According to recent modifications spotted by 9to5Google, the familiar microphone icon in Google’s search bar might soon be a thing of the past. Google shifting the main target from regular voice search to Assistant is a sign of where Google needs to guide the future of its services.
On some smartphones, Google’s old-school “Voice Search,” with the prompt “Say ‘Hey Google,'” has been replaced by the four-dot Assistant logo and the term “Ask your Assistant.” As a reminder, that’s just like the one at the bottom of Google’s Pixel launcher. It still displays the same interface as before, but the search is now performed and managed by Assistant and shows the results in a slide-up card.
This modification could potentially affect a small percentage of organic search traffic to publishers, given the Assistant’s penchant for providing direct answers. When users are given the answers they need from Google Assistant, they don’t have to search and click through to publishers’ sites. Although it’s essential to keep in mind that the Assistant can’t provide a direct answer for every query. Again, this modification solely has the potential to impact whichever share of searches are conducted using voice search on Android. However, it’s impossible to know exactly how small or large that percentage is because Google doesn’t provide voice search data.
Google’s Voice Search has been around in one form or another for many years and operates in more languages than Assistant. However, Google needs users to embrace Assistant instead so that they need analogous expertise across multiple devices – whether or not they be smartphones or smart speakers. The modification is only appearing on some smartphones but could be coming in a phased rollout to others later on. Engadget has reached out to Google for confirmation.