other formats (including lists and tables)? Are some questions answered wildly differently by Google Home compared to desktop search? Methodology (10K –> 1K)To find out the answer to these questions, I needed to start with a fairly large set of searches that were likely to generate answers in the form of Featured Snippets. My colleague Russ Jones pulled a set of roughly 10,000 popular searches beginning with question words (Who, What, Where, Why, When, How) from a third-party “clickstream” source (actual web activity from a very large set of users). I ran those searches on desktop (automagically, of course) and found that just over half (53%) had Featured Snippets. As we’ve seen in other data sets, Google is clearly getting serious about direct answers. The overall set of popular questions was dominated by “What?” and “How?” phrases: Given the prevalence of “How to?” questions, I’ve broken them out in this chart. The purple bars show how many of these searches generated Featured Snippets. “How to?” questions were very likely to display a Featured Snippet, with other types of questions displaying them less than half of the time. Of the roughly 5,300 searches in the full data set that had Featured Snippets, those snippets broke down into four types, as follows: Text snippets — paragraph-based answers like the one at the top of this post — accounted for roughly two-thirds of all of the Featured Snippets in our original data set. List snippets accounted for just under one-third — these are bullet lists, like this one for “How to draw a dinosaur?”: Step 1 – Draw a small oval. Step 5 – Dinosaur! It’s as simple…

Source: Lessons from 1,000 Voice Searches (on Google Home)

About the author / 

S K Routray

S K Routray is a computer science graduate and Co founder at Gracioustech.com. He worked as a Online Marketing lead at many MNC Companies. He has passion for writing on SEO techniques, Social Media Marketing and digital marketing techniques. If he wasn’t an online marketer, he'd take his love for food and become a great chef cum hotel entrepreneur. Join NAS Writers team to write for NAS.

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