Ode to a Search Engine: A look at Google’s 10 biggest search milestones
Google, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love you for your intuition and how you know what I’m thinking when even I’m not so sure. I love you for your image search that helps me find a name for the thing I just bought at the thrift shop. I love you for your inventive and amusing Google Doodles. (Doctor Who returns on Saturday!)
Amit Singhal, Google’s top search guy sat down this week to write his own love letter where he listed what he thought were the 10 biggest milestones in Google’s search history. When I read the list, I realized how much of a Google I take for granted. For example, autocomplete. Sometimes this tool makes me want to scream, suggesting phrases that are not at all what I had in mind. But usually, it’s not only spot on but it’s smart enough to correct my spelling mistakes and fill in where my memory fails me.
And talk about smart – remember what search was like before the Knowledge Graph? Instead of a string of keywords, you can type naturally and get the right answer. How long does it take to bake a chicken? How old do you have to be to get a driver’s license in California? Who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1988. (Michael Douglas for Wall Street.)
Another tool I use a lot without a second thought is the translation tool and the directions. . . can’t forget the directions.
About half of the milestones on the list come from mobile. I don’t use the Google app but now that I’ve seen all it can do, I might have to start. Thanks to sophisticated voice recognition software, you can tell the app to search, send a text, call someone or send an email. (I didn’t know that!) It’s also smart enough to combine information from Gmail and other sources to give you a personal response. What time is my flight? Google checks the reservation in your Gmail and responds with the time, gate and other helpful information.
Amit says Google has made more than 890 improvements just in the past year and there’s more to come.
In 2024, the Google of 2014 will seem ancient, and the Google of 2004 prehistoric.
It’s hard to imagine what more they could do but we said that 10 years ago and just look at how far we’ve come.
Google Search – I salute you!