About a month ago Matt Cutts of Google was asked the question “Where do you see Google Search 10 years from now?” Although 10 years on the Internet is like 1,000’s of years of earth’s history rolled into a decade, his response gave some important insights as to what Google would like to see, and more possibly, what they are working on.
He basically outlined a Google search engine that would become a virtual assistant, knowing or anticipating exactly what you are thinking and/or needing and providing that information in real time. He even referred to some type of brain connection supplying you with your informational needs in real time.
Interesting on the timing of this question and his answer. For on Monday of this week, Google announced the new Google app called “Google Now.” This app, which is now available on iPhones and iPads, after it had been available on Android devices almost a year ago, anticipates what you are looking for, based on your searching, emailing and calendar history. It has become quite lightning fast with its results. The app also displays informational cards tailored to your personal needs, as well as a voice function much like the iPhone Siri.
Here’s a couple of examples from Google Now users.
“When leaving an event at Facebook. I’d remembered my flight time wrong and suddenly got panicked that I wouldn’t get to the airport in time. Dashing through the parking lot to my car, I turned on my phone and opened up the Google Now screen, to speak that I wanted it to navigate me from Facebook to the airport in San Jose. I needed both the directions plus an estimate of how long it was going to take. Before I spoke, Google Now already had the trip up, with the estimated travel time, along with a link to start navigation. It had quite literally anticipated what I needed to know before I thought to search.”
“I regularly look for movie listings, usually on Fridays and Saturdays. Google Now sometimes has them ready for me, before I search. Google Now has learned sports teams that I like and automatically shows me the latest scores. It also has seen breaking news stories that I’ve read and keeps me updated on those.”
So how does it work? It gathers information from several sources: Your location (current location and location history), your search history, your gmail content, your Google calendar of events and your birthday, and delivers information based on your trends. It basically learns your informational habits and gives what you are looking for before you look for it. Amazing, but scary.
Given the fast-paced direction that search is headed, it becomes even more important than ever to stay on the cutting-edge of this technology. If not, you will be left in the dust.