How to Personalize your Google Assistant Directory Page

With the rise of voice search, personalizing your own Google Assistant Directory Page and early adoption of this structured-data powered content is allowing publishers to claim their brand new Google Actions page in the Assistant directory.

Given the exploding number of ways to use the user-savvy Assistant throughout the day, preemptive structured data implementation may result in winning an surprising competitive lift once it propagates through your indexed pages. From starting the business day with a news briefing to setting a reminder alarm for a key business meeting, planning your travels on Google Maps, and almost anything else. To customize your Google Assistant Directory Page for mobile search, we’ll cover the core settings and features you will want to setup.

Google is growing the number of devices that integrates Google Assistant. First, there are the sundry voice-activated speakers from Altec Lansing, Anker Innovations, Bang & Olufsen, Braven, iHome, JBL, Jensen, LG, Klipsch, Knit Audio, Memorex, RIVA Audio and SōLIS (listed alphabetically). It capabilities surpass the need for speakers to smart displays. Google announced that Google Assistant intends to operate “new smart displays from four companies, including JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony.” Currently, it is already functioning on “over 225 home control brands and more than 1,500 devices.” The Assistant can help send web traffic to your AMP landing pages.

At this time, Google is sending a notice to US podcast, recipe, and news publishers who have already preempted into either Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) or structured data markup. The company has developed Google Assistant “Actions” specifically for those content types, so users can ask the Assistant to return content from such publishers.

Here is the content of Google’s notification that many are receiving:

Google Assistant helps a user find the information they want, including content from publishers across of many of Google’s platforms, e.g., Search, News, Maps and more. Now we’re making it even easier for users to find content with the Google Assistant’s browsable Actions directory.

Specifically, for U.S. English podcast, recipe, and news publishers who have invested in structured data markups and/or Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) we have presented the ability to find content from such providers as “Actions” (things people can ask the Google Assistant to do), each with its own auto-generated directory page in the Google Assistant’s Actions directory.

“The Google Assistant is designed to provide help and information across a variety of platforms and is built to bring together a number of products — including marketing on Google Maps, Search, Google Photos, third-party services, and more. For some of these products, we have released specific evaluation guidelines, like Search Quality Rating Guidelines. However, the Google Assistant needs its own guidelines in place, as many of its interactions utilize what is called “eyes-free technology,” when there is no screen as part of the experience.”

Early Preparationt

Prior: Add Schema – If your site already had adhered to Google’s Guideline’s for structured data markup for news articles, aggregated reviews, the Google-prescribed RSS for podcasts, and recipes, your content already qualify for the opportunity to be a Google Assistant Action. Out-of-the-box, Google’s announcement suggests “U.S. English” content, and we don’t know when that reach will expand, but expect it. Hopefully, we will see organization and industry recognition markup rolled in, as this will include more business sites.

Gooogle’s intent is to make applicable content more visible and discoverable to users. Google has auto-generated its Assistant directory pages with the various actions that are associated with matching some types of content from a website. These are the commands that are available and ready to use within Google Assistant to help users find content on your site.

Matt Southern says on Search Engine Journal that, “With the appropriate structured data and/or AMP markup, content will already be optimized for Google Assistant. Technically, there is nothing more the site owner needs to do, but there is one more step to take if you want to customize your actions directory.”

Actions on Google – Google Assistant Directory Page

Google Home offers multiple account setups, it relies on voice recognition to sort out user query preferences and which resources to connect them to.

1. At this time you have to already have the right type of content for Google to send you a notice.

2. Claim Your Actions Directory Page – If you don’t already have one, watch for a Google Search Console notification to help you claim your actions directory page. Then you can customize it, or unpublish it f that is preferred.

3. Make Customizations –After taking the steps to own your Google Assistant directory page, it is possible to edit your name, description, and brand logo so that you can suggest how they are displayed by Google Assistant. If this directory page remains unclaimed, the search giant’s auto-generated version will still function and the actions available will still work with Google Assistant.

Go to Actions on Google. Its a platform for developers gave for extending the Google Assistant’s reach. This robust and emerging ecosystem lets you develop actions to engage users on Google Home, Pixel, and many other surfaces where the Google Assistant is expanding to. You might also be prompted to configure voice activation, for me, that meant simply repeating “OK Google” three times.

4. Advertise – People can find your apps for the Assistant via Google’s App Directory* that works on both web and mobile. Now you can promote and market your apps with better results that take advantage of Artificial Intelligence. The app directory lets users discover your app content quickly and often favor using them going forward.

The Assistant support helps users listen to news they want and make a change order by going to their Google Account and settings in their Google Home App. By following the above steps you can make it easier for users to find your business details and your latest news.

A Bit of History

The “Internet of Things” network continues to expand capacity to make search more personalized and a matter of simple “speaking” to find answers versus an act of doing.

