Tech bloggers love to test and compare rival products. There’s an underlying assumption that the better product will always win. But other factors (e.g., price, brand and so on) can get in the way of rational market outcomes. A new study from agency 360i (reported in Adweek) asserts that Google Home is much more likely to answer people’s questions than Amazon Alexa.The headline is Google Home is “six times more ‘effective’ than Alexa.” The study was based on 3,000 questions being asked to both devices. Beyond the conclusion, little else was reported about the nature of the questions or where Home succeeded and Alexa faltered. Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana were apparently not part of the test. The company says that additional findings will be revealed in the weeks ahead. An earlier comparison from Stone Temple Consulting involving “5,000 different questions about everyday … [Read more...] about Study argues Google Home 6X ‘more effective’ than Alexa, but will consumers care?
Andy Rubin, former Google employee and creator of the Android operating system, unveiled two new products from his new company: a high-end smartphone and a stand-alone virtual assistant. The "Essential Phone" and "Essential Home" are intended to compete with his former employer's products (Pixel, Google Home), as well as those from Samsung and Apple. The Essential smartphone is available for pre-order now (US only) and costs $699. It comes with an add-on, 360-degree camera for $50 more. It's positioned as a premium device, with an edge-to-edge screen and high-end processor. It's also made from titanium and is supposed to be more durable than other Android devices or the iPhone, according to its PR. The Essential Home - I wonder if Google will come after Rubin for using the same name - is close in size to the Amazon Echo Dot but more elegant. Pricing for the virtual assistant hasn't yet been disclosed. However, Google Home is $129, and Amazon Echo is available for $179. It will thus be … [Read more...] about Former Android boss launches devices to compete with Google Pixel and Google Home
The company created a TV spot (below) that tries to invoke Google Home — for those that have them. Near the end of the commercial the camera zooms in close and the actor playing a BK employee says, “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?” If there’s a Google Home nearby, it lights up. But it doesn’t answer because Google apparently got wind of the ad and shut down the response, which was supposed to be a description of the ingredients as listed in the Wikipedia page about Whoppers. (There’s some evidence that BK’s agency or employees edited Wikipedia before the commercial started running to game the answer.) The real objective here was not to light up a bunch of Google Home devices but to get a bunch of earned media coverage from the stunt. If the real target of the campaign were the at-home audience, why wouldn’t it have gone after Alexa? Echo/Alexa is approaching or has exceeded 10 million in device sales, while the data suggest Google … [Read more...] about Shrewd Burger King ad tries to hijack Google Home, delivers earned media home run
Fresh off its recent voice search study, Stone Temple Consulting compared the relative accuracy of Google Home and Amazon Echo. The SEO firm posed 5,000 questions to each unit “to see which device was smarter.” In its discussion of results, the firm makes clear that the test was not a comparison of the full range of virtual assistant capabilities. Rather it sought to determine which device more often gave a correct answer to a wide range of factual questions. The specific list of questions wasn’t provided. Percentage of 5,000 questions device attempted to answer There were some scoring nuances that Stone Temple describes in its own blog post, which I won’t reproduce here. As one might anticipate, however, Google was able to answer many more questions than Echo/Alexa. That’s consistent with my personal experience and makes sense given Google’s search index. Google Home answered more than three times the number of questions that Amazon Echo could. The … [Read more...] about Google Home has more answers than Amazon Echo
Earlier today Google announced that you will now be able shop with Google Assistant on Google Home. This duplicates functionality already available on Amazon’s Alexa devices. Inventory is available from “participating Google Express retailers, including Costco, Whole Foods Market, Walgreens, PetSmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and more than 50 other national and locally available retailers.” To start shopping you need to set up a delivery address and a payment method in the Google Home app. Unfortunately this was not an intuitive process (for me at least), despite suggestions that it would be. I was trying to do this on my daughter’s Home; my account was not already linked. It might be easier from set up with a Google account that already has payment credentials on file. To motivate adoption and participation, through the end of April, Google is waiving its Google Express delivery and membership charges, which can either be $4.99 per store or $95 for an annual … [Read more...] about Now you can shop with Google Home — just like on Amazon Echo
