When you wear white, do you inevitably spill something all over yourself?
I do. So when I had sushi at work last week, it wasn't long before I was frantically yelling, "Siri, how can I get soy sauce out of white pants?”
Thank goodness for voice search, am I right?
Although, here's the thing about voice search: According to the 2016 State of Inbound report, a huge number of marketers are making SEO their #1 priority.
But how does voice search fit into that strategy?
While it's certainly gaining popularity -- the search engine Bing, for example, says that 25% of its queries are voice searches -- it’s clear that this technology is still a work in progress.
But that doesn't make it any less important.
To learn more about the challenges marketers face today, download the free 2016 State of Inbound report here.
As people use voice search differently, the way they search in general is evolving.
So how should marketers be thinking about it -- especially when information and research are still limited?
Let’s figure out how we got here, and where we are now.
A Very Brief History of Voice Search
Voice search, as we today know it, dates back to the early 2000s, when Google first began to tinker with how voice recognition could be applied to their products.
A patent was filed by Google in 2001 for a "voice interface for a search engine" -- and in 2004, the search engine rolled out what the New York Times called a “half-finished experiment.”
That was a primitive version of voice search in which users called a phone number provided by Google, asked a question, then opened their desktop browsers to reveal the results.
Luckily -- and obviously -- that technology progressed, seeing many modifications that led to what is now Google’s Voice Search. And until 2013, that technology powered Apple’s Siri.
And although Siri is strongly associated with Apple iOS, it actually began as its own independent app. It was operated by a startup -- also aptly named Siri -- that was eventually acquired by Apple.
In 2011, the technology was built into the iPhone 4s.
But in 2013, that all changed, when Apple began using Bing’s search engine technology to power Siri.
It was a predecessor to Cortana, which launched in 2014 as Microsoft’s -- which owns Bing -- “voice-activated assistant.”
(Fun fact: Bing also powers search engine results that are requested through Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service, or AVS.) Cortana is largely marketed as a full-service virtual assistance platform, which some say is what differentiates it from competitors in the voice recognition space.