Search Engine Roundtable released an article yesterday that explained a new feature: voice search. This feature appears to be available to a limited number of users on a testing basis on the Google search platform.
Essentially, the new feature detects whether you have a microphone enabled on your computer and whether or not the browser you are using will support that hardware. If all systems are a go, when you type a query into Google search, you receive an option to “Speak Now” and your query will auto-populate into the search bar (see screenshot below).
It’s important to note that this feature is accessible as an extension of Google Chrome, but the user who discovered the “Speak Now” ability recently is not currently using said the extension and is experiencing Google search usability similar to that available on mobile devices.
I attempted to see this feature in action myself, but had no luck in getting this speak-search tool to show its face. Mashable reported on the news as well, and attempted to reach Google directly for a statement. This is the answer they got: “Google is constantly experimenting with new features.” Sounds like a vague “yes” to me. Also sounds like it could greatly change the way users search. There is definitely evidence that the mobile version of Google’s voice search is highly user-friendly and satisfactory, so why not roll out the feature to all users?
Here’s my favorite part: have any of you seen this little voice widget appear on your Google search screen? Better yet, what do you think this means for the future of desktop search? Share your experiences and/or thoughts in the comments section below!
For further information about this topic, check out the following links:
- Google ‘Voice Search’ Feature Coming Soon to Google.com: Report-Huffington Post
- Mobile Users Using Voice for Local Searches-BizReport
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more news updates from SEO Boy!
Kayla is an Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.