Thursday, December 2, 2010

Google's Shift From Search Results to Answers

Google's post about the European Commission antitrust study reveals two important things about the Google search engine: the goal is to answer the user queries and "the only steady is change".

"Sometimes the best, most relevant answer to a query is our customary 'ten blue links', and sometimes it is a news article, sports score, stock quote, video, or a map. Today, when you type in 'weather in London' or '15 grams in ounces' you get the answers straight (often before you even hit Enter). In the future, we will need to answer much more compound questions just as fast and as clearly."
Universal Search and the incorporated search experience that combines results from different search engines will make it even more hard to understand Google's algorithms and to find untouched web search results. Instant Search will force Google to provide more immediate answers and to treat web pages as sources of information. It's the subtle difference between an answer:
... and a potentially helpful search result:

The dissimilarity between showing links to reviews and showing a clever summary based on sentiment analysis:
Google's conclusion is that the "ten blue links" will soon be a thing of the past and search results will become more dynamic:

"Our results are ongoing to evolve from a list of websites to something far more dynamic. Today there's real-time content, routinely translated content, local content (especially important for mobile devices), images, videos, books, and a whole lot more. Users can search by voice - and in a diversity of languages. And we've developed new ad formats such as product listing ads and new pricing models such as cost-per-action. We cannot predict where search and online publicity will be headed, but we know for sure that they won't stay the same. By staying focused on novelty we can continue to make search even better - for the benefit of users everywhere."

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