We analyzed 10,000 Google Home search results to answer the question:

How do you optimize your site for voice search?

Specifically, we investigated the role of 11 potential ranking factors (including Page speed, Schema, and HTTPS) on voice search results.

And in this post I’m going to share what we discovered.

A Summary of Our Most Interesting Findings Are As Follows:

1. PageSpeed appears to play a major role in voice search SEO. The average voice search result page loads in 4.6 seconds (52% faster than the average page).

2. HTTPS websites dominate Google’s voice search results. In fact, 70.4% of Google Home result pages are secured with HTTPS.

3. Google prefers short, concise answers to voice search queries. The typical voice search result is only 29 words in length.

4. Schema may not play a key role in voice search rankings. 36.4% of voice search results come from pages that use Schema (which is only slightly higher than the worldwide average of 31.3%).

5. Authoritative domains tend to produce voice search results significantly more than non-authoritative domains. In fact, the mean Ahrefs Domain Rating of a Google Home result is 76.8.

6. Content with high levels of social engagement tends to perform well in voice search. In fact, the average voice search result has 1,199 Facebook shares and 44 Tweets. 

7. Simple, easy-to-read content may help with voice search SEO. The average Google voice search result is written at a 9th grade level.

8. We found that very few voice search results had the exact query in their title tag. Therefore, creating individual pages for each voice search query doesn’t appear to be an effective voice search SEO strategy.

9. The average word count of a voice search result page is 2,312 words. Therefore, Google tends to source voice search answers from long form content.

10. Content that ranks highly in desktop search is also very likely to appear as a voice search answer. In fact, approximately 75% of voice search results rank in the top 3 for that query.

11. Appearing in a Featured Snippet may help you rank in voice search. 40.7% of all voice search answers came from a Featured Snippet.

I have detailed data and insights from our findings below.

Fast-Loading Websites Appear To Have an Edge in Google Voice Search Results

To uncover the relationship between website loading speed and voice search, we analyzed the PageSpeed of the results in our data set.

And we found that the typical loading speed of a voice search result was much faster than most webpages.

Specifically, our data found that the average Time to First Byte (TTFB) of a voice search result was .54 seconds (vs. the worldwide average of 2.1 seconds).

Time To First Byte (TTFB)

We also found that the time it took for a search result page to load completely (4.6 seconds) was significantly faster than most pages (8.8 seconds).

Time to load

As you might have heard, Google recently unveiled their “Speed Update“.

speed update

This update makes a site’s loading speed a more important ranking signal than ever before. In fact, in the post announcing the algorithm update, Google states:

Google webmaster blog

And this philosophy likely also applies to Voice Search results.

When you ask Google Home or Google Assistant a question, you don’t want to stand around waiting for device to spit out an answer. You want your answer ASAP. Therefore, it’s plausible that Google’s voice search algorithm would use page loading speed as an important ranking factor.

And our data supports this theory: voice search results tend to load significantly faster than most web pages.

Key Takeaway: Google’s voice search algorithm may use PageSpeed as a key ranking signal. In fact, the average voice search result page loads in 4.6 seconds (which is 52% faster than the worldwide average). Therefore, if you want to rank in voice search, make sure your site loads as quickly as possible.

HTTPS-Secured Websites Dominate Google Voice Search Results

Google has stated that HTTPS can give your website a “minimal boost” in the search results.

But does this also apply to voice search?

Our data suggests that HTTPS might play an even more important role in voice search than in desktop or mobile search.

In fact, we discovered that 70.4% of voice search result URLs have adopted HTTPS (compared to only 50% of Google desktop results).


As with many of the other factors we investigated, this relationship could be chance correlation. After all, if you take the time to write search engine optimized content, you’re also willing to spend the time and money required to set up HTTPS.

The counterpoint to that is that voice search results tend to use HTTPS significant more (70.4% vs. 50%) than the other results on Google’s first page, which are also presumably optimized for SEO.

Does Google consider HTTPS more important for voice search results? It’s impossible to tell from our data alone. However, if you want to rank in voice search, HTTPS may help.

Key Takeaway: Voice search results are significantly more likely to use HTTPS than other websites ranking on Google’s first page. Therefore, implementing HTTPS may improve your chances of appearing as a voice search result.

Voice Search Results Tend to Be Short and Concise

It’s clear from reading Google’s Voice Search rater guidelines that they want voice search results that are very brief and to-the-point.

Word length

In my opinion, the examples given in the rater guidelines are an appropriate length. However, Google disagrees. They want voice search answers to be as concise as possible.

And our data supports this. In fact, we discovered that the average voice search answer is 29 words.

Average number of words

For example, here is a query and answer from one of the 10,000 searches we performed for this study:

Google Home – Question/Answer

That answer is representative of a typical Google Home answer (in fact, it’s exactly 29 words).

So if you’re optimizing your content to rank in Google Home or Google Assistant, make your answer snippet as short as possible (while still providing a thorough answer to that query).

Key Takeaway: Google voice results tend to be very concise. In fact, the average voice search result is only 29 words long. So to optimize for voice search SEO, aim to make your answer snippets approximately 29 words long.

Using Markup May Not Help Your Voice Search Rankings

You probably already know that markup can help search engines better understand your content.

But does using Schema have an impact on voice search results?

Probably not.

Our data discovered that 36.4% of voice search result pages used Schema markup (vs. 31.3% for the average page on the internet).

Using Schema markup

Although voice search result pages tend to use Schema slightly more often than your average web page, the difference is not significant. Also, 63.6% of voice search results don’t use Schema at all.  Therefore, it’s unlikely that Schema has a direct impact on voice search rankings.

We also analyzed the type of Schema used most often on voice search result pages. Here’s what we found:

Analyzing Schema results

It’s impossible to say from our data alone whether Schema can help you rank better for voice search queries.

That said, when used properly, Schema can improve your search visibility on any platform. So it makes sense to use it, even if it won’t necessarily help with voice search SEO.

Key Takeaway: Schema can help your overall SEO efforts. However, our data suggests that it doesn’t appear to impact voice search rankings.

Websites With Strong Link Authority Tend to Rank Best In Voice Search

We all know that backlinks form the foundation of Google’s desktop and mobile algorithm.

To see if backlinks play a role in voice search, we analyzed each result for its Domain Rating and Page Rating (two metrics developed by Ahrefs to evaluate website and page-level link authority).

And we discovered that the average Domain Rating of a voice search result was 76.8.

Average domain rating

Needless to say to anyone that works in the SEO industry, this is a considerably high DR.

Interestingly, we found that the link authority of voice search result pages were significantly lower. In fact, the mean Page Rating of a voice search result was only 21.1.

Average page rating

What might explain this?

Unlike with a traditional search, where you get a list of 10 blue links, Google Home gives you a single answer to your question. This means that Google needs to be extremely confident that they’re giving you accurate information.

And to help ensure accuracy, the voice search algorithm may rely on domain authority over page authority.

In other words, once Google finds a plausible voice search answer on a trusted website, they don’t care how many links are pointing to the page itself.

For example, here is one of the voice search results from our study:

Google Home – Question/Answer

The DR of the site that result comes from ( is 93. But the authority of the page is only 14.

