Google Personalized Search: Goodbye Search Engine, Hello Find Engine

Holygrail051For tens of millions of users, multiple times a day for each, Google just improved and it will keep on improving. All users need to do is continue using Google. That’s a pretty great way to create brand loyalty! How many products continue to get better the more you use them? A baseball glove, maybe a pair of jeans, your iPod. It’s no coincidence that these products become the ones we’re most attached to.

With the continued improvements and mass roll out of Google’s personalized search we have a watershed moment in digital media and marketing. The ability to collect behavioral data points at the scale Google is capable of and crunch that data to deliver relevance is where Search morphs into Artificial Intelligence (AI). You might say this week Google ceased being a search engine and became a find engine.

This direction should come as no surprise to anyone that has been observing Google. As far back as the original Stanford “BackRub” paper Sergey and Larry were focused on the multiple benefits of search at a personal level.

“One important variation is to only add the damping factor d to a single page, or a group of pages. This allows for personalization and can make it nearly impossible to deliberately mislead the system in order to get a higher ranking.”

The stage was also set for this with Google’s early hiring of Peter Norvig who is Google’s Director of Research (formerly Director of Search Quality) and literally wrote the book on Artificial Intelligence. This also fits right in Google’s stated mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Who says this mission should only be taken on a macro level? It’s likely a more important mission to undertake on a micro, personal level.

Google will drive this life engine if you let it. And millions of people will not only let it, they will not be able to let go of it because it will deliver relevance factors better and in ways that technology has never delivered. It will be addictive and it will be invisible. It will make life easier and increase productivity. It is the holy grail of search technology and we are just beginning to drink from it.

In the coming years we’ll see Google continue to leverage the power of one-to-one relationships, becoming truly intelligent in the same way all intelligence is gathered: observation, inputs, processing and memory. And we’ll look back and wonder, how we ever searched without personalized results…



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One response to “Google Personalized Search: Goodbye Search Engine, Hello Find Engine”

  1. Ian Parker Avatar

    Google – Are stations still elastic? I tried translating “The season of spring” into Google Translate and got “La estacion de ressorte
    How does this affect search? Profoundly, if Google does not understand a concept like “Spring” it cannot search with any precision. A translation into 2L is probably the fastest way of demonstrating concept recognition.
    In fact if we are to log our preferences we are using proceedures which are similar in principle to such things as Ltent Semantic analysis. Google should also analyze text as well as out previous utterances. This is in fact an extra level of LSA but I would have thought it preferable to implement basic LSA in the search routines.
    There is a description in my blog.


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