>>STRICKER: Good morning. Hi. Wow, you like
that entertainment. Goodness. I’m Gabriel Stricker, Director of Global Communications
and Public Affairs at Google. I just have a couple of quick housekeeping items to go
through before we begin. First, is everyone able to access the Wi-Fi in here? I’m actually–I’m
getting some yes and no. So, the networks are Search On 1 through Search On 5, so not
the SFMOMA network. And the password is–is isearchongoog. The letter “I” search on goog
is the password. So, Search On 1 through Search On 5. isearchongoog is the password. For those
of you who are not here, who are viewing this via our streaming, we’re going to have a Q&A
at the end of the presentation, and you guys can submit questions for us via the email
alias [email protected] So that’s search 2-0-1-0 at google.com. And then for those
of you who are here, we’re going to have some demos at the–at the end of today’s presentation
as well, so just stick around and you guys will be able to walk through a lot of what
we’re going to be announcing today. So with that, I just wanted to give you a quick sort
of update on why it is that we’re here. So, periodically we do these State of the Unions
really for two reasons. First is we hear from a lot of you that with the kind breakneck
pace of innovation that we go through at Google, it’s nice for us to kind of let you catch
your breath and give you a sense of where we are and where we’re going, and so we’ll
do some of that. And then secondly, we hear that it’s helpful from time to time to kind
of take a look under the hood and get a sense of the anatomy of what we do and why and how,
and so you’ll certainly hear a lot about that as well. So, here we are at the SFMOMA, and,
you know, what we do at Google, and in Search in particular, is really one part art and
one part science. We’re here at the SFMOMA today in recognition of the art part of that
equation. The science, well, you’re going to hear from our Search rocket scientists
in a second who will hold your hand through the latest and greatest of what we’re up to.
But before we go there, I just wanted to flag one thing, and some of you may have heard
some of–of the remarks from Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, yesterday in Berlin. And there
he said, “Never underestimate the importance of fast.” Today, we’re going to be talking
a lot about speed and the importance of fast. And in recognition of that and in an attempt
to kind of keep things moving on time, I’m going to hand it over to our Vice President
of Search Products and User Experience, Marissa Mayer. Thank you. [pause]
>>MAYER: Thank you, Gabriel. Good morning and welcome, and thanks to all of you for
coming to our Search event this morning. Obviously, we have a really big announcement. But before
we get to the announcement, I thought I would offer some insight into just how far Search
has already come in 2010, starting with an exciting stat. In the past few months, we’ve
crossed the “One Billion Users On Google’s Site Each Week” mark. We’re really excited
about this. We couldn’t have done this without our users, and we’re profoundly grateful to
them. And we want to really renew our commitment to constantly be improving our quality and
constantly improving our user experience. This statistic makes Google Search one of
the most used services. Not only internet services, but services all over the world,
and we’re really excited and honored to have achieved this milestone. And we couldn’t have
done it without our users. We also couldn’t have done it without a constant innovation
and a constant sense of improvement. Most of you know that we actually roll out hundreds
of changes each year. In 2009, for example, we rolled out more than 500 UI and ranking
changes to Google Search. Already in 2010, we’ve already rolled out more than 500 changes
to our ranking and to our UI. And so this stands to be the best year ever for Google
Search. We’ve already had hundreds of improvements in 2010, and I thought I would highlight just
a few of them. First up, we have Caffeine, our new indexing system, which makes our index
50% fresher. This ultimately means that our users get much more up-to-date and timely
results, and we can find the best information regardless of where it is and when it was
written. It really helps our index to be fast. We also rolled out Real-Time at the tail end
of 2009, but that hasn’t stopped us in 2010 from continuing to build advances. We’ve been
working on our triggering, so when Real-Time shows up in our search results, it’s incredibly
relevant. We’ve also just rolled out a whole slew of features, including timeline views
and conversation views. We’re really excited about how to show real-time information, tweets
and updates in the context of Search to really help our users understand what’s going on.
We’ve also been making improvements to our spell corrections. That may seem funny, because
we’ve had spell correction for a number of years now, but in the past year, we’ve actually
made it much easier for our users to find the spell corrections, because we now offer
them as part of the auto complete. You now get spell corrections before you even do your
search. They show up there right underneath the search box. We’ve also made great strides
in how to handle proper nouns and really do complicated spelling corrections. We’ve also
rolled out enhancements to our Questions & Answers. Two years ago in 2008, at an event
much like this, we rolled out a product called Google Squared, which was a technology demonstration
that showed how we could intuit facts from the data on the web. We’ve taken the technology
behind Google Squared and launched it as part of our core web search. So today, you can
type small questions or facts into Google Search and get answer right on the top of
the Results page. Like the inventor of the telephone. It just says Alexander Graham Bell.
And it also works for real-time events as well and current events. You can type things
like “Iron Man 2 release date” and it’ll give the release date right on top of the Search
Results page. And we’ve also rolled out Stars in Search. We’re constantly working to make
Google Search more personalized. And through our experiments with products like Search
Wiki, what we found was that users really wanted to be able to bookmark results. To
say, “This URL I want at the top of this search in the future and any related search, and
I also want a way to be able to get back to it easily.” We now have Stars in Search rolled
out on all users who are signed in for all their searches and with a Star accompanying
each search result, so it’s always easy to bookmark a result and be able to come back
to it. And finally, in April we rolled out our redesign. Our redesign introduced a left
hand navigation panel that has all kinds of dynamic tools that’ll help our users slice
and dice their–their results in entirely new ways, ultimately helping them find what
they’re looking for all that much faster. We also redid the formatting of the main Search
Results in order to help our users scan and find what they were looking for that much
faster. And through all of these improvements, we’ve also managed to have a little bit of
fun. So, in January, we had our first television commercial, a Super Bowl commercial, no less,
featuring Search. Let’s go ahead and roll the video.
>>[speaking French]>>Hello. Bon jour.
>>Tu es tres mignon. [pause]>>Hello.
>>[speaking French] [pause]>>And the fun didn’t stop there. We actually
renamed ourselves Topeka for April Fool’s in honor of Topeka, Kansas, which named themselves
Google for our Fiber-to-the-Home project. And over the past few days, we’ve been having
fun with our logos. So many of you probably saw yesterday the bubble logo that was on
our web site. How many people played with it? It’s pretty fun. It’s almost like a digital
Zen garden, which is very relaxing to see–see the bubbles sort of explode all over the screen.
But we really ran this logo because we want Search to be fun, fast, and interactive. And
this doodle was designed to tease our announcement today. And then last night we lead with yet
another doodle that helped illustrate and give even more of a clue of what we’re doing
in that it lit up as your typed into the search box. So this was a little bit of fun to get
people in the mood for today’s announcement. And today’s announcement does represent what
we believe is a fundamental shift to Search. How people think about Search. How people
do Search. The speed and ease with which people can find information. And as such, and to
put today’s announcement in perspective, I thought I should offer some insight into the
evolution of how people find information. We’re here today at the MOMA. The MOMA has
an amazing permanent collection, and one of the most important pieces in it is Woman with
a Hat by Henri Matisse. Woman with a Hat was painted in 1905. It actually is Matisse’s
wife, Amelie. When she posed for the painting, she was actually dressed entirely in black.
A black dress and a black hat. And as Matisse painted this painting, a new art movement
was born called Fauvism, where the focus is on painterly technique and the use of bright
colors even when bright colors don’t appear in the subject. It’s a very important piece.
It’s a very special piece that the MOMA has here on site. But if you wanted to be able
to find out all of the information and trivia that I just rattled off about–about Woman
with a Hat, say, 75 years ago when the MOMA first opened in 1935, you would’ve probably
had to have spend half a day to a day in a library. You would’ve physically had to have
gone to the library. You would’ve had to find references to the painting. You would’ve had
to stitch together all of these different facts to really understand what was happening
with this painting. If you move forward to 1950, things get a little bit faster, mostly
because of the prevalence of telephones. With the telephone, you could basically skip the
step of actually going to the library. You could call a librarian. You’d still have to
verify that you were talking about the right painting and getting the right information,
but you could get the information probably in, say, about half an hour. Fast forward
to 1995. Here personal computers come into play. There were CD-ROM-based encyclopedias,
and as long as your encyclopedia had an entry for Woman with a Hat, you could find this
information probably in the matter–in a matter of minutes. But the problem with that is that
it was static information. It didn’t really tell you is the piece on display right now?
You know, is it on tour? Where is the piece? This is my favorite piece in the San Francisco
MOMA’s permanent collection. It’s Roy Lichtenstein’s Mirror #1. And I come here often to see it.
