The Science Museum was the ideal setting for Google’s gaze into the future of search marketing. Speaking at The Drum’s Big Bang conference, Ian Carrington, MD of Search Advertising at Google for EMEA, talked about the search giant’s role at the forefront of innovation in technology.

From the Google Lens launch in September 2018 – creating the option to ‘search what you see’, to Google Translate now having 95% accuracy across 100’s of languages (which also works offline), and to innovation in how we can ethically use AI to perform simple tasks.

Developments at Google are geared to increasing users’ expectations, particularly regarding mobile.  Users’ perceptions are that mobile search should be faster than desktop. Latest indicators are that over 30% of users will navigate away if their expectations are not met directly.  

For the last 20 years, search advertising has been text in and text out. That is starting to evolve. And while voice is not currently mass market, Google see it having a key role in the future.

“Understanding the customer journey and being aware of it, is the first step in giving each customer what they want. All companies are finding their way through this. No one knows the answer yet. It’s an exciting time,” said Carrington.

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While the steps users take through a well structured text search process are among the simplest of user journeys, delivering an ever more efficient and faster performance  across a plethora devices (new, old and next gen tech) is a major challenge.  The eventual spread of new voice AI search (to name but one application) on mobile, Amazon Echo, Google Home et al will have profound ramifications for users, advertisers and agencies alike.

Richard Huglin

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