SEO News You Can Use: Tech Giants Launch Speech Accessibility Project

SEO News you can use

Five tech giants (Google, Apple, Meta, Amazon and Microsoft) have initiated a joint venture in collaboration with the University of Illinois to improve voice recognition and be more inclusive for those with diverse speech patterns. Eve Andersson, Google’s Senior Director, Product Inclusion, Equity, and Accessibility, announced on October 4 that they would join the initiative.

 

The Speech Accessibility Project aims to: 

 

  • Make websites more accessible. 
  • Improve the user experience of features like speech translation and voice assistants.
  • Improve the operation of voice-activated devices.

 

The project will be launched in English, to begin with, and eventually be expanded to various languages. This could potentially assist those facing challenges such as Lou Gehrig’s disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome.

 

Using samples of various vice patterns to create a dataset, which will be implemented to build a machine learning model, will better understand diverse speech patterns.

 

In 2019, Google created the Euphonia Project to improve voice recognition for the unconventional English language. The goal was to “reduce median word error rates by an average of more than 80 percent.” This led to the creation of an android app called Project which makes it easy for participants to upload their voice samples and understand unique speech patterns using three main features: Listen, Repeat and Assistant.

 

Over 2,000 participants from the Euphonia Project will now be able to participate in the Speech Accessibility Project by submitting their voice samples as a way to contribute to improving communications for all, including those with speech disabilities. For more insights on this initiative, check out Search Engine Journal’s article here.

 

More SEO News You Can Use

 

PPC Roundtable Discusses Google Search On Announcements Relating to B2B: A group of pay-per-click (PPC) experts recently gathered to pool their insight after Google’s third annual Search On event, held on September 28th. Ginny Marvin, Google’s Ad Liaison, hosted the roundtable to chat about announcements that pertain to the business-to-business (B2B) sector, specifically visualization, personalization and sustainability. Certain Search updates related to “browsable search results, larger image assets, and business messages for conversational search,” for instance, made no mention of desktops. The focus was mainly on mobile, which is not beneficial to B2B companies as most B2B services rely on desktop searches. Another comment was that events like Search On or Google Marketing Live (GML) have become more customer-focused and less so on advertisers and that there was a lack of tangible insights and solutions to implement. From a Google Search Product Management perspective, it was advised that B2B companies use images to preview what’s on the landing page. However, it was acknowledged that lesser image restrictions were needed for B2B companies. Another topic discussed was value-based bidding; however, assessing the values of various conversion points is not simple. For the full story, visit Search Engine Journal.

 

No Query Data Showing in Google Analytics 3 Search Console Report: On October 6, reports were received that Universal Analytics 3 users were not reflecting query data as it was for Google Analytics 4 (G4) or Search Console Users. Users who attempted to access query data within the Acquisition/Queries of the integrated version of A3 could only view the data as “not set” for several days via Search Console, according to Search Engine Land. Google advocate, John Mueller, responded via Twitter, saying that Google is looking into it. However, many speculate whether Google would fix the issues with the pending sunset of Analytic 3 looming (July 1, 2023). Search Engine Land suggests either going directly to Search Console or switching to G4 in the interim. Other areas of Google Search were a bit glitchy too. Search Engine Roundtable also reported that clicks or impressions for traffic sent through the new Google multisearch feature were not tracked last week. Meanwhile, later that week, on September 21, 2022, due to a logging error. Google, however, reassured users that this was not an indication of “changes in search performance or user behavior.”

 

Seven Updates To Local Search Announced at Google’s Search On: Google announced seven new updates at the recent annual Search On event highlighting new features that could benefit restaurants significantly. The updates include searching for restaurants by dish, discovering restaurant specialties, increased support for digital menus, Google Maps’ Live View enhancements, aerial views of famous landmarks, immersive views and neighborhood vibe checks. This makes it easier to locate restaurants and expands search capabilities, increasing the chances of local businesses attracting restaurant customers. For example, customers can now search by dish instead of by food type, hoping they’ll have the dish they’re craving. It also allows restaurants to highlight their specialty dishes, indicate what makes their brand unique and take quality one step further. It is also now more accessible to look at restaurant menus without visiting the actual site. For more details on how these new features can help improve your restaurant business and user experience, see the Search Engine Journal article here.

 

Google Sheds Light on Using AI Images on Webpages: In the latest Search off the Record podcast, John Mueller, Google Search Liaison, and Lizzi Sassman, Google Search Advocate, discuss the use of artificial intelligence (AI) generated images online. Usually, Google doesn’t permit using AI-generated content to manipulate search results. There are, of course, exceptions, such as auto-translated text that has been reviewed and created by a human and automatically created meta descriptions. Both Mueller and Saasman expressed that it is not only permitted but that it may be an exciting addition to digital content. However, in the case of anything specific that should be depicted by the original, like screenshots, authentic images would be better, Mueller said. Another reservation regarding AI-generated images is that they may be limited because AI learning technology only has the image database to work off of. Nonetheless, all things considered, AI imagery is considered for ranking in searches. For more details, visit Search Engine Journal here.

 

YouTube Adds Personal Stories to Health Topic Search Results: In other search-related news, Youtube has added a section whereby patients can upload their personal stories. This is a new way to provide users with health-related search results. This is in response to the way users are searching. User search patterns no longer reflect simply looking for information about health issues. Instead, users are searching for support, a sense of community with others going through the same thing or answers to more “human” questions, like how to manage or live with a health-related issue. This new personal stories shelf will take the form of a carousel of videos offering personal experiences related to their medical condition. According to Search Engine Land, videos focused on “a personal, authentic lived experience relevant to a specific physical or mental health condition” will be eligible to appear in this section. The rollout will initially focus on cancer and mental health-related topics and will only be available to users in the U.S. Over time; Youtube hopes to expand this feature to various topics and users globally.

 

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on SEOblog.com, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make SEOblog.com a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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