Key Takeaway: The average Domain Rating of a voice search result is 76.8. Therefore, Google’s Voice Search Algorithm may emphasize trusted, authoritative domains.

Highly Shared Content Appears Often in Voice Search

Our study found that voice search results tend to have a relatively high number of social media shares.

Number of shares

Considering that half of all content on the web gets 2 Facebook shares or less, an average Facebook share count of 1,199 is striking.

With that, I should be clear about something: it’s extremely unlikely that the voice search algorithm uses social signals. This is likely a case of correlation, not causation.

In fact, Google has gone on the record several times to say that social signals aren’t used in their algorithm.

social signals seo post

And it’s hard to come up with a reason that the voice search algorithm would use social signals.

That said, this data does tell us something: valuable, engaging content performs well in any search engine environment. And voice search is no exception.

Key Takeaway: Publishing valuable, highly-shareable content may improve your chances of ranking as a voice search result.

Content That’s Easy to Read and Understand Ranks Well in Voice Search

Google’s official Voice Search Rater Guidelines emphasize “Elocution”:

google voice search guidelines

This is basically: “Was it easy to understand the answer to your voice search?”.

Needless to say, the simpler the language used, the easier it is for Google to nail the Elocution factor.

Indeed, we found that the average Google Voice Search result was written at a 9th grade reading level.

Average reading level

For example, here is a query and result from our data set:

Google Home – Question/Answer

The readability of that result is at a 3rd grade level.

That said, our data doesn’t prove that Google uses reading level as a ranking factor in their voice search algorithm. But it’s possible. After all, it would make sense for the voice search algorithm to rank content that’s easy to understand.

Just think about how radically different a Google Home result is vs. a list of 10 blue links:

  • It needs to contain simple words that are easy for Google to pronounce
  • You need to comprehend the information without any visual reference
  • You’re not easily able to look up challenging words or phrases

With that in mind, it’s plausible that Google may measure reading level and use it as a voice search ranking factor.

Key Takeaway: The mean voice search result is written at a 9th grade reading level. Publishing simple, easy-to-understand content may help with voice search SEO.

Very Few Voice Search Results Contain The Exact Keyword In Their Title Tag

Should you create a piece of content for every single keyword that you want to rank for?

When it comes to voice search at least, the answer appears to be: “no”.

In fact, only 1.71% of voice search results use the exact keyword in their title tag.

Exact keyword in title

For example, this is a representative query and result from our data set:

Google Home – Question/Answer

The text that matches the voice search query is smack dab in the middle of the page (not in the title tag):

Guinea pigs

It appears that Google may de-emphasize the importance of a page’s title tag in the voice search algorithm (at least compared to desktop search, where it still plays a role).

If true, this would make sense for two reasons:

First, approximately 20% of all mobile searches are now voice searches (and according to Comscore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020). With so many voice searches, it’s impossible for Google to find a page dedicated to every query. Instead, Google explores the entire page for the best match for that particular voice search.

Second, people use voice and desktop searches in different ways. Specifically, voice searches are 76.1% longer than text-based searches. Longer searches make it even less likely that the exact phrase is going to appear in the limited space of a title tag. Again, Google voice search may largely ignore the title tag and find the nugget of information that it needs in the main body content.

In short, don’t worry about creating individual pages that are each optimized around individual keywords. Instead, write in-depth content that can answer several different voice search queries on a single page.

Key Takeaway: Title tag optimization doesn’t appear to play an important role on voice search SEO.

Long-Form Content Tends to Rank Best in Google Home Searches

We set out to see if longer content (>1,000 words) ranks best in voice search.

We did, in fact, discover that Google voice search results predominately come from pages with a high word count.

Specifically, we found the average word count of a Google voice search results page to be 2,312 words.

Average word count

Does this mean that, like with desktop searches, that Google Home has a preference for pages that have a certain word count? Unlikely.

After all, as we previously outlined, voice search results are relatively brief (averaging at 29 words). So there’s no reason for Google to prefer that such a small snippet comes from such a large page.

Instead, this is likely due to chance: more words=more opportunities to “match” as a voice search result.

That said, for that reason alone, you may want to publish longer content in order to rank more often for voice searches.

In addition to the sheer number of words, the structure of your content may play a role in voice search SEO.

We found that, for results where Google provided a source for their answer, 2.68% of voice results came from FAQ pages.

Results from FAQ pages

This makes sense. A good chunk of voice searches are long, question-based queries. In other words, the exact type of questions that are likely to find a match on an FAQ page.

Also, FAQ pages are in a format that’s perfect for voice search: a conversational question and a brief answer right underneath it.

Here’s an example search from our dataset:

Google Home – Question/Answer

And the source of the answer (an FAQ page):

Progressive FAQ page

Key Takeaway: Longer content means more opportunities for the text on your page to “match” a voice search query. Also, FAQ pages tend to perform particularly well in voice search.

Higher Rankings=Increased Likelihood of Being a Voice Search Result

Our research found a clear connection between rankings and being chosen as an answer for Google Home queries:

Ranking .vs. Google Home choice

Specifically, we found that 74.9% of Google Home results came from a page ranking in the top 3 for that keyword.

In other words, the higher a page ranks for a specific keyword, the more likely Google will choose that page as the voice search result.

I should point out that there’s a strong probability that this finding is pure correlation and not causation. After all, as we previously discussed, sites with high domain authority are preferred sources of voice search answers. And websites with a high domain authority also tend to rank well in Google.

Or it could be that Google wants to give voice searchers content that’s already proven in the traditional SERPs. Therefore, they prefer to grab voice search results from high-ranking content. It’s impossible to say from our data alone.

Regardless, the relationship is clear: higher rankings in desktop search=higher chances of being a Google Home voice search result.

Key Takeaway: Pages that rank in the top 3 results in desktop tend to dominate voice search results. 74.9% of Google Home results are sourced from a page that also ranks in the top 3 for that keyword in the desktop SERPs.

Appearing In Featured Snippets Appears to Be Extremely Helpful for Voice Search SEO

In many ways Featured Snippets are ideal voice search results. They’re concise answers pulled from trusted, authoritative sources.

Featured snippet

So we set out to see how many voice search answers were simply pulled from the Featured Snippet for that keyword (in desktop search).

And we discovered that 40.7% of all voice search results came from a Featured Snippet.

Results from Featured Snippet

I should point out that, for this particular analysis, we only looked at voice search results that cited a source (for example, “According to…”).

(That said, 70% of Google Home answers from our data set cited a website source. So this is representative of most voice search results).

For example, here is an example of a Google Home question and answer from our study:

Google Home – Question/Answer

And sure enough, when you search for that keyword in Google, that exact answer is also found as a Featured Snippet.

Featured Snippet

Key Takeaway: Appearing in a featured snippet seems to help, but isn’t necessarily required, to rank in voice search. 40.7% of voice search results are pulled from Featured Snippets.

Putting It All Together, Here’s an Anatomy of a Page Optimized for Voice Search SEO:

How to optimize for Google Home

Summary and Conclusion

I’d like to give a big “thank you!” to Backlinko’s CTO, Lloyd Jones, for collecting and analyzing all of our data. This study would not have been possible without his hard work and dedication.

And here’s a link to our study methods.