And I will say that sometimes it’s here, and sometimes it’s not. And it’s really hard to
tell when it’s going to be here or not. But when you look at Search and how it plays out
today, this is where the power of the internet really comes into play, because you can have
real-time information. So, for example, if you search for “Lichtenstein mirror SFMOMA,”
in the snippets you can actually see that the mirror in on display in the second floor,
and if it’s on tour, it notes it on the web page. This is something that’s really wonderful,
and it actually has taken search time from that half a day to a day that we saw in 1935
to about half a minute. But let’s go ahead and take a look at where time is really spent
in a search. We know that it takes a user on average about nine seconds to enter their
search into Google. After they hit the Search button, it comes to us. There’s some network
time. Spends about 300 milliseconds on our servers on average. Goes back over the network.
And then after it renders on their page, they spend about 15 seconds on average picking
the right result for them. As you can imagine, because we are so focused on speed–never
underestimate fast–we have spent a lot of time optimizing the 300 milliseconds when
the search is on our servers. Making our algorithms more efficient. Making our computers more
efficient. Really trying to makes sure that we have Search as fast and as efficient as
absolutely possible while it’s on our servers. We’ve also spent some time thinking about
network time. This is what our Fiber-to-the-Home project is about; helping people understand
how fast their connection could be, how fast it should be and really pushing on this. Also
we have tools like Google Chrome, which really don’t focus on network time but do focus on
rendering time and other overhead in the browser to really try and make people’s experience
with the internet as fast and clean as possible. But despite all that emphasis on optimizing,
you might say, “Well, a search takes 25 seconds, and all of that focus is really on only one
of the 25 seconds.” Of course, there’s 24 other seconds of typing and thinking that
a user really spends. And you might say, “Well, but is it possible to even optimize that?”
And in truth, we actually have tried to optimize it. For entering a query, we’ve added features
to our search engine like auto complete, so when you’re typing a query, popular completions
show up right there so you can do less typing and enter your search faster. On selecting
a result, we’ll do things like the Google redesign to help people scan the page and
find information even faster because of the overall layout. But you may realize that at
some point we’re really up against the fact that entering a query, there’s a physical
speed for typing, and in terms of selecting a result, there’s a physical speed for thinking.
And this is where we really say, you know, can we optimize Search even more? Is it possible
to make it even faster? And in the past few months at Google, we’ve had a key insight.
We think it is possible. We think it’s possible to have a system that provides a user with
an easier way to enter a query with a lot of feedback, and ultimately make Search very,
very efficient. And we call that product Google Instant. And that’s what we’re launching today.
So, Google Instant actually gets queries and gets your search results as you type and brings
them to you and streams those results right to your computer, so the search is entirely
interactive the whole time you’re typing. And because it’s so interactive, we really
do need to show a demo. So I’m going to go over to the demo computer, and I have Dan
here, who’s going to take a picture–we have a picture-in-picture that’ll show up here
in a second, uh, so you can actually see what I’m typing and what actually happens onscreen.
So, let’s go back to the Woman with a Hat. Let’s say we couldn’t remember the specific
name of this painting, and we just remembered there’s an important painting at the SFMOMA.
It has a woman in it. You know, how does Google Instant work? Well, the first thing you’ll
see if that Google Instant, it just is–it is and looks like the main Search Results
page–the main home page that you’ve always been accustomed to. So if I go ahead and start
typing my query and type S-F-M you’ll see I did not hit return, and the results for
S-F-M, and actually for SFMOMA, because that’s the predicted–the predicted query, are already
on the page. So with just three keystrokes, we actually already have the result for the
San Francisco MOMA. If I say, okay, that’s great. I typed S-F-M. The prediction of SFMOMA
is right. I’ll go ahead and tab, and then I’ll just type “woman” to try and find the
name of the painting. And again, just six keystrokes later, we already know that, in
fact, the painting is called Femme au chapeau, Woman with a Hat. So it’s just that fast and
that interactive. The results with each keystroke. No hitting the Search button. No hitting Return.
The results just stream to you based on the predictions that are most likely, uh, given
your–given what you’ve typed so far. So let’s go ahead and actually do a look up on the
formal name of the painting, which is French. Femme au chapeau. If I type “femme au”, what
you’ll see here is that the most likely completion is a Picasso painting, Woman with Crossed
Arms. But you can also see five other searches here right below the search box. And I can
do those searches by simply using my up and down arrow keys. So you’ll note here that
all I do is press down. Does that search. “Women with chocolate.” Uh, and then you can
keep going through the search results and they just update. So as you scroll up and
down the overall recommendations and predictions, you can see the results right there. No more
typing. You can explore the whole space of your query, Femme au chapeau, and all of the
related queries. Let’s go ahead and take a lot at Fauvism. Fauvism is the painting movement
that actually came into play with Woman with a Hat. And if we type “Fauvism”, what you’ll
see is–if I type F-A-U-V, it’s already figured out that I’m likely to type Fauvism. So with
just four characters, I already have a definition of Fauvism, pictures and paintings that show
examples of it, mm-hmm. And you’ll note that a lot of people think Google Instant is search
as you type, but it’s actually search before you type. We didn’t do a search for F-A-U-V.
We did a search for Fauvism, because that was the most likely completion. So we’re actually
predicting what query you’re likely to do and giving you results for that. We think
this ultimately results in a much higher quality experience, but there’s even a psychic element
of it in that we can actually predict what you’re likely to type and bring you those
results in real time. And the other cool thing is using the predictions, you can build–you
can build your query much more easily. So let’s go back to the Lichtenstein mirror.
If I type Lichtenstein. L-I-C-H-T. Google’s already figured out that I’m likely to type
Lichtenstein. Doesn’t know is it the artist or the country, but I can hit Tab, then type
M-I for “mirror”, and again, it’s already figured out that I’m likely to type mirror.
Hit Tab. Hit S-F. And there’s the page on the Lichtenstein mirror here at the MOMA.
We’re really excited about what Google Instant means in terms of Search. It means much faster
Search, easier Search, an easier way to explore all of the related queries around the query
that you’re doing, and really providing results in real time before you’ve even had the–had
the opportunity to type your query. We’re really ultimately excited about this. Let’s
go ahead and go back to slide. This is funny. This is something that I don’t know if many
of you have seen, but in 2000, we actually thought that this idea of being able to search
before someone typed was so far out it was actually our April Fool’s Day joke. I was
called MentalPlex, and it says, be sure to remove your hat and glasses. Look into the
circle. Think about what you want to search and present it. And so we thought this was
sort of a fun–fun bit of Google history, and that obviously dovetails with today, because
just ten years later, what we’re seeing is it’s actually possible for us to greatly ease
the entering of a query, greatly ease the scanning of results, and really speed up the
Google Search experience. Google Instant is going to be–is going to be available later
today on a variety of browsers. It’ll be available on Google Chrome, on Firefox, on Safari and
on IE8. Mm-hmm. And this will all be rolling out over the course of today. So starting
today, if you’re using one of those browsers, you will be getting Google Instant as part
of your core web search experience. We’ll be rolling this out as part of our home page
and on google.com in the U.S. But over the next week, we’ll also be rolling this out
internationally. In the U.K., in France, in Italy, in Germany, in Spain, and in Russia
for all users who are signed in. So if you’re signed in and you’re using one of those country
sites, you’ll also be able to experience Google Instant within the week. We’re really excited
about what Google Instant could mean, in terms of the evolution of Search and the future
of Search and what it means in terms of how it will change people ultimately searching.
In fact, we estimate that Google Instant will help our users save two to five seconds per
query. That may not seem like a lot, but when you add that to the billion searches and more
a day that come–a week that come to Google, you actually get significant savings. In fact,
you actually will be able to save 11 hours for every passing second. We’re really–again,
we couldn’t be more pleased with how this product has developed, and I’m really excited
to introduce to you the team that built Google Instant, so they can talk to you about some
of the technical challenges and some of the product challenges that came about in building
Google Instant and what it ultimately means. With that, I’d like to welcome Othar Hansson
and Johanna Wright to the stage. [pause]>>WRIGHT: Imagine if Google were even faster
than it was before, if it knew and understood just what you were trying to say before you
finished typing, if it could give you feedback as you went along to get you better results.
Well, that’s what we’re here to talk about today. We’ve been using Google Instant for
months, and we want to talk about how it’s gonna revolutionize the way that we interact–all
of us interact with a search engine. This is not a screen-shot story. You truly have
to experience Google Instant yourself to understand its power. We’re gonna do the best we can
with our demos, but please check out the demo stations on your way out, and today, please
use Google as Instant rolls out to our servers. I’m Johanna Wright. I’m the Director of Product
Management on Search and working on Google Instant.
