Google Goes All-In With “OK, Google” Hands-Free Search

google-conversational-search-featured The evolution of voice-controlled search into a virtual personal assistant took another step forward with Google's announcement that all Android-powered devices (KitKat or above) will now respond to the "hotword" OK, Google. Users can initiate a search or control and carry out any function on the device simply by saying "OK, Google" first and then asking the question or stating the command: "Call XYZ . . . open my email": Starting today, you can say “Ok Google” on your Android device whenever the screen is on or your device is charging. If you’re reading your email, browsing the web [...]

Android TV Shows Knowledge Graph Search Results

Search via Android TV Google's just announced Android TV is a significant improvement over the original Google TV. It doesn't require a game controller or bulky remote to work (though a game controller can be used for Google Play Games). And you can search for content with your voice. The UI is simple and much more intuitive than Google TV. It's controlled by an app for Android phones. Voice search works by using the Android handset rather than a mic on the TV. Smartwatches running Android will also be able to act as a remote (as I understand it) for Android TV. Beyond the onstage demo during the Google I/ [...]

New Google Search App Feature Creates Radio Station Based On Recently Played Music

Google Search Play Music Last week, Google took to its Google+ page to announce a music-related Search app feature for Android users. Saying "Play some music" after tapping the Google search mic or saying "Ok Google" will prompt the app to create an "I'm feeling lucky" radio station. According to Google, the radio station will play a "surprise mix of music" based on a user's recent music listening history. For the new Search app feature to work, +Google Play Music app must be installed. [...]

Google Voice Search Easter Egg Unlocks “Cheat Mode”

google-easter-egg-featured Googler Pierre Far has found a Google Easter egg  that opens up "Unlimited free Google searches" for everyone. According to Far's Google+ post, doing a Google voice search for, "Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right" on his Android phone prompted the voice response, "Cheat mode unlocked, unlimited free Google searches." According to Search Engine Land news editor Barry Schwartz, the search only works by speaking your query from the Google Search App or Google Search page on your smartphone, or using voice enabled search on a Chrome browser. Schwartz created the following video [...]

Google’s Latest Search Trick: “As The Crow Flies” Distance Calculation

Google logo Move over, pandas. Fly away, hummingbirds. Waddle away, penguins. Google has a new animal friend: crows. But unlike its past associations with the animal world, this one isn't about SEO or algorithms -- it's a new search trick that adds distance calculation to Google's OneBox feature. (The OneBox is where Google often presents immediate answers to search queries rather than just presenting links relevant to the query.) As Google explained late Friday, the OneBox can now answer how far it is between two remote locations. It does the measurement "as the crow flies." Google's examples were [...]

The Brave New World of SEO: Beyond Websites

changes-ahead-exit-sign We hear it regularly -- the death knell tolling for SEO. In the past several years, we've been bombarded by a barrage of change in organic search, from Penguin to Panda to Hummingbird, from inbound link penalties to [not provided]. Let's face it: the only constant in search is change. But I propose that SEO isn't dead by far. In fact, the role of SEOs is expanding rapidly, and the reality is that we now have to look beyond just the company website. Let's review some of the ways search has changed in 2013 and take a look at how those changes have impacted the role of search marketers. Mobi [...]

Google Enables “OK Google” Hands-Free Voice Search On PCs

google-voice-search-featured Through a Chrome browser extension users can now invoke the hotword (or hot phrase) "OK Google" to initiate hands-free searches on the PC. Voice search on Chrome was possible before but you needed to manually select the microphone. After the browser extension is installed you simply need to say "OK Google," pause briefly and speak a query. This brings the functionality of Google Glass voice search and hands-free search on smartphones to the PC. Hotword voice search can only be initiated from the homepage or a Google SERP, when the search bar with a microphone is visible.  [...]

Google iOS Search App Now Has “OK Google” Voice Activation, New Notifications, Reminders & Cards

Google iOS Search App Google released a new version of its iOS Search App today, with an extensive list of updates, including new notifications, reminder alerts, cards and a handsfree search activation feature. With the 3.1.0 version of the iOS Search App, those with the iPhone 4s or higher can say, "OK Google" or touch the mic to start a search. Along with the handsfree activation, the app can create reminders around a number of events. According to the app's iTunes page, users can ask Google to remember daily activities or upcoming events: Ask Google to remember things for you. Just say, "Remind me to buy [...]

Local Voice Search Wars And The Opportunity For Businesses

siri-google-voice Since the official inception of mobile voice search with Apple's launch of Siri in 2011, consumers, search professionals and businesses have watched for the rise of voice search in local. Despite Siri's initial inadequacies and obvious voice recognition challenges, savvy multitasking mobile consumers are finally adopting the technology to find the best nearby restaurant, an urgent care center or a plumber in a pinch. Why? It's fairly intuitive, really. Many folks search on the go and can speak faster than they can type and need both hands free in this 24/7 world. As voice search becomes mor [...]

Google’s Knowledge Graph Gets Smarter With Comparisons & Filters

google-knowledge-graph-featured Google's Knowledge Graph is a little smarter today with the addition of filters and a way to compare two Knowledge Graph items side-by-side. These are some of the Google search updates that the company announced today at a media event celebrating its 15th birthday, and explained in more detail on Google's Inside Search blog. Knowledge Graph Comparisons Google spoke today about being able to process more complex queries, and part of that is evident in the new comparisons feature that presents Knowledge Graph facts side-by-side. On both the desktop and mobile devices, you can do searches [...]

