Voice search or quick search refers to the technology of searching by voice, and combining it with communication with search engines to query keywords, to enable users to get the thing they are looking for, whether it is a video, article, product, business name, or other types of content posted on the Internet. There is also another aspect of voice search represented in the voice assistants that allow you to adjust the settings of the devices and learn about a group of information related to the weather, commercial places, and others.

The use of voice search has increased among the pioneers of the Internet, so we find that there are currently many programs that allow them to do so, and it is expected that there will be a great development in it in the future, and this did not come out of a vacuum, but rather for the features that voice search provides for saving time, ease of use and surfing the Internet without Using websites, and if you have a website, it is important to improve your voice search to take advantage of opportunities and keep abreast of developments.

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In this article, you will learn a set of important information about voice search in addition to its software and the difference between it and traditional search, how to improve your position in voice search, and finally the obstacles facing voice search.

What is voice search?

Voice search may be similar to a traditional search, in that it takes users' questions or requests, then searches for results related to the spoken phrase, and then starts showing the results. However, it differs in the aspect of receiving information and presenting it to users, and in the same context it provides more features than controlling other devices, especially in smart homes, and the voice search in the search engine looks like this:

Explanation of voice search

Simply put, voice search is searching the Internet through voice without resorting to using the keyboard, and it can be found on many sites such as Google, YouTube, and sites dedicated to voice search, in addition to voice search devices such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, and software such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana. TVs and other devices from Samsung, Sony, LG, and Amazon.

This software and hardware help to get audible answers to a set of questions, for example: What time is it? What is the expected temperature during the day today? As for websites and search engines, they display results in text form, but some of them contain voice aids such as Bing (Microsoft's search engine). As for TVs, it allows searching mostly for videos and music on the Internet, especially YouTube.

The beginnings of voice search

Voice search is not a nascent technology. It has been around since the 1960s and has since gotten a bunch of updates. IBM launched a Shoebox system that could recognize 16 words in the English language, which was quite a feat at the time.

In the early seventies, the US Department of Defense began developing a computer that could process a range of languages ​​in many fields, and this was followed by a series of research to produce the Harpy voice search system, which was able to recognize 1,000 words. After that, voice search technology witnessed a lot of development and spread among large and medium companies, so it became used in children's games and dolls.

And after the emergence of mobile phones, had a positive impact on voice search technologies, and phone users have become among the most demanding users of voice search services. So, we find that Google launched its own voice search feature in 2011. Then, many improvements followed, so that today it is available on all Google sites, especially the search engine, in addition to the presence of many devices and software belonging to Google or other companies that I referred to earlier.

Now, users can search in their homes, when they drive, in universities, when they watch TV, and anywhere. It is expected that voice search will develop a lot through the use of cloud storage, big data technologies, and the Internet of Things, bringing the rate of speech processing to more than 150 words per minute, whose users are 65% of people from 25 to 49 years old.

How does voice search work?

Without going into complex technical details, voice search engines work through five main steps, namely:

  1. Listening to the user and converting speech into text.
  2. Processing and analyzing this text through Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology.
  3. Search the sources and search engines for voice aids.
  4. Determine the results that are compatible with the researcher's request according to some criteria by crawling these results, and then processing them.
  5. Display it to the user, whether in text form, as is the case in Google and other search engines, or in an audible form, as in voice search devices and software such as Siri, and Google Home.

You may be wondering how voice search software knows these results, through the use of distinctive snippets that allow search engines to understand your site's content deeper, displaying it in an understandable format, and you can easily add it to your site.

As for the data sources for voice search software or hardware, they are a variety of search engines and other websites, especially large sites such as Wikipedia. To promote the spread of your content, it is important to know the places or sources that use this software.

We find Google's voice assistant using the Google search engine itself, and when we switch to Amazon's Alexa, it uses a group of sites such as Yelp, and Answers.com. As for Apple's Siri, it used to use Microsoft's Bing search engine, but since 2017 it has switched to Google. And if you look closely at the results that appear in the search engines, you will find that most of them are related to local searches, that is, information within the borders of the region in which you live. If you search for the word “burger” in Google, you will find most of the options are restaurants near you.

