What after introduction of Featured Snippets? Next in the broader market experiment started with Featured Snippets is Google Home, the latest digital assistant by Google. After snippets, Google is moving on voice-only search and Google has been building hardware for this feature for a while.
Google search results for desktop are organic in nature. The traditional way is to suggest sites that match with searched query but in some cases, Google also suggests advertisements, knowledge panels and news. Featured Snippets were meant primarily for devices with little room to show results. But they’ve become a hit on desktop searches. Featured Snippets answer questions in a human-friendly way and they rank between advertisements and organic results. The place is called zero-ranking.
Google Home fits into the space marked for Featured Snippets. It is for single-result devices like tablets and mobiles. And the good news for SEOs is that if they can optimize content to feature in the snippets, they can also optimize for voice-search.
Let’s understand the concept of voice-search with examples
Ask Google a question like how many people walked on the moon. In result, you will get a number and a snippet probably giving details about the astronauts and their vehicles. Translate it into voice-search and Google reads the number and then the snippet like “Twelve and the snipped will start like “according to (website name)”.
You see that answer to this question is factual hence easier to answer. Let’s asked another question but different from the first. Who has walked on the moon? Result will be a snippet with no numbers. And the Google will read it in the way “according to (website name)” and then it will mention names of the astronauts who walked on the moon.
But if you ask a question that can’t be answered in a straightforward manner, you will find that Google Home truncates the information. Answering how do I get to the moon in voice-search won’t be an easy job as it includes several steps and Google has to read every step with clarity. But the problem is due to the snippet as Google reads the snippet.
Ask list all the moons and the resulting snipped lists all the moons but in voice-search Google reads names of the moons taking pause as periods. And it looks like a mess. But some questions get no results on voice-search. Google Home can’t answer list of ISS missions but the resulting snippet has comprehensive details of expedition/crew/flight-up. It is so because the resulting snipped is difficult to be read in words.
Google Home can give better answers to questions related to day-to-day businesses. If it is asked “what is page authority”, it can give a definite and satisfactory answer in snippet and then read the snippet. Similarly other queries related to information on marketing processes and products can easily be answered in through voice-search.
As of now, Google Home doesn’t provide search marketing opportunities as it direct translation of Featured Snippets. A voice-search can’t help without a corresponding click that measures the answer. Also it isn’t known how Google monetizes voice-search. Google itself can’t answer these questions.
Future of Google Home
It’s worth exploring the voice-search opportunity because Featured Snippets have already taken search marketers by surprise. If you win a snippet, you get a chance to figure in organic search and also the snippet positions you in mobile search. Google is working on the voice search and soon there will be corresponding link for voice-click like Amazon Echo’s app does with Bing searches. Or the voice-search will open a page on the device. Investing on voice-search today will create opportunities for tomorrow as the voice-search market is certain to grow.
Feature Snippets broaden the search results by adding a new search term called “Zero-Ranking”. It isn’t organic search but real time results served by Google. Its advantage is that any website can achieve zero-ranking by providing right answer to search queries. After Featured Snippet, Google is working on voice-search called Google Home. Presently it is in nascent stage but growing at a fast pace. It’s time search marketers see the opportunity and get prepared to expand their reach using voice-search that will future of search.