Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
August 17, 2012 5:34 PM

The Future Of Google

Do you think that Google is a one trick pony? That it's all about search? They've got nothing beyond search?

I don't (and I blogged about it back in 2009: Google's Next Step Is Not Search). I'm a massive fan and brand evangelist of Google. No company is perfect (so I won't profess that they are not without sin and challenges), but I'm fascinated by those who think that Google is a one trick pony and that this pony is called, "search." Good on the folks at HTP Company for producing this short (five minute) documentary on the future of search and what it implies when it comes to digital marketing and how consumers will behave.

Take a quick look...

What does the future hold?

When search crosses over into biology mixed with context, the world becomes less about search and more about creepy. That's the immediate reaction you will probably have when you watch this video. Some of the concepts seem a little "out there" and more science fiction than reality. That being said, nothing surprises me anymore. We walk down the street surrounded by people who are talking and texting people all over the world and don't bat an eye at it. It wasn't that long ago that if you drove up in a car next to someone and they were in the car alone talking, you thought that they were clinically insane. Now, we can't understand when those same people are in a car alone and not doing anything but staring out the window (it must be such a lonely existence).

The future of search.

While some see less value in traditional search engine optimization and even search engine marketing, they're missing the bigger picture: people are always looking for answers and solutions. That's the problem that search solves... and that problem is not a one trick pony. It's much more complex than that. The company that gets it right (Google, Bing, Yahoo or whoever) is going to have analytics, data and customer attention that will be unparalleled.

Search is just getting started (and, it's still early days for Google).

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Tim Vickery
    Mitch Joel

    Semantic analysis still alludes Google, and their brightest minds. Understanding what humans are saying, why they are saying it, and what they value will be the biggest breakthrough. Some would say that Bing is in the best position given their access to Facebook's social interactions and sharing. However, designing an algorithm clever enough to understand the infinite possibilities of human interaction, colloquialisms, and intentions (and bringing order to them) is in effect developing true artificial intelligence. Currently the search rankings are still measured via traditional mechanisms to a large degree via link profiles, anchor text and link popularity -- so we are a long ways away from the future.

    Reply
  • Posted by Juan Barnett
    Mitch Joel

    Would it be wrong to break search into two categories: answers and discovery. I often find myself clicking around and finding things online with no real burning question in need of answering.

    Search for me is more like going to a Target or WalMart. You are either running in to grab one or two specific things or you may just want to walk around to see what may catch your attention. Google and others have yet to replicate the wandering through the aisle feel in an online search mechanism. Search is full of organic and random discovery, but it isn't perfect. We don't feel as comfortable randomly clicking around online as we do browsing aisles. At least not yet.

    Reply
  • Posted by Ron De Giusti
    Mitch Joel

    I too am a lover of Google, but I really have no ultimate faith in them other than being a 2 trick pony (not a 1 trick pony).

    They have (1) search and (2) Adsense.

    Don't get me wrong. I love Gmail, I am an avid user of Picasa, I love my Google Drive, Chrome, Search, and Google Analytics.

    But ... There core competency is search and delivering ads.

    I am uncertain whether I will be using their mail, browser, etc. 3 years from now. But barring some catastrophic f-up, I am certain I will be using their search and seeing the ads they deliver.

    Reply
  • Posted by Tobias bray
    Mitch Joel

    I often wonder if Google is too smart for its own good. It seems to get the science right but often launches services that fail as a result of not understanding the human state. Just compare how they hire to say, Apple. Which one thinks outliers on the Wonderlic understand the delicate balance between art and science (Which might best describe the human mind)?

    Reply
  • Posted by Mark Williams
    Mark Williams

    Mitch that comment you made about talking to one's self in the car really struck a chord with me: and I'm loving the new tech times! Go the big G!

    On very rare occasions, a good looking girl might be checking me out whilst stuck at the lights in my car (probably cause I've still got food on my chin from breakfast or something - given my face resembles a smashed-crab and all)

    Either that or she's a checking her look (I have very shiny hud-caps).. anyway, instead of twitching nervously and rifling thru my glovebox for paperwork that doesn't exist, now I can just start talking to myself and pretend to be having a grand old time - like I'm actually popular.

    I never time this, just seem to fluke it now and then: I'll be smiling and laughing and our eyes will meet - she usually gives me a smile - and I'm thinking: "yeah that's right girl - I didn;t even have my phone turned on that time."

    With practice, you can really get good at pretending to talk to yourself whilst driving. I'm sure other's could relate - I'm from Australia - I know that may surprise some people lol

    Reply
  • Posted by Marc Poulin
    Mitch Joel

    To me, Google is first and foremost a platform to show ads and collect revenue (AdWords and AdSense). All products are in a supporting role to advertising. Google Plus is not a social platform, it is a tool to collect personal information to allow advertisers to target based on demographics and interests, the strong suit of Facebook.

    Reply
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