Found thoughts: Google’s ‘Reimagining Search – Any Way, Anywhere’ talk
‘Help people get the information they need;
no matter what they’re looking for, no matter how they ask’
Pandu Nayak, Google Fellow (speaking at the Cannes Lions Festival 2022)
Every day, people look to Google for the answers to billions of questions: some simple, many increasingly complex, and others that can’t always be put into words. Google’s mission to organise the world’s information is timeless, but expectations for what a search engine can do have never been higher, and how Google responsibly deliver on that mission keeps on advancing and evolving.
This year, on the Cannes Lions Lumiere stage, Pandu Nayak (Google Fellow and one of the foremost leaders in search) talked to attendees about the history of search and the latest AI innovations that are enabling entirely new ways for users to explore information. He discussed and displayed Google’s new ‘multi-search feature’ which allows users to combine text and image searches (so a user could photograph a bottle of wine and use that, along with the work ‘sparkling’ to see if the brand carried a sparkling version of that particular product).
As digital performance experts who help brands get found online, multi-search is something that our team are having a serious think about. With Google working to make it possible for users to search any way, anywhere what do we need to be working on to ensure that brands get found when prospective clients look to find them?
As multi-search is already being tested in the US (and is soon to be rolled-out worldwide), some of our experts took the time to sit and review Pandu’s talk recording and share their thoughts on what multi-search is going to mean for our business, our clients, and the world of search.
We’re in another phase of search evolving, where Google is taking more steps towards becoming a one-stop-shop online portal rather than a search engine alone; providing us with an extensive range of data, info, services, and resources which should (in theory) better our every day – from booking a cab to restocking fridges without any direction.
With search advancing at the rate it is, we’ll soon enough enter a world where we can get things done without having to visit a website at all. E-comm/retail wise, Google will align themselves a lot more to Amazon. As a result of this transition, it feels obvious that brands need to start investing in the why, nailing their brand narrative & diversifying themselves from an already saturated market & truly understanding their key audiences/needs.
Chantelle Duff (Biddable Account Director, Found.)
With 15% of searches being entirely new everyday, the ever-changing search environment means that we all need to be keeping our eyes out for new visible trends and adapting our SEO strategies accordingly.
The future of search might include searching by voice, camera or other new technologies. We don’t know which ones Google will prioritise and deem most valuable and how that will that impact SEO strategies, so this ever-changing search landscape requires brands to champion adaptability and invest in training as technologies advance.
It was really interesting to hear more about the skin tone scale that Google are using – clothing retailers and our current clients (like Puma) may find value in providing a way for customers to search for clothes and see what they might look like on their skin tone – something like this could positively impact return rates on clothing products.
India Rodgers (SEO Account Manager, Found.)
It was really good to listen to the history and future of Google and how voice search and image search are going to evolve. The way that people search is going to go way beyond keywords soon and I believe that Google Ads will need to adapt to accommodate that in some way.
The talk shared some interesting general search facts; did you know that there were 25 million webpages when Google first launched and today there are 100 billion?! Every day, 15% of new searches come through – that amount of continued expansion is crazy.
Juliette Martin (Senior Biddable Account Manager, Found.)
The incremental increases in relevancy and accuracy in search results over time has been incredible and the way that Google are working to allow users to be served with more relevant information (from reputable sources) is pretty inspiring.
I’m excited to see the roll-out of multi-search across other markets – I can already think (from my own user experience) of multiple occasions when I would’ve used these new features.
It’ll be interesting for us to see what optimisations are going be required in order to rank for searches of target combinations of images and keywords, or having sites optimised in line with existing algorithms that’ll feed the necessary signals to Google.
It sounds like the importance of ‘visually rich’ content will increase.
Lucy Bradford (Business Manager, Found.)
I think that multi-search (as a new feature) is totally in line with how users now expect to search and use tech to search; so it’s launch comes as no surprise. Google simply have to keep up with apps and other tools that allow users to search in this way.
It will undoubtedly affect the type of content that agencies (like us) create for clients to ensure their products and services are visible online. It will also affect how people engage with brands further down the line; users will expect even more instant and more relevant content served to them even quicker, so brands are going to have to respond.
Rachel Leamon (Head of Digital PR, Found.)
I found myself quite impressed with the complexity of Google’s “Did you know” feature. It had never occurred to me before, but I imagine it took years of work to be able to understand what a person is asking for even when they type the wrong thing, and it significantly improves the user experience.
It’s going to be interesting to see, in the next few years, how Google manages to push innovation within its search platform without distorting its core (and whether that’s actually possible).
Another interesting development for us to observe in the next few years will be both Google and Meta creating their next “stages” of their products, especially in the midst of Apple’s IOS update to user tracking.
Daniel Odogwu (Senior Biddable Account Executive, Found.)
Want to make sure that your business is ready for imminent digital search advancements? Speak to our team today – we’re the digital performance experts across PPC & SEO that help brands get found online.