Voice Search

Voice search is a special Google search function which allows you to start Google search queries using a verbal language input rather than typing.

How voice search was developed[edit]

The Google voice search was released in 2011. Initially, it was only available for Google.com and only in English. In October 2012, an App was released for mobile Apple devices. Google strived to compete with Apple’s Siri with voice search for smartphones and tablets.

In November 2013 Google introduced the option to use voice search on desktop PCs with “Google Voice Search Hotword.” To be able to utilize it you need to install an extension for Google Chrome. Voice search otherwise does not work in other Browsers. Google introduced German in their voice search at about the same time. The Google video titled “Search Out Loud with Voice Search” shows examples of how Google’s voice search is used.

The Google voice search app has already been downloaded over 100 million times at the Google Play platform.[1]

With the assistance of Cognitive Computing, the computer system can independently learn step by step and thus offer the user a better user experience.


Google voice search is available mainly for desktop PCs and mobile Android devices such as smartphones and tablets. Since the fall of 2012, there has also been a version for iOS to compete with Apple’s Voice Recognition. The once available Blackberry version was discontinued in March 2013.[2] There is no app available for the Windows Phone platform.[3]

How voice search is used[edit]

The extension must be installed on the desktop computer before use. The Google Search app has to be installed and opened on a smartphone or tablet. The microphone must also be activated. The user must now say the words “okay Google” into the microphone which will activate the voice search. Everything said from this point on will be used by Google as a search term.

Benefits of Google voice search[edit]

Voice search makes Google search even more convenient. Accessibility is a definite topic in this regard. People who are struggling to correctly type in search terms at all, can use the search engine better with voice search.

This affects, for example, people who are not good with spelling or have a physical disability, illiterates, elderly users, and those who are not accustomed to dealing with a computer keyboard. The use of voice search can be of particular benefit if you do not know how a search word is spelled correctly or if it is a long search query. Especially with mobile devices, it is advantageous to be able to use the search without typing, since this can be cumbersome with long search terms.

Relevance to search engine optimization[edit]

Voice search is operated differently than the regular Google search. While people usually want to reduce the typing effort by using as few search terms as possible, full questions or whole sentences can be stated with voice search in seconds. Therefore, it can be assumed that the proportion of LongTail search queries will increase affecting the search engine optimization area. This usually happens at the expense of the generic Keywords and hitherto typical money keywords.

Moreover, search engine optimizers are faced with two other trends, local and personal search results. User-defined search results, where the SERPs are re-weighted according to local significance for the user have been around for some time. Google takes into account specific criteria which are determined by means of vocal analyses for personal search results.

For example, if a user searches for the keyword “jeans,” the voice analysis determines whether the user is a female or male user depending on the pitch. Subsequently, the search engine does not output search results for the search word “jeans,” but for “woman’s jeans” or “men’s jeans.” In the context of voice search, the semantic search also plays a major role, making it easier for Google to understand what the user wants to find.


  1. Voice Search App. Appbrain.com. Accessed on 06/12/2014
  2. Google Voice app for BlackBerry to be shut down as of next week. Crackberry.com. Accessed on 06/12/2014
  3. Google Voice app MetroTalk fixes offline calling method in latest update. WPcentral.com. Accessed on 06/12/2014