Is voice search optimization the new SEO?

Is voice search optimization the new SEO?
By the end of next year, about half of the interactions you have with computers will be made via voice. Voice search optimization (VSO) is the new SEO, which is one of the key findings in the 2019 Emerging Tech Trends report published by Future Today Institute.
 
People will be using voice to interact with their smart speakers, cars dashboard and smartphones. “You’ll soon talk more often than you type,” says the report.
 
Voice assistant use on smartphones rose quickly during 2018, particularly in the second half of the year, according to a study by Voicebot. By the end of the year, over 70% of smartphone owners said they’ve used voice assistant on the device like Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Bixby.
 
As content creators venture into spoken interfaces, publishers and other businesses will soon be focused more on VSO. And the emergence of VSO will affect scores of industries: advertising, hospitality and tourism, finance and banking, retail, news and entertainment, education, etc.
 
Now that VSO is the new SEO, companies will need to consider how their audio content can be delivered via conversation interfaces.
 
This signals opportunities. There is an entire VSO ecosystem waiting to be born, “and first movers are likely to reap huge windfalls,” Future Today Institute says.
 
With voice search, people will get answers as part of their conversation with smart speakers or other voice devices. Google, for example, recently released a beta service called Speakable, which allows publishers using Google Assistant to index sections of news articles and optimize them to be read aloud.
 
As smart home gains traction, devices like smart TVs and temperature controls are also getting voice capability. For instance, Comcast lets people make voice queries directly into remote controls.
 
Increasingly we’re also speaking to devices outside of our homes and offices. Amazon and Marriott launched Alexa for Hospitality. Guests can ask general questions to a virtual concierge, as well as request services like towels or a late checkout.
 
Meanwhile, Tel Aviv-based startup Audioburst uses AI to index audio broadcasts and make them easier to be found. Rather than searching for keywords, Audioburst uses natural language processing to automatically discover the meaning conveyed and to produce the right content. For example, if a consumer wants an update on the election, he can ask Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, which will sift through audio information and deliver a set of clips.
 
In 2019, Audioburst and LG Electronics will collaborate to build conversational dashboards for cars.

Security threats 

There are also security threats that accompany the opportunities brought by the voice technology. “We’re starting to see novel attacks against speech recognition AIs,” says the report.
 
Attacks can trick speech recognition systems into recognizing a synthetic voice, sounds that are imperceptible to human ears or even common ambient noises in our homes like the phone ringing. Any of these audio cues can trigger a smart system to do something we don’t want, like making a purchase or cranking the volume up to the maximum level.
 
With our increased reliance on audio search, we’ll need to be more vigilant tracking possible vulnerabilities, Future Today Institute says.
 
Companies that could be making major strides in voice search in the near future are Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Comcast, Marriott, Advanced Media Viacom and Audioburst, according to Future Today Institute.


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