Google Publishes Google Assistant & Voice Search Guidelines

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 by Chelsea Farrington


Google Assistant for Voice Search Queries

Voice search is on the rise. Everyone in the digital marketing space is both well aware and wary of it. The reason this has become a source of anxiety for the digital word is simply because Google, the most relevant proprietor of the technology, has been incredibly tight-lipped about how they’ll treat voice search queries. That is, until now. 

Google has recently published their Google Assistant and voice search quality guidelines. These are a set of standards by which Google certified raters (often Google staff) can evaluate the quality of the results that voice search queries are prompting. The tenets being used to rate a response are as follow:

  • Information Satisfaction: Simply put, did the response answer the question?
  • Length: Was the response an appropriate length given the complexity of the search itself? Would the user benefit from a shorter or longer response?
  • Formulation: Was the verbal delivery of the response grammatically correct? Was it organic and colloquial enough to native speakers of the tongue being used?
  • Elocution: Was each word pronounced correctly? Was the speed, rhythm, and inflection of the verbal delivery natural and appropriate?

These guidelines, of course, are very unique to the type of voice searches being conducted given the influx of voice assistant technology. Google categorizes these devices (Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.) as eyes-free voice assistants. Eyes-free simply refers to their lack of an accompanying screen. A user won’t be able to quickly scan a block of text for information, they can only process their answer by listening, which starkly increases the need for a smooth and natural verbal delivery.

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So, what does this mean for you? With these standards in mind, is the content you’re providing enabling eyes-free devices to utilize you as a resource? These devices will pull directly from a site’s written content which means yours needs to be up to par. The Q&A Widget is the perfect format to respond to some of these queries, but it’s imperative that you pay careful attention to your grammar, syntax, and overall flow. If voice results are being rated on these things, and the answer is pulled directly from the text you write, make sure you’re meeting Google’s standards for an excellent answer!

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