Google’s Schmidt: ‘Next Great Stage’ Of Search Is Autonomous, Personal

Speaking today at the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin, Google CEO Eric Schmidt painted a vision of the future in which search is fast, personal, and all-knowing — even to the degree of providing search results when searches haven’t been conducted.

“A new definition of Google would be, we’re trying very hard to get you something fast,” Schmidt said. “Never underestimate the importance of fast…. We want to help you right now. Speed matters, cuz your time matters.”

Schmidt said that the growth of smartphones, cloud computing and the pervasiveness of the internet is creating new opportunities to build new platforms and create new products, and to take search closer to the area of artificial intelligence.

Ultimately, search is a personal activity. Ultimately, where search goes is not just the web, but literally all of your information — your email, the things that you care about. This is with your permission, I might add. This is personal search for you and only you, because ultimately search is about finding what you want right now.

And the next step of search is doing this automatically. So, when I walk down the streets of Berlin — I love history — what I want is the computer, my smartphone to be doing searches constantly. ‘Did you know? Did you know? Did you know? Did you know? This occurred here. This occurred there.’ Because it knows who I am. It knows what I care about. It knows roughly where I am. So this notion of autonomous search — this ability to tell me things I didn’t know but am probably very interested in is the next great stage, in my view, of search.

Schmidt also says Google is focusing on trying to gauge meaning and intent from user searches. “Ultimately, we think we can understand things like what you really meant…. what is the problem you’re really trying to solve?”

During his keynote speech, Schmidt also shared a variety of statistics about Google products and services. Here are some highlights:

  • The mobile web is growing 8x faster than the equivalent desktop web from 10 years ago.
  • One in three queries from smartphones is now about where I am, something around me.
  • Google’s mobile search traffic grew 50% in the first half of 2010. “It’s growing much quicker than everything else.”
  • Android is shipping about 200,000 activations per day now.
  • Search traffic from Android phones tripled in the first half of 2010.
  • Google Chrome now has 70 million users. The latest release is 4x faster than two years ago.
  • YouTube has more than two billion views per day, 160 million mobile views per day, 24 hours of video is uploaded every minute, and more than two billion monetized views per week (that’s up 50% in the last year).
  • Google’s DoubleClick platform serves over 45 billion ads per day.
  • 94 of the Top 100 AdAge advertisers use the Google Display Network.

Three Google employees also shared demos during Schmidt’s keynote. Hugo Barra’s mobile demo included a new Street View interface for Android phones and “Conversation Mode” for Google Translate. He also said that 25% of Android searches in the U.S. are voice searches. Brittany Bohnet demoed Google TV and announced that Android Market is coming to Google TV in early 2011.

You can watch the full keynote online. It runs a little more than an hour.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Mobile | Google: Personalized Search | Google: Web Search | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • George Revutsky

    Its kinda the “Facebookification of Adwords”.
    The auto-suggest results will personalize based on your Gmail, Google account, recent search history, Google Voice phone calls, etc. And then the paid search ads will likewise do this too. Making you much more likely to click. All this = More $revenue.

  • Duane Forrester

    Hmmm… will I be seeing higher bills from AT&T for all this data back-and-forth as G tracks me and brings me things? Sure I can turn it off, but that simply kills the value. So does htis future vission amount to an extra feature I end up paying for each month as data transfers take up bandwidth?

    Might be so small as to not matter, but this article has me thinking of the intersection of value v. cost – I mean, how much data do I need when around my own area where my costs would be lower anyway due to me being “local” on my plan.

    Track over to Munich, from Seattle, though, and data usage rates are much greater, and this is a place where I’d LOVE to have historical and locla data fed to me…

    And to be honest, I’m not sold on “personal” search yet. I can easily ask for what I want – no need to try to guess, get side-tracked and waste my time, thanks. Worse, as my desires and interests change, with personal search be stuck on what I liked last week and skew my results this week when my interest is different?

  • Ruth_OL

    Not to mention the impact on your smartphone’s battery. The Layar augmented reality app on the iPhone drains the battery like the plug’s been pulled out, and it’s hard to see how this could be much better if it’s running constantly. Hardware needs to improve before this can become a reality.

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