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Voice Search Use Declines Due To Inconsistent Performance

August 9, 2019 Melissa Piccinich

In a recent study, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s HomePod, Samsung’s Bixby and Google’s Home and Assistant were put to the test to see how accurate each system could be when answering consumer questions on big brands. Google assistant dominated, but the results won’t make marketers raise their voices in celebration of voice search.

Google Dominates Voice Search Performance While Amazon Leads In Smart Speaker Sales

In the voice search test performed by VoiceBot AI, each voice system was asked hundreds of questions about top consumer brands, such as Starbucks, Chevrolet and Adidas. Questions ranged from inquiring about beauty tips to asking for automobile advice.

The voice search results show the percentage of how often a device produced relevant responses to brand-related questions:

  • Google Home: 93%
  • Google Assistant: 81%
  • Amazon Alexa: 34%
  • Samsung Bixby: 32%
  • Apple HomePod: 28%

Even though Google won the voice search test by a landslide, the Google smart speakers are not the best-selling of the smart speakers. Amazon Alexa still has a hold on the majority of the smart speaker device market.

Voice Search May Be Trending Down

Apple first introduced Siri in April 2012, and Siri’s now familiar voice ignited the voice search revolution. The next four years brought major artificial intelligence (AI) voice devices to the market including Microsoft Cortana in 2014 and Bixby in 2017. The hyper-active market expansion of AI-enabled devices initiated a shift on the view of traditional SEO.

As of 2018, 16% of searches were initiated by voice. Achieving one-sixth of the search share in just a handful of years is significant, but recent reports have shown a potential decline in voice searches. With the poor performance of voice search results across so many platforms, a slip in use is hardly surprising.

Digital Marketers Should Rethink Voice Search Efforts

While voice search is not likely to greatly impact marketing efforts today, when it comes to the still-evolving voice search trend, digital marketers should:

  • Consider restricting voice search efforts for now. Marketing is often about tradeoffs. While it’s fun to dive into a new channel or opportunity, if it shifts resources away from other efforts it needs to deliver results. Until voice search is proven to be effective for marketers, restricting efforts to further develop voice search may make sense.
  • Monitor voice search performance, and be prepared to take action. When voice search accuracy improves, consumer adoption will likely pick up quickly. Be prepared to take action when this happens. Building out text-based content with material that satisfies long-tail keywords can help with this preparation.

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About the Author

Melissa Piccinich

An innovative problem solver by nature, Melissa Piccinich is both experienced and passionate about the digital marketing industry. She has held a number of high-level positions within the real estate, mortgage, entertainment and digital advertising industries, including Director of PR and Business Development at NJ Lenders Corp. and Director of Communications & Government Affairs at Eastern Bergen County Board of Realtors. As Director of Content at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), Melissa demonstrates a strategic, creative and tactical approach when handling the thought leadership programs and marketing and communications efforts for DMS and its family of brands. She manages all conferences, sponsorships and event execution and plays a pivotal role in the creation of written, digital and video content for all campaigns. Melissa has consistently positioned the team at DMS as experts in performance marketing across multiple industries.

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