Now it’s your turn:

What’s your #1 takeaway from this voice search study?

Or maybe you have a question about the results.

Either way, I’d like to hear from you. So go ahead and leave a comment below right now.

  1. Hats off to everyone in the Backlinko team for compiling the data for this amazing resource and presenting it in such a visual way. Incredible work as always Brian! Are there any tools currently out there or in development that compile data for voice searches similar to a keyword research tool? And which industries do you think this will have the most impact on this year?

    1. Cheers, Sam.

      Right now, Google doesn’t provide any voice search data (it’s still super early). That would be an awesome tool.

      In terms of industries, I’d say every industry will be impacted. But only certain keywords will be affected by VS. Basically, any search where people want quick or at last quick-ish answer will start to become mostly searched for by voice. But anything that requires lots of reading and research will probably stay as it is now.

    1. Thanks Jean-Christophe. HTTPS does seem to be important for voice search rankings. It’s good to have anyway, but this makes it even more of a no-brainer.

  2. Holy Rusted Metal, Batman! Brian, you’ve really nailed it with your style of presenting data studies and the actionable results from them. I especially appreciate, as someone that worked with you before on a similar study, the transparency you provide readers with the second doc that goes into the nitty gritty of the research process.

    Also, kudos to you Lloyd since you were the main data guy here. I spoke to about 400 people last week at a conference and the presentation was “Hacked the Google Robot: Here’s What I Learned.” I mentioned there some recent studies that are making people dubious about the reliability of correlations, studies that aren’t transparent, and rank studies in general. I am adamant that studies like this one on voice search do a HUGE service to the content maketing community. Rank Fishken has said the same.

    But, in an age of “fake news,” we know people believe what they read too easily without fact checking. So, the transparency here is critical. I’m guessing that if anyone wanted to “peer review” some of the raw data, I know you guys well enough to see you’ve done this by the book & would be fine with that. Personally, I don’t see a need since you’ve both proven your expertise and reliability in doing data studies.

    1. Thanks Eric. I appreciate that.

      Absolutely: as someone from the world of legit peer reviewed studies (I worked as a researcher on nutrition studies), I welcome peer review. The funny thing is about “real” studies is that ALL studies get criticism. In fact, it’s a best practice to be up front about the limitations of the data (something I try to do with these studies as well). So the criticisms that people have of correlation studies are completely warranted. But that doesn’t mean the data as a whole is worthless.

      So yeah, great points all around.

    2. Hey Eric,

      Thanks for the kind words!

      This was certainly a tough one, from a data gathering and logistics (porting + manipulating large data-sets) point of view.

      We also had a ‘fun’ situation whereby Ahrefs’ Domain Rating was updated mid-way through the study – we used the new DR scores though, so this is all fresh stuff.


      1. Ahh, the dreaded ahrefs DR update! Those guys are far and away my fav SEO tool now, but that was challenging to understand the transition.

        Yea, what people don’t get about the challenge “big data” studies is the amount of things that can “go wrong” in putting together or comparing data sets which is what makes it take so long to do them. I feel for the developers that have to find tune 10,000s of thousands of lines of code to work together, something I don’t know about but which must similar. Great job.

  3. Brian,

    I’m curious if you saw any instances where answers from Voice Apps would get priority / favored over answers from feature snippets or other text-based sources on Google Homes and Google Assistants?

  4. Awesome study! I’m doing something similar right now so I respect how much time it took to put this together.

    I think the takeaway about using FAQ pages is a good one. One thing that might be an interesting follow-up is to see if the presence of QAPage schema has any impact on voice search rankings. I don’t think this schema type is used often, but I’ve begun experimenting with it.

  5. Brian, as always thank you for creating resources we can rely on. It’s interesting that schema generally has no affect on voice search results – almost counterintuitive to earning a one-box / answer-box.

    1. I was surprised by that too. My take: Google is getting smarter at analyzing/interpreting content. So it doesn’t need our help from Schema as much as 2-3 years ago.

  6. Awesome post Brian. Great infographic as well.

    It’s always a good idea to write in 9th-grade English. It might even help the page get a featured snippet.

    1. You’re welcome, Simon. Yup, voice search is blowing up! So I thought it would be cool to figure out the ranking factors that Google uses with Google Home

  7. Some great insights here Brian, thank you.

    Some thoughts I had:

    I feel correlation is more likely than causation with quite a few points like site speed and SSL as authoritative sites are going to be adopting good practices.

    Readability makes a lot of sense as a factor as the easier the answer is the easier the algorithm can understand it and have confidence it’s a good answer to use.

    I’m curious of the answers Google voice search gives are live queries of the SERPs or calling a cached answer from a Q&A database that’s separate for voice search?

    The last question I think most people are left with when it comes to voice search SEO is – how can this benefit us anyway? brand exposure perhaps? but beyond that?

    1. You’re welcome, David. All fair and solid points.

      To your last question: it’s really hard to say at this point. It’s looking like mostly brand exposure. Plus, if people want more info than what Google provides, they’ll go to your site to learn more.

      1. Brian & Lloyd, this is all fascinating! Thanks so much for your efforts in putting it all together and spelling it out so clearly.

        I had the same initial question David Alexander did — where is the benefit to all the content creators in optimizing for voice search? I’m not much of a mobile user, so I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how the average person would use this technology. Am I wrong in thinking it would be pretty unlikely for a voice searcher to actually end up at your website after having done a voice search?

        As a content creator, I’m not spending every waking moment writing articles in hopes that Google will scrape my content for an answer to a user’s search query and serve it up to the user without the user ever having been to my website — especially since you point out that Google isn’t even crediting the source of the information in all cases! If they don’t correct that, I’m guessing there will be an outcry from the web’s content creators when it becomes widely known.

        But for that matter, I’m also trying to wrap my head around how Google would monetize voice search results?

  8. Very insightful Brian! Ahref has recently updated the way they measure domain rating, you mentioned Ahrefs domain rating of a google home result is 76.8. Is this according to the new Ahref rating?

  9. On the bleeding edge as always, Brian!

    I thought this was such a smart topic to be doing right now – and it was also extremely well done. Noice graphics too. All super on point! 🙂

  10. I’m loving this data. I never considered myself a data nerd, until I took your SEO That Works Class. I have now re-classified myself.
    I sit and ask Google questions all day long just because I am fascinated that my phone answers me back (I’m old, I admit it). I hope I didn’t skew the results 😀
    As always, thank you Brian. You are the best!

    1. Thanks Andrea.

      Me too! I’ve been using voice search more (for fun) and also for practical reasons (it’s 2x faster than typing on an iPhone).

  11. Great content, Brian!
    I am just new to blogging business and my whole experiences about camping can’t be displayed by Google and reach potential audiences if I don’t set time for SEO. Thanks for giving me great advice for a long time cause I’m a root reader of your blog 😀 This article reminds me of learning more and more. I admit that this is the first time I’ve heard of voice search 😀 Hope to apply some of your advice successfully!
    Have a great day, Brian!

  12. Brian,
    This is really cool stuff and your research for voice search is really very informative.
    I am new in your list but I am regularly reading and watching your content.

    Keep sharing amazing stuffs with us.


