Google Search Gets an Upgrade

The keystone of Google’s business always has been its search engine. It will likely always be that way in the future too. The company’s search engine has become so influential and significant that the name of it has become a verb, and no one blinks an eye. I probably hear the phrase “Google it” at least five times a week, and I’m sure you do as well.

Google, being the intelligent company they are, has recently rolled out some upgrades to their search engine.

What’s Next for Google Search

Yesterday, Google announced it was bringing its knowledge graph to the entire English-speaking world as well as integrating GMail with its search results. The knowledge graph is a huge collection of information designed to link related topics, people, and places to improve the search function. In addition to this, Google also improved their voice search for mobile phones which makes searching faster and easier for mobile users.

Yesterday on the Google Blog Amit Singhal, Senior Vice-President of Google Search, announced these changes. He wrote, “I imagined a future where a starship computer would be able to answer any question I might ask, instantly. Today, we’re closer to that dream than I ever thought possible during my working life.”

The knowledge graph is definitely a step in the right direction. Providing searchers with a large amount of relevant info in an easy-to-digest format is great. As for the GMail results (currently in a trial mode here) and the improved voice recognition, I’m not sure they are as significant as Google makes them out to be. Pulling relevant information out of your GMail seems to me to be a fancy addition, rather than something I would use everyday when I search with Google.

Why the Changes?

Besides the obvious perks to functionality, there’s a lot more going on behind these changes. Michael Liedtke with the Associated Press has some great insight into this. He calls these moves Google’s “latest attempt to deliver more personal responses more quickly.” Why would they need to do that? Liedtke explains, “Although Google has a commanding lead in Internet search, it remains worried about the threat posed by social networking services such as Facebook Inc.” He says Google has known for some time that “the web is starting to revolve more around people than the keywords and links.” They are simply taking steps to ensure their relevance as the internet continues to develop.

Where Does this Leave Us?

If you’re the everyday internet user, this is just another welcome change to the most-used search engine on the net. Searching will be easier and more relevant. Hooray! If you’re a business owner, this is just another sign of how important the web has become. If you haven’t quite made an effort to really get behind an internet presence for your business, it might be time to start thinking of doing so. The very same people that the web is starting to “revolve more around” could be your next loyal customers.

What strategies do you utilize to grow your business’ presence online?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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