The importance of voice search

According to a report from Google stating that 27% of the world's population uses voice search on their phones today, which indicates that the use of voice search is on the rise, which makes it imperative for companies and website owners to build strategies for optimization from voice search engines, and also for users to know how to search correct and appropriate software until they find what they are looking for. The advantages of this type of research are:

1. Saving time and effort for users

Internet pioneers use keyboard typing to access what they want, whether it is information, a product, a service, or anything else, which makes writing an effort, in addition to the slowness that accompanies it. But with voice search, word processing can reach more than 150 words per minute instead of 40 when typing on a keyboard.

2. Stay up to date

Text search may not be useful in the future, especially with IoT technologies and smart homes. You cannot receive some commands in text form, whether to turn on the air conditioner or turn off the lights, as this may be very stressful and takes a lot of time compared to voice search, in which you only need to say: Turn off the lights.

3. A new channel to enhance the spread of content

Voice search comes as an addition to the well-known e-marketing channels, and is a companion to search engine optimization, as it provides website owners with a new channel to attract traffic to their websites, thus increasing their sales and conversions. This makes it imperative for them to take advantage of this technology through a set of steps that we will learn about later.

What is the available voice search software now?

Voice search has now come a long way, as we find that it has begun to be used almost everywhere from phones, computers, and devices dedicated to voice search provided by the largest international companies, even if it is used in smart homes. Among the software now available for voice search:

1. Google Assistant

“OK, Google” is the command that is used to launch the Google Assistant, as it then provides a set of features related to voice search, and is used to create and manage schedules, and get some help to accomplish daily tasks and control home devices, as well as quickly search for any information. In addition to playing users' favorite videos and songs, making calls, and sending SMS messages.

And for some fun, Google Assistant can sing some pretty songs, as well as tell poetry and jokes. It is used in phones, cars, and home appliances control, in addition to being available in smartwatches and earphones.

2. Amazon Alexa

It is a voice assistant similar to Google Assistant, which also offers similar features such as making and managing schedules, playing music, controlling supported devices, quick web search, and other voice search features. It is developed by Amazon, and it also comes as an application on the phone with the Amazon Echo, which is a voice search device that enables you to control home appliances and other functions. Unfortunately, Alexa does not yet support the Arabic language.

3. Siri

The most prominent voice search device is the voice assistant for users of Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It allows many features, the first of which is controlling the phone or computer, in addition to searching the web, solving complex mathematical problems, spelling names, converting measurements, recognizing the times of aircraft take-off times, and even providing information about aircraft while they are in the sky to identify their destination and from which they came … and so on. that.

There is a difference between using text to search on a search engine and using voice search, even on devices. As a website owner, it is important to know these differences, to improve your website in voice search, and to develop some strategies, especially since in 2020 more than a billion searches were conducted every month, which allows you to take advantage of this huge amount of visitors now. In the future, these differences lie in the following:

First: Voice searches are always long phrases

When a person uses voice search, you find that he says more words than normal when using traditional search, and this is due to the comfort that voice search gives, in addition to that voice search may actually be designed for that. For example, he might search in text form for “the best cafe in Khartoum” and then stop there, but when using voice search we find him saying “the best cafe in Khartoum is open until ten in the evening.” This is an indication that you should pay attention to long keywords and take into account that the search has become more specific.

Second: Voice search focuses on the use of questions

People use voice search assistants constantly, and one of the most common things they use is to answer users' questions, for example: What is the temperature today? What time is it now? Also when searching for anything else, for example: What are the best phones for 2020? People want to know: who, what, why, when, and how to do it. The search method also changes in another aspect. Instead of the user writing: How to improve the SEO of websites, you find him saying: How do I improve the SEO of my website. This will definitely look at keywords, as well as include FAQs in the content.

Third: Local search is a cornerstone of voice search

As I mentioned above, if you search for the word “burger” through voice search, you will find that most of the results are actually restaurants or places near you. Plus, people are already using it for local search, you'll find them asking about directions, locations of organizations, companies, and so on. This makes it imperative to take care of local search engine optimization and proceed directly to add your business to Google Maps.

Fourth: Voice search shows only one result

It is known that in the traditional search, there is a list consisting of a group of up to 10 results, consisting of text results, videos, images, and other excerpts. But when using Alexa or Google Assistant, the result is only one, and it is always optimized and compatible with voice search, which makes the task difficult for website owners. But until now they have the opportunity to rely on voice search on the phone, which shows the traditional results page.