  13. Brian,
    Outstanding research. Cutting edge, relevant, and actionable.

    I didn’t realize that FAQs can be so effective in creating a voice search. Thank you so much for sharing your expert knowledge.

    1. You’re welcome, Dade. This wasn’t an easy study to put together, but I think it’ll help give the SEO industry some insights into how Google treats voice search queries.

  14. While all of our posts are great to help produce, this one in particular is big for me because of the more central role I played.

    This was fun (most of the time), mind-numbing (some of the time – I’m looking at you, Google Home and your 10,000 questions) and challenging throughout.

    One of the key things here was experimenting on a small (couple of questions) scale to find viable approaches, then trying it on a larger data set, then on the full data set.

    Also knowing when to call for third-party help (I created the approach on paper, then in code, and then we got a Golang expert to chip in and get everything working smoothly on a large scale, handling goroutines efficiently, etc – thanks Nurlan!).

    If anybody has any questions, feel free to comment and I’ll get back to you!


  15. Wow! This is a great post, well researched about Google Voice. It has actually awakened me to focus more on my content creation now and in future. So, it means more emphasis will be more on voice? Embracing this outcome. Thank you, Brian, for a detailed post.

    1. You’re welcome, Duncan. Based on the trends, it looks like voice search might outpace keyboard searches before we know it.

  16. Great timing Brian, I’ve been trying to figure out how long form content would perform in voice search for the last few days.

    Wonderful guidance as always.

    1. Thank you, Santosh. We put a lot of effort into our studies and guides so it’s good to see that people are getting so much value from them.

      1. WOW! I just want to ask one question: How many hours required to create this pillar page?

        I have shared it with my friends and tweeted it. Now I am a regular Backlinko reader.


    1. That was interesting to me too, Mike. But it makes sense that longer pages would do better with voice search (even though the answers themselves are <30 words)

  17. Great article Brian but curious about the keywords used for this study? Were the keywords used all question based where the searchers intent was looking for an answer? Or did they include keywords where the searchers intent was buying?

    I’ve used Google Home before and when I’m looking for a product, I’m taken to results that are different from the desktop/mobile SERP. I’m seeing (hearing) results from Google Express.

    1. Hey Joe, Good question. We have a link to our study methods at the end of the post.

      Basically, we focused 100% on question-based queries. So “what is X” etc.

      What’s an example of a product-based query that you might use? Like “I need something for X”?

    1. You’re welcome, Coop. You’re not kidding: there’s A TON of data here. I did my best to break things down into bite sized tips whenever I could.

    1. You’re welcome, Sasa. We didn’t see any correlation between H2s (which are usually used for subheaders) and rankings. But breaking your content up into chunks (like with FAQ pages) does seem to help

    1. You’re welcome, Nick. Voice search is going to be MUCH bigger in the future. So yes, it’s time to spend some time optimizing for it

  18. Hey Brian Dean,

    Thanks so much… Was looking for this type of informative Content on Voice Search, because after Google Now, Apple Siri, Bixby and various other Platform of voice command apps search results from voice increasing day by day..

    I’m also wanted to write great article which will help my site to rank in voice search.

    Thanks Again!!

  19. Brian,

    Does this mean that articles on the blog are best created as Q & A Page? What if I put a dozen subheadings (as questions) in one article and answer in 29 words:

    1) how to get cheap tickets for disneyland
    2) how to get cheap tickets for broadway
    3) how to get cheap tickets for les miserables
    4) how to get cheap tickets in vegas
    5) how to get cheap tickets ……
    6) …

    Will it be okay for desktop search, mobile voice search and search, at the same time?

    1. Good question and I’m glad you brought it up, Przem. In many cases, FAQ pages are ideal for both. That said, it depends a lot on the particular keyword. So even though voice search is growing fast, I’d put traditional desktop/mobile first. Does that make sense?

  20. I was wondering what happens if the searcher doesn’t like the result he receives.
    Also, I think certain kinds of searches are still better on desktop, e.g. when you are trying to find a low price, or study something deeply.

    1. Great question, Peter. I’ve wondered the same thing. If you search for the same thing again (similar to a bounce in desktop search), you’re going to get the same answer. So maybe Google looks at things like people saying: “Not helpful” etc. and uses that as feedback.

  21. You read my mind when you conducted and published this research into voice-search optimization. I’ve seen plenty of info about the growing importance of voice searches, but yours is the first piece I’ve seen that offers a thorough, fact-based report on how to respond to the voice trend.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth. That’s actually why we did this study: everything out there about voice search was people guessing about what was and wasn’t important. It was time for some data!

  22. I use voice search all of the time. The results are up in the air sometimes but I think it has more to do with the voice to text engine than anything. I guess you could chalk it up to growing pains.

    That being said, it will be nice to be ahead of the curve on this one.

    1. At this point it really is a voice to text engine. What’s interesting is how different the #1 result for desktop is vs. voice search. That algorithm is completely different.

      And yes, I’m with you, Tim. Better to be ahead of the curve for sure.

    1. You’re welcome, Andre. This study was super hard to put together. But I think our results will hopefully get people starting to think about and optimize for voice search.

  23. Hi Brian,

    Awesome study as usual! I have been looking for content about Voice Search and it is very scarce. This study does help in figuring out what matters most for Voice optimization. The idea that long-form content has a higher probability of ranking is quite striking considering that the average answer is only 29 words. So, the writing and optimization around the relevant keyword is now an important aspect. I think we need to optimize our content to make it easier for the algorithm to pick it up as an answer. Making a part of the content stand out by putting at the top may be helpful.

    Thanks again for awesome content! Love your work.

    1. Thanks Stefan. I’m with you: I couldn’t find any voice search content either (that was based on data or even case studies).

      I was also surprised that longer pages did better in voice search (at first). But then I realized that it’s likely a matter of more content=more chances to “match” a voice search query. At last that’s my theory.

      1. This really insightful Brian…

        It’s a quite a lot of knowledge that you have shared.

        I am thankful to you Brian.

        Please keep sharing your work 🙂

    1. That’s a point that many people in the comments section have brought up. And it’s a fair one. My answer: it’s so early that I’m not sure. Like most Google changes, they tend to hurt publishers at first (like Knowledge Graph), before we figure out how to get the feature to work for us.

    1. Rad, I would say for some keywords, yes. That’s already happened for millions of keywords thanks to Featured Snippets (for example, “weather in X” or “how big ix Y”). But for many in-depth “how to” keywords, I don’t see Google Home having a big impact.

  24. Wow! This is an awesome guide. I love all the unique data and stats. Way to go Lloyd Jones! Also, this is a good reminder for me to make that little additional investment in getting my domain setup with a secure certificate (putting that on my to do list right now).

    Voice search, voice buying, voice queries are a totally new way for people to search, buy and do things via the internet and with technology.

    I’m at the Traffic and Conversion Summit and San Diego and this was a topic that most definitely popped up.

    I’m wondering, do you think would be a good resource to use when developing a voice search content strategy?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Thanks Jared. I definitely recommend HTTPS. The only downside is that you have to carefully redirect all your pages from HTTP to HTTPS, which can be tricky. is a great tool overall. I’m not sure how well it represents voice searches, though. But considering their searches tend to be more long tail and conversational, it’s a good place to start.