According to Wikipedia**, “The Google Assistant was unveiled during Google’s developer conference on May 18, 2016, as part of the unveiling of the Google Home smart speaker and new messaging app Allo”. It’s a standalone app for iPhone and iPad owners. Most of the same functions we are familiar with on Google’s own operating system, work right here. As a digital “conversational” assistant, it makes getting what you want hands-free via search much easier.

Focus on Producing Relevant Search Results: One of the most noteworthy announcements at the Google I/O 2017 came from by Google CEO Sundar Pichai. He laid out the company’s planned roadmap for Android, Google Assistant, Google Home, virtual reality, and more. Initially, it was on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones, as well as used with Google Home and then Android Wear 2.0. It was surprising just how well the Google Assistant can see and understand the world around us. It analyzes users with the help of your smartphone camera. The technology called Google Lens helps it assess your surroundings and produce relevant results. This is one favorite use: just point your phone lens at Wi-Fi login credentials and an Android phone is able to use that information to log on to that network.

Talk about Actions: A Oct 4, 2016 tweet from Google included the following video introduction:

It talks about linking the Google Assistant straight from the Google search bar and positioning it as your own personal Google – a way of pointing to personalized search. Google’s recent announcement tells more about what the Google Assistant can do for you, emphasizing the number of models supported and how it makes over a million Actions possible.

Google seems to be going beyond its original plans for Assistant and putting effort into expanding its powerful natural language search capabilities. The competitive arena of voice and personalized search has several major challengers like Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple, each vying for dominance of the smart assistant and smart device market.

At this time, Google continues to depend on structured data markup and AMP to assist in providing content matches for the Assistant, meaning that search marketers who invest in both may find a welcome competitive edge.

Improvements in Voice Interactions with Technology: Enrique Alfonseca, Staff Research Scientist for Google Assistant wrote a December 21, 2017 article titled the Evaluation of Speech for the Google Assistant. As Google often does, it clued publishers, webmasters, and business owners into new digital marketing changes ahead of time, especially as the mobile-first world comes alive. The information is helpful as search engine optimization spends offer the best ROI is SEO’s remain fluid and adjust to maximize new opportunities.

Industry wide adoption: Yesterday, January 10, 2017, DISH unveiled its compatibility with the Google Assistant. now offering multi-language voice control to Hands-Free TV experience. Last year the company advanced by building a robust suite of voice control features, including a new DISH voice remote. Niraj Desai, DISH vice president of product management, says***, “We’re pleased to be working with the Google Assistant to offer our customers the ability to control Hopper’s video experiences through the Assistant on speakers and phones.”

Google Assistant Users: What this Means for your Business

It’s simple: Google Assistant users on mobile devices can buy your products and services with frictionless transactions.

Sara Kleinberg, Head of Ads Research and Insights at Google, posted on January 5, 2018, a number of Google Reasearch statistics on its Voice Assistant and how real people use it. Titled 5 ways voice assistance is shaping consumer behavior, she reports that “72% of people who own a voice-activated speaker say that their devices are often used as part of their daily routine”.

As Internet users increasingly look for spoken responses, both former display end results and optimization for voice-activated searches must adapt. The person asking the question or speaking the command may not use or look at a screen. Even once someone activates Google Maps for directions to a local business, driving instructions can then be “spoken”. Your web pages need to be prepared for useful speech results. If that means mobile-optimized content that prompts the voice response is sourced from the web, Google wants to provide that searcher with a link directly to the original source. Modern eyes-free solutions mean that there has to be a way to generate a relevant audio response.

Google clues us in as to how they do this: “we use a combination of explicit linguistic knowledge and deep learning solutions that allow us to keep answers grammatical, fluent and concise”.

Google’s intent is to connect people to the information that they are seeking. You can add news sources by starting with a long press on your device home button.

Metadata is not meant to be used as a data object on its own; semantics add that component that is logical and can really help with content linking. It is personalized for the user experience. Machine learning creates linking data across content silos so that relevant answers are provided to user questions. How content on your site is connected helps provide structure for practical results that work for users. It also helps Google Assistant to leverage that data.

Google Assistant makes it easy for shoppers to purchase items without going to a third-party site, thanks to an update that integrates Google’s own payment systems. It is easier to say your orders aloud to Google Assistant by selecting to pay from your saved Google wallet information (pretty smart of any vendor). Then a buyer only needs a fingerprint to authenticate the order. Other E-commerce Voice Assistants like Alexa and Cortana work the same way.

Google Assistant’s news sources are influenced by user choices. They can go to Google Assistant on their phone, click on Voice model and retrain their personalized voice model. We can help your brand become a trusted source of information if your product or content falls within their interests.

