The characteristics of voice search: Comparing spoken with typed-in mobile web search queries

Ido Guy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The growing popularity of mobile search and the advancement in voice recognition technologies have opened the door for web search users to speak their queries rather than type them. While this kind of voice search is still in its infancy, it is gradually becoming more widespread. In this article, we report a comprehensive voice search query log analysis of a commercial web search engine's mobile application. We compare voice and text search by various aspects, with special focus on the semantic and syntactic characteristics of the queries. Our analysis suggests that voice queries focus more on audio-visual content and question answering and less on social networking and adult domains. In addition, voice queries are more commonly submitted on the go. We also conduct an empirical evaluation showing that the language of voice queries is closer to natural language than the language of text queries. Our analysis points out further differences between voice and text search. We discuss the implications of these differences for the design of future voice-enabled web search tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
JournalACM Transactions on Information Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Conversational search
  • Mobile search
  • Query log analysis
  • Spoken search
  • Voice queries
  • Voice search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Computer Science Applications


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