    2. Thanks Jared!

      This was a really rewarding study to be part of. Lots of hard work and data crunching, but it paid off with the end result 🙂

      I’m leaving my Google Home unplugged for a while now..

  25. Hey Brian,
    Your article is great, as always top content.

    I was wondering while reading your article: How will website owners keep making money in 2020? If most of the searches get a 29 words respons and searchers don’t become visitors…
    Will the affiliate/blogging/niche sites have a problem with their online business models? Any thoughts on that?

    1. Thanks Dele. Good question. One thing to keep in mind is that statistic includes all voice searches (including people that search in Google with their phone and get 10 blue links). SO I’d say this trend definitely hurts that model, but doesn’t kill it altogether.

  26. Great stuff! I guess when the voice search machine can pick up the different accents accurately, it will be powerful. For now, Siri and OK google serve as an entertainment for kids when they are bored. Ha. Just curious, do you still use library resources to compile such awesome stuff ?

    1. LOL. They’ve definitely come a long way (I saw a stat that the error rate on Google Home and Amazon Alexa are around 8%. Not bad considering they’re basically 1.0 versions).

      Do you mean a library as in the physical building?

  27. Thanks brian for the insight.

    In fact i never thought about voice search before.
    I did see an email from Derek Halpern about this topic but never read it through.

    When i saw yours i thought, huh voice search must be big.

    Thank you for this article brother.

    Greetings from Indonesia

    1. You’re welcome, Bisnis. Voice search is definitely growing fast. So I thought it was time to get some data to start to see how it works.

  28. Hi, Brian
    I’m new in this field, somehow learn to crawl. I would like to thank you for sharing the link. This article is one of the best ever. You are the MAN.


  29. Hey Brain, once again good and interesting article from your end, but you missed image part?? What if the sites uses lots of infographics, as today era is of infographic, what impact will be there on infographic, as we all know google doesn’t read image text?

    1. Rohit, we didn’t look at the impact of images. That said, if most of your content is in image/infographic format, Google won’t be able to read or understand it.

    1. You’re welcome. I hope you learned something new that you can use to optimize your site for voice search.

  30. Hey, Brain. Thanks for the awesome share. I really appreciate your commitment in doing an in-depth research, and creating a post that adds value to the reader.
    The 29-word count could provide instant solutions (nobody is interested to read a 1500-word article before entering an exam hall, a featured snippet is the best). An in-depth article will give a competitive edge in SEO ranking. The 9th-grade level sounds reasonable, nobody is patient enough to read a complete research paper stuffed with complex technical jargons.

    1. Thanks Bradley. You’re not kidding: Lloyd was a rockstar to actually manually do all of those searches. It had to be done. Not to mention that he also worked really hard to analyze the data.

  31. It’s a really great post: informative and truly helpful! Brian, you are a genius! I’ve never read about VS so much information before. It seems it’s time to think about it seriously for me. Your website is amazing!

  32. Hi Brian

    I am always arguing with friend for the topic of if social promotion really help GOOLGE SEO Rank.

    My answer is that even Google announce that the they does not use social signals, but if you brand have good reputation and awareness on social, it will produce some “side effort” that drive more people in your website and more organic traffic.

    These will increase your SEO RANK.

    SO, what is your idea? Thank you

    1. Richard, I agree 100% that having a strong brand (which includes a presence on social media) can have indirect SEO benefits.

      1. Hi Brain, Thank you for your support.

        I recently found a very interesting thing that want to share with you.

        My friends are running a very famous Digital marketing Forum for Chinese People who have interests on Google and Facebook market. and definitely including SEO TOPIC. They get tons of traffic every day, including organic, direct, social ,etc. (as what i said ,,,very famous forum)

        However, if i search relevant SEO Keywords, they even could not compete with my personal blog, which PA and DA is pretty low.

        SO i guess, right now Google would recommend web or blog like yours, specifically focus on a Niche topic and generate High quality content, definitely with high quality Backlinks,to customers instead of comprehensive platform.

        Another evidence is that many similar web SEO RANK compete a Leading medium website in Australia Chinese Market. which used to be the NO.1 search Rank for any chinese keywords you are searching in Australia. (at that moment, Chinese people only have this Platform that they can generate content.)

  33. Hi Brian,
    That’s a killer study. I am not sure a lot of people would have even thought about voice search and what could be the factors in ranking on voice search. At least, I didn’t.
    Looking at the all of the factors one thing becomes clear that at the least most of the basics of SEO and the factors that are responsible for ranking on normal search, is pretty much what can help in ranking on voice search as well. And most of it trickles down to just one point – quality content. But just like what Stefan said above, it is ironic that a search result with an average of about 29 words, is picked from an article with an average of 2000+ words..
    This was a completely new insight Brian and I loved the read..


    1. Thanks Dilip. Well said.

      In many ways, ranking for normal organic search is the same as voice search (after all, 75% of voice search results come from the top 3 ranking spots in Google). But what struck me are the little wrinkles that go into voice search (like HTTPS and pagespeed).

      1. Hey Brian,
        Just a quick question on that piece. Do you think that https and pagespeed are not important factors when it comes to normal organic search. Almost all of the top 10 search results, these days are from sites that have an https.. what’s you take on this aspect?

        1. I do think those two things help with normal organic search (Google has even confirmed that they’re both ranking signals).

  34. Hey, Brain can you please tell me how to write content for voice search, I have read your previous article where you mention, write article as Question Answer based. So this will work???
    Waiting for your helpful feedback

  35. Hi Brian,

    Good to know where we are leading going ahead in coming days and months. I can assume that mostly if you work in improving your desktop search results, it can help you a ton on voice search as well.

    Points like FAQ, Featured Snippets, Content Length are quite what SEO these days needs to follow to be on top of others(SERP Results). Moreover schema never boosted anything except the visual part of it in results.

    If you rank in top 3 or 5 still you got chances always. So it burns down to few things

    1. Optimize your content well above the limit of 2000 with proper headings and question formats.

    2. Keep your page structure proper for easier navigation and content flow.

    3. Acquire links to that page(worthy ones).

    Thanks for such a wonderful data to you, Brian and Lloyd. It makes much easier for us to move into a voice search world.

    1. You’re welcome, Sujit. Very well said: in many ways ranking in desktop is the key to ranking in voice search. But there are a few other nuances too (like the 3 you pointed out here).

  36. Great insights Brian,
    And this is interesting as you found on study very few voice search results contain the exact keyword in their title tag. Do you think audio content can have edge in future.

  37. thats a good article ,but how do getting visitors in voice search mostly from alexa or google home help in making money to our site , as they cant click on our ads or buy anything from affiliate link through that device

    1. That’s a good question. It’s so early that it looks like a brand awareness play. Plus, people can visit your site to learn more about the answer.

  38. I love how you write to-the-point, in-depth articles which educate us without wasting any time on jargon. I loved the summary in the infographic at the end as well.

    You have helped me a lot in terms of SEO. Thanks Brian.

    1. You’re welcome. It’s not easy translating this data into actionable points (some of it is pretty technical). But it’s what I do 🙂

  39. Great article, Brian!

    A question that’s not about voice search. Are you creating those designs by yourself or where do you get them from, I really love those images.

