"People communicate with each other by conversation, not by typing keywords -- and we've been hard at work to make Google understand and answer your questions more like people do," said Google's Amit Singhal in a post on features announced at Google I/O.
At the event's keynote yesterday, Singhal said he always dreamed of building computers like those in Star Trek.
"A computer you can talk to? And it will answer everything you ask it?," he mused. "Little did I know, I would grow up to become the person responsible for building my dream for the entire world."
Google is working towards the search of the future with the functionality unveiled yesterday at the event. Singhal forecast the three primary functions search will need to evolve. In his presentation, he stated search will need to:
Let's go over a couple of the developments announced yesterday that demonstrate Google is working toward its vision of the future of search.
Converse with Google Search
We're one step closer to conversational search becoming the norm with the announcement of conversational search for desktop and laptops through Chrome.
"Hot-wording" is what Singhal calls the "no interface" approach to search, where a user can prompt the search engine to be ready for a query by simply saying, "OK Google."
The user asks a question, and the search engine answers back in "conversation," as well as presents results for the query.
Where does Google get the information to reply? In the demonstration at I/O, Googler Johanna Wright showed the audience how it worked. "Show me things to do in Santa Cruz," she told the search engine. The search function answered back, "Here are popular attractions in Santa Cruz."
The results, Wright said, are from the Knowledge Graph. "The Knowledge Graph knows that Santa Cruz is a place, and that this list of places are related to Santa Cruz"
Now the question to marketers and site owners is:
- How do we continue to remain relevant online to our audience?
- How will we optimize for this new kind of search and the Google Knowledge Graph?
- How will content and search terms evolve?
Google Now Anticipates Your Needs
Other noteworthy developments announced at I/O center on Google Now. If you're not yet familiar with Google Now, it's an application that helps people manage their day-to-day tasks, among other things.
The new features for Now include the ability to set reminders to trigger at specific times, right when you need it. Google explains:
Google Now is about providing you with just the right information at just the right time. With the new reminders in Now, not only can you save things to remember later, but you can actually pick a time or place to trigger those reminders, so they pop up at just the right time. Because a note to buy milk, paper towels and food for the dog, is a lot more helpful when you're actually at the grocery store.
In an article for Search Engine Watch earlier this month, Guillaume Bouchard forecast how to optimize for Google Now, citing local SEO as something to keep an eye on.
But there are other questions surrounding all the announcements yesterday at I/O. What is the future of search, and more importantly, what does the future of search marketing look like?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
You can view the Google I/O keynote in its entirety, here: