Just over a year ago a respected UK digital agency wrote that "....no official nor relevant voice search tool exists yet ... it is impossible to get data from queries that people are voicing with their Google Now..." (thedrum.com/opinion/2016/05/11/your-brand-really-speaking-same-language-voice-searchers-around-globe).
This is nonsense!
Since my last piece of keyword research on this topic in August 2015, the use of Google Now appears to have boomed worldwide in markets that search in English (according to my research using Google data from their Keyword Planner). Other analysts have tried to infer data from Google Trends.
In case you're not familiar, Google Now is voice activated intelligent PA software developed by Google & launched in 2012; similar to Siri from Apple, Echo from Amazon and Cortana from Microsoft. Google Now is available in the free Google Search mobile app for Android & iOS, as well as the Chrome web browser from Google on personal computers.
To use Google Now on a smartphone you can pick up your phone and say “OK Google”... and then your phone is listening. Is it just me that finds that really creepy?
To show the rise we can see in my previous research statistics that there were an average of 4,090,000 searches globally monthly on Google for the exact phrase "OK google” last year - this has boomed to 24,900,000 in Sept 2016, which when you calculate* the percentage of these searches on smartphone / mobile (not including tablet) devices suggests a rise of around 800% in one year alone.
* Around 67% of these searches were from mobile devices with full browsers (not including tablets) in 2015 - in 2016 this figure was 87%.
However, based on data from the UK there was a decline in the number of searches for what were the top 10 most popular direct 'OK Google' commands in my research in 2015
Search Volumes in 2016 for top 10 most popular Google Now search phrases from 2015 in the United Kingdom
* Around 59.5% of these searches were from mobile devices with full browsers (not including tablets)
** Around 83.4% of these searches were from mobile devices with full browsers (not including tablets)
* Around 87.5% of these total searches were from mobile devices with full browsers (not including tablets) in 2016.