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Google Voice Search

Google Voice Search makes searching Google virtually hands-free!

Google’s Voice Search technology makes searching the web even easier for browsers – talk to your computer and get exactly what you’re after, or that’s the premise at least. It’s not quite there yet, but early days suggest this latest advance is another feather in the cap of the world’s best search engine.

This technology has been on mobile devices for quite some time, with Google offering a Voice Search app for smartphones since 2008. Essentially Voice Search is just a migration of the same mobile voice search technology to PCs.

Launched last month Google Voice Search is presently only available using the Google Chrome browser on www.google.com. It is not available on Google Australia (www.google.com.au) just yet, nor is it available in other browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer, but it’s to only be a matter of time before it is more widely available.

What do I need to use Google Voice Search?

All you require for Voice Search is a built-in microphone on your PC or laptop or an external microphone. To activate Google Voice Search, just click on the microphone icon within the search field on the Google home page and speak your query.

Google Voice Search is only available in English at the moment – or US English to be precise (which is essentially the same as proper English phonetically).

The advantages of Google Voice Search, Google say, include the ability to quickly search items that are difficult to spell; longer searches or searching when your hands are full or wet or greasy – which would suit people working in garages or kitchens.

Having tried it out, Google Voice Search works pretty well for routine searches for search terms that have no ambiguity in terms of what they sound like phonetically.  There is a need to speak with a high degree of clarity for those words that are difficult to spell and even then, Google’s search results can be off the mark. It’s worth noting that while hard to spell words are easier searched by voice, they can also be difficult to pronounce, so it’s far from a perfect system at this stage.

How is Google Voice Search relevant to Australian businesses?

With Voice Search, long-tail variations of keywords are very much in play – instead of typing ‘tax accountant Melbourne’, a web browser could search ‘the best and cheapest tax accountants in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs’ a lot quicker by speaking it instead of typing. So there is an onus on online businesses to communicate exactly what their business is about – who they serve, what they do, where they do it and how much it costs.

Google’s aim is to deliver the most relevant searches in the shortest amount of time – so showing what is relevant to your target market is very important.

For the latest in internet technologies relevant to Australian businesses, stay tuned to the roi.com.au blog or call us on 1300 650 274 to find out how we can put your business first.