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News Update: Are You There, Google Voice Search? It’s Me, Kayla.

May 3rd, 2011 | | News Update

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:

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.

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  • Eric

    It’s only on my Chrome browser (non-extension) but not on my IE or Firefox. It just showed up. The voice commands work as a way to search without google suggest. Here are some interesting results:
    1. “Four times 2″ results in “4 * 2 = 8″
    2. “Four divided by 2″ results in “4 divided by 2 = 2″
    3. “For God is Good” results in “4 God is good”
    4. “Four plus three thousand” results in “4 + 3000 = 3004″
    5. “Three zero zero” results in “300″
    6. speaking an 8 digit phone number in a “phone cadence” splits the numbers into two groups of four.
    7. Speaking “images” “gmail” and other things just lead to the main search function of what is said. “Image of a cow” will not lead to an image search but the phrase “image of a cow” type into the main window. Same thing with video and directions. I tried “Navigate to” and that didn’t do anyting either ;)

    Some operators work, but not all. This is very interesting in what how it makes me think differently…

    • http://www.hanapinmarketing.com Kayla Stockert

      Thanks for your response, Eric!

      Keep us posted if anything else of interest comes up when you try to use the voice search feature!