Wednesday, August 20, 2014

10 Biggest Google Search Milestones by Amit Singhal

Amit Singhal, head of Google search algorithm and a Google fellow, recently shared on Google Plus his experience of working for 10 long years at Google and what he thinks as the 10 biggest Google search milestones that he along with his team implemented on Google. Remember, in these 10 years, there were around 890 improvements made in Google. Yes, Hummingbird, Penguin, Panda
and all the other animals are a part of these 890 improvements.

Young Amit Singhal (Even he has undergone a change, isn't it? :)

Here is what is looks now! 

“Our business environment changes rapidly and needs long term investment. We will not hesitate to place major bets on promising new opportunities.” - Amit Singhal

Here are the top 10 Google Search Milestones:

Early Google Homepage

1. Autocomplete: Before 2004, Google didn't returned those query suggestions as soon as you start typing in Google. It was in 2004 that Google provided search suggestions in real time just as you type. This was earlier named Google Suggest but was later renamed Autocomplete. 

2. Translations: Google Translate was barely a beta product ten years ago. Today people use it in 80 languages to do over a billion translations a day. It all started in 2007 and since then major upgrades have happened to the main product.

3. Directions and traffic: Just type "traffic near NYC" and get traffic information for those areas. Google also offers directions for destinations. See more information about these 2 awesome products here:

4. Universal search: Having news, images, groups, social media and search results on the same page is what Universal Search does. It was launched in 2007. Consider the queries like Steve Jobs, Britney Spears, William Shakespeare etc and get to know the power behind it. 

5. Mobile and new screens: Search has adapted itself to all devices whether tablet, smartphone or a watch.

6. Voice search: Enables you to ask Google anything from anywhere instead of typing keywords to get the answers. Voice search is easy and quicker, and voice search works in 38 languages today.

7. Actions: With the Google Search app you can quickly text, email or call someone without digging and typing. Just say: “Ok Google, send an email to Mike: do you guys want to go to the beach with us for a picnic this Saturday?” You can even set sophisticated reminders like “Remind me to pick up coffee filters next time I’m at Target,” and Google will buzz your phone when you get to any Target.

8. The Knowledge Graph: Things not strings - this is what matters. So we built the Knowledge Graph to show how things are connected—ask “How tall do you have to be to ride the Cyclone?” or “Who’s in the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy?”, and then click to explore across the web.

9. Info just for you: Time specific search results like flight info has just got easier with the Google Search App. You can ask the Google Search app, “What gate does my flight leave from?” and get the answer directly.

10. Answers before you have to ask: If you have the Google Search app on your phone, you'll get automatic help with everyday tasks. Google can automatically show you your plane, bus, and train reservations right when you need them; warnings when traffic is bad to your next appointment; reminders of bills coming due; a best guess at the last spot you parked; and much more.

Such is the power of Google today.

We know Amit is obsessed with Star Treck and wants to make Google the most accurate answer engine. Hence, the changes he talked about reflects this very aim and passion. Some of you might have thought other changes like the Google Earth, updates like Panda, Penguin or Hummingbird, Google shopping etc should have been mentioned on that last. But, if the list talks about 10 then it should be 10 and Amit can't include all of those! Can he?

Also See:

Understanding Google's Page Layout Algorithm