Google Brings More “Now” To Search With New Quick Answers

google-now-card-featured Google is bringing more of the capabilities of Google Now to the search box and providing a range of personalized "quick answers" regardless of platform. These new search capabilities focus on "travel and logistics" use cases: reservations, flights, package tracking and calendar entries, among a few others. The content and capabilities will likely expand over time. Google's general objective is to make it easy to get information quickly without having to shift through email or drill down into other Google apps. Google Now has been delivering much of this information to mobile users for s [...]

Google Search Rolling Out Nutrition Information On More Than 1,000 Foods

google-food-burger-200px Building on their Knowledge Graph technology, Google search is rolling out nutrition information on more than 1,000 fruits, vegetables, meats and meals. Users will be able to search on everything from simple one-word terms like apple or carrot to more complex dishes such as burritos or chow mein to find relevant nutrition information. According to Google's announcement, Google voice search users will hear answers to specific questions, like "How much protein is in a banana?" or "How many calories are in an avocado?" as well as receive relevant nutrition information in search results, and [...]

Google’s Impressive “Conversational Search” Goes Live On Chrome

google-conversational-search-featured The "conversational search" that Google demonstrated at last week's Google I/O conference is now available to users of its Chrome browser, and it's a significant leap in how we use search engines. I'm 17 years now into writing about search, and I've seen all types of things that have promised to revolutionize the space, especially products that trot out words like "natural language" and "semantic search" but fail to deliver. Conversational search has natural language, semantic search and more built into it, and while it's far from perfect, this really is one of those significant change [...]

“OK Google” — Hands-Free, Conversational Search Coming From Google

OK Google Google has allowed you to speak your search to it on the desktop and mobile devices for some time, but now it's going to get smarter -- talking back to you and continuing the conversation you started. Google shared details at its Google I/O 2013 developer event today and also in a blog post that's gone up. The idea is that your devices --  smartphone or desktop -- will apparently be constantly listening for the "OK Google" command. If you say that, then it knows you want to do a search. That command is already used as part of Google Glass in a similar way ("OK Glass") -- and onl [...]

“Google Now” Moving Well Beyond Search, Becoming Mobile Assistant

Google Now cards list Almost exactly three years ago then Google employee Marissa Mayer described "the perfect search engine" in an interview with IDG News. She said it would be one "that could understand speech, questions, phrases, what entities you're talking about, concepts. It would be able to search all of the world's information, [find] different ideas and concepts, and bring them back to you in a presentation that was really informative and coherent." Mayer went on to add: There are a lot of different aspects of research that need to go into building that search engine. You need to understand speech. You [...]

Google Adds 13 New Languages To Voice Search

Google announced they have added 13 new languages to Google Voice Search. The new languages include Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, European Portuguese, Finnish, Galician, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak and Swedish. This brings the total tally of supported languages in Google Voice Search up to 42 languages supported. Google says that adding these 13 new languages enables an additional 100 million new speakers to use the feature. Was it easy to add these 13 new languages? Some were, but some were not Google said: Each new language usually requires that we ini [...]

iOS Users To Get Enhanced Google Search App Ahead Of Most Android Users

google-apps-featured Google announced an enhanced version of Google Voice Search today with some pretty awesome interaction in answers. Android 4.1 users sort of have it already. iOS users will have it in a few days. The rest of the Android world, 4.0 and below? They'll stay waiting. Answers, Not Search Results Google's long offered Voice Search for both Android and iOS platforms. What Google showed today was the latest version integrated into the Google Search app for iOS, where asking questions doesn't bring back just search results pages but actual answers. Search for the weather, and you get the weather d [...]

Piper Jaffray “Street Test” Of Google vs. Siri Misses The Point

No sooner did I hit "publish" on my earlier post, Google’s "Voice Assistant" Not Quite Siri-Smart But Most People Won’t Notice, than people on Twitter started responding that I was out of my mind. A couple of people cited a Piper Jaffray study, published yesterday, comparing the accuracy and breadth of Siri "search results" vs. Google in a "street test" in Minneapolis. Google Gets a "B+" Siri Gets a "D" In short Google was graded with a "B+" in terms of accuracy, while Siri got a "D." It's really an "apples to oranges" comparison, however. Let's take a look at the methodology. Piper J [...]

Google’s “Voice Assistant” Not Quite Siri-Smart But Most People Won’t Notice

google-voice-search At Google I/O this week Google introduced spoken search results, which mimic Siri's functionality on the iPhone. Siri had been a major point of differentiation between Android handsets and the iPhone, despite Google's preexisting voice search. The new Google female voice actually sounds less like a machine and more natural than Siri. And there are already a number of video demos favorably comparing Google's "Voice Assistant" to Siri (see below). Since Google didn't give her a name (or not one that we've heard yet), I'll call her "JB" for Jelly Bean. The following side-by-side video belo [...]

Google Introduces Redesigned Mobile Search Experience, “Google Now” And Siri-Like Assistant

Screen shot 2012-06-27 at 1.14.06 PM Buried among the sexy hardware announcements and hair-raising Google Glass demo this morning were some fairly radical changes to the Google search experience for mobile devices. To date Google has been compensating for the awkwardness of the PC SERP on smartphones with voice search and other marginal "fixes." Today it took a potentially major step toward offering a distinct search experience designed specifically for mobile that may bury the "old" mobile SERP. The familiar smartphone mobile SERP is still there and probably will continue to be shown in a majority of cases. But these new e [...]

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide