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Checking out Google’s classic search page, there is now a little microphone in the search box. Do you know what that’s for? Try this as a test: Click the microphone and speak a search term. That’s right. Just tell Google what to search for.

That’s Google’s voice-to-text search feature. I’ll say it works pretty well. I’ve done a few tests myself.

So the big question is, if you are an SEO or concerned about search engine optimization at all, is this: How do you optimize a website for voice-to-text? And here’s the answer: The same way you’d optimize for text-only search.

The best that I can tell, the search results for voice-to-text and text-only are the same. So what Google has done is taken its search index and converted it to voice-to-text so that people who can’t type or who have physical or mental handicaps preventing them from making a text-only search can still enjoy the search experience. The overall index is the same.

This is a great feature for accessibility purposes. Some countries have laws that require websites online to meet accessibility requirements. That may be why Google introduced this feature in the first place.

SEO is SEO. You don’t have to try to figure out how to do it for handicapped persons. For the most part, their needs are the same as yours. You can, however, spend a little additional time and resource to make your website accessible and the best time to do that is in the design planning stage. Implement a good website design that is accessible to everyone and you’ll increase your searchability as well.

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