Google’s latest search changes – introduced by Search Senior Vice President Amit Singhal – are another development, or baby step as Amit would call it, in making data more useful for us.
The flood of data that’s washed over us since the web arrived has left most of us befuddled. Increasingly, a basic keyword search just hasn’t been enough to find the information we’re looking for and we’ve had to trawl through pages of irrelevant information.
One of the aims of Google’s new features is to make data more relevant to a user – so if someone in the US types “Kings” into Google, they will be given details of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team or the TV series “Kings”.
Those details will include snippets of information about the topic. It could be the teams venue or the cast of the TV show. For tourist locations it could be some basic facts or transport information.
Amit is particularly proud of integrating tourist information and flight details into search and Gmail which indicates Google is beginning to leverage its buyout of the ITA travel booking network last year.
Google’s treatment of data reflects what’s happening with other services. At the recent Australian Xero conference and in an interview with MYOB executives, it’s been emphasised how knowledge is being aggregated to give customers and users better, more useful results.
With Google’s knowledge graph we’re seeing the realisation of what big data can do, there’s many baby steps ahead but there’s a lot of potential.