Well, here we are. We’ve made it to 2020, the year that so many believed would be a milestone for voice search, because allegedly, 50% of all search queries by 2020 were going to be conducted via voice.

I think most people by now are aware that this stat is, to use the technical term, bunk. Many of them have been nice enough to link back to my own articles on the topic! (If you’re interested in reading about why the '50% by 2020' “prediction” is so unfounded, you can do so here. The short version is that this statistic never existed as such; it also came from a prediction about voice search in China, which is a very different landscape to the west).

But today I want to go one step further and talk about why I think that talking about “voice search” at all in 2020 is missing the point.

I should preface this by noting that in this article, I'll be talking about the voice and marketing landscape in the west, which has a different level of uptake, different players and different conditions to a country like China, where voice is much more well-established. For a look at voice in China, you can check out our recent piece on Baidu's decision to exit the smart speaker price war.

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