>>HANSSON: And I’m Othar, the engineering lead on Google Instant. Today we’re making
Google Search faster and easier than ever before, and Johanna and I are excited to show
you the three main features that you’ll start noticing today.
>>WRIGHT: And you can think of these three features like gears in a system. One small
change in one gear can have vast leverage over the full system, making your search much
more efficient. In Google Instant, the first gear is Instant Results. The second is our
set of Predictions. And the third is what we call “Scroll to Search.” Let’s jump in,
and let’s start by taking a look at Instant Results. Immediately when you start typing,
results display on the screen instantly. There’s no need to finish typing. There’s no need
to hit Enter. Um, I’m actually a little sad that the summer is over. It’s hard to believe
that Labor Day Weekend was just last weekend, and, um, now it’s fall. And, Othar, we’re
here in San Francisco. Why don’t you use Google to check out the weather?
>>HANSSON: Sure. This is a great search for Google Instant, because with exactly one key
press, on W, I can get a weather forecast for San Francisco. Whoo! 60 degrees. So, uh,
my career as a hand model means we can’t show my hand, but in slow motion, I’ll use one
key press. Weather. I did not press the Search button or press Enter. My fingers never left
my hands.>>WRIGHT: So even in slow motion, Othar was
fast. And you can tell that he found out the weather was 60 degrees out– that’s right,
60 degrees out by typing in just one keystroke. So now that we’ve talked about the first gear,
Instant Results, let’s move on to the second– Predictions. This summer, I, and maybe many
of you in this room, read the book “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” I don’t think Othar
read it. He’s making fun of me there.>>HANSSON: I was a little busy. Sorry.
>>WRIGHT: Well, what if we wanted to learn more about this book?
>>HANSSON: Sure. Book titles and movie titles and song lyrics–they’re all great searches
for Google, because people half remember these things, get to a search box, and they do their
best, and we do our best with our ranking and other tools to give them the results they
need. Google Instant just gives you even more feedback. So to prove my point, I’ve already
forgotten the title, but I have faith in Google Instant, so I’ll just start typing “the girl,”
and there you go. This look like a book. I scan down to the results. It’s a book that’s
been made into a movie. Is this the one you had in mind?
>>WRIGHT: It sure is.>>HANSSON: That’s great. So what you’ll notice
is the black text says “the G-I.” Those are the only letters I typed. They’re in black
text. The rest of the search is in gray text. We call this the Prediction. And the way–people
intuitively focus on the Search box while they’re typing. So the gray text is a great
cue as to what Google thinks you’re searching for. And in this case, this looked enough
like a book title that it was worth my while to scan down to the results and see if it
was, in fact, the book title you had in mind.>>WRIGHT: The real power is in tying that
gray prediction to the Instant Results. Google becomes Search before you type, and it’s as
if it knew exactly what Othar was trying to say.
>>HANSSON: Exactly. It’s not quite psychic, but it is very clever.
>>WRIGHT: Our third feature today is what we call “Scroll to Search.” And this summer
when I was planning my summer vacation, Othar told me about a trip he and his wife had taken
to Yosemite.>>HANSSON: Oh, yeah.
>>WRIGHT: And this search, Yosemite, actually shows off Scroll to Search quite nicely.
>>HANSSON: And it has great sentimental value–first trip my wife and I took. So I’ll just start
typing Y-O-S-E, and there I get Yosemite. I just learned from Marissa that I can use
Tab to complete. And then if I use the arrow keys on my keyboard, I can get to lodging.
I can get Map.>>WRIGHT: Wow. Those showed up right away.
>>HANSSON: I can get camping information. And you’ll notice that the page is the full
results page that you’re used to, right? All the results and special features, all the
ads, et cetera, all being served to you and even things like weather. It’s warmer but
raining in Yosemite. Sorry.>>WRIGHT: Well, thank God we’re in San Francisco.
So what you saw here is Othar used the down-arrow key to scroll through each of the predictions,
and as he did that, the results showed up instantly. This is a great way to explore,
um, aspects very quickly of things that you’re searching for, and we call this third feature
“Scroll to Search.” Now that we’ve talked about the three components of Google Instant,
our next topic is feedback. The real power is when these three components– Instant Results,
Predictions, and Scroll to Search–come together. This turns Google into a system that gives
you feedback as you go along. So one thing that happens to me today is when I’m searching,
I’ll type something in, and I’ll hit Enter, and I’ll see if I got the right results. And
sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. And if I didn’t, I’ll just do it again, and I’ll
do it again until, finally, I get the right answer.
>>HANSSON: This happens to everyone. It’s happened to me. I’ve recently been planning
a trip back home to New York, and I want to take my mom and her grandkids to a musical,
get them some culture, and me too. Johanna, you seem cultured. Do you have any musicals
to recommend on Broadway?>>WRIGHT: I actually hear that they made
a musical out of my favorite movie, um, “The Addams Family.”
>>HANSSON: Okay, that sounded promising until the title, but… Uh… So let’s just search
for “Addams Family” and see what we get. We get an ad for the musical. That’s great. The
results seem to be mostly about the TV show and the movies, so I’ll just tab and type
space M, and now I get the musical, and now I’m feeling like I’m on a roll, so I’ll just
see if I can get tickets by adding space T. Yes, I can. I can buy tickets for today’s
performance, if only we could get there in time.
>>WRIGHT: So let’s decompose what happened here. Othar typed in “Addams Family,” and
then the Instant Results gave him feedback that he needed to type more, because he was
looking for the musical. He wasn’t looking for the movie. So he went ahead and added
the word “musical” to his search. Then since he again was thinking he wanted to buy tickets,
in a split second and in his mind’s eye, he said, “No, I need to change my search. I’ll
add the word ‘tickets.'” So now what had previously been three searches became one search, and
this sped Othar up tremendously. [pause] So that was our discussion of feedback, and we’ve
done a number of demos. And at this point in our day, you guys might be thinking that
the Search button is feeling a bit lonely. What the heck is the Search button there for,
anyway, at this point? Well, why don’t we, um–Well, what happens, actually, if we press
the Search button? Why don’t we go ahead and show you? Well, what we do is we give you
the same great results we always have. I’ll give it away. But why don’t we go ahead and
do a search for New York?>>HANSSON: Sure. So you’re right. The Search
button–And the Enter key is the cleanest key on my keyboard now. But if I search for
New York by typing “NY,” the best prediction is actually that you want the “New York Times.”
I’m sure someone in the audience is happy to hear that. That’s what the odds are. But
if I just want NY and I type “NY” and then either press Enter or press the Search button–once
I found my mouse–then we do what we’ve always done for 12 years. If you type NY and press
the Search button, we’ll search for NY. That’s the natural thing to do.
>>WRIGHT: Yeah, so Google works seamlessly as it always has. All it does is it speeds
you up.>>HANSSON: Exactly. So whenever you improve
a great product, you want to make sure that everyone who’s already using the product gets
a benefit out of the new version immediately. Everything they know how to do applies to
the new version. I had this experience recently with bicycles. I had this great bike that
I ride to work as often as I can, which is not often enough. And I finally got a raise–hint,
hint–and bought myself a better bike, in the same line, just a better version. I went
to the bike store, and they have this little hill you can climb behind the bike store.
And so I hopped on this bike. I knew how to use it immediately–the great thing about
bikes–and I climbed up the hill. And the only thing that was different is I got to
the top of the hill in about half the time, because the bike was faster and lighter and
more responsive. And that’s what we’re shooting for with Google Instant. So on that day, I
got myself a better bike, and today we’re all getting a better Google.
>>WRIGHT: So if you know how to use Google Search right now, you know how to use Google
Instant. It’s just like riding a bicycle. Thanks for laughing. Okay, so let’s do one
last demo to bring it all together. This last demo’s gonna come from another story between
Othar and I. So I want to get a dog. Othar has a dog, so I asked Othar to tell me about
his dog.>>HANSSON: Well, in fact, during this project,
we scaled up everything at Google, so I went from one dog to two. But we do have two tiny
dogs. And they’re tiny, but they have a big name–Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. And something
like that is a great search example. I’ll meet people in the park, and the little kids
will say, “Daddy, Daddy, I want a dog just like that.” “I thought you want a pony.” “No,
I want a dog just like that.” And the dad will ask me what’s the name, and I’ll tell
them Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. And I know that an hour later they’ll be at home,
and they’ll have no hope of remembering the exact name. So half-remembered queries are
great examples for us, ’cause let’s say they go home, and they start typing “King Charles.”
