Google held an event this morning called Inside Search to make a number of announcements regarding innovations being made to their core Search product. To cut to the chase, rolling out today include: query building in mobile searches, local icons on the refreshed mobile Google home page, a new user interface for local search, Russian translation in Google Goggles, voice search on the desktop in English and search by image on the desktop. Google Instant pages will be rolling out today in the developer version of Google Chrome, this week in the beta version, and in the coming weeks will be available in the stable version of Chrome. For more details read on and check out the gallery at the bottom for more pictures.
Google titled a summary of the event as Knocking Down The Barriers To Knowledge on the Official Google Blog. The event started off by talking about the growth Google is seeing in the Google Search Volume. Breaking the data down by day, the weekend traffic from desktops slumps but is now being more than compensated by mobile searches. Breaking it down by hour, you can see a typical sleep pattern. Even with a hefty dip in Google searches from the desktop during the lunch hour, mobile searching picks up.
The first announcement was for the mobile version of Google Search which includes a refreshed version of the mobile homepage. The changes include “Local” buttons to allow a smart, quick query for nearby hotels, bars, restaurants, and more. Other smart features of these local queries include the map on the results page staying at the top of the screen as you scroll through the results. There are other smart features for other queries where you can flip through several related charts as demonstrated by a query for the S&P 500. Also introduced was the spyglass that might reside to the right of search results. If you click on that, you will receive a visual way to quickly flip through search results.
Along with mobile devices, tablets received a refreshed search interface that emphasized the visual search that was more fitting to tablets. Google Image Search also has infinite scroll on tablets to allow users to consume lots of data.
Google Goggles on mobile got a quick update with the ability to translate Russian from a picture taken.
Speaking to Google was touted as the most natural way to communicate your query and to back that up, many people have embraced it through their phones. Google currently receives 2 years of non-stop speech every day. They plan to grow its use through accuracy and ubiquitousness. Being included on the Android platform has by and large given them a ubiquitous presence around the globe and the massive amount of data they get allows the accuracy to improve.
Taking mobile innovations back to the desktop, Google Voice Search For Desktop launches this week (for U.S. English only). You’ll be able to click on the microphone on the Google Search bar and record your query through your plugged in or integrated microphone. This ability is currently for Google Chrome only once it is rolled out.
Image Search is a way of taking the Google Goggle innovations back to the desktop. Rolling out globally in the next few days, you’ll see the camera in the search bar and you’ll be able to search by image from the Chrome browser on your desktop. It recognize well-documented images like landscapes or buildings. Dealing at a point of pixels, lines, and shades, the technology is not facial recognition as was repeated several time during the Q&A. One demo of the technology showed Google Image Search being able to recognize memes.
To search by image on the desktop, you can copy and paste an image URL, directly upload an image, drag and drop the image onto the search box, or use Chrome and Firefox extensions. The images are then anonymized like other queries and the same goes for the new Google Voice search.
Google Instant search results have wide availability around the world on desktop with increasing availability to Latin American domains today. Google Instant on image search will be rolling out in the coming weeks.
Google Instant Pages is the big announcement of today. Google can deliver third-party webpages (like 404 Tech Support) immediately or much faster from the search if they can predict that the link will be clicked.
Google Instant Pages will be available this week in Chrome beta and is available today in the Chrome developer version. Instant pages will be coming to mobile in the coming weeks.
Lots of cool, innovative features were announced today in the hour event. As they roll out, we’ll have to check them out first-hand.