    1. Thanks Ivaylo. I’d say at this point: they don’t crawl it. You definitely want to put a transcript underneath your podcast.

  40. Thanks for such a detailed article but I would appreciate if you can refer me to any website which is currently following the proper guidelines of Voice Search. This wil give us a better idea for writing content which stands with Voice Search.

    1. Parth, any site that has high domain authority, long content etc. etc.

      There are thousands if sites that fit that criteria.

  41. Hey Brian! This was really helpful. Amazing insights on the VS. We all can agree that at the end, in whatever direction technology and Google moves whether its AMP or VS, it will always be about the content value.

    1. Well said, Jasgun. There are some technical things to keep in mind for VS (like HTTPS). But in the end, Google will give users the best result for their search… whether that’s a voice search or on desktop.

  42. thanks, brain to share this guide with us this was a very awesome guide and also very helping in some days voice search is a common thing.
    why not we prepare already for this. thanks for sharing this information.

    1. Thanks Gee. Definitely. I was surprised at some of the impact that these factors had on voice search SEO (even though they do make sense once you see them).

  43. Hi Brian,
    How about backlinks? any update regarding on how to build backlinks this year? not earning links but I am interested in backlinks since backlinks for me has better assurance to have a result

    1. Not sure what you mean, Giovanni. I talk about backlinks and voice search in this post. Or maybe I didn’t understand your question.

  44. Thanks a whopping lot for this clear heads-up on where we are going in the SEO world.

    For an old dinosaur still crawling out of the 1990s, and building websites with Notepad++ this article was like being picked up by a helicopter and getting a bird’s eye view.

    I think I should start running towards the 2020s before I get left in the dust again.

    This article is a real wake-up call.

    Thanks again,

    1. Thanks Charles. Voice is the future in many ways. I don’t know if it’s going to be as big as the analysts predict. But there’s no doubt that it’s growing.

    1. Yes they are. But there’s only one “result” in voice search, and it’s not always the #1 result in destkop/mobile.

  45. Hi! My name is Assanali, from Kazakhstan, Almaty. I am 34 years old. My question is: May I translate your blog in to Russian and publish in my own blog?

  46. Really enjoy reading your posts! The company I work for are really investing in the digital transformation journey, in my project team we’re thinking about how voice technology can be used internally (digital workplace / intranets) and how it would add value to the business. Do you have any advice? Thanks Brian!

    1. Awesome timing, Suman 🙂

      There’s a lot of advice in this guide to start with for sure a voice tech is going to affect SEO more than most other industries.

  47. Hey Brian! I go out of my mind every time I see that you published a new post! Its quite embarrassing actually haha. I read every article on your site, more then once, but one thing I never saw you mention is siloing although you said that you love short URLs.

    Does that mean that siloing is just a fade concept? Or does it really work? In regard to voice search SEO shouldn’t a top silo page be able to answer most questions in a short and concise manner. That could be perfect for voice search SEO. What are your thoughts on this?

    1. Thanks Alex. If by “siloing” you mean topic siloing, I havne’t found that to make any difference. Basically, Google just needs ONE page of content to understand what it’s about. And that’s true for voice search, desktop, mobile etc. etc. Does that make sense?

  48. Hey Brain,
    You are just awesome!

    Have been following your website contents & YouTube videos from the very beginning of creating my website.

    Your tips have just boosted my websites’ on-page SEO. ( Because the work is still on process & has not finished yet)
    It would become impossible for me to build a quality website with a good SEO without your valuable contents.

    To me,the contents of your website are just ‘treasures.’ From the day I first found you on YouTube & started following your website,I need not to check out any other website for knowing any kind of SEO informations.

    You are a rare guy with such talent with helpful mentality. Keep on going… Wish you all the best.

  49. Great piece Brian. So thorough. I would be intrigued to know how some categories of search perform as in for voice vs desktop vs mobile. Particularly around things like ordering online, takeaways, etc. Would imagine you could spend a lifetime looking into it. We work with small businesses so would be of massive benefit which is something we want to look into as part of our marketing platform.

    Also, we’re in Australia. Always interesting to see how services like Google’s perform across geographies.

    1. Thanks Gregory. That would be interesting for sure. Our study only looked at Q&A type queries (“OK Google, how much is X”). I’d be willing to bet that ordering queries use a different algo.

  50. Thank you for this tremendous work, Brian!

    Do you know if there is any difference between Google Assistant app and Google Home results? Also, do results differ depending on the geolocalization?

    Thanks again! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome, Michael. We didn’t specifically look at Google Assistant. I actually don’t have a ton of experience with it so would be curious to see how it works compared to GH.

  51. Looking at the snippets correlation makes me wonder, for searches where the snippet is not used, does a snippet exist? Google doesn’t have a snippet for everything so this might be what this stat is showing.

    1. Good question, Michael. It’s a mix. In most cases, where the snippet exists, they use it. But sometimes they don’t use the content from the snippet even when it does exist.

  52. Awesome information! As always… When I don’t feel motivated to work on mi site, I just have to read one of your posts to want to dive in again. Thanks!

  53. Thanks Brian for the fascinating information! You have really opened my eyes and got me thinking really hard about a subject that had not even occurred to me yet! I love all of the information you have provided and need to rethink some of my websites now.

  54. Hey Brian!

    This is super helpful data!

    Now we can optimize our blog’s content for better rankings with this Voice Search from Google. I think working on all of these factors can have a great impact in our Google rankings in general. It’s always good to take care of everything regardless.

    Thank you so much for sharing this insightful post!

    Best regards! 😀

  55. How about the other “Assistants”: Amazon Echo, Apple Siri etc. Do you guys think the answers will be exactly the same, assuming Google is set as the Search Engine? And should me expect language differences? I live in Denmark, and the Assistants find the language handling a bit difficult yet

    1. Hi Nicolai, I’m not 100% sure because we didn’t look at those. But my guess would be that Amazon and Siri would be really different even if they use Google as the source.

  56. Thanks Brian!

    Look’s like the hospitality industry have a lot of work to do then going by these recommendations and results. Great content as always.

  57. your work is awesome here can we say our article must be like an answer of a question just point to point end discussion like FAQ’s are another part of website if our site has a official work or an organization what you say about how to write structured article am beginner in this field but loved you content

  58. Thanks Dean and your team of experts at Backlinko.

    Your SEO strategies are topnotch. I have done a couple of further researches to confirm some of the things you mentioned and I found them to be so real.

    I’m excited to know that my business blog is well-optimized for voice search.

    Thanks for sharing. Keep giving value.


  59. This post was actually super helpful! I am not sure how voice search will help a website’s traffic… And am very unclear on how to monetize this but It is kinda cool none the less.

    1. Thanks Jeff. It’s still unclear how that’s going to work. But for right now, voice search is HUGE so we should at least have it on our radars.

  60. Hell of an amazing work…
    A warm thanks to You Brian and to your team for this kind of amazing research.
    You are like the “father of Blogging & SEO” :-p
    I have a question on how to implement all this strategy on a new blog? Is it possible for new blog/websites to rank for voice searches?

    BTW thanks again for this massive piece of information.

  61. Thanks god I discovered you. You are one of the best SEO guys in this world to my opinion. Very clear to understand the information you provide. I am applying your “tricks” to rank my blog. Thanks Brian!

