Fire up your imagination. Google isn’t satisfied with being a search engine — they’ve got plans to be at your side all day and night. They’re not thinking search marketshare, they’re thinking lifeshare.
Google wants to answer your search queries before you ask. The future is way beyond Star Trek communicators to personal digital assistants that anticipate what we need so we won’t bother to ask. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember what I had for lunch, so if Google wants to help me remember everything and anything, then I’m going to welcome their services.
How could they possibly do this? Well, that’s what I’m going to tell you. Google’s up to some amazing stuff, and you should know where this company is taking us. It’s going to affect business for sure, including small business, and it may change how you live your life. Hard to believe a search engine in a smartphone could mean so much to us. But in the knowledge era, these devices are pre-eminent.
Google Wants to Get to Know You
For you, search might mean typing a query into a box. But Google’s visionaries see it as a service that anticipates rather than reacts to your request. This one concept may be driving development of all their services/products and powering the incredible performance they have.
They’ll do their magic by gathering more information about your context – where you are and what you’ve been interested in. They’re using artificial intelligence techniques to learn more about you. The assumption is that our context determines what our interests are and what our questions will be.
If you’re a business person or entrepreneur, you’ll want to have your business registered and your web content/social content well indexed. It needs to be accessible in whatever form Google’s advancing algorithm and services require. And just because it is structured doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of creativity in search engine optimization techniques. However, Google’s persistence in taking the guesswork out of queries gives us SEO people less room to manipulate search rankings.
Google’s advancing technology simply creates more complicated routes to your inbound marketing materials and more strategy in converting the leads they send.
Get Personal with Your Digital Assistant
When Apple introduced Siri, its digital voice search service, we thought that was leading edge. But then Google came out with Google Glass, and it showed us how our context determines much of what we will inquire about. Google Glass is a headset that gives users something called augmented reality. Basically, it shows information about the things the wearer sees as they walk or drive. If you’re driving by a restaurant, Google Glass shows the info you most likely want such as their address, phone number and what kind of food they serve.
Now apply the learning and predictive capabilities that it is developing in its artificial intelligence labs and you see where they’re going with this. And voice queries are an important component given how billions of people are using smartphones, and not PCs to search.
Here, Amit Singhal of Google talks into his smartphone with it responding:
How tall is Justin Bieber?”
Justin Bieber is five feet seven inches tall.”
How old is he?”
Justin Bieber is 19 years old.”
Google understands that the subject of the first query is “Justin Bieber,” and correctly assumes that Bieber is also the “he” in the second query. If it were human, you’d expect nothing less. But for a search engine, it’s a genuine back-and-forth discussion. “Imagine this taken to the limit, you’re having a natural conversation with the machine.”
Google wants to integrate services such as geolocation, gmail, Google voice, into one seamless service that becomes indispensable for us all. Conceivably, the search engine could collect information from your computer, their services, and from your browsing history. Its info services extend its knowledge base infinitely, allowing a Google searcher quick access to anything they want. And that information would be filtered and improved through their knowledge of you — whether you’re male or female, Japanese or Canadian, and your interests.
The Future is Now – Google Now
Nothing is too far-fetched. Your personal digital search assistant will take your verbal commands and it will tell you when your next appointment is, and give your flight departure details, and any other details Google can access. With Google Now, you’ll have access to everything you need to know about. If you’re a traveller or someone who is chronically late, you’ll be better prepared and informed.
If you’re a marketer, it might even have the capability of helping you understand your client base and which are most relevant to your immediate issue or promotion. If it can understand an email, it can understand a spreadsheet.
5 years from now, we’ll be wondering how we lived without it.