There you go.>>WRIGHT: Aw.
>>HANSSON: So with the Instant Results, you immediately recognize, well, this is a dog,
right? The name sounds vaguely like what I’m looking for. And if I scan down or keep, uh,
searching, I see, oh, it’s the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. So that’s, in fact, what
I was looking for, even though I started searching in, you know, not an exactly correct way.
The other great thing about a search like this is ambiguity, right? So dog people call
these dogs “Cavaliers.” Now, there are other things in the world called Cavaliers, right?
Now, we could have a little game here where I ask you to bet which one is the most common,
but basically, people can’t know this, right? So if I start typing “cavaliers,” it turns
out that the basketball team, despite LeBron James, still outranks my dog, and so I realize
that I have to keep typing. And if I just type “cavalier k,” the feedback from the Instant
Results and the Prediction show me that, okay, now I’m on the dog. So I see the results for
the dog, but, Johanna, back to your original point that you need a dog. I think that you
really need to get puppies to match the size of your kids. And if you can, I think you
should get the dogs that are the color that mine are–tricolored dogs.
>>WRIGHT: Those are pretty cute.>>HANSSON: So if you get two and I bring
my two to work, we can have playdates all the time, never get any work done. That’ll
be awesome.>>WRIGHT: So just with all the demos, what
happened here is Othar started typing in “cavaliers,” and then he got the feedback from the Instant
Results, telling him that he had to go ahead and type a little more and add the word “king.”
This gave him the right results. He used the Predictions to understand that Google had
guessed correctly, and then he went ahead and he used Scroll to Search to down-arrow
and see the cute pictures of puppies. So those are, um–those conclude our demos of what
we’re launching today, but we also have a sneak preview of something that will be coming
out this fall. Do you want to go ahead and show that off?
>>HANSSON: Yes. So at Google, we normally don’t speak in the future tense, but we are
working very hard to get this experience to you on Mobile. When you’re on your phone,
first of all, you’re on the go. You’re probably in a hurry, so Google Instant can help you
more. But more importantly, typing on a phone, no matter what kind of phone you have, is
just slower. So the feedback from Google Instant is even more useful. So let’s start searching
for, uh, one of these art queries that Marissa was doing. We’ll search for “Roy Lichtenstein.”
Now I’m halfway through, and I don’t know how to spell Lichtenstein, but I assume it
starts with an L, and the feedback shows me that I’m getting Roy Lichtenstein, and the
Image results show me that I’ve got the artist. So now I can scroll down to check out more
information about Roy Lichtenstein. So you can check this out later this fall, and you
can also check it out later today at the demo stations outside.
>>WRIGHT: Our group at Google is focused on making Search faster and easier for everybody
to use. As part of our process, we test all of our features on a number of users and gain
feedback and improve the products as we go along. We were lucky enough today that a handful
of our testers have been willing to share their thoughts with you all and have given
us some testimonials. So let’s go ahead and take a look at what they had to say.
>>As I was typing, things were already showing up.
>>Oh, wow.>>I don’t even have to scroll. It’s right
there.>>It’s guessing for you.
>>Oh, look at that. I like that.>>It’s not an extra clunky add-on. It’s just
completely integrated in the Search experience.>>The Autocomplete kind of shows up in gray.
>>I didn’t have to really press Enter.>>As you’re typing it, it’s coming up with
the results below, and you can sort of backtrack three letters, start retyping, and see the
results instantly.>>Seeing the results as I was typing really
helped, because I can scan with my eyes exactly what I want to find.
>>It helps you kind of pinpoint what to type in to find the answer.
>>I felt that I was on track to get what I wanted to get quickly.
>>It took a lot less time to find the answers that I was looking for. It was pretty fabulous.
I liked it.>>Well, I always try new things, and I appreciate
what you folks are doing, as far as making it easy for us old guys to work on the computer.
>>HANSSON: That’s great. It’s always great to come to work and listen to our users and
hear them say things like, “Oh, wow, that’s fabulous. This is gonna help me a lot. And
when is this launching?” Well, the answer is today. Under the hood, obviously, there’s
a huge amount of engineering work that has gone into this project, and so Ben Gomes is
gonna join me now to talk about the engineering challenges. [pause]
>>GOMES: So when we first began to demo this product and this idea around the company,
we got several responses. Some people said that we just could not do this. It was just
gonna be too expensive. Other people said we must not do this, because it was gonna
be too complex a change. But then we showed it to users, and then we showed it to some
important people at the company, and they said we must do it, and we must do it now.
So we all came together to figure out how we could make this vision a reality. And the
challenges fall into three areas. The first challenge is the user interface. How do we
create a user interface that’s really simple to use and that’s familiar to people? The
second challenge is how do we make it work on your computer, on your browser, with your
connection. And the third challenge, which is probably the biggest challenge of all,
is how do we possibly do this without melting down our data centers. So let me start with
the first challenge. How do we come up with the user interface? We started out with this
rough idea. We want to give you feedback as you type your query. It seemed that that would
help you formulate a better query. In fact, somebody at Google had done this demo way
back in the mists of time, and engineer named Amit Patel. And what it did was very literally
search as you type. So I’m searching for bike helmets. I type in “B-I-K-E H.” Now what do
we search for–“bike h.” Now what are the chances that you were searching for H? It’s
almost zero. So what happens is that we end up doing a ton of work that’s entirely useless
with these useless queries. You end up seeing results that are entirely useless to you.
So it’s a lose-lose proposition. And with no offense to Amit, this was not something
that could work. We knew we needed something different. We needed to work with those partial
queries.>>HANSSON: Exactly. So the best way to make
this useful was to take your partial query and complete it to a full search. Thankfully,
in the meantime, between ancient history and today, we launched Autocomplete. So Autocomplete
filled that role of completing partial searches. Now we just have to build a user interface
around this. And as you’ve already seen in demos, we hit upon this idea pretty early
on. We built prototype after prototype and showed them around the company–this idea
of showing gray test to indicate the prediction. So you’re typing, Google is guessing what
you’re searching for, and we show that to you as gray text. So that UI seemed to work
really well. The next question was, would it be too distracting to show you results
as you’re typing? And in fact, it was too distracting in early prototypes. Part of it
was timing. So we got the timing right and the responsiveness right so that this felt
a lot more seamless. Once we had a prototype that the team was happy with, we went through
the process called dogfooding. So we eat our own dog food at Google. I’m always glad that
I don’t actually work in the dog-food industry. And dogfooding was very positive. We had–you
know, we had to bring the demos down occasionally for maintenance, and we get people complaining
that they had to use regular Google today. It just seemed broken that they didn’t get
Search results as they typed. When is it gonna come back up? That was very gratifying to
see. And then we eventually did live experiments with millions of users. And it was very gratifying
to see, you know, just like in that video of our trusted testers, that people learn
how to use this product very quickly, right? All the things they know about how to search
still work, and we saw that in our live experiments. I wanted to point out, uh…by skipping some
slides, the, um… One of the techniques we use in the lab–we use an eye-tracking experiment.
We’ll invite people into Google, and we’ll sit them in front of a computer, and we’ll
show them that around the monitor are sensors that detect where they’re looking on the screen,
and we’ll show them that there’s a red dot that indicates where they’re looking, and
we’ll have them fix their glasses and clean their glasses and whatnot so that this works.
And then we’ll give them some tasks or let them do some of their own searches, and we’ll
watch where they’re looking on the screen and how well they interact with the user interface.
So I’m gonna show a video in a few minutes, but the things to notice are, as people type
their search, they are focused on the search box. They’re focused on the gray text. Sometimes
they’ll dip down to the Autocomplete. And then once the gray text is something that
they’re interested in, they look at the results. In fact, in this video, you’ll see that the
person has done a couple searches before this, and by the time the gray text is correct,
they look at the first result a split second before it arrives, right? So they’ve been
trained to know that it’s coming. So let’s take a look at the video. So they’re searching
for parasailing in San Diego. We initially predict San Francisco. The odds are just better
of that. But once they get to San Diego, you see that they actually look at the first result
before it arrives, right? So Search is fast. Google Instant is even faster, so let’s take
another look at that just so you can see what’s going on. So parasailing, San Diego is the
Search. Once the gray text is what they want, they’re looking at the first result, right?
And then they’re gonna click on it, obviously. So we saw this time and time again with, you
know, over a hundred users that we tested in our usability lab. Obviously, some people
look at their keys and look up eventually. That’s another important class of people.