  62. Thank you for such a great guide. These are not just guides, these are standards you are setting for the industry for us to follow. Thank you for such a great guide. Will definitely work on it for my website.

  63. Bought mine on the weekend – amazed at its ability to understand my voice and instructions. But I’m getting a lot of “I’m not sure how to help with that yet” answers 😉

  64. Great article.

    Ok so when you ask for something, you get an answer. What about if you want to buy something? And which website does it choose to buy from? Lets say a handbag?

  65. Interesting study, but I miss something though. Quite a number of the comparisons are vs “the average page” (TTFB etc.). I think it is quite evident that the number 1 search result (whether on voice search or different) will outperform the average page on most metrics (otherwise it wouldn’t be the #1 search result).
    Instead of looking at the average page, what I’d find more interesting is how #1 voice results differ from #1 non-voice results.

    1. Great point there. That indeed could be true. I wasn’t able to find any benchmark data on how #1 results fare in terms of sitespeed vs. the average page. So we had to go with more general averages as a point of comparison.

  66. Thanks, Brian.
    Thanks, Brian.

    The way you write the article is amazing!

    It always made me read whole content, that I never do with another website.

    Can you please Brian, tell me how can I improve my blog content writing skills?

    Any book recommendation or blog article would be highly appreciative.

  67. Hi Brian, you never fail to supply some excellent info. As a graphic designer for print i don’t always understand everything you say but the info graphics help and it does worry me how technology moves on so quickly. Keep up the great work.

  68. Hi Brian,

    Is this dataset available for download? I’d love to play around with visualizing some of these findings.

    1. Hey Jay, it’s tricky because everything is in a database (not easily shareable Google docs). But it should be doable. If you email support at, our CTO who lead the study may be able to work something out.

  69. My biggest take away as it always seems to be, is that the customer is always right!;) No matter the industry, or the study, adapting and moving in the consumers’ direction and what they desire and in this situation, search for… Is your wisest choice and of course makes the most sense! Awesome content as always my friend, your blog is one I’ll always come back to again.
    – Jonny

  70. So for an agency creating content for professional businesses, how can we best implement this into our pages? It sounds like short, concise content is what voice searches are looking for, but that doesn’t tend to be what you would find in a lengthier blog post about, say, financial services, landscape services, etc.

  71. post is informative but my question is that how can we optimize our website for both mobile phones user like android and iphone because they both have different search assistant like siri and google assistant.

  72. Hands off Brian. Another masterpiece and a lot to learn. Voice search is the future of the internet and we need to be ready for it. However, I do wonder if Google will start considering low-authority sites as well or voice search results will be from high-authoritative ones as they are *assumed* to be a trusted source.


  73. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for conducting this research to make things lot easier for us. Any plan to write a guide on how to do voice keyword research? I am really looking for it but can’t find which can answer my how to do it. Would appreciate if you help.


  74. Hey Brian,
    This is a very awesome and eye opening blog post. I’ve been hearing and reading about voice search seo since the beginning of this year, and this only shows that it’s really become very effective every day. I’m really amazed by everything I saw in this post, all the various studies and stats you mentioned are indeed mind-blowing.
    And from what I understood here, if you’re already doing well in your normal SEO campaign, if you’re already obeying and adhering to all the numerous search engine best practices, then you should really do well too in the area of voice search.
    This is simply because almost all the different factors Google takes into account before ranking a webpage equally applies to voice search. For instance, one of the things they uses to rank a page is its loading speed, and from this study, the same website loading speed also helps in voice search. Similarly, we all know that Google uses a website’s social media metrics to determine its ranking (even though they often deny it), and interestingly, from your findings, most of the sites doing well in voice search has good social metrics.
    The same thing equally applies to the value of content, content length, etc. Therefore, I believe that we should all continue following the normal SEO best practices as it’ll also help us to perform well in voice search.
    Thanks for sharing Brian.

  75. Hi Brian,

    It is definetely my turn… I never tested out what my blog titles do on Google if I speak it out with voice searches. This will be a great moment to try!! Thanks for posting a blog again, I learned a lot of new things.

  76. Can you really see Voice Search being adopted though? We think it’s great for businesses selling to consumers (while searching in their homes) but we can’t see it never being used in the general public (because it’s annoying talking to your mobile on a bus etc) and in a B2B environment (office etc). Will be great to know your thoughts?

  77. Voice search is pretty different from the regular stuff. The day voice search takes over (which in my opinion is not too far) the basic rules and stuff is gonna change. Start preparing now.

  78. Hats off to you Mr. Brian. Your articles are always awesome and very interesting as usual. This one is very helpful too. The way you guide nobody can. I’m really amazed by everything I saw in this post, all the various studies and stats you mentioned are indeed mind-blowing. Domain authority really matters a lot. Thanx for sharing these important and valuable articles, they are really very useful and helpful for SEO.

  79. Brilliant information Brian!

    Can you provide sources for some of the information you’ve mentioned on the post? An example would be “the average voice search result has 1,199 Facebook shares and 44 Tweets”

    How did you gather than information and what was the sample size?

  80. Why would Google prefer sites with longer content when real people want their enquires quickly and don’t want to sift through a huge pile of content, namely text?
    This I don’t understand, as well as why longer Youtube videos would also rank higher.
    Maybe I’m different to everyone out there, but when I am searching a topic on Youtube, I look for the shortest video to answer my query in the shortest amount of time.

  81. Woah!! this was such an informative piece. You must have had to invest a lot of time in putting everything together. Voice search is definitely going to dominate in the times to come. Thank you for giving a heads up.
    Keep up the good work!

  82. WOW! Fantastic work!

    I have a question about Schema results.

    You concluded it may _not help to have the Schema tags. This was total websites, not how many websites have Schema.

    Perhaps a correlation of the rankings of the sites with and without Schema would reveal that they are really valuable.

    Do you have a statistician onboard who can do this? They can tell you what data they need to draw a better conclusion, then make the correlations.

    1. Thanks Mindy. Great point and suggestion. I may update this again next year with new data to see what’s changed. If so, I’ll keep that in mind.

  83. Brain Your al content is really really fabulous I think backlinko is one of the best website to learn SEO.

    I really appreciate your work man.

  84. “Schema may not play a key role in voice search rankings. 36.4% of voice search results come from pages that use Schema (which is only slightly higher than the worldwide average of 31.3%).”
    Hello Brian,
    Are you saying that 31.3% of voice search answers are drawn from pages that don’t include schema structured markup?

  85. To be honest, I hadn’t really considered voice search as being different and that content might need to be optimized differently for it. Thanks for this in-depth look at things, I definitely feel a little more prepared to dive into this new area and I can think about content and page optimization differently to make the best use of the technologies that are available to searchers. I really appreciate having the PDF download of how the study came together, it’s a great look at the overall picture. Thanks again 🙂

  86. Thank You Brian! This study acts as a great reference to start acting on key elements and with Mobile First Index and then Voice Search, certainly Page Speed becomes all the more important. Loved the detail and relationships 🙂

  87. Great article, but how to monetize voice search!? If Google is just extracting an instant answer, how is that benefitting the domain?

