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BizReport : Search Marketing : November 01, 2010

Mobile users using voice for local searches

Ever wondered what mobile phone users who initiate searches using voice are looking for, or why they use the function? New research from ad network Chitika throws some light on the matter.

by Helen Leggatt

More mobile users are catching on to voice search. Google carries around 97% of all iPhone search traffic and it has recently been discovered that 7% of those searches are initiated via voice.

However, that's small potatoes compared to the number made by Android users. Google CEO Eric Schmidt said previously that 25% of Android-based Google searches in the U.S. are initiated by voice. It's worth noting at this point that voice search is often preloaded on new Android devices.

According to Chitika's research, those who search using voice are three times more likely to be looking for local results. But, why use voice? According to Chitika's Dan Ruby, searching by voice is often used by those behind the wheel of a car for safety reasons and because, in some parts of the world, texting while driving is illegal.

Google has plans to revamp their voice-enabling offerings and are shutting down 1-800-GOOG-411, their original voice-powered directory assistance service, in just a couple of weeks time (12 November, 2010).

"Our success encouraged us to aim for more innovation," announced a team member earlier this month. "Thus, we're putting all of our resources into speech-enabling the next generation of Google products and services across a multitude of languages."

Google has already begun ramping up their voice-powered products. Last week Google Mobile added voice search in four new languages: Russian, Polish, Czech, and Turkish.

Tags: mobile marketing, search marketing, voice search

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