But, uh, for people that actually look at the screen, they are focused on the Search
box. So we knew we had a user interface that worked and, in retrospect, it seemed like
such a simple design. I was reminded of how my dad used to tease me when I told him that
I was gonna go work at Google and I was gonna go work on user interfaces. And he said, well,
that’s got to be the easier job in the world. There’s a box that you type into and a button
that you press. So first of all, which half are you working on? And then he said, well,
okay, so your job is basically to make it easier to to type into the box and then easier
to press the button. And in retrospect, he was both clever and psychic, because with
Google Instant, we made it easier to type in the box by giving you feedback with the
gray text and the results. And we made it easy to press the Search button by not making
you have to press it as often. I’ve only pressed it once today, and only at Johanna’s command.
>>GOMES: So the key insight there was the predictive text that showed you the kind of–the
query you were going to get. So the next problem is how do we take this experience and make
it work for you? Search has so far been a simple HTML page. We are turning it into an
AJAX application with all the challenges that entails on different browsers and on different
computers. Google has done this before. Google has done this with maps. Google has done this
with Gmail. But now we are doing it with Search. And this is not a simple problem. You will
notice the fact, with these demos, in fact, that the–the chrome of the page, the part
that stays constant, never refreshes–only the part, the results that are coming in refresh.
And that’s a sign that we have turned this into an AJAX application. But there are many
challenges in doing this.>>HANSSON: Exactly. So we’ll just describe
the basic HTTP request flow. I’m sure people will dissect this anyway, so might as well
explain how it works. I’ve always wanted to use this analogy, so let’s pretend I’m the
client and my boss is the server. So I’m the client. I’m typing in my browser, and I’ve
typed half a query. We send an Autocomplete Request to the server…
>>GOMES: And I send you the Search Predictions.>>HANSSON: Right. The Autocomplete Predictions
come back. This is one of the fastest things our servers do. So they’re on the browser
being displayed very quickly. Meanwhile…>>GOMES: In the backend, I take the first
Search Prediction and I send it off to the servers to get Search Results and send it
back to the client.>>HANSSON: Right. So now I can show the instant
results. We saw in the little video that the person anticipated that they’d be there. Um,
we showed them as fast as we can to the user. In the meantime, lots of things could have
happened in the browser, right? We might have clicked on a result from a previous, you know,
set of results. I might have typed in some unpredictable direction, etcetera. We send
other Autocomplete Requests to the servers, and the servers figure it out amongst themselves
whether the search they just finished is still relevant to the user.
>>GOMES: And cancel some searches.>>HANSSON: Yeah. So that’s one optimization
experience doesn’t work if the browser spends more time rendering results than the, you
detect when the experience was broken. You might go from one cafe to another, and the
internet speed, you know, drops dramatically. So we wanna detect that and proactively opt
you out of the experience and give you a little error message, giving you a hint as to what’s
happened. When you go back to the other cafe, it should turn back on. Um…so that’s a rough
summary of the application.>>GOMES: So now we come to the third part
and hardest and most interesting part of all of this: how do we possibly do this without
melting down our data centers? So think about the problem. We want to give you search results
with every letter. An average query’s about 20 letters long. So if we give you search
results with every character, that’s 20 queries for every search you do. So we got this–I
got this response every time we demoed this initially– Ben, are you crazy? There’s no
plan in the world where we want–we’re already serving billions of queries a day. There’s
no plan in the world for us to be serving 10 or 20 times that amount of traffic, like
unless people from other planets suddenly wanted to start using Google. Why would we
plan for like 20 times–20–a factor of 20 growth in Search traffic? So this was one
of the most interesting challenges in getting this down to something practical that we could
actually do.>>HANSSON: Thankfully, Google has thousands
of engineers who love challenges like this, many of them in our Search infrastructure
group. And they came to us at first skeptical. They would say things like, “You’re never
gonna launch this.” But I realized last night while running a load test that if you did
this and that, you could save 27%, and here’s a simulator that, you know, shows you how
to do it. And then someone else would say, I realize that if you just made this optimization
here, you could probably save another 12%. And if enough of these skeptical, helpful
people come together, you get enough optimizations to get to the finish line. So let’s just look
at a couple of these optimizations. So the first was realizing that some searches are
more important than others, where more confidence given, you know, like a single letter that–in
some predictions than in others. So we wanna make sure we serve those results to you as
fast as possible. And that, you know, by prioritizing searches differently, we can reduce the average
cost per search and the number of searches we do. The next optimization is this thing
we alluded to before in the client/server aspect–that if the servers can keep track
of what the browser either already has or what’s already in progress for them on some
other server, then we don’t have to do needless work. We can, uh, reduce the number of searches
that way. A final and pretty sophisticated improvement we made was in our caching system.
So caching is always a tension for Google because we want our results to be as fresh
as possible as we crawl and index the web. But we also want them to be cached so we can
serve them to users as quickly as possible. So this was one of, you know, the most sophisticated
things we built. There was already a team working on it, and we accelerated that effort
tremendously. So we have, you know, very sophisticated caching in all our backends and many more
optimizations to get us to the finish line and be able to launch today.
>>GOMES: So…I’d like to take a moment to actually thank and acknowledge the team that
worked on this. It was a really phenomenal team that came across–together from across
the company. A few of them are here, and I’d like them to stand up, actually. But many
of them are in our offices across the country and our office in Haifa in Israel that does
the Autocomplete. And it started with one engineer a year ago and doubled every six
weeks, approximately, until the team you see today. I’d like to give them a round of applause,
actually. [pause] We work on Search for many reasons. We work on Search because it’s an
absolutely fascinating problem that goes to the heart of our human curiosity of our need
for information. We also work on Search because we’re engineers, and the sheer scale of the
problem makes it fascinating. There’s billions of queries, there’s tens and hundreds of billions
of documents. We need to get you from your query to the right set of documents in a fraction
of a second, and that’s just fun. But most importantly, we work on Search because we
believe it matters to people. It matters to us. Getting people to the information they
need quickly and efficiently matters in their lives. It helps them make better decisions.
It helps them enrich their lives…from the patient looking to understand his treatment
to the teacher looking for materials to inspire her students. To the journalist looking to
investigate a new story–it matters. So we’re constantly working to improve Search. This
last year alone, we launched over 500 changes to Search. Most of them just quietly improved
your search experience…from a much bigger and fresher index to better understanding
of documents with synonyms and so on, to real-time results and hundreds of changes like that.
But occasionally, we launch a change that changes the way in which you interact with
a search engine, a change like spelling or Autocomplete. Today we are launching the biggest
change of that sort in Google Instant. Having used it for a few months, from early prototypes
to the version you see today, I feel sure that this is the future direction of Search.
Not only does it make Search faster–that’s the obvious benefit–but it makes Search much
more fun, fluid, and interactive. It enables you to formulate better queries with the results
you see as you type, and in doing so, you learn more, and it enriches your life. So
Search is always on this journey. It’s a journey towards the ideal Search Engine that knows
all the information in the world, it knows exactly what you want and can take you from
what you want to the best information in the world. Google Instant was a change that touched
virtually every part of our serving systems. It was a massive change. But I believe that
Google Instant is one of those changes that will seem so obvious in retrospect that you’ll
wonder how Search was ever any other way. [pause]
>>MAYER: Like Ben and Othar, I’m very optimistic about the future of Search. And I’m also very
optimistic about our search at the speed of thought–Google Instant. When we look at the
future of Search, it really moves forward along three key axes. One is interactions…how
do people search? And when you look at how Google Instant is changing that, how Google
Goggles has changed that, how Google Voice Search has changed that, it ultimately really
transforms the landscape of Search in terms of how people search, how much they search,
and what types of things they search for. But this is a big component of what the future
of Search looks like. Comprehensiveness is the next axis of the future, being able to
bring more and more offline content online, being able to find answers to queries now
that we couldn’t have found just a year ago or just a month ago. By having more and more
results and more and more content in our index, we’re able to really achieve the type of comprehensiveness
our users have come to expect. And the final component is understanding. Both understanding
our users, like in the case of Google Instant, where we’re understanding their intent, or
understanding the web at large, like with Google Squared and our Question and Answer
service. We really think that by understanding the web and our users better, that’s how we’ll
achieve quantum leaps forward in Search. And obviously, we feel that Google Instant is
such a quantum leap forward in Search. It has all three components of these different
pieces of the future of Search all wrapped into one– a different way of interacting,
results with every letter, more comprehensiveness. You can actually explore all of the related
queries easily with just a keystroke. And also understanding, really understanding our
users’ intent, being able to predict our user’s intent. We really are very proud of what Google–what
Google Instant represents in terms of a step forward into the future of search. It also
represents a large time savings. So you may wonder what these counters were on the walls
as we’ve been presenting. But these counters are counting the hours saved by Google Instant.