A year after Amazon’s Echo starred in a Super Bowl commercial, Google Home gets its turn in the spotlight with a 60-second ad that will air Sunday during this year’s Super Bowl. It’s not Google’s first Super Bowl ad; that happened all the way back in 2010 when Google ran the well-received Parisian Love ad. But it is the first Super Bowl ad for Google Home, the company’s in-home voice assistant that’s only been available to consumers since October. You’ll recognize the commercial as very “Googley” — it has a very personal and homey feel and portrays a cross-section of people using the device in various times of need. The ad ends with the tagline, “Home by you. Help by Google.” There’s no pricing information or even anything that tells consumers where to buy Home. Google is battling Amazon — and to a lesser degree right now, Apple (Siri) and Microsoft (Cortana) — for the expanding voice assistant … [Read more...] about Google Home to star in new Super Bowl LI commercial
What started with Siri in 2010 is quickly leading to an age where consumers engage with the internet using only their voices, in much the way Captain Picard engaged with the computer on the USS Enterprise. Google’s foray into voice search has been calculated and planned for years, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai. It currently appears to be based on a closed system owned and overseen by Google, not on an open system like the trillions of websites that populate the internet are built on (i.e., HTML). I predicted this eventuality more than two years ago, after the Nest acquisition. These are the problems and challenges brought by Google’s new assistant that marketers and SEOs alike need to be aware of. Google I/O 2016 announcement On May 18, 2016, Google announced Google Home, a speaker that houses the new Google assistant (Yes, it’s Google assistant with a lower-case a, not Google Assistant) platform and that resembles the Amazon Echo. The Home device seeks to … [Read more...] about What marketers need to know about Google assistant and Google Home
On the heels of Amazon’s success with Echo and Google’s introduction of Home, Apple is preparing a stand-alone virtual assistant device, powered by Siri, according to a report in The Information. The report says that Apple will also open up Siri to third-party apps. This latter point is the more significant of the two revelations. According to the article: Opening up its Siri voice assistant to outside app developers is the more immediate step. Apple is preparing to release a software developer kit, or SDK, for app developers who want their apps to be accessible through Siri, according to a person with direct knowledge of the effort. As I’ve indicated in the past, this was the original vision for Siri: an intelligent front end for third-party services, transactions and content. However, after Apple bought Siri, it basically abandoned that ambition (aside from a handful of partner services). Now, competition is forcing the company to return to that vision. The article … [Read more...] about Apple building Amazon Echo competitor, will open Siri to third-party apps — [Report]
Think of the new Google Home assistant as a voice-only search engine. You ask it questions by voice; it gives back answers by voice. If you’re a search marketer, that immediately raises a big concern: How do I get traffic and visitors from this thing, if they can’t click to me? Turns out, they can. The key is the Google Home companion app for iOS or Android. For certain questions, especially those that are drawn from web-based sources rather than Google’s Knowledge Graph facts database or Wikipedia, Google Home will give a voice answer and send a link to the source of that answer to the companion app. “Related to your activity” cards Here’s an example of this in action. I asked Google Home for a mince pie recipe, and it responded with a voice answer: Someone probably can’t remember everything in a recipe delivered by voice, so Google Home smartly sends a link to the recipe to the Google Home app, for reference: Clicking on the “Visit … [Read more...] about How Google Home turns voice answers into clickable links
On the first full day that we had a Google Home in our house, we interacted with it 473 times over the course of the day. Four hundred of those were my two-year-old asking it to play “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways, followed by his mother or me interrupting with, “Hey Google! Stop!” (Look, I love that song, too, but enough is enough, you know?) The point is, watching the way that my family interacts with the device, and how often they interact with it, I’m more inclined to believe the forecast that sales of Amazon Echo and Google Home type devices will go from 1.8 million this year to 15.1 million in 2020. Have you seen this demo video from Google I/O?: It really can do all of those things, like turn on your lights and help you plan your day. There are many times where it gets stumped and says “Sorry, I’m not sure how to help with that,” but not nearly as many as Amazon Echo, as you can see in Danny Sullivan’s review. For the most … [Read more...] about SEO without SERPs is here with Google Assistant, Home and Amazon Echo. Here’s how to survive.