  88. I would have not thought page speed would be linked, thank you for that. We have achieved some voice search rankings and I didn’t even consider that when trying to reverse engineer them.

    Have you noticed what percentage of returned voice results on Google Home also come up on Alexa?

    Thanks Brian.

  89. Between Google, Amazon, and Apple being the top voice search providers right now, I wonder who will win the battle to dominate everyone? Could Amazon really beat Google at their own game with Alexa? Apple, I’m not so sure.

  90. Post is informative but my question is that how can we optimize our website for both mobile phones user like android and iphone because they both have different search assistant like siri and google assistant.

  91. Brian – Great post! I wonder though, if I create and replace my FAQ on my website with Audio files. I then place them on Youtube Audio Studio, but why not create YouTube Videos that do the same thing as the Audio Studio? Do Alexa and the Google Home units play YouTube Videos and Audios the same way?

  92. Brian, absolutely amazing article.
    Q: How much do backlinks play a role in ranking for google answers?
    & can silo site structure can help in ranking for the short answers?

  93. Brian, Great post as always! Thanks to your strategies we are now ranking one of our long article as “mobile seo checklist” and “mobile seo 2018” on .com and locally!
    We’ve started to optimize our client’s sites for voice searches from 5 years ago and we’ve just took note here in the office from all your precious insights! Thank you again!

  94. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the great article.

    With the current advancement of AI Voice Assistants, queries seems to be converted into simpler terms so the AI can find result that better match the intent of the Query instead of searching verbatim. What is your opinion on this potential path AI may take on? Should Google and other companies optimize AI to better understand voice searches or should they optimize their algorithm to match Websites with better codes?

    Thank you!

  95. Brian, Another epic post. Thank you so much and fist bump to your CTO. I can’t imagine how fun asking 10,000 questions was! I have been a reader with many printed downloads going back to your skyscraper techniques.

    Quick question, at the end of the awesome download, you have a link to the Google DB of your data but the link produces an error. Are you still sharing the raw data so we can see it? Thank you so much!

      1. Thank you so much Brian, Would you kindly post it here when you do update the link? The download that I have will have the old link and I don’t want to double opt-in and screw up your stats (not that one person would really make a dent!).

        Thank you so much!

  96. Fantastic Brian! More than 10.000 results analyzed is a really hard work. When you say 10000 results you mean 10000 queries, right? It´s huge! If so this is the best source of information about SEO and voice search without .

    Thanks for sharing!

  97. Hi Brian,

    The link to the database results in google drive doesn’t appear to work, just wondering if you have an alternative link to view the file?


  98. Hell of an article (as usual), Brian.

    Would be curious to see if G has their own ‘voice’ knowledge graph based on natural language processing, especially with more and more devices coming out these days (i.e. Google Home).

  99. Fantastic things are coming soon 🙂 I think voice has the most potential because voice is not only about the message being told, but also on the sentiments that are paired with the message. If Google could understand both: the hard-coded text and the sentiment of the message wonderful things can happen..

  100. Never thought voice will matter this much in the coming days. I have been focusing a lot on voice-related terms lately, very early to make any conclusions though.

    Also, the Google Drive link is not working.

  101. Hi Brian,
    “We found that very few voice search results had the exact query in their title tag”
    Does this mean that long-tail keywords are not as important when optimising for voice searches? Would love to hear your thoughts.

    1. Good question, Hazel. I actually think long tails are even more important for voice search SEO. It’s just that the long tails don’t need to be in the title tag — they can appear anywhere on the page.

  102. Thanks for putting this out, I was surprised the other day when I asked Siri who the best roofing company in my city was, and Siri came back with a single answer. Voice search is more important than a lot of people realize.

  103. I think it’s particularly noteworthy that voice results have such a fast loading time (and also https adoption, which goes hand in hand with faster speed due to the http/2 protocol). Page speed has become a little overlooked again in recent times since even slow sites rank well in Google. I’ve always thought of it as an important metric and you just proved it, at least for voice! 🙂

  104. It’s interesting to see the seemingly opposing findings of short concise answers of approximately 29 words, but found on pages with roughly 2,000+ words. It seems to confirm that first a page must be found and rank well (greater length content tends to achieve this goal), however, Google needs a concise answer to return to users. A summary question and answer toward the top of the page seems to work best. Thank you for the insights Brian.

  105. Hi Brian Dean,
    I am still confused in point no 4. Can you please explain it to me. By the way, such a nice and helpful article you have shared with us.

  106. Hi Brian, Hope you doing well. I am a regular reader you blog since old days when you don’t even have this new blog layout. You posts are always deep and informative. I don’t know how much time and energy you invest to write these comprehensive guides. This article is so detailed and lengthy that it took me more than half an our to reach the end. I tried my level best but still there are some points out of my reach. Can you please elaborate this point. “Voice Search Results Tend to Be Short and Concise” What does it mean? Do we have to change or title and description lengths to optimize our websites to match this criteria? Please throw some light.


    1. Hi Sara, nice to hear from you. To answer your question, I just mean that the little snippets that Google pulls to use in voice search answers tend to be very short. But in my opinion, there’s no need to really change anything on your site in order to optimize for this factor.

  107. Hi Brian,

    Once again a great piece of information. One question though, As Google is being sophisticated day by day regarding its algorithms. Will voice search have an effect on the Short-tail queries and long-tail Queries?

  108. Brian, totally stunning article.

    Q: How much do backlinks assume a job in positioning for google answers?

    and would silo be able to site structure can help in positioning for the short answers?

  109. Hello Brian,
    Excellent article! No matter how you look at it… voice search can mean tons of traffic and/or increased sales if you are in the coveted ‘Zero Position’. As you stated, this position will be given to site which is already ranking well and has the content to be served up. A key takeaway here for me is… to even think about a ‘Zero Position’ ranking the domain authority has to be there. My question to you is… Did you see any exception to the rule (ie low authority sites ranking high in voice search results)? Thanks again for a well thought out article!

  110. Hey Brain, awesome, thank you

    Great advice on the super-quick loading for pages…and the 9th-grade reading level, always aim for that!

    Thank you again!

  111. Hey Brain, you are the man. Bravo!

    I heard some where that 48% of consumers are using voice for web searches and this statistic show the importance of voice search in this era.

    Thanks you so much for everything you are doing for us.

  112. Hi Brian,
    I am Phil from Inspire Dogs.
    My question after reading the article is that, does adding FAQ schema markup in our web pages allow us to grab more answers to voice queries?

    In the SERP, google is showing the FAQ schema markup. Do we get special treatment in voice search too for the schema code?


    1. Hi Phil, I’m honestly not 100% sure if it helps with voice search (I haven’t tested it). But considering that FAQ Schema helps Google understand FAQ pages, it probably helps a little.

  113. Wonderful insights, can’t believe how far technology and voice search has come. I remember when Siri was first introduced, and it felt surreal. Now I find myself asking Google simple questions all the time – it’s so easy and convenient!

    I know it’s hard to say at this point in time, but would you imagine this affecting the length of content or the way it’s broken down in the future?

    1. Hey Greg, I’d say if voice search takes off then we might see content adapting to it. But for not, voice search is still sort of a niche thing that’s helpful for certain queries.

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