Many young people can’t remember a time when to “Google it” was not a term. And that’s not surprising since Google Search is now 20 years old, celebrating its “birthday” on 27 September.
For those of us who can still recall using search engines such as Excite and Alta Vista, when Google came along, it was like having a super smart best friend you could count on to be “in the know” – or at least point you in the right direction.
According to a blog post by Ben Gomes, Google’s VP for Search, News and Assistant, the ability to return good search results is the product of Google Search’s core principles of focusing on the user and striving the provide relevant and the highest quality information as quickly as possible. These are principles which resonate with us at Little Day Out.
To be your super smart best friend, Google relies on algorithms – Page Rank being the most famous. These algorithms allow it to process the billions of queries it receives. It also rigorously tests all the changes it makes. According to Gomes, in 2017, Google ran more than 200,000 experiments which resulted in 2,400+ changes to search to return better and more relevant results.
What’s Next at Google Search
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Just like any 20-year-old, Google continues to evolve.
Moving forward, Gomes shared three ways which Google Search is going to shift.
There will be a focus on helping users on their search journeys through activity cards and collections, providing queryless ways to present information by surfacing relevant topics and adopting a more visual approach to Search. These developments are possible because of advancements in AI and, judging by Google’s approach of testing and re-testing, we’d probably expect to see features being tried and gradually rolled out.
For us at Little Day Out, these developments at Google make perfect sense and we are excited to see how Google Search continues to evolve.
Happy 20th anniversary, Google Search.