After having provided Instant Search Results, the logical next step for Google seems to be to provide search results before a user makes a search.
As far fetched as this may sound, it is indeed their next major project for the coming year.
Google’s V.P. of Geographic and Local Services Marissa Mayer, explained that this new feature would have to make use of a user’s browsing history as well as his location which is now easily available based on GPS. Based on this information, Google will try and predict what sort of information a user is likely to require shortly, and they will provide it accordingly.
Marissa Mayer says that “We’re started to play around with some new concepts in how to find information,”
She said at the LeWeb’10 conference in Paris that this is called ‘Contextual Discovery’.
The idea is to push information to people. For instance, in a restaurant, they could provide not only the restaurant menu to the user, but also a ‘social menu’ which could tell what other clients have ordered and whether or not, that dish has been appreciated.
On a PC this information could be provided in a pop-up panel on the browser. On a mobile this information would be based on the location.
While providing such ‘unasked for’ search results Google will have to be careful to make sure they do not push too hard, and end up putting off their clients by disturbing them.
Another possible problem which Google may eventually have to face is regarding user privacy, especially if they provide details like the ‘social menu’ in the above cited example.