Siri vs. Google Now

Digital Assistants And Why They Matter To Marketers

Here’s a controversial statement—I’m going to actually pick a side in this ongoing war between smartphone digital assistants.

Google Now—all the way.

Anyone who has ever used a phone running on Android will get it. Others who have been drawn by Apple’s siren’s song, might be a little surprised.

My perceived superiority of Google Now over Siri stems from its inherent functionality. Because, as soon as the world decided that touch screens were the way to go, a smartphone’s efficiency became the focus — particularly its ability to function after having lost physical, tactile keyboards on its interface. This means, a smartphone’s ability for speech recognition, which enabled convenient, hands-free access to all of its available functions, became more important than ever.

If you’re wondering what Siri and Google Now has to do with marketing, let me explain. New technology, like digital assistants on your smartphone, prompts new methods of sharing content. In this case, it means…

  • Shifting content to a more conversational format,
  • Making sure that your content answers specific questions by using key phrases more, and
  • Giving more emphasis on long tail keywords.

So, for all you Android and iOS fanboys (and fangirls) out there, if we had to drill it down to a Siri vs. Google Now showdown, who do you think would win?

Let’s see, shall we?

“Powered By”

Let’s get one thing straight. Siri and Google Now are not artificial intelligence. They don’t really understand the questions or commands that you give them, in the same way another human would.

What they are are very sophisticated search engine based interfaces. Siri sends your questions to Bing and Wolfram Alpha. Google Now runs your questions through Google.

So who wins?

Be honest, when was the last time you Wolfram Alpha’d something?  Or Bing’d a piece of trivia?  I’d say Google Now wins this one.

“Sounds Like”

Really, how hard would it be to be for these speech recognition prompts to be voiced by the Omnipresent baritone of Morgan Freeman? Benedict Cumberbatch’s soothing voice? Even Scarlett Johansson’s smoky drawl? I mean, she already did such a great job in the film, Her.

So who wins?

It’s a draw. All we really have to choose from right now are the disembodied voices of Siri and Google Now — useful as they are at taking our instructions.

“Applicable For”

Don’t get me wrong—I am fully aware of how great the iPhone is. The latest update has been getting exceptionally rave reviews.

But Android’s options, sharing capabilities, customization features, visible file system on top of an improved intelligent personal assistant feature like Google Now is just too good to pass up. It can even run on iOS. Take that, Apple 😉

So who wins?

If only because you have more options with an Android, I’d give this to Google Now. The main thing is that you don’t have to drop $500 just to get access to a personal digital assistant like Siri — especially when you can get the same (if not better) functionality from Google Now and can choose from the different units available that are compatible with the Android OS.


For the most part, both intelligent personal assistants do their jobs well. And when Siri first came out, the idea that you could instruct a phone to do your bidding without having to over-enunciate every syllable of your sentence seemed revolutionary.

Because we had nothing to peg the service on, Apple easily took the crown. But with Google Now now in the picture, those niggling little faults are amplified. Like the facts that

  • Siri takes that much longer than Google Now to translate your instructions,
  • Siri can only access subpar search engines versus the behemoth that is Google that Google Now has its disposal,
  • Google’s cloud services far surpasses its competitors, and
  • Siri just doesn’t seem all that intelligent when it comes to reading user behavior.

You see, Google Now has managed to take everything it knows about you based on all your activity across various Google products. That includes your calendar, email, location, and search history, so that it can make relevant suggestions and even predict what you might need.

Just to give you an idea, let’s say you regularly check traffic updates at a particular time. Google Now will go ahead and check it for you, and even give you an update of what time you should leave the house given traffic conditions. That’s what I call efficient.

So who wins?

Right now, Google Now does. At least, until Siri gets revamped to improve its response time and addresses it learning algorithms.


A big, novel feature that Siri continues to own is its ability to give witty remarks to its users. It almost feels like it can hold its own in a conversation.

Siri is sassy, witty, and entertaining. Google Now, for all intents and purposes, is like a straight-up, no-nonsense version of Siri. It’ll pull up all the information you need, sift through the muddle of different accents and background noise easily, and even step in and provide additional information that you may need based on your user history. Google Now won’t, however, tell you that you always look great if you ask it whether your outfit is OK.

So who wins?

Well, Siri.

Siri is programmed to be sassy, funny, glib. But when it comes to personal digital assistants, nothing beats sheer efficiency. To be honest, the novelty of Siri’s repetitive wit quickly wears off. Once it does, you’ll be back to focusing on the functionality and speed that your smartphone can give.

Google Now is slowly catching up with its older counterpart, though. So, if this particular feature is really all that important, then just watch out for the newest updates because it’ll get there, soon.


In my opinion, Google Now’s latest features trumps Siri.

But then again, you already know that I am an Android fan, through and through. If you think otherwise, now would be a great time to tell me why in the comments section.

– Mercer

I was debating on whether or not it would be useful to provide a Seriously Simple Marketing hack in here. But given the steady rise of users who are beginning to embrace the usefulness of intelligent personal assistants on smartphones, I thought I’d give you this little tip—

Voice prompted searches mean a stronger focus on long-tail keywords (insert link to glossary.) So instead of people searching for “Restaurant Bellflower California”, they would be likely to search for “what’s the best restaurant in Bellflower, California?”

Check your blog or website and make sure that your content answers a question (pertinent to your business or product, of course)—this way, Google will know that your website is the best answer for the search that was made.

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About The Author


Chris Mercer, who typically goes by "Mercer", has a sales and marketing background that stretches over 20 years. He began his online marketing career in 2009 and has become a sought after analytics & conversions expert, helping other top-marketers to improve their own offers and sales funnels. Now decades of real-world experience are brought to you post-by-post as he delivers Seriously Simple Marketing tips that you can use to build your own business!