What is the Overall Goal of Google? As answered by CEO Sundar Pichai it is to be a “Step Ahead of Our Users”. So how is Google staying a step ahead of their users and competition? The next 10 years of technology will shake up how search is performed, where it is done, who is doing it. Search will become ubiquitous. Search will be everywhere and available in many more ways than we can ever imagine. So here is my predictions on where Google will be in the next ten years.
Where is Google Investing?
By analyzing where Google is investing we predict where they are going. Here is where the putting all their eggs:
Personal Assistants (PA)
Where will Google be?
Put Google Everywhere. Google wants to build a conversational and natural language search application that simplifies your life. Google will be in your daily life, on the clothing you wear, in the car you drive, & in your home. Google will become an ambient experience that extends beyond any device; always listening, always on, always there to help.
Google Search Now and Then
Old Search – Go to computer, turn on computer, wait, open web browser, go to Google, type in search query, get results, decide where to click, read content on page for answer, review & repeat until answer is found.
New Search – Ask question, get answer.
Google will be your Personal Assistant
Personal Assistants will soon understand natural language and will be able to understand context. PAs will be designed to affect the largest amount of people possible and be able to used by anyone who can see, touch, speak, or think. PAs will enable millions to simplify and automate everyday tasks through machine learning.
PAs Machine Learning algorithms could become influenced by factors outside of user control, limiting users natural discovery of new products, stores, and experiences. PA may increase commoditization.
Google for your Home
An Internet of Things (IoT) voice-activated device designed to rival Alexa and Cortana. Automatically connects with Android, Chome Cast, TV, music, lights, thermostat, locks, doors, wallets, and all IoT enabled objects. Designed to make your life easier.
Google Home may influence shopping behavior as it doesn’t require a computer or phone to connect to the internet; lowering the barrier to getting online. Users will no longer need to leave their house to shop. It is predicted users will become comfortable enough to shop with voice commands and not have to see an item in order or visit a store to make a purchase.
43% of users begin a product search on Amazon. Amazon is Google’s largest competitor from a Search and IoT perspective. Google needs a way to reach Amazon users or they become irrelevant. Here’s how they are cutting Amazon out and expanding their reach in shopping:
Local Inventory Ads – find products from a local retailer which bypasses Amazon. Requires retailer participation.
PLAs in Google Images† – Amazon is not participating in product listing ads or focused on imagery.
Google Express – Same day delivery which bypasses Amazon. Requires retailers to partner with Google.
Google One-Touch Buy – Bypasses Amazon, requires retailers to partners with Google.
Android Pay – Even if Google doesn’t handle the search they can process the payment and gain customer data in the offline world.
Google will Process Payments
Android Pay will incentivize retailers to use NFC by offering lower credit card processing fees and free terminals provided by Square. Google wants retailers to be able to accept any form of digital payment with one-touch buying. Android Pay will also expand to ATMs, Chrome, and work with virtual loyalty cards simplifying and expediting the checkout process. Currently partnering with Bank Of America.
By owning the payment processing Google can link search behavior to purchase behavior, create sophisticated reward programs, lower fees, speed up checkout, own the customer data, and control the branding. This could add billions of revenue to Google’s bottom line.
Google will be the go to Language Translation
Google’s specialized TPU chips fast-forwarded machine learning language translations algorithms seven years into the future. The TPU chips will improve language translation, voice search, and are the same processors that beat humans at Go. Google Translate is focused on natural language and understanding context.
Google is competing with Amazon and Microsoft in voice search and needs to stay competitive in order to stay relevant. Google Translate could replace human translations in the future. Retailers could benefit by providing user a natural translated experience in any language. Combine TPU chips and machine learning and you have a very powerful AI.
Learning from Google aka Google University
For years Google has given away its answers for free. It has now began selling hardware and software to students and schools. “Learning is going Google” with devices, materials, expeditions, and training for everyone from elementary to post graduate. 7 out of 8 Ivy League schools are using Google for Education. The next Ivy League School may be Google. What would be a diploma from Google be worth?
Machine Learning – The Uprise of the Machines
RankBrain is a machine learning AI that has become the third most important ranking factor for organic search. While Rankbrain has yet to be gamed because its learning remains offline, it uses mathematics to connect words and phrases making it susceptible to user behavior and trends. Google is prioritizing Machine Learning and AI in 2016.
Machine learning AIs will be used for virtual assistants, messaging apps: Allo and Duo (to be release in 2016) that will rival Facebook messenger, Snapchat, Skype, Slack, etc. Machine Learning will also enable Google to provide better instant answers keeping users within the Google eco-system and not clicking away to an organic search result.
Google Owns Your Content
Instant Answers are Growing
In 2012 there were only six different types of Instant Answers. Today Instant Answers provide search results for over 30 different categories of search queries. Instant Answers lead to less clicks to organic search queries that follow.
Currency, Stock Price, Market Cap
Flight Tracker, Flight Schedules
The Cornerstones of Google are Strong
- Operating Systems: Android, Chrome OS, Google TV
If Google owns the devices performing search they run the devices that power the world.
- Applications: Search, Calendar, Maps, Photos, Email, News, Drive, YouTube, Translations, Wallets, Mobile apps†, …
Provide everything you need on your devices.
- Hardware: Driverless Car, Nexus, Chromecast, Contact Lens
Connect everything together.
- Services: Cloud, Broadband/Fiber, Crisis Response (911)
Be the infrastructure that you depend on.
Predictions for Google
- Google has already lost the battle with Amazon.
- Google has to partner with retailers in order to compete with Amazon, we will see Google becoming more transparent in order for businesses to feel comfortable working with them.
- Google will build an online mall to compete with Amazon. It won’t be Google Express, Google Shopping Ads, or even their partnership with Walmart. It will be bigger it will be more streamlined.
- Google will invest in gaming & VR to rival Microsoft.
- Google will encourage deep linking and using “parts” of apps to reduce Apple’s dominance in the app market.
- Google’s voice search will reduce the number of searches per session.
- Google will buy or become the next big payment processor.
- Google will partner with car manufactures for mapping data to improve self-driving cars.