What do people search for with their voice using Google Now?

Post date: Aug 13, 2015 1:20:15 PM

In mid 2016 a respected UK digital agency wrote a blog starting that "....no official nor relevant voice search tool exists yet. Which means that 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 quite simply nonsense, as you will see below in a article written (as you can see in the date stamp - I've updated this site's CMS which used to show the original post and the last update dates) nearly a year before (in 2015) the aforementioned article. Here is my latest research from 2016.

Google Now is a voice activated intelligent personal assistant developed by Google and launched in 2012; it is similar to Apple's Siri, Amazon's Echo and Microsoft's Cortana. Google Now is available within the Google Search mobile app for Android and iOS, as well as the Chrome web browser from Google on personal computers. By using Google's Keyword Planner and the free data available from http://keywordtool.io/ (a tool based on Google's Autocomplete suggestions) we can do keyword research see some of what people searching for using their voices on Google.

To use Google Now on a smartphone you can pick up your phone and say “OK Google”... and then your phone is listening. You can use your voice on the Google app or Chrome to do things like search Google, get travel directions, and create personal reminders. For example, you can say "Ok Google do I need an umbrella today?" to see if there's rain in the weather forecast. The data below suggests people use Google Now to find out the time in the UK (at least) an average of 2,400 times a month in the UK according to Keyword Planner research data. It also apparent that people are testing it with phrases that they learnt from ads for the Google Now system which ran on UK television (see https://vimeo.com/98800802) e.g. “ok google show me pictures of a ladybird cake” for which there are (at least) on average 1.9K searches a month in the UK on Google.

* The table below is ballpark, approximate keyword research data just to give an indication of the ways people appear to be using Google Now and what the commands & searches are (for). The list of phrases at the bottom of the page is a list of (voice) search phrases / commands containing with the words “OK Google” and is not an exhaustive list of searches using Google Now, as it's possible to switch on Google Now, pause and then do a search. What might people search for with their voice using Google Home (as well as their competitor Amazon Echo) might be similar).

It appears there may be some searches relating to the Google Now (Android) system among the list e.g. “ok google 4.2” but suffice to say that based on sample of around 150 phrases in my research Google Keyword Planner reported that almost 94% were from mobile devices or tablets):

Mobile devices with full browsers: 59.5%

Tablets with full browsers: 34.2%

Computers: 6.3%

**Searches for the exact phrase only.