Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind (acquired by Google in 2014), predicts a striking transformation for Google by 2033, where conversation will replace the conventional search box as the interface. In an interview on the No Priors Podcast, Suleyman shared his insights on this exciting development.
This anticipated evolution in search holds immense significance, as evidenced by recent developments like ChatGPT, Bing, and Google’s Search Generative Experience. While immediate changes may not be apparent, these advancements have the potential to reshape the web, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click (PPC) practices in the coming years.
At present, Google’s search experience is often considered cumbersome, with answers delivered through 10 blue links. However, Suleyman acknowledged that search features and ads also serve as “answers” on today’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
Google’s algorithm learns from user interactions, analyzing clicked results, time spent on websites, and whether users return to the search box to refine their queries or explore alternative results. Suleyman expressed concerns about Google’s reliance on an outdated conversational model akin to the Yellow Pages from the 1980s. He believes that engaging in fluent natural language conversations is now possible.
Interestingly, Google currently prioritizes user engagement over providing direct answers. This emphasis has influenced content production, favoring optimization for ads and rewarding creators who prolong user sessions on webpages. However, Suleyman argued that users often seek quick snippets of information rather than sifting through extensive content.
Suleyman envisions a future where searchers no longer need to ponder how to modify their queries or rephrase them. The era of “speaking Google” will give way to the ability to communicate with computers using natural language, offering a new interface for search interactions.
Considering these forthcoming changes, Suleyman believes that Google should be concerned about the future of its search engine as we know it. Although the transformation will not occur overnight and will involve a gradual transition, he asserts that concise, dynamic, personalized, and interactive moments are undoubtedly the future of search.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai also weighed in on the subject, stating that search will become “more ambiently available to users in radically different ways” compared to the current link-based search with 10 blue links. Pichai emphasized the need to meet users’ evolving expectations and deliver search experiences that align with their specific needs.
In summary, the future of Google’s search experience appears destined for a remarkable overhaul. Conversational interfaces, personalized interactions, and innovative search options will likely redefine the search landscape in the years to come, challenging the established norms and paving the way for an enhanced user experience.