So during this presentation, Google Instant will have saved 36,000 hours of our users’
time. And over the course of a year, we anticipate it will save somewhere around the order of
350 million hours of our users’ time. We obviously are very inspired by Google Instant, as was
our creative lab. So in closing, they created a video. We gave them the Dogfood of Google
Instant and let their imaginations run wild, and they were inspired by Bob Dylan. In 1965,
Bob Dylan gave up the acoustic guitar and took up the electric guitar, and his first
song was “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” It was also his first song to break the top 40.
They felt that Google Instant had a lot of the same properties, taking something tried
and true and making it even better. We obviously hope that it’s as big a hit, and so with that,
let’s go ahead and look and see how Bob Dylan inspired our creative lab. [pause] Johnny’s
in the basement, mixing up the medicine, I’m on the pavement, thinking about the government,
the man in the trench coat, badge out, laid off, says he’s got a bad cough, wants to get
it paid off, look out, kid, it’s something you did, God knows when, but you’re doing
it again, you better duck down an alleyway, lookin’ for a new friend, the man in a coon-skin
cap in the big pen wants 11 dollar bills, but you only got ten. [pause]
>>STRICKER: Thanks so much. So as promised, we’re gonna have a time here for some Q&A.
There are gonna be some runners here on the sides. You can see them here. They have mikes.
Just give us one–one quick second, and we’ll get set up. But if you raise your hand, we
will try to stare through the lights’ glare to be able to see you. Then I also just wanted
to give a quick reminder, uh, that for those of you who are viewing the webcast, you can
send an email of your question to us at search2010. That’s [email protected] So, um, why
don’t we get started right here? Um…are there really enough–really enough seats for
us? Okay. That’s amazing. Fantastic. Go right ahead.
>>SCOBLE: I’m Robert Scoble. When will this be in the browsers in Google Chrome or whatnot?
>>MAYER: Uh, this is something that we’re working on, so we anticipate sometime over
the next few months this will be something that can be activated from the Search boxes.
[pause]>>STRICKER: I see Greg here.
>>GREG: Impact on AdWords– lot of impressions potentially going on by. Are those counted
as impressions, uh, in terms of ad quality and click-throughs and all of that? A lot
of Search marketers want to know. Inquiring Search marketers want to know.
>>WRIGHT: So there’s no change in how we serve or rank our ads and, um…in terms of
counting impressions within AdWords and within other people’s mechanisms, what we do is we
do our best to understand…well, I guess the way to think of this is that Google Instant
changes the way that people search. And so we’re doing the best to calculate the way,
um, what a search is. So the other addition to impressions is we’ve added a three-second
pause as an impression.>>HANSSON: But…the other main cue that
something’s an impression is someone clicked on a result or clicked on an ad or clicked
anywhere else on the page.>>WRIGHT: Or hits the Search button, as always.
>>GOMES: And that just stays the same as before.
>>MAYER: And it’s important to note that because we are operating on a CPC basis, obviously,
you pay for the clicks and the clicks are largely preserved, despite the change in overall
interaction. So basically, while your click-through rate may change, the overall number of clicks
accrued to your site is likely to remain very constant.
>>So, historically, you’ve said about 20% of queries are unique; you’ve seen them for
the first time. Um, how is this going to affect that? I assume that it will channel them into
the more obvious and common queries instead.>>GOMES: I think that–that’ll await expert,
actual data, because I think some of this will be learning effects and product–the
product changes the way you search. So I think we’ll have better answers than that in a few
weeks time as people get used to the product.>>HANSSON: The other thing is if you make
search easier and faster, people will search more and they’ll search more, uh, honestly,
they’ll give us more difficult problems to solve.
>>STRICKER: Yes? Can you just wait one second for the mic?
>>SINGLE: Ryan Single from “Wired.” Could you give me a sense of how this is going to
fit in with, um, users’, uh, search history, and what of the results are tied to people’s
web history and search history, and has that changed at all from the current results?
>>MAYER: Uh, so this operates largely as you’d expect. So in web history, queries where
you’ve done a click will be shown, as they always have been. We also will show you the
impressions where you pause for more than three seconds, since we’re using that as part
of our impression count. And Personalized Search continues to operate the same way based
on the searches you’ve done and the results you’ve clicked on. The inputs into that mechanism
remain unchanged.>>SLUTSKY: Hi, Irina from “Ad Age.” Ahem,
it looks like you have a blacklist of words. My last name is actually one of them. It’s
Slutsky. And there is the– Can you talk about that?
>>WRIGHT: So we, um–>>BRIN: Have you been Googling yourself while
we were here?>>AU: Everyone around me is actually Googling
me right now.>>STRICKER: Oh, I see.
>>AU: And, as we know, there’s my great uncle, Eugene Slutsky. The Slutsky equation doesn’t
come up either.>>WRIGHT: So we care a lot about child safety
and these kinds of issues. And so we had to think a lot about, um, Autocomplete and how
that works as you’re getting the result as you go along. So we applied the same policies
that we actually always have, whereby we, um, we filter for both violence, hate, and
pornography. And as a result, if you’re typing–and apologies on your name–but as a result, if
you’re typing something that, um, may not be appropriate for, um, certain people to
see as you go along, we won’t show the results as you go along until you go ahead and press
enter.>>HANSSON: And obviously this isn’t perfect,
but something we’re–we’re– [indistinct questions]>>WRIGHT: We’ll–we’ll look into it afterwards.
Thanks a lot for pointing it out.>>STRICKER: We have, uh, some demos, actually,
for those of you who are here afterwards, and we’re gonna actually troubleshoot for
you. Just give us one second. Go right ahead.>>CHAPMAN: Oh, just real quick. Glenn Chapman
with “Agence France Press.” To play off on a little bit more of an expansion of what
was asked earlier, how much personal data is needed to make this faster? Like when you
pressed “W” for weather, it was San Francisco, but if you’re in Chicago and you press “W,”
you’re gonna get Chicago. So how much does the system need to know about the user to
make this fast? And then just really nuts and bolts-ish, you said you reached optimization.
But how much more pressure does this put on your data centers, I mean… Basically, do
you have to build new ones? What’s going on?>>MAYER: Uh, well, I’ll take on the first
one. In terms of personal information that’s required, it’s unchanged. So today on Google
Search, for example, we already factor in your IP address location, so just typing “weather”
ultimately would bring you the results for weather in San Francisco or weather in Chicago,
if you were there. Uh, and it’s just because, when you type weather, we’re predict–when
you type “W,” we’re predicting it’s weather. We’re running that query as if it was weather
from a San Francisco IP address. So there’s no personal information exchanged in there
beyond what already exists on Google today.>>HANSSON: The feature’s unchanged, just
cooler, so to speak.>>STRICKER: Just give us one second; we actually
have a–a–>>WRIGHT: Can I take the data center question?
>>STRICKER: Oh, please, sorry. Go right ahead.>>WRIGHT: Um, so the other thing to know
about our data center is that we’ve been–we’re constantly investing in Search, and this just
is a representation of one of many investments in Search. And the cost of Search has been
growing over time, and this is just totally in line, um, with that growth. And it’s what’s
to be expected with our–with our growth curve. Um, but the thing that you should also note
is all of the work you saw from Ben and Othar about, um, the magic that our engineering
team has done to make us use many fewer servers than we would have expected when the first,
um, when the inception of the project was done.
>>STRICKER: So I want to take an online question. And this is for Sergey from Alexis Ibarra
from “El Mecurio,” and it’s, um, question is: Interface strategies seem to be evolving
at an astounding rate. Where is this taking us? What are your insights on the future of
the machine/human relationship?>>BRIN: Um, I’m embarrassed to admit that,
uh, a sort of a phrase I was toying with–we want to make Google the third half of your
brain–we just had–that came up in conversation, uh, the other day. But, uh, I am also astounded
by the rate of innovation in user interfaces, and I think this, uh, been caused by a whole
bunch of factors. Many, many companies, you know, that are contributing to it looking
at the things that Apple is doing or even Amazon with the Kindle, or many of the websites
out there, um, I do think it’s a little bit of a new dawn in computing in the sense that
things were I would say fairly stagnant with respect to the desktop, uh, for a decade or
so in there. Kind of throughout my graduate career and shortly thereafter. And the web
was really a big deal for the past 15 years or so. Uh, but I’d say, over the past several
years, based on the capability of both devices, browsers, um, the technology just coming of
age. And I think people being open-minded to trying out new things. You can see lots
of different platforms out there, lots of non-traditional ones. There’s a lot of exciting
work going on. Um, you know, we definitely are proud to contribute some of it. But I
think this is just a piece of really changing landscape in computing. And I think the things
that you’ll see come out over the next decade from Google and from other companies are going
to really change the way that you interact with computing devices.
