Fifteen years on—and we’re just getting started

9/26/13 | 10:56:00 AM

Google Search is turning 15. Remember what it was like to search in 1998? You’d sit down and boot up your bulky computer, dial up on your squawky modem, type in some keywords, and get 10 blue links to websites that had those words. It seemed like magic (and it was way way faster than card catalogs and microfiche!).

The world has changed so much since then: billions of people have come online, the web has grown exponentially, and now you can ask any question on the powerful little device in your pocket. You can explore the world with the Knowledge Graph, ask questions aloud with voice search, and get info before you even need to ask with Google Now.


But 15 years on, we’re just getting started. We want to help you make more of each day. Here are a few of the latest features you can try out:

Comparisons and filters in the Knowledge Graph

We keep expanding features of the Knowledge Graph so it can answer more questions—even those that don’t have a simple answer. Let’s say you want to get your daughter excited about a visit to the Met. You can pull up your phone and say to Google: “Tell me about Impressionist artists.” You’ll see who the artists are, and you can dive in to learn more about each of them and explore their most famous works. If you want to switch to Abstract artists, you can do that really easily with our new filter tool:


Or let’s say you want to compare two things: How much saturated fat is in butter versus olive oil? Now you can simply tell Google: “Compare butter with olive oil.” Our new comparison tool gives you new insights by letting you compose your own answer:


You can try this for some other things you might be curious about, such as dog breeds (“compare pekingese vs. chihuahua”) or celestial objects (“compare earth vs. neptune”)—and we’ll keep adding more.

Get things done with Google across your devices

Having a “conversation” with Google should also be more natural. Ideally, you wouldn’t need to pull out your phone or tap buttons to use Google. We’re not quite there yet, but you can already do a lot with just your voice. In the next couple of weeks, you’ll be able to download a new version of the Google Search app on iPhone and iPad. With this update, you can get notifications across your devices. So if you tell your Nexus 7, “OK Google. Remind me to buy olive oil at Safeway,” when you walk into the store with your iPhone, you’ll get a reminder. We’ll also show you Google Now notifications so you’re not late to your cooking class.


A simpler, more unified design on mobile devices

You’ll also notice a new look and feel for Google Search and ads on your phones and tablets. It’s cleaner and simpler, optimized for touch, with results clustered on cards so you can focus on the answers you’re looking for.


We’ll keep improving Google Search so it does a little bit more of the hard work for you. This means giving you the best possible answers, making it easy to have a conversation and helping out before you even have to ask. Hopefully, we’ll save you a few minutes of hassle each day. So keep asking Google tougher questions—it keeps us on our toes! After all, we’re just getting started.

Posted by Amit Singhal, SVP, Google Search