Google just turned 20 this month and is unveiling a suit of new enhancements aimed at making the task of finding answers even easier to billions of users around the world.
Recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology will see Search become more intuitive, conversational and connecting users to more relevant and high quality information.
“Today, all I have to do is launch my Search feed and I get instant access to my travel schedule, how long it will take me to get to the airport in present traffic, the weather, and many other service providers nearby based on my interests,” said Charles Murito, Google Kenya’s country manager.
Among the enhancements unveiled this month is the Activity Card. This is a new tab above mobile results that displays information based on your interests, thus reducing the need to begin queries from scratch every time you go to online.
With about 800 million active users viewing the Search feed every month, Google has introduced the Follow option, where users may opt in to keeping track of new updates on their topics of interest.
“We have developed language learning techniques that help our algorithms to understand the meanings of words, such as spelling corrections and synonyms. We have also applied machine learning to make enormous progress in areas like speech recognition, image understanding and machine translation,” added Murito.
Marking 20 years since the company was founded in the late 90’s, the next chapter of Search will be largely driven by three fundamental shifts.
The first shift is that every query will now be treated as a point in a journey of learning and discovery rather than a decontextualized question. This shift, dubbed Journeys, means that the answers to your present queries will “bear in mind” any similar or related queries you have ever made before with the goal of delivering even more relevant and accurate results.
The second shift will be the removal of the need to ask a query in the first place. This intuitive Queryless search simply entails delivering information that users care about to the search homepage without them needing to ask the question.
The third fundamental shift in Search will be towards a more Visual and richer information from users’ queries over the traditional text results that have dominated the platform for the past two decades. The Image Search algorithm will also now emphasise the web page authority, the freshness of content, and image placement on the page.
Over the past year, Search has also made a number of product changes to improve Google images with an eye to content partners and the images industry, thus ensuring a healthier ecosystem for users.
“Today we are excited to announce the next step in these efforts: the ability to include the image creator and copyright information right on the Google Images page,” said Murito.