>>STRICKER: Another question here? I’m sorry, does anyone have the mic right now? I’m gonna
take that as a no, so you gentle–gentleman right here has been waiting very patiently.
>>PARR: Thanks. Uh, Ben Parr, “Mashable.” Um, there’s already discussion across the
web about Instant Search’s impact on SEO, Search Engine Optimization. Um, what do you
think is the impact on that, and do you think, um, I guess Search Engine Optimization marketers
and the like will have to do or change in order to adapt to Instant Search?
>>GOMES: I think the first point to note is that, basically, ranking stays the same.
Right? So people are going to adapt to a new search interface over time, but the fundamental
things of ranking stay the same with this change. So in that sense, I don’t think that
there’s a big change for search, you know, for people who are trying to adapt their results
to our–to our–to the search engine. On the other hand, behavior and the kind of searches
we see may change over time because of the way in which you interact with the search
engine may change, the kinds of queries you do and how often you query, and so on. So
I think that’s a longer term effect, and you’ll see that much more over time and understand
them much better over time.>>STRICKER: Go right ahead. Sorry I can’t
see you so well behind the cameras there.>>CLAYBURN: Hi, I’m Tom Clayburn, “InformationWeek.”
Um, given that the web search suggestions are blocked in China, do you anticipate that
this, uh, the Google Instant will be–eventually be able to be made available throughout the
world, or are there certain locales where that kind of suggestion is going to be problematic?
>>MAYER: Um, our goal is to actually roll this out in as many different platforms–as
you can see, mobile–and as many different geographies as possible, and as quickly as
possible. Uh, and at least my understanding is that we should be able to, uh, have our–our
predictions running on Google.com.hk, the Hong Kong site.
>>STRICKER: We’re gonna take one more online question here while we get the mics here sorted.
This is from “Wired” Italy. “What do you think are the concrete benefits for an individual
user? Do you believe users want faster search?” [laughter]
>>GOMES: Yes.>>WRIGHT: Yeah.
>>GOMES: Yes.>>WRIGHT: Absolutely, I mean, I think we
talked a lot about the benefits. But it speeds you up, gives you feedback as you go along,
helps–it just makes things a lot easier for you. Um, and it takes a lot of the effort
out of searching. It helps search before you finish typing.
>>HANSSON: I think there’s also a threshold at which you speed things up and they become
just, uh, there’s a quantum leap in how much interaction you do with them. That’s what
happened with word processors, drawing programs, et cetera. So I think people are actually
gonna be interacting with the search box for the first time.
>>MAYER: And I think that what we saw in the Dogfood was really interesting. Uh, you
know, we actually have likened Google Instant a lot to, say, power steering or power braking.
Once you get used to it, it’s very hard to go back to the old way of doing things. So
when we would have–the few times when you had to do maintenance and take our–our Dogfood
down, we’d have people literally sending emails and begging and saying, “Like, I don’t even
know how to search anymore, now that I don’t have this feedback and have this functionality.”
>>STRICKER: Yes, sir?>>BRANDT: Hi, I’m Richard Brandt. I’m the
author of “Inside Larry and Sergey’s Brain.” [laughter] So I’d like to ask Sergey what
the third half of your brain is–as we develop technology like this that is just more intuitive
and more predictive, there are always questions about, um, privacy and how much we’re giving
up to Google in order to get all this technology. Is that something you’re concerned about at
all?>>BRIN: Uh, I think that…it’s something
that–privacy is something that we think a lot about as a company, and, uh, and certainly
users place a lot of trust with us. Uh, if you look even starting with probably the more
sensitive information–most sensitive information is likely in your email, uh, and, you know,
there are very important information like your email that we really have to store and
be great stewards of. So that’s something we spend a lot of time thinking about, a lot
of time making sure we keep it secure, making sure we have solid policies around it. Uh,
and, uh, and I don’t think Google Instant is any different in that respect.
>>STRICKER: Go ahead, Maggie.>>SHIELS: I’m Maggie Shiels, BBC. Um, Ben,
you said that you reckoned with Google Instant that behavior and the kinds of searches that
people are going to make may change over time. Can you expand on that? How will behavior
change? How will the kinds of searches change?>>GOMES: Yeah, I think what happens, you
find as you use it more, is you begin to explore the area around the topic of your interest,
right? Whereas before, you may have done one query and looked at some results, now you
may do multiple queries, right? Because you see, it’s very easy to go to the neighboring
queries and suggest. Like you did with the King Charles spaniel or with the musical in
New York, right? That you can go and find tickets and you can explore reviews. You can
do all those things very quickly because it’s such a fluid experience, right? This is in
the way when maps became infractive. You could just explore a space. It was no longer like
this click and the whole page updates. It was just drag and it updates, right? And so,
I think that’s what’s gonna happen. People are going to just sort of explore their topic
of interest much more than they do today.>>STRICKER: Yes, sir.
>>METZ: Cade Metz with “The Register.” A couple questions. One, during testing, there
must have been a certain percentage of users who didn’t want this, and can you say how
big that percentage was and what their specific complaints were? And two, how does the project
relate to the rollout of Caffeine? Was it dependent on the rollout? Were they related
in any way or were they completely independent projects?
>>MAYER: In terms of the testing, there were some users who ultimately decided to turn
off Google Instant, and we actually have a switch that allows you to turn it off next
to the search box. Just to the right of it, it says, “instant is on.” If you click it,
it says, “instant is off.” And so we did have some users who chose to do that, usually for
connection speed reasons, and it was a very small percentage, so we were overall really
happy with the number of people who kept instant on and really enjoyed that. And I will let
someone else answer that.>>GOMES: So with respect to Caffeine, it’s,
the two projects are not directly tied, but there are two in that Caffeine makes Index
much fresher, so it makes caching strategy a lot more challenging, and so we had to come
up with a really great caching strategy that basically updates the cache as you’re crawling
the web. That was a part that launches as a part of this project. And other than that,
the two projects, and Index is also bigger and so there’s, you know, more pressure in
terms of the total amount of computation needed. So it’s an indirect connection, but there
was some.>>STRICKER: We’ll take two more questions
online. Two quick ones. One is, how will Google Instant affect paid search? And the other
is, does Google Instant mean the end of SEO?>>WRIGHT: So again, the way that we serve
and rank our ads is the same as always, and as Ben said about SEO, I think the ranking
of our search results is also the same, and that’s not, you know, these things, the user
behavior may change over time, but I’m sure our SEOs are smart and can catch up with us.
>>STRICKER: Let’s do one more quick one for Sergey. Sergey, did you ever think–this is
coming from Hector Henry in Bogota, Colombia. Did you ever think that you would reach this
point?>>BRIN: That you can search as you type single
characters?>>STRICKER: I’m assuming so.
>>BRIN: Well, I think it’s definitely, uh, this is, um, it’s pretty amazing, the kinds
of things that we can do today with benefiting from the Moore’s law of computation, the amount
of compute power that we have with us, and you guys saw all those optimizations helping
us launch this product, but it didn’t come down to a factor of one. It wasn’t–we did
have to spend a lot more compute power on it, and it’s really thanks to all the advances
in semiconductors and CPUs and so forth that have been coming out, the multi-core processors
that really help us do this. So even though philosophically I might have certainly understood
that we could, you know, in X years’ time, we’ll have that much more compute power and
will be able to do a search for every character for X billion people per day. It’s quite another
thing to actually see it happen, and so it’s very exciting for me to see those hours click
by up there. I think it’s a tribute to people who work on computing everywhere.
>>STRICKER: Yes, sir?>>MAN: So Google has done an extremely good
job with actually, uh, I mean, helping 99% of the people use the content that is being
generated by 1% of the population, and there’s always this thing with user-generated content
where you want to change that distribution to maybe 95% of users with 5% contributing
more. So what can Google actually do? Can you play a bigger role in actually making
more people contribute more content, because the place where you have a little bit of weakness
is where people like Yelp and Kora and stuff, where they’re getting more people to contribute
content, and with location, you have people recommending stuff and which is data that
Google doesn’t have. Can you do more to actually get more people to contribute?
>>BRIN: That’s a great question. That’s been one of our guiding principles for a long time
that in order to do a great job search, we actually need lots of great content out there.
Now, one of the things that we developed early on to address that is AdSense, which actually
pays for a huge amount of the content that you see across the web and creates that incentive.
