Okay Google: What You Need To Know

Scott Lambert

It has been a year in development, but just a couple days ago the world’s biggest search engine announced on its blog that Okay Google is ready to go live. To begin with it will only be available in the US, the UK and Canada, and it is still in beta testing. Users should not expect perfection, but this is a great chance for business owners to explore its potential, assess its limitations and get ahead of the game.

The Okay Google package is embedded in Google Chrome, so it is necessary to start out with this as the browser. It is then simply a matter of going to the Google homepage and clicking on the microphone symbol to activate the voice recognition system. As long as the computer in use has a microphone, there is no other set-up needed. The words "Okay Google" can be spoken to start a search.

It is probable that, however good it gets, the variation in user voices and accents means that some words will always be misinterpreted by Okay Google. Working out which, and when, could provide useful alternative sets of keywords for voice-based search engine optimization.

It is easy to tell when Google is listening and when it is not, by looking at the same microphone icon. If it is white, the system is "asleep"; if it is black, Google is paying attention and ready to receive instruction. In addition to searching, Okay Google can interpret and act on other commands such as setting reminder messages.

Google has announced that Windows, Mac and Linux versions, as well as a Chrome OS version, will all be available within the next few days. An Android version has been available since November but it is expected that this will turn out to be used quite differently from the way it is used on traditional devices, as it has the advantage of sparing people the discomfort of having to type on a tiny keyboard; however, it has the disadvantage of being less private – it is one thing to have people overhear a mundane phone conversation in the street but quite another for them to have the ability to spy on search patterns.

It is also possible that Okay Google will change people’s search habits more generally, because people who get into the habit of searching differently at home may feel constrained when searching in the office. Identifying any changes such as this and adjusting marketing strategies accordingly would be another positive way to increase market share.

Scott Lambert

Written by Scott Lambert

For 35 years, Scott has been at the forefront of digital transformation and how it is effectively applied in businesses and organizations to market, sell, and support customers and members more successfully and cost effectively. Scott is President and Co-Founder of Xcellimark, an award-winning digital marketing agency serving clients throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, and Germany. Xcellimark helps businesses succeed through the implementation of its unique digital marketing and sales approach specifically designed to meet their specific goals and objectives. Scott’s marketing, sales, and operations experience have included key management positions at industry leaders including AT&T, iXL (now SapientRazorfish), eSchool Solutions (now TalentED), and BellSouth, where he led the product development, marketing efforts, and market launch of BellSouth.net, the second public ISP developed in the U.S. Scott is the author of articles highlighted on leading online publishers such as LinkedIn, Business 2 Community, and he was recently featured by LinkedIn in the Entrepreneur magazine article on “No Time for Marketing? Hire a Freelancer.” His engaging personality and wealth of real-world and business experience make Scott a frequently requested speaker. Some of his engagements include being the featured speaker in a series of Orlando Business Journal seminars on Digital Marketing, speaking at the WSI London conference, and at international conferences in Belize. Scott has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s of Science in the Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Scott has been active in global mission efforts and is a board member of Global Teams, a Christian outreach organization. He lives in Winter Springs, FL with his wife Nancy and dog Sadie.

Topics: SEO

Reply or Leave Comments: