What is Speakable Specification & How to Get Started to Optimize Content for Google Assistant?

What is Speakable Specification & How to Get Started to Optimize Content for Google Assistant?


Google has collaborated with schema.org on new markup called “speakable” specification. The speakable specification will help Google Assistant and Google Home to deliver the content that is most relevant to be read aloud. In other words, “speakable” optimize the content for Google assistant.

So what does this feature do? Here, is the breakdown.

Basically, the speakable specification highlights excerpts in articles or web pages that can be read aloud by text-to-speech (TTS) devices. By featuring this new markup from Schema.org, Google Assistant will be able to perform such functions.


If you are a publisher wishing to benefit from this remarkable markup, then there are some regulations to abide by. These are;

1. Eligibility and Stipulated Guidelines

Firstly, you will be required to submit your content either via the Publisher Center or Google News Producer. At this point, you should request for an index and accompany it with the specific label and the news’s URL. From here, the Google News team will evaluate the submission and respond within one to three weeks.

After been granted the green light, you will be expected to follow through a set of guidelines. These are categorized into four sets.

1.1 Technical Guidelines

The technical bit will need you to clearly articulate relevant information as speakable structured data. For example the key message and photo captions. This also implies that you should avoid using words that might confuse Google Assistant.

1.2 Content Guidelines

The content should outline the headlines (CSS selectors) and use between 2-3 sentences to make it easy for text-to-speech (TTS). Publishers should also note that the speakable application can be incorporated in different sections of their article.

1.3 Webmaster Guidelines

This entails making the content user-friendly and straight-forward. You should also endeavor to make the content unique. Subsequently, you are required to remove any spam on the site. Also be wary of malicious attacks such as hacking as they may negatively impact your website.

1.4 Structured Data Guidelines

Under this, the content provided should be structured as highlighted by Google. The best way is to use the JSON- LD code, Resource Description Framework (RDFa) or Microdata. Some of the basic information includes; @type, xPath, and id-value.

2. Validating the Structured Data Pages

After observing the above guidelines, you should proceed with creating brand new pages. As you doing this, ascertain that you are on the right track by testing your code on the Structured Data Testing Tool. You will then be required to test the page to see how it appears on the search results.

Moreover, your pages might have errors especially, on events, job posting, item listing, and product review. In such scenarios, you are advised to sign up as a verified site owner and use Rich Card reports or structured data reports to pinpoint any errors.

Once identified, you are supposed to fix and submit the page to Google Console. Alternatively, you can use the Manual Action Pages to fix. Remember, you should keep on monitoring your page from time to time.

3. Submission of Content

When everything is in order, then you can submit your content on Google. This will initiate the onboarding process. You should receive the feedback after five working days. It is at this juncture that you get to know your fate, eligible or not.

4. A Quick Fix to Some of the Troubles Experienced

Are you stranded in finding your article on Google Assistant? If this is the case, you can try these steps to circumvent these shortcomings.

4.1 Use of Commands with TTS Audio

To achieve the desired outcome with the text-to-speech devices, you should try the following commands. (In this case, we are assuming your topic is on machine learning robots)

  •  “What’s the latest news about machine learning robots?”
  • “What’s the latest about machine learning robots?”
  • “Play news about machine learning robots”

4.2 Use of Google Search Console

In case you experience challenges, let’s say hearing from your audio device, you can try another article. Google provides three articles for you to choose from. Furthermore, Google search console can help you check on the crawlers and indexation used.

If not this, you can go ahead and check out the algorithms used by Google. This should place you in a better position in terms of ranking. Finally, the option will help you customize your site to deliver useful feedback.


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How does Google Markup Work?

The next step is to elaborate how users will make use of the speakable markup. Well, one can simply say “Hey Google, What’s the latest news on Tesla?” From here, Google Assistant will read the news aloud together with the source of the excerpt.

Subsequently, the Assistant will inquire whether you want another version of the news. However, keep in mind there are only three options provided. The system will also be connected to your smartphone or tablet where the links are sent.

Here is what Google had to say about the new Markup:

“Adding markup allows search engines and other applications to identify content to read aloud on Google Assistant- enabled devices using TTS. Web pages with speakable structured data can use the Google Assistant to distribute the content through new channels and reach a wider base of users.”
Following the announcement, Google mentioned that the schema markup will be exclusively for news articles. That’s not all; the new feature will only be available in the US and in the English language.

Likelihood of Featuring in Other Areas

As Google adopts the new structured data, it is worth noting that Schema Company already uses the product in other fields. This encompasses creative work, organization, events, and places. Nonetheless, it is most likely that the algorithm will be enrolled in other platforms.

For any opportunistic publisher, the latest revelation should ring a bell to your ears. Given the simple steps, you can attract more visitors to your website via Google Assistant. As for those whose content is not featured, then it is important to monitor this trend. You never know, an extension could be around the corner!

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