Google may have traditional search locked down, but it currently lags behind Apple and Microsoft in the virtual assistant market, according to a new study by Futuresource.
Voice search is set to be an important trend for SEOs in 2020, with experts predicting that up to 50% of all queries will be voice-initiated by the end of the next year.
Google currently holds 90% of desktop market share, but it has some catching up to do in the virtual assistant space, where it only has a comparatively small 9% share.
Apple is the top dog with a 35% global share, and the study found that its dominance stems from the fact Siri is pre-installed on millions of iPhones, MacBooks and other connected devices.
Microsoft is up next with a 22% share, which comes primarily from its presence on scores of Windows 10 PCs.
Google Assistant is accessible via the Google Home app and other first-party products, but it is not ubiquitous on Android devices.
The data suggests that Android owners are also less likely to search out and find Google Assistant on their smartphones as they are not forced to install it at start-up.
However, unlike Siri, Google Assistant can be installed on iPhones and iPads via the Apple App Store.
Shipments of virtual assistants are set to soar to 2.5bn annually by 2023.
Futuresource noted: “Growth presently continues unabated, as virtual assistants become a common feature across the Consumer Electronics and Automotive sectors.
“Indeed, 2020 will be the year when shipments of voice-enabled products overtake those with no voice capability.”