First, for those who don’t know what Google Home is, it’s a lot like Amazon’s Alexa. It can do things like giving answers, play songs, tackle your day, listen to entertainment as well as control your smart home with your voice. As Voice search engine optimization continues to evolve, companies like ROAST develop studies to determine how to rank better in voice search devices like Google Home and Alexa.
ROAST compiled a list of “616 key phrases in the UK featuring snippet answer boxes.” After that, they determined what the top phrases were by volume across a variety of verticles like retail, travel, finance etc. They ran the text in November and compared results to Google’s standard search results.
The study aimed to answer the following questions:
- How many of the key phrases were answered [on Google Home]?
- Do the answers given match the answer boxes’ results?
- Which keyphrases prompt Google, not to user answer boxes?
- Can we compare visibility on voice search to answer boxes? Is there a difference?
- In the majority of cases, the Google Home result mirrored the snippet/Answer Box, according to the study. But in a number of cases, when there was a snippet, Home provided no answer or a different answer.
The report was segmented into six categories:
- Standard answer (referencing a source/domain, the most common type of response).
- Location result.
- Action prompt (suggestion).
- Flight search.
- A similar question (“I’m not sure, but I can tell you the answer to a similar question”).
ROAST’s conclusions are:
- Just because you occupy the featured snippet answer box result, doesn’t mean you own the voice search result. Sometimes the assistant won’t give any answer or it references a different domain.
- Watch out for key phrases where Google doesn’t use answer box information for results — for example, fights, locations, actions.
- Google My Business is key to any local related searches.
- You need to start to develop a key phrase list specifically for tracking in voice search reports — this list will be different to your normal key phrase list for search.
I am planning a Google Home Voice SEO Test within the next few weeks and will post my findings here.