How do you improve your site's voice search?

Of the above, you certainly have the desire to improve your site in the search engines, and to take advantage of all these features in voice search, or we can say it in the future search. In 2022, 50% of searches will be via voice search. Here are these steps to optimize your site to be the result that voice assistants choose every time. In fact, I mentioned some of them when we discussed the difference between traditional search and voice search in the top lines:

First: Long-term keyword targeting

Long keywords are one of the most effective strategies for optimizing from voice search. You need to think about the way people talk and ask questions. If you have a restaurant, target the phrase: the best restaurant in X or that serves X. So the keyword is more specific. rather than being a generic keyword. And you can learn about the keywords that bring you the most traffic from webmasters.

Second: Use Schema

Also called structured data, it improves search engines' understanding of your content, which comes in many forms for example product blueprints, websites, recipes, and articles. Among the best plugins that provide this is the Rank Math add-on for WordPress and WooCommerce, and it can also be added manually if you have programming knowledge.

Third: Focus on the user's location and the type of device used

Voice search algorithms place the utmost importance on location, because they display local search results, and are mostly used by people for local searches. When selecting a keyword, it is better to include the company's website or location on it. As for the device used, it affects the way the user searches. When using the phone outside the home, the search phrases are short and brief, but when using the computer at home, the search phrase will certainly be long.

Fourth: Add your business to Google Maps

This a very important step, and without it, your company or business may not appear in the voice search results, so you should start adding it and making sure that the information in Google My Business is exclusive, correct, and complete, which makes it useful for promoting your business and getting some new customers. You can do so with a few simple steps and confirm your location. And it also makes you benefit from the traditional search and not just the voice search.

Fifth: Add Frequently Asked Questions to your content

Users are always asking questions, so in this case, it is important to create a separate FAQ page or add it at the bottom of your articles page. Which always deals with topics related to your product, service, or content. For example include a question: What is the best coffee shop in Riyadh, and what is the cheapest clothing store in Cairo?

Sixth: Improve the speed of the website pages

Site speed is important when optimizing for SEO and also when optimizing for voice search. The user is user has not changed, but the search method used has changed, it is known that users get out of slow sites immediately, and this happens in the voice search over the phone as it allows users to enter the sites. You should improve the speed of the site and follow the practices that lead to this, such as minimizing images, compressing JavaScript and CSS files, or using some plugins, such as Web Rocky and others.

Voice search challenges

E-marketing is generally surrounded by many challenges, and we find marketers and companies striving to overcome or solve them, often related to privacy, ease of use, and availability, and the same applies to voice search, among these challenges:

1. Privacy

Privacy issues always preoccupy users, whether when using phones, computers, or even various applications and programs, but voice search is something else for them because first it can be used to spy, follow their movements, and record and store their voices. In this regard, there was a legal precedent with Amazon when the Echo was hacked and recordings of users' voices were shared. Also, there have been a lot of concerns about Amazon using this information in its own marketing activities.

2. Problems of dialects and languages

Voice search may be available for a specific group of languages ​​or dialects, which hinders many from using it. If we take a realistic example of this, we find that Amazon Alexa does not support the Arabic language, not even Microsoft's Cortana, and many other examples. Also, voice search may have some difficulties recognizing speech.

3. Background sounds effects

Voice search can be almost impossible when there is background noise, especially when used outside the home, as it interferes with the sound from reaching the microphone of the phone, computer, or voice search device, or the sound may reach but may be difficult for it to understand. Especially if many people are talking at the same time.

4. Hitch Analytics

In the traditional search, it is possible to identify the keyword used, where the visitors came from, and what their devices are, but using voice search, the site owners have no idea about the source of the visitors, their number, or the like. And they have only one chance to get to know this, which is through Google Search Console by looking at the search words used. If it is found that they tend to speak more than write, then the source of the visitor will be the audio broadcast.

The issue is a matter of guesswork so far, and thus marketers or site owners will not get an opportunity to improve the user experience, nor to know the user's intent, which also prevents improvement and building strategies to improve the content and other aspects.


It is expected that the use of voice search will increase in the future, so companies and websites should start preparing for this change, to enhance the reach of their content, and get more traffic, conversions, and sales, there are still some voice search technologies available, such as Google Assistant and the Bing search engine.