#WeBuildWednesdays Episode 36: Voice Search Sucks

Voice Search Is the New Buzzword

Hey guys! My name is Mike Norris and voice search sucks.

I’ll tell you why.

Voice search right now is a huge buzzword. Everyone is optimizing for voice search. There are conferences centered on voice search, the future of voice search, and how it’s changing the way we do things. I’m here to tell you today that voice search is not changing the way you do marketing… at all.

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Voice search is not going to change the way you fundamentally do business.

Voice search is not going to change your sales process.

Voice search is simply… voice search.

I want to give a disclaimer: I do have Amazon Echoes all throughout my house. Alexa is basically my second girlfriend. I use her all the time for recipes, turning my lights on and off, adjusting my thermostat–great things like that.  There’s a lot of value in devices like that, but I don’t see voice search changing any businesses.

I’ll tell you why.

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Voice Search, Regular Search; Tomayto, Tomahto.

What’s the difference between a device saying results out loud to you and looking at a screen of results? It’s the same thing. Optimizing for voice search is a hell of a lot like optimizing for regular search.

In fact, it’s pretty much the same thing. Any company worth their salt and SEO is optimizing for search results, period. And voice search is a part of that. Voice search makes up such a small chunk that it’s really not worth a focus. I encourage anyone who’s looking at doing SEO or currently doing SEO to not focus heavily on voice search.

Let’s face it. What companies out there are benefiting greatly from voice search, outside of Google and Amazon? I can’t think of a single one.

People Aren’t Making Business Decisions by Voice

Are you gonna ask Alexa, “Who’s the best plumber near me?”

And Alexa says, “Ted is the best plumber near you .”

And you’re just going to be like, “Alright! Ted’s the best,” or, “What’s the best pizza place around here?”

And Alexa responds, “Phil’s is the best pizza place.”  

And you’re just going to be like “Alright, we’re ordering from Phil’s!”

Realistically, is that how you do your search? It needs work.

On top of that, voice recognition still kind of sucks. You ever tried to talk to Siri, at all, about anything? I accidentally talk to Siri sometimes. I might accidentally push the button and say things, and Siri just performs a Google search with random words in it that aren’t related to what I said. Even when I do intend to talk to Siri, Siri doesn’t know what I’m talking about.

Google Home and Amazon Echo are more advanced—that’s very true. However, people aren’t making business decisions by voice unless they’re purchasing products from Amazon or if they’re looking up trivia, or what actor was in The Avengers. They’re doing things like that. They’re looking up recipes. They’re controlling their home.

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In Conclusion

They’re not making business decisions or a ton of consumer-related decisions. Even those that are, go to places like Amazon and Google. I don’t think voice search is going to change your business and to be honest with you…

Voice search sucks.

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