Amit Singhal – Head of Google Search talking in Dubai


June 27, 2012

Head of Google Search – Amit Singhal is the creator of the Google Search Algorithm – he wrote it!!

On Thursday evening last week I attended one of those events that anyone outside of the industry might baulk at, especially as most can probably think of other things they would rather be doing on a Thursday night rather than sitting in an auditorium, waiting to hear someone speak about Search Engines. But for those of us that work in the online field and help businesses in the GCC to make the transition from traditional marketing to online marketing, it was a great chance to hear how the Google machine works, and what it’s plans and thoughts are for the future.

As you might expect with the recent talk and launch of their knowledge graph, there was some focus on this particular feature. Quite rightly they are very proud of this feature as the underlying theme of the presentation was that they are trying to make the machines more ‘human’. This may be a good or a bad thing depending on your viewpoint. The knowledge graph though is one of many upcoming features that is enabling the Search Engine to start ‘seeing things, not strings’.  Amit told a great story about how his mum really believes that Google understands her. He has tried to tell her but failed, even as the creator of the thing, that actually it doesn’t understand her at all. It just sees two words and then goes off to find relevant matches to what it believes you are looking for. What the Knowledge Graph does is find the right area of interest and then dig deeper, enabling the user to find exactly what it is they were looking for. For example, when you typed Taj Mahal, did you mean the famous building in India, or were you actually looking for the Trump Taj Mahal casino/hotel, or were you actually looking for the Taj Mahal indian take away on the high street?

Google’s direction is to move away from refining data, turning into information and providing it. They are moving towards a ‘Wisdom’ net, moving beyond, information, data and knowledge through to wisdom. Quite incredible when you put that into perspective. This is in line with their desire to have technology make life easier for the consumer and more natural. As Amit pointed out, at the moment, if we want answers to a question, we have to do something that is very unnatural; reach into our pocket, pull out a device (phone or maybe tablet) type onto the screen and then click on the answers. Whilst the next generation may well think this is natural, for most of us, this is actually quite alien.

This is a very brief synopsis of a very enjoyable talk. One of the biggest take aways from this, with the introduction of Knowledge Graph was space for Ads. After all, Adwords and in some cases Adsense are revenue streams for many companies out there. What was clear but unsaid, is that we should keep an eye out for a new bidding model for Google Adwords in the near future!

Drop us a line if you’d like further insight into how you can use Google more effectively in your business –  and we’ll be happy to discuss with you.

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