Google Home… Friend or Foe?

Welcome to the life of luxurious convenience. I present to you… Google Home.

Say goodbye to the days of fumbling around on your phone for answers. You can now ask Google for the weather, the news or to turn on your hallway lights. AND, it gets even better because Google Home can distinguish your voice from others in your house so you get the full personal experience. Google Home can do it all! #Notsponsored

While many are jumping on the Google Home band wagon, it’s best to know how it works before allowing artificial intelligence (AI) into your home… Sounds scary, right? Well, Google Home is powered by Google Assistant which is a voice-enabled AI software that bundles machine learning, the Google Knowledge Graph, and voice recognition.  In the growing world of voice-controlled smart speakers, Google Home is a Wi-Fi speaker, digital assistant, and smart-home controller. It brings Google search and voice-control expertise to the forefront so that you can just “Google It” without lifting a finger.

The Information Volt

(What is happening with our data? Is Google Home always listening?)

Google Home doesn’t record your conversations, but it listens… Essentially, Google Home listens for a few seconds in snippets for the hotword “OK Google”. Google Home will only process your convo after the hotword is detected. If the hotword is not heard, the audio snippet is trashed.

Further to this, Google Home requires a high level of access to your apps and accounts in order to give personalised responses. The types of digital information that can be created, collected, exchanged or reused include information from your search history, social connections, interests, purchase history, location, calendars and contact sources. This may sound extremely shady to some people and because of this, Google is suffering with grappling challenges around privacy concerns.

National privacy laws and laws protecting confidentiality are out of date for what technology now offers. Therefore, you are now in charge of your own privacy, Hun. It’s up to you to determine what information and how much information you give to an AI device like Google Home. Therefore you should definitely read the Google Home privacy policies. I know it’s boring as bat shit, but for the sake of your future privacy, just do it! You’ll thank me later!

On the flip side, Google allows you access to the data that has been collected from your conversations to minimise these privacy concerns. All you have to do is go to the “My Activity” page and delete any sneaky information that you don’t want collected- At least it seems like we still have some control, right?

A Marketing Point-of-view

First and foremost, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is all about recognising and predicting the behaviours of search users and trying to deliver content based on those understandings.  Searching by voice is a hot topic among SEO professionals, who must be innovative with their new SEO strategies to accommodate to this technological shift. Unlike keywords searched on your computer and phone, voice-search is much more conversational. The infographic below shows the most voice-searched topics:

This infographic explains why so many people are using voice-search mechanisms:

“55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search on a daily basis, and the numbers are only growing” -Google

Marketing Tactic #1

For businesses to embrace and efficiently optimise voice-search, a contemporary marketing strategy is to incorporate ‘conversational’ keywords on a business’ FAQ page. All you have to do is ask, and you will find out:

“OK Google, who has the best digital camera?”

Camera shops will have their cameras listed as “the best digital camera” on their FAQ page, Google will match your question with the camera site’s listing and will then suggest that specific website to you. It converges your personal interests with those of the camera shops. Very simple, but it works… Now let’s see which business comes out on top of a Google search.

Marketing Tactic #2

With every new device, there are new pitfalls. So, what does this mean for content marketing? Publishing content specifically to rank on the first page of Google would become obsolete  because Google Home is without a first page.  Therefore, content would become an all-or-nothing game… Businesses will have to make Google’s ‘featured snippet’ or fade into oblivion.

With the increasing use of voice-search, businesses are developing innovative marketing strategies to target a specific audience. Here is an example of Burger King’s massive FAIL when tapping into their audience’s Google Home devices:

When Google Home was triggered by the advert, Wikipedia’s definition of the ‘Whopper’ was given because it’s one of the sites that has the most ‘featured snippets’ on Google’s search engine results page. This advertisement failed hardcore because people were able to edit the ingredients listed on the Wikipedia website- Didn’t think that through, did ya Burger King?

Marketing Tactic #3

Forget cultural appropriation, Google Home has embraced cultural appreciation. Google Home has incorporated a nationalistic personalisation tactic with the hope of maintaining a long-term relationship with their consumers. Google Home can speak authentic ‘Strayan’.

The Australian version of Google Home has been designed to understand Australian accents, and will speak back in an Australian accent too.

“It’s so exciting to release a product that looks, sounds and feels like an authentic Australian”-Raunaq Shah (Google Home Product Manager)

Australia is just the fourth country where Google has released a localised version of Google Home, after launching in the USA, UK and Canada.

Google Home can make your life so much easier but do yourself a solid and read the goddamn privacy policies before you jump in and tell your new Google Home all your deepest and darkest secrets… because lets be real, those sneaky marketers love to hear all about your personal life!

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