Google cranks up search speeds with images, voice
Wednesday 15 June 2011
Google on Tuesday ramped up Internet search speeds by letting people use speech or images to express what they want faster.
Google engineers also shaved precious seconds off the time it takes for Web pages to display after links are clicked on in search results.
"We at Google will not be happy until we make the Web as easy to flip through as a magazine," Google fellow Amit Singhal said at an "Inside Search" event in San Francisco.
"We measure every millisecond," he said. "The time it takes Google to return a result is negligible compared to how long it takes the user to enter the query."
On the other end of the search, it takes an average of five seconds for a Web page to load once a person has clicked on a link listed in query results, according to Singhal.
Members of Google's search team rolled out the California-based firm's latest innovations crafted to deliver the knowledge being sought "in the blink of an eye."
Google enhancements spanned all gadgets from desktops using Chrome software to browse the Internet to the latest Android-powered smartphones or tablet computers.
"In mobile, we are always thinking about how we can make the process of getting those results easier," said Google mobile engineering director Scott Huffman.
Google added icons to the bottom of mobile search pages that let people do common searches such as for restaurants, cafes, or bars with a single click instead of having to type in queries.
Google also began letting people build queries with simple "plus" buttons and providing instant previews of search results pages that could be glimpsed with simple swipes of a finger on a touchscreen.
Huffman announced that a Google Goggles feature allowing people with mobile devices to search using pictures now translates languages in photos of text, with Russian added to the list.
Google was taking innovations in mobile and applying them to desktop computers with the addition of voice and image search capabilities, according to search director of product management Johanna Wright.
"Mobile has opened a world of possibilities," Wright said.
The option to speak searches was represented by a microphone icon on the Google search page.
Spoken search queries on Google-powered mobile gadgets have grown six-fold in the past year, according to Mike Cohen, manager of the California firm's speech technology team.
"We are trying to change the user's mental model to make speaking search a basic habit," Cohen said. "Accuracy, ubiquity...it needs to be in every language, on every device."
A camera icon could be clicked to trigger image searches and pictures "dropped and dragged" into search boxes, Cohen said.
Google was also rolling out an "Instant Pages" feature crafted to predict which link a searcher is likely to chose and have that Web page pre-loaded for display as soon as it is clicked.
"Sometimes, when you click on a result the page will be just there instantaneously," Singhal said of the feature. "This is amazing."
Google also extended its "Instant" results to image search, making pages of pictures available as fast as one could type. Google already provides instant results for standard searches.
"Search is what we are good at," said Alan Eustace, whose new role at Google is director of knowledge.
Co-founder and chief executive Larry Page sees online search as a quest for knowledge instead of a simple hunt for data, according to Eustace.
"He thinks Google should understand how things are related," Eustace said of Page, who took the reins of the company early this year.
"He wants us to know more rather than just find better," Eustace continued. "I think his view is Google should be much better at understanding the world."
Life & Style blogs
'Cheeky' Nando's under fire for apparently coming onto a customer on Twitter
10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
Facebook Messenger sends 'creepily' precise location data, as revealed by Marauders Map Chrome extension
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 3 iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
- 4 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: it's just gravity — not a Mexican demon being summoned
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...
£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Web Designer is required to join a f...