Google will look very different in 2033, where conversation is the interface rather than the search we know today.
This is how Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind (which Google bought in 2014), explains in an interview on the No Priors Podcast.
Why we care ChatGPT, the new Bing, and Google’s new generative search experience are big signs of a major shift in search. Clearly, nothing will change immediately. But these changes could change the way Google, as the dominant search engine, has shaped the web in the coming years.
The search dialog. Google is “a terribly painful conversation” right now, where the answer comes in the form of 10 blue links (though it didn’t mention all the search and ad features that also act as “answers” in today’s SERPs ).
Google learns from the results people click on, how long they spend on sites, and whether they return to the search box to refine their search or click on other results. Added:
“The problem is [Google’s] using the yellow pages of the 80s to have this conversation. And we can actually now have that conversation with fluent natural language.”
Google rewards engagement, not answers. Google has set up content production in a way that favors ad optimization and rewards content creators for keeping people on pages longer, Suleyman said.
“You go to a web page and all the text has been broken down into bullet points and subheadings separated by ads. You spend five to seven or ten seconds just scrolling down the page to find the piece of the answer you really wanted. But the most of the time you’re just looking for a quick snippet.…that looks like high quality content to Google and is “attractive”.
From “talking Google” to “talking to computers”. Suleyman believes we are close to a point where searchers will no longer have to think “How can I change my query and type this?”
“We learned to talk about Google. It’s a crazy atmosphere. We learned from Google, right? This is just a weird lexicon that we’ve developed together with Google over 20 years. No, it has to stop now. This is over. That moment is over and now we can talk to computers in fluent natural language, and that’s the new interface.”
bottom line Suleyman believes Google should be “very concerned” that the Google search we know today won’t be the same 10 years from now.
“It won’t happen overnight. There will be a transition. But these kinds of succinct, dynamic, personalized, interactive moments are clearly the future in my opinion.”
Google CEO on search in 10 years. In a recent interview, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was asked if we are nearing the end of link-based search and 10 blue links. Pichai said search will be “more environmentally available to users in radically different ways” compared to today, adding:
“I think the experience will evolve substantially over the next decade. We need to know the users in terms of what they’re looking for.”
Watch the interview. The video is embedded below. Or, if you prefer, you can read the transcript.