80% of Voice Search Answers Are From Top 3 Organic Results [STUDY] – Search Engine Journal

A recent study on voice search indicates that content is more likely to be returned for a query if it ranks in the top 3 web search positions.

SEMRush conducted an in-depth analysis of over 50,000 queries to find out which are the most essential ranking factors behind voice search.

In addition to ranking in the top 3 positions, content is also likely to be returned for a voice query if it’s contained in a SERP feature.

According to the study, 70% of answers returned from voice searches occupied a SERP feature (with 60% of those returning a Featured Snippet result).

The report also goes into detail about how backlinks, text length, page speed, and other factors affect voice search rankings.

Here is a summary of key findings from the study.

Voice Search in 2019: Key Findings


  • 50% of answers had backlinks with anchor text that appeared in the question.
  • Page Score and Trust Score were slightly higher for answers’ URLs.

Text complexity & readability

  • Content returned for voice queries is easy to ready, ranking around 8 on the Flesch Kincaid Grade.
  • 80% of Americans would be able to understand/read the answers returned for voice queries.

Page speed

  • Page speed of content returned for voice queries is faster than the average of the top 10 non-answers.
  • Some voice search results were over 10 times faster than the average of non-answers.
  • Answers were found to have a particularly high input latency of 70%.
    First Paint score also appears to be a key factor voice search.

The study looked at but did not draw any conclusions about schema, HTTPS, and URL depth.

For more data related to voice search rankings, see the full study here.

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