Google promotes voice search with a microphone icon in Google search
In 2016, Google announced that approximately twenty percent of mobile queries were powered by voice search. It is estimated that by 2020, 50% of searches will be voice searches.
Voice search is a growing trend; there is no doubt about that. And Google is playing its part to encourage more and more people to search via voice instead of typing keywords.
After a recent update in that direction, Google has added a new microphone icon to the Google.com search field on Android phones. Previously, users could do a voice search on the mobile web with the help of their Android keyboard microphone. However, this latest change may encourage more people to use voice search.
Take a look at the following image that compares an Android device with an iPhone.
Another major difference is that after doing a voice search, users will be able to see the spoken words and hear a response from Google — instead of just seeing silent results on the screen. It seems like this is Google Assistant in action, but this cannot be confirmed just yet.
It’s important to understand that this is not a new capability. Android users can already do voice searches from the search bar on the home screen — by accessing Google Assistant. However, it can be termed an important step in the direction of familiarizing more people with voice searches.
With this seemingly minor update, Google is conditioning people to use voice search. This may have a significant impact on SEO professionals around the world because Android phones have a big share of the market — especially outside the USA.
If you are an SEO professional or an online business owner, you should start taking steps to optimize your website for voice searches.
Focus on featured snippets and structured data, answering questions, creating an FAQ page, using long-tail keywords, and improving the loading speed of your website to make your website more friendly for voice searches.