Search engines have made tremendous progress since the days of showcasing results written in broken English. Algorithms have become extremely intelligent, and are now capable of filtering out most of the garbage content that plagues the Internet. However, the evolution of search is not limited to web-spam updates.
Google envisions a future search engine straight out of Star-trek. In fact, the company isn’t shy about striving to make science fiction a reality. Considering the immense resources at Google’s disposal, it would be unwise to bet against their grand vision. If things go according to plan, no longer will users actively search for anything. Instead, search engines of the future will possess intuitiveness that’s on the borderline of creepy.
The Semantic Revolution
Currently, search engines are similar to a teenager using big words to impress a date. Although they have an extensive vocabulary, they fail to understand what any of it actually means. The semantic web is destined to change this by providing algorithms with a human-like sense of context.
In 2009, the implementation of rich snippets signified a defining moment in the semantic revolution. No longer are search results just an endless series of blue links with a few video stills to break up the monotony. Instead, an emphasis is now placed on entities, objects and concepts. As a result, the SERPs have become feature-rich and vibrant.
The introduction of the Rel=Author tag triggered a storm of sensationalism across the blog-o-sphere. After months of self appointed gurus cluttering the net with Author Rank predictions, Matt Cutts once again weighed in on the subject. He praised the principles behind Author Rank, believing that it will bring Google closer to moving “from strings to things”, or in other words, a more semantic web.
Author Rank will radically increase the integrity of content displayed highly in the SERPs. For example, let’s say you are a woman going through menopause. Instead of poor quality content created by affiliate marketers, you’d much rather be shown articles written by educated, well respected medical professionals. Author Rank will accomplish this by allowing Google to identify writers with track records in specific fields.
Google Glass is certainly no secret. With select individuals already sporting Google’s specs, a mass consumer roll-out is rapidly approaching. Although vast knowledge is already instantly on tap thanks to mobile technology, Google Glass will take this even further. For the first time, search engines will be in sync with a user’s direct line of vision. Imagine being stumped by a math problem, simply looking at it, and then having the correct answer displayed instantly. This, in essence, is Google’s grand vision of search.
The ability to directly match results with the physical environment of users will take search to an almost eerie level of personalization. Not surprisingly, marketers are already salivating at the advertising potential. If one thing is absolutely certain, it’s that the brave new world of search will be monetized more efficiently than ever.
The End Goal: Becoming One With Google
In the end, Google wishes to create a multidimensional, cross-platform experience so integral to daily existence that users never consider logging off. Although Bing and other competitors may nip at its heels, Google appears destined to be firmly in control of the Internet’s evolutionary direction.