Stephen Kenwright

Stephen Kenwright

Director of Search

When the wonderful Kelly Manthey of Solstice Mobile tweeted this article about how you can now pay your mortgage using Alexa, Amazon Echo’s personal assistant (Tom Anthony demonstrated some really interesting things about personal assistants at our SearchLeeds event earlier in the month – check out his slides here) I immediately opened an incognito window and searched for “amazon echo” on Amazon.co.uk.
Amazon Echo search results

No results about the Echo device at all. A huge missed opportunity to direct me to a micro site, a press release, an article – anything.

I would have at least expected a message at the top of the page:

Amazon Echo isn’t available in the UK yet. Subscribe to our mailing list to be notified when Echo becomes available.

So I went to google.co.uk and entered a search for “amazon echo uk”, hoping to find a page on Amazon’s website that might tell me what I wanted. I read a few meta descriptions that said the release date was June this year (I’m still none the wiser) and saw there were a few articles from the likes of TechRadar comparing Amazon Echo to Google Home.

I clicked on Chrome’s URL bar and typed as far as “goo” before it autocompleted to “Google Home”.

Never searched for this term before, probably typed “Google Analytics” and similar a hundred times and I didn’t click on any of the URLs on the previous page – Google is just smart enough to know that people who search for “amazon echo”, don’t click on anything and then start typing “goo” will probably want to see Google Home.

…or maybe it’s an antitrust case waiting to happen some really clever CRO.

For me, two things stand out here:

  • Amazon is probably better at delivering products to searchers but Google is definitely better at delivering information
  • Both Amazon Echo and Google Home use search functionality and attempt to answer the questions users are asking it. Based on this experience which product do you think is probably better at it?

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