How you think about search is going to be changed. It is not a big deal to say that it is changing the way the internet works. Users of the internet want to be surprised and delighted as often as they want an answer to their questions, and that's what they get with the new look of the internet. What is the purpose of a search engine? The change is already happening, even though the change isn't completely different.

There were a lot of new ways for people to search the internet at the Search On event. They are trying to find more natural and more visual ways for people to input searches and get results. It is now possible to ask a question by taking a picture and using the phone's microphone. You don't have to ask if you want to see more ways to present information.

What would the equivalent of TikTok's For You page be like? The search team is working on the problem. It appears that the answer will appear on the home page of the app. That is where many of the new features are getting their start and where a lot of customers are already using them.

In interviews prior to the event, executives from the company said that search is being reinvented. The rules of the game have been that if you follow the rules and script your queries just right, we will give you amazing answers to your needs. The tables are turning now because of incredible advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The new Multisearch feature with which you can search with a picture and then modify it with text is powered by advances in artificial intelligence. If you take a photo of the green dress you like, type "in purple" and you're off to the races. Multisearch is rolling out around the world. The classic list of links will soon be replaced by a mosaic of images and information. Sometimes links are the best answer, according to the search engine. It's not usually done. You can get a fly-through visual view of a place before you go there with the Immersive View in Maps. Over time, inputs and outputs are getting more multisensory.

A screenshot of a user using Google Multisearch to photograph coffee.
Multisearch and Multisearch Near Me are two of Google’s most ambitious input ideas.
Image: Google

There is a change happening inside of the search engine. The rules of the game have always relied on the idea that there is a single correct answer out there, and all you had to do was ask. The idea that search isn't a question-and-answer system is becoming more accepted by the company. It is a system for exploration, for discovery, and for trying to find answers to questions. It changes what users want from the company and what responsibility it bears in what it gives them.

People have been using the search engine in more indirect ways for a while, according to the VP who oversees all of the products. It's true that most people still come to answer a question or find a link, but words like "Facebook" and "Weather" are the most popular search terms. Some people want to buy a bike or learn about the onion's history, but they are more directed. Sometimes people wander.

The wanderers don't have a lot of intentions when they come to the internet giant. They heard a term they didn't know, they were talking to a friend about a place that sounded interesting, and they wanted to know more about the singer. The young internet users that Raghavan says experience the internet in a more native visual way are the people who use TikTok. The search giant is trying to bring some of the same energy to its most important product as it already has with its own discovery engines.

A GIF of Google’s new chips in search results.
Google is becoming more proactive about helping you search, essentially rethinking how autocomplete works.
Image: Google

There is a new way to think about autocomplete. A few suggestions appear just below, with tappable buttons that add something to your search results, when a user types in "best." Buy, movies, restaurants, and a few others are offered by "best." To retire, for expats, and more are offered by the "best Mexico cities". The goal of the chips is to help you specify your search. It could broaden your search or suggest something else. In both cases, it is possible for the machine to switch from a syntactic search to a semantic one by predicting the word you will type based on the last one.

When you land on the results page, it hopes that you will find a tool to broaden your horizon. As you scroll more, it gets worse for us. It used to be helpful to have tons of links. That is something that is good for that part, according to Reid. As you scroll, you will probably see that it's not a worse version of the same thing but something slightly different. The bottom of your results page could be a bunch of results for a related search about the same topic.

If you don't like what you see, try another query, the same behavior that has been used for 20 years.

If you don't like what you see, try another query, the same behavior that has been used for 20 years. There was only one tool you had. He says it is sad when users blame themselves. We have a problem if you didn't get what you wanted.

The more control you have over what you see in your search results, the more you'll get. There are long-standing questions about the bias in the ranking system and the business model of the company. The company has spent the last few years redirecting users to other products or just putting the answer right in the results, in order to keep more results for itself. The company is making more decisions about what you see and when. It is guiding you to new topics and putting big tappable buttons under the search box to tell you where to go. The internet's most valuable real estate used to be a blank white page, but now it's sending you signals from practically everything.

When it comes to questions of misinformation and problematic content on the internet, Raghavan is adamant that they are not a problem for the internet giant. He says that if it is on the internet, they will show it to you. He talks about questions with many opinions, but no set answer, and says that the job of the search engine is to let users decide. The phraseitative information is one of his favorites.

There is a clear truth to the matter in some instances. It is difficult, he acknowledges. If you asked me if the ballot boxes were stolen in Arizona, I would say no. Ballot boxes in Arizona don't sit on our index, so I can't tell you if you're right or wrong. He seems to be saying that the only thing that can be done is know what it knows. In the past, the company has occasionally surfaced incorrect information into the answer boxes at the top of the page, and Raghavan says that work is always ongoing.

There is a user interface question that is difficult to answer. A full-screen image or a link to a video can be swapped for the original 10 blue links results. It will have to get better at explaining what you are seeing and why without overloading the page as it gets bolder in showing you information. The challenge is definitely a challenge. How do you make it easy to understand? She says that empty boxes can be empowering and easy to use, and in other cases, they can be like, "what am I supposed to do with this box?" The goal on the search box side is for anyone to be able to do anything they want. The results are more complicated and more on the shoulders of the search engine.

Many of the projects are still in the exploration phase and she is curious to see what they turn into. When it comes to rethinking its core business, it's not easy to move quickly. She believes that the search engine can be more than just an answer machine.

If you are interested in woodworking as a hobby, how can you make it easier to get involved with it? By answering questions and showing you new tools you didn't know about, places you can go to learn new skills and more. You won't get all that if you use the most skillfully crafted query and 10 blue links. If it wants to remain the world's portal to culture and information, it needs to be more than just a search engine.