Tag Archives: technology

[French] Stepping into the future with voice SEO

Did you know that.. there’s such a thing as voice SEO?


According to PwC, 65% of 25-49 year olds use voice assistants daily and with this ever-rising popularity in devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, Cortana and Siri, it makes sense that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is now being carried out for voice searches. The optimisation of keywords and phrases for searches of this nature is now just as important (and could even soon be more important) than standard SEO for keyboard searches. Whilst it is true that most standard SEO techniques are still relevant since voice searches are converted into text before returning results, there are some key differences between keyboard searches and voice-activated searches that make voice SEO important to consider. 

Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, searches carried out using voice assistants are phrased differently to text-based or typed searches. When asking questions to voice assistant devices, users naturally use more conversational terms and phrases. This means it is important for businesses to ensure that their online content reflects this natural, conversational tone of voice, not only in terms of keywords but also in terms of semantics and context, in order to be returned as a relevant search result that answers users’ questions.

It is also important to note that the most common use of voice assistants is to search for local amenities, stores and businesses. The increasing use of voice search to find out what time the local takeaway shuts, or where the nearest hairdresser is, means that now is the time for businesses to focus on their local SEO. This can include making sure that they have an up to date “Google My Business” page as well as building up online reviews to increase visibility on Google Search and Maps, in turn, making them more likely to appear as a search result. 

Finally, don’t forget that when using voice search, users are often not returned a selection of results as they are with keyboard searches. Unless the voice assistant includes a screen, users expect a single, verbal response to their query. The most relevant option is selected by the voice assistant and if there is a “featured snippet” this will always be the result chosen to be read out. With this in mind, it is more important than ever to be aiming to reach that “Position Zero” on search results. 

With ComScore predicting 50% of all searches in 2020 to be voice-activated, and the BBC set to launch their own voice assistant, Beeb, next year, it is time to step into the future with voice SEO. For more advanced tips, check out Search Engine Watch‘s six essential factors to consider in voice search optimisation.

Ditch Your Keys

Ditch Your Keys

Uber has recently launched a new campaign in South Africa, called 'Ditch Your Keys'.

Owning a car is often associated with convenience, cheaper running costs, the avoidance of public transport and many other advantages. No wonder why people are so unwilling to separate themselves from their car keys. The South Africans are no exception. The majority of South African car owners are strongly convinced that having a car at your disposal is the more affordable choice.

However, are South African drivers still of the same opinion when they start experiencing troubles with finding a parking spot at busy shopping malls? Or maybe with filling up the fuel tank? All these and other painful car situations were taken into consideration by Uber when launching a new campaign in the country called ‘Ditch Your Keys’.

The aim of the campaign was to convince car owners to switch to Uber in situations where having a car is not worth it. The strategy involved putting digital screens and billboards containing catch phrases (e.g. 'nobody ever got a speeding ticket from the back seat'), so that they become more noticeable when drivers are experiencing pain points.

As a result, this clever campaign has become a huge success! There was even a case when a female driver almost immediately sold her car and started to use Uber for shopping and going to the gym or work. Would you switch?

By Anastasiya Razhnouskaya

[French] Mobile technology designed to improve language diversity

Language diversity

In the technological world of mobile media, it’s not always easy to preserve language diversity. Communication technologies, and social media in particular, present benefits such as the opportunity to improve the prestige of a language and promote its use among younger generations. But they also present challenges when we consider, for example, that interaction and input rely more on processes like speed recognition and gesture typing, than on traditional keyboard typing.

Predictive text has been implemented for global languages, but there is not enough support for minority languages with smaller commercial markets. The global trend is towards less linguistic diversity, as local and indigenous languages are being replaced by languages like English, Spanish or Chinese, with speech-controlled applications failing to take minority languages into consideration.

Irish (Gaeilge) for example, despite being the first official language of Ireland, is only spoken by about 40-70,000 people daily, out of the Irish population of 4.6 million. The remainder of the population uses English. A recent report shows that some of the obstacles encountered by Irish speakers included mobile interfaces inhibiting the use of Irish, the audience for Irish being smaller than the audience for English, and their networks being linguistically pluralistic.

Interaction designers should consider these issues when designing for minority language users. The computerization of minority languages, together with software localization or translation, provide new opportunities for language preservation and revitalization. On Apple devices, for example, basic input of text for minority languages with a script closely related to a majority language is not a problem, but most Irish people would still use English on social media, as using a minority language might limit engagement.

Preserving minority languages is really important, as a language represents a particular culture, and contains unique information about the world. As global technology giants like Facebook and Google try to enter developing regions of the world, linguistic self-determination is becoming of great importance.

By Maria D'Innocenzo

Uritrottoir: does it look like a flowerpot to you? Look closer…


Street urinating has apparently been a serious issue in Paris for decades. The Nantes-based Faltazi company has taken the “pipi sauvage” (“wild pissing” in French) trend to another level. In order to civilize French street urinating, they have created the “Uritrottoir”, a fancy looking urinal, which looks more attractive than the old grey Paris counterparts, and could be easily mistaken for being just a cute flowerpot.

The device, which costs around €3,000, is eco-friendly and odour-free, thanks to the recyclable absorbing material it is made of. It stores the urine in a block of dry material, which will then be taken away and turned into compost. So far, two Uritrottoir have been installed near Gare de Lyon, which is the most affected area, and are ready to be tested.

Only time will tell whether these new-age urinals will completely replace the old ones, and whether they will be able to solve the problem. Just remember... things are not always what they seem!   

By Maria D'Innocenzo