For more user-generated content, we’ve worked hard on products like Blogger which, you know,
you can see tens of millions or perhaps hundreds of millions. I need to check the stat of blogs
out there contributed by all different people around the world. And also content authoring
tools, if you look at Google Docs and so forth. But I should mention, there are many other
great places that people generate content, and we certainly don’t expect people to generate
all their content on Google. That’s why the sites that you mention, it’s great to have
those be part of the web community and to be searchable, and also that’s why we’re really
excited to provide the funding for many of those sites via our advertising programs.
>>MAN: Do you think that, for example, you could exploit the traffic that you already
have to improve local search? Because, I mean, when I look at the map and I see a bunch of
locations, I’m gonna find a few of those. Can you incentivize me at that point to add
reviews right there? Because it could improve a lot more for as many as that you could provide.
>>BRIN: That’s a great question. So, specifically, with respect to the local reviews, I think
you can, today, provide reviews but it’s a little bit buried. But stay tuned for improvements
in that area. Thanks.>>STRICKER: Let’s take one more online from
Media Gearhead. I’m glad you guys are sitting down for this one. Are there plans to make
this even faster in the future or do you feel this is, there’s a technical limitation at
present? Catch your breath, Ben.>>GOMES: I think we should take, I think
today, we’ve got to enjoy the speed of this as it is, but tomorrow, I’m sure we’re gonna
go back and actually figure out ways to try and make it be even faster. That’s what we
always do.>>I would say simply, you ain’t seen nothing
>>IRINA: Irina from “Ad Age.” So obviously, you know, I’m interested in the bigger brands
that are going to be showing up in the results, because when you type “B,” you get “Best Buy.”
When you type “T,” you get “Target.” When you type, what else? “W,” we get WalMart.
So these are just kind of a natural, you know, promotional traffic thing. So what about,
you know, how does that affect smaller brands? And the other thing also is, it seems that,
um, the lower half of the page doesn’t appear to matter anymore, and page two almost doesn’t
matter anymore. So, I know we talked about that the rankings are still the same, but
it does seem to affect, because I’m not gonna go to page two anymore, whereas I used to
very much when I was interested in an, um, you know, very small search that was kind
of obscure.>>GOMES: I think one part of it is that,
I don’t think the user intent changes, because I typed in “W,” I got WalMart. If I was interested
in Wittgenstein, I’m still gonna continue to type in “Wittgenstein,” right? So, it’s
not, it’s not that we are changing your user intent. If you’re interested in a smaller
brand, you’ll still type in the name of that. And so we’re showing you the thing you’re
most likely to see.>>WRIGHT: And if you use page two less, I
mean, that means that we’re getting you your answer much quicker, and you’re not having
to kind of scroll and wade through a lot more information.
>>IRINA: [indistinct]>>WRIGHT: I mean, I think the thing to remember
here is, this is a user focus launch, which is really the way that our development process
is done in search, is that we are totally focused on our users and we really believe
that that’s gonna be good for advertisers, and we have seen that to be true in the past
number of years that we’ve been working on search.
>>IRINA: Does it search, in the beginning, that the number of ads served will be a little
bit less?>>WRIGHT: No.
>>STRICKER: The question was whether the number of ads served will be any less.
>>BRIN: No.>>WRIGHT: No, that isn’t what we’ve seen.
>>IRINA: There doesn’t seem to be more.>>WRIGHT: I mean, the way that we serve and
that we rank ads is totally unchanged, so…>>STRICKER: We have a question up top from
Richard, it looks like.>>WATERS: Thanks, yeah, Richard Waters at
“The Financial Times.” Actually, I wanted to pull together a few strands, including
that last question. If you expect this to change the way people behave with search and
actually conduct more searches, then do you think that actually people will click on more
ads? In other words, you know, how will their interaction with advertising change over time?
Have you conducted any experiments into that at this point, in terms of exactly, you know,
how often they stop and click and what the frequency of those clicks is?
>>GOMES: I think one of our co-prints was, at least working in search, is, think of the
user and all else will follow, so in developing this product, we have really been focused
on the user experience, and we believe that the other effects will follow via satisfying
the user need more.>>WRIGHT: And our ads are a great part of
our user experience.>>STRICKER: We’ve got one more question there.
Yeah.>>WOMAN: Thank you very much for the very
nice features. I think this is really good for mobile cell phones and such. Is that for
a mobile market? Is that in the sight for the more computer and such for mobile? And
my second question is, when will Google release these new search engine features in Japan
and China? Because Kanji and those characters must be very difficult, but [indistinct] does
Japanese, so if you tell, I will be very glad. Thank you very much.
>>MAYER: The answer to both questions is sometime over the next few months, so basically,
we will be releasing the mobile version. That’s why we demonstrated it here. We do think it’s
a great thing for our users, because it’s often hard to type on a cell phone or while
you’re on the go. And in Japan, we do anticipate being able to roll out this feature some time
in the coming months.>>STRICKER: Marissa, I got one more question
for you online from Alex Chitu. “In the past two years, Google has constantly changed the
user interface for search results pages. Is this part of a bigger plan?”
>>MAYER: Well, I think, I think we’re always learning. I think our users also are changing.
You know, we often reflect in search and look at the types of searches people did, say,
eight years ago or ten years ago versus the types of searches they do today and their
expectation around search results, and it’s constantly changing. And because their expectations
for how good the results should be, how specific the query needs to be, all of those things
are constantly in flux, it makes sense that the presentation layer also is.
>>GOMES: I also think it is part of a bigger plan. We’re always making search better. That’s
the plan.>>STRICKER: Mm-hmm. That’s it? Another question
here.>>MAN: I have a question about the return
of the situations. There seems to be always five in a demo. Can you reduce it? Or can
you expand it? Or it always has to be five?>>WRIGHT: Right now, it’s five, and that’s,
um, that’s the UI that we think works best, but as we’ve said here, we’re always, um,
testing and evolving UI.>>STRICKER: So we’re gonna be available right
after this. We’re right at 11:00 right now, and I think we’d like to start the demo part,
that all these folks will be free. Danny, you’re, you’re in a hurry to get one in. Go
for it. Well, we can squeeze you in.>>DANNY: [indistinct]
>>STRICKER: Hold on one second, Danny.>>DANNY: The change puts more of an emphasis
on the very, very top result, I mean, it seems like even more than we’ve ever had before.
Sometimes those results aren’t right, and so, how is that gonna impact things? I mean,
the example I ran was, I typed in, “SEA.” I got a suggestion for search engines. The
results that come up for search engines, the top thing that you’re listing is DogPile,
which is, you know, an okay search engine, but Google Instant is supposed to be so great
and wonderful, I’d kind of expect to see Google there. So what are you gonna do about improving
the top results, especially since people are gonna see them even more?
>>STRICKER: Danny, why are you doing a search for a search engine on Google?
>>DANNY: Google Instant told me to do it.>>STRICKER: Oh, okay. Fair enough. Touche.
>>HANSSON: So, speaking of the top result, we did see one very interesting thing in our
usability studies. People would actually look at the results, you know, that were just visible
above the fold, and they would keep typing to pull them up, essentially. So, you know,
let’s say they saw something on Search Engine Land, right? At the bottom. If they just type,
” SE,” they hope that Search Engine Land pulls to the top. People actually learn how
to pull things up to the top even from page two, to get to Irina’s question. And obviously,
you know, ranking is a challenge that we work on all the time, so–except for that DogPile
question.>>WRIGHT: And I just want to highlight how
important search quality and ranking is to us. Ben pulled up a slide here of all the
engineers working on Google Instant, but you can imagine, we have a slide just as big and
bigger of people devoted to search quality, and they’re just really tremendous engineers.
It’s a joy to work with them and we, as you, we make about 100 ranking improvements every
quarter, so we’re, we’re very focused on this and really investing in search quality.
>>STRICKER: You know, I would make one last point to this. Ahmet Single is sitting right
here in the front row. He did a blog post, I think it was earlier this summer, called
“This Stuff Is Tough.” We get this stuff wrong. It happens. Search quality is very difficult.
It will continue to be. We’ll continue to work on it. But it isn’t always perfect, and
here we are. So, for those of you who want to ask sort of more formal questions, we will
be available after this. And as I said, there’s demos that we’re gonna be doing. For those
of you who would like to interact maybe a little bit less formally with us, we’re gonna
be having a meet-up tonight at 7:00 p.m. at 111 Minna, where folks will be able to meet
the team who invent this magic. So, thank you so much for being here. We’ll be available
after this. And have a great day.