Voice search can be summed up by the following statement/question.
Hey Siri! Where’s the closest petrol station to me?
That, in a nutshell, is what voice search is. Ask any AirPods user. Or any owner of a device that has Amazons Alexa or Google Assistant, and they will tell you how it has become more prevalent in their day-to-day lives.
For years companies have built their websites based on traditional keyword strategies alone. But since late 2019 many of those companies have suffered a drop off in search results. Why?
BERT! No, not Ernie’s mono brow touting mate from Sesame Street, but the Google “Natural Language”Update from Q4 2019.
You see, the AI that produces your search results has traditionally struggled with the English language. And the way we tend to use it. Which is why it has been so dependent on ‘Keywords” over the years. Consider the statement “I’m going to the Bank”. Now, as humans, we can make assumptions about that statement. Such as, that person was talking about a home loan earlier in the day, therefore they must be referring to the sort of bank that provides home loans.
But if we take the same statement in isolation with no other context, it becomes a little more confusing. It could be that we are off to the river bank to go fishing. Or, we could be going to the bank to deposit some money. Either way, if you apply that scenario and the nuance the English language throws up, you can start to appreciate how hard search can be. We also get some insight into exactly how much potential information there is for a keyword based question.
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