Google Assistant Makes Podcasts, Recipes and News Easier to Find

Here are a few additional ways to use this powerful Assistant:

  • Check email correspondences
  • Find out “What’s this song?”
  • Check business news: Talk to Marketing Shot Chaser
  • Set your office or home’s interior temperature
  • Control the lights in your storefront or home to create a buying mood or restful stance

No typing is required. The ease of simply making a request or statement and the Google Digital Assistant can set your Nest Thermostat and toggle between heating and cooling modes with simple voice instructions. with so much one can do in a day, who doesn’t love it that you needn’t lift a finger?

For individuals who worry that Google may be eavesdropping in on too many of your activities, you can listen to and delete your Google Now voice history. You can find detailed how-to steps for editing your Google Assistant at Android Central.

Adjust your marketing plan today to improve your content into an Action. Update your web pages that have already integrated into Google’s Index. Start with pages ready for Google AMP news, recipes markup, and live podcasts. They can each be more discoverable through the Assistant, just by claiming and refining your listing in Google’s directory.

“Your Google Assistant will keep track of not only all your search activity but also where you were when you made your request. Google assures this data is kept secure and private. If you’d like to review your activity history and see the details, you can access it straight from the Google Assistant settings.” – Tom Westrick, Android Central Technology Journalist

“Your Super Duper Website content in the Google Assistant: Expect Google Assistant to feature more strongly in SEO in 2018. It is part of a push toward voice and interactive device search.” – Journal Xtra

Google Assistant Directory Setup
We help Minneapolis businesses claim and set up thier Google Assistant Directory Page. This includes managing your structured-data powered content that allows your company to claim your brand new Google Actions page. Image recognition, voice recognition, real-time translator, and contextual text recognition are a core part of this service.
Hill Web Creations


What can Google Assistant Do?

When you ask Google something, whether you simply say “Hi Google”, “Ok Google”, or “Where’s my phone, Google”, help is immediate.

Digital marketers looking at how businesses and content creators can improve ad campaigns and effective SEO strategies will need to keep voice search in mind.

Google Home and Google Assistant are relying heavily on snippets from websites ranking in “position zero” and have been awarded one of those coveted featured snippets. This has prompted more marketers than ever to optimize for featured snippets. Once webmasters better understand the Assistant’s capabilities, they can optimize a site’s performance to give it informational answers.

Understanding voice search queries and the role of a personal Google Assistant helps us better understand the queries types that surface and feature snippets. As marketers, devoting buy-in and resources in order to provide users with the best answer is the best chance for winning promotions to position zero.

In turn business can gain brand credibility if Google determines that they provide the best answer to the searcher. Whether they make an immediate call from a Knowledge Graph or click to a web page from the Google Home app, the user is in control as to how they chose to connect with your business.

Early Adopters in Assistant Search

The role of the search giant’s assistant is still in early adoption and growth, but no one is questioning its expansion. It is best to gain executives attention now and advocate for something like, “We are discovering that more people are searching for branded queries in voice search and reaching zero results! By adjusting resource allocations to create a prototype for Google Home and Assistant search, we can fulfill navigational queries that are currently going unmet and recoup this investment.”

SEO managers can optimization without knowing exactly which queries are from voices, as we could do mobile-user optimization without precise mobile query data; yet understanding the distinctions of voice search will help GoogleBot and marketers be more accurate when helping searchers find exactly what they’re asking for when using voice search. A website audit will uncover otherwise un-noticed opportunities.

Google Assistant Local Service Providers

The Google Assistant is designed to help consumers find and connect with local service providers. Currently, there is no charge for these local services on the Assistant for every business that passes the Local Services screening process. If your business would like to become a Local Services ads participant to add local services on the Assistant, Google offers an interest form to fill out.

Applications require accuracy. Google uses the phone number and provided business details in your ad copy, and currently inline editing is not available. For companies who wish to use a dedicated and tracked phone line, fill in that number during the application. The digital assistant matches will be made by location and services to sift out less valid leads and improve lead generation success.

You can manage your ads through the website’s new directory or using Google’s app to turn on and off your ads. Google notes the time it takes for you to respond to leads, and request reviews (if you have the consumer’s email contact) and may limit use of the services if you don’t provide good follow up responses. You also have access to phone call recordings in the system.

Google is adding on industry niche providers while testing and updating, so stay tuned to communications about set up and advertising opportunities.

Final Thougths

The secret to winning clients is often a matter of taking the lead in new technologies that your users are using. That means having the ability for your business to show up wherever they are. It means providing the information that they want. In order to do that, you are best to prepare your website for discoverability. If you are ready for the pace of innovative search that pushes boundaries and plans ahead to be where more buyers are shopping, it is time to take action.

We expect the future approach of more businesses to be to creating their own AI to offer platforms that assist developers in making their own AI. So optimizations for Image recognition, voice recognition, real-time translator, and contextual text recognition will continue to be important.

Hill Web Creations is a results-driven digital marketing agency with a proven track record delivering results in competive environments. To be better prepared for Google’s new assistant, request your Markup Data Audit