Google’s next big thing: "search without search"

Having dominated the search market for several years, Google has never been one to just rest on its laurels. Its latest leap is to build a search infrastructure that can practically read your mind before you ever type anything into that search box.

We’re always fascinated by the latest innovations from Google when it comes to its online search engine. After all, that is its meat and potatoes and continues to drive the backbone of the company.

This latest concept was described by consumer products chief Marissa Mayer at a Web conference in Paris as “search without search,” according to a PC World quote.

The idea percolates around a “contextual discovery” formula that can recognize a user based on his or her search habits and current location. Mayer describes, “Can we take location and a user’s context, and basically figure out what pieces of information they need?”

So for example, if Google knows that you search “New York Stock Exchange” every day, and you do it from Wall Street, you’re probably just looking for financial news. But if you live in Columbus, Ohio and have never Googled finance stuff before, maybe you’re planning a trip to New York and want to see where the NYSE is. In that case, your results will be predicated around that.

Basically, Google wants to get to know you and figure out exactly what you want to know without you having to specifically tell it.

This could also link to Google’s desire to push into the social networking market, as that’s an arena that is all about personalized data. For now, it’s just a conceptual talking point but certainly something that is making its way into the Google architecture.

It’s a pretty revolutionary direction to take, and one that surely has all sorts of intricate workings on the back end. But hey, if Google can some day figure out that my search for “Kit Kat” really just means I want to hear the classic candy commercial jingle on YouTube, then I’ll be happy.