Maybe Google is catching up to Amazon in a way that really matters: search queries. A review of data from the time around the announcement of Google Assistant and Google Home through this past weekend shows that both terms rank higher than Amazon Alexa and Amazon Echo.
Google trend data suggests that the search term “Google Home” has been on par or higher than searches for “Amazon Echo” since January 9th. There were a few days in January and early February when “Google Home” received big search boosts and since that time the trend lines have been nearly identical. By contrast, the term “Google Assistant” is searched four times more frequently than “Amazon Alexa” today. Right after Mobile World Congress the disparity was 10x.
Do People Think Device or Assistant First
The devices “Echo” and “Home” were far more searched than the assistants by name, “Google Assistant” and “Amazon Alexa,” up until two weeks ago. That changed in early March and now “Google Assistant” is the clear leader over either type of device search. By contrast, “Amazon Alexa” has never seen higher search volume than “Amazon Echo,” according to Google data. The introduction of Google Assistant to the most recent versions of Android OS users is no doubt the key driver of this change. Hundreds of millions of smartphone users suddenly had access to a virtual assistant that was not tied to a device for the home.
Google Assistant Leads Search in Key Geographies
Another interesting finding is that geography matters in search about virtual assistants. Google Home leads the search category in the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, Chile, France, Sweden and Australia. Amazon Alexa doesn’t top the search rankings anywhere, but Amazon Echo is the top term in our sample for the UK, Germany and Japan. Google Assistant leads the pack in Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Russia, China, India, Malaysia, South Africa and the Middle East.
That’s quite a share of interest around “Google Assistant” in the world’s largest population centers. Google overall is doing much better in terms of search interest than Amazon. The fact that you can purchase Amazon Echo in only a few countries, but Google Assistant is available in many more must be an important factor here. This the type of data that should make you pause before declaring a victor in the market.
What Search Tells Us About Consumer Interest
These search statistics will fluctuate over time as the vendors make announcements. However, at any given time search really matters. It is a reflection of consumer intent. Intent often leads to purchase. Now it may be that many people already know about Amazon Echo and Alexa so they feel less need to search for information. However, it is a strong sign for Google that it has come from zero presence in this market six months ago to a product generating a lot of online curiosity and information seeking today. The search trends are one signal that Google Assistant and Google Home may be closing the mindshare gap with Amazon. The availability of Google Assistant on Android OS smartphones surely closed the marketshare gap already.