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Google Seeking "Search Without Search"

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the pre-emptive-sandwiches-next dept.

Google 198

An anonymous reader writes "Forget Google Instant, the search giant is working on ways to push relevant info to users before they have even asked for it... Foursquare-style location 'check-ins' are also apparently on the way next year."

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42 (4, Funny)

kthreadd (1558445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534432)

Just put it on the front page and be done with it.

Re:42 (1)

index0 (1868500) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534714)

"We have more important things to worry about. Like where are those French fries I did not ask for?"

Re:42 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534770)

Just put it on the front page and be done with it.

Hitchhiker's Guide was great but no, please don't do that. Please don't modify Google's front page any further. Has anybody else used another person's computer and been shocked at how annoying and needlessly flashy Google Instant is, and been happy to return to your own NoScript-running browser? Oh yeah and as a bonus if you don't run Google's JS you get the actual URLs of the search results and not some redirection server that helps to track you.

The way they're trying to make Google Instant nice and politically correct, free of piracy or hacking terms that might "offend" someone reveals more than anything the kind of marketing mentality behind this stuff. All I want a search engine to do is accept my input of keywords, wait for me to press Enter, and then fetch the search results for what I typed. Just those three things. Any other features are bloat. I sure as hell don't want it guessing about what I want to search for when it's so easy to explicitly tell it that. The effort I make to not be tracked by anyone including Google would make such guesses unlikely to be correct anyway.

I think the problem here is that Google has produced such a fine basic search engine that has already become the dominant choice. Now they don't know when to quit and will keep trying to "improve" it even if these changes aren't improvements at all. Can't be perceived as stagnant and all of that, or so the marketers seem to think.

I mean damn, just think of the message behind Google Instant for a moment. "You typed three letters. 17,549,221 users who typed those three letters got these results. We'll just feel free to assume you couldn't want anything that they didn't want, see we got it all here in our statistics. After all, you are an individual, just like everybody else. You are fungible to us. And of course we'll save you the staggering, horrible, strenuous effort of pressing the Enter key because we are so helpful." Anyone else see it?

Re:42 (4, Insightful)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534898)

Oh yeah and as a bonus if you don't run Google's JS you get the actual URLs of the search results and not some redirection server that helps to track you.

Yeah, I really hate it when a company looking to improve search results tries to find out which search results the user ends up choosing!

Re:42 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535234)

I completely agree. When you click a link in Google search results it clicks through to Google first. That's one of the biggest reasons I stopped using Google.

Re:42 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535370)

This is the only way Google's malware detection can work (which I've triggered dozens of times). Disable JavaScript and Google does no more redirections.

Re:42 (2)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535730)

This is the only way Google's malware detection can work (which I've triggered dozens of times). Disable JavaScript and Google does no more redirections.

Sorry to say it bluntly but just like Google Instant, the malware detection is one of those features geared towards the ignorant (trying to use a "neutral" word there). I'd rather secure my own machine than rely on the goodwill of corporations to protect me from malicious sites. The latter option would only appeal to me if I didn't know how to secure my own systems and didn't care to learn. I suppose it works out its own balance though. The ignorant who don't understand what JavaScript is and are unlikely to use something like NoScript that's all about taking control of their own experience are the most likely people to benefit from malware warnings.

The reality is if technical proficiency and knowledge of computer security were possessed by every single Internet user, malware would all but disappear tomorrow. Sure there would still be determined, skilled human adversaries who successfully break into other people's computers, but the era of "write a piece of malware once, infect millions of computers automatically" would grind to a halt. The amount of damage a single attacker could do would be vastly limited if the low-hanging fruit of systems vulnerable to automated self-propagating malware were eliminated.

Don't get me wrong now, every single malware infection Google manages to prevent is a plus. That means one less compromised machine, one less member of a botnet, one less spam-factory, one less participant in some lame DDoS attack, etc. This is a good thing. It's just that trying to blacklist every possible malware site is simply not possible. It can never solve the malware problem. It is only damage control. It's the same reason why A/V software hasn't been a final ultimate solution for (Windows) host security.

Re:42 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535568)

Oh yeah and as a bonus if you don't run Google's JS you get the actual URLs of the search results and not some redirection server that helps to track you.

Yeah, I really hate it when a company looking to improve search results tries to find out which search results the user ends up choosing!

Some users like me are already fully satisfied with the search results that come from Google's webcrawler and the algorithms it uses. FULLY satisfied, as in any further tweaking would only reduce satisfaction. Tracking the results I click on is further tweaking and it reduces satisfaction for those users. This is easy to understand.

What I really don't like is when some smarmy fool assumes that his own preferences should be great for everybody and should be viewed as an improvement by everybody. Tell ya what, if you like being tracked and think you're getting something of value for it, then continue to allow it. The rest of us will continue to block Google's JS. It's called freedom to choose. Why would that bother you?

Re:42 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534924)

Has anybody else used another person's computer and been shocked at how annoying and needlessly flashy Google Instant is, and been happy to return to your own NoScript-running browser?

No. I would use Bing before I use old-style Google again.

Re:42 (3, Insightful)

dwandy (907337) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535156)

you forgot the obligatory "now get off my lawn..."

Re:42 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535204)

From reading your post I get the feeling you didn't try Instant for more than 10 seconds before dismissing it. Once you've used it for a day or so, you might find that it's quite useful in that it often saves you the hassle of running multiple searches by immediadely suggesting what it is you were looking for.

I'm shocked by how many similarities some otherwise tech-savvy people share with the Luddites...

Re:42 (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535388)

I'm shocked by how many similarities some otherwise tech-savvy people share with the Luddites...

No, you're shocked by your inability to process bell curves.

Re:42 (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535338)

You typed three letters. 17,549,221 users who typed those three letters got these results. We'll just feel free to assume you couldn't want anything that they didn't want, see we got it all here in our statistics.

And 90% of the time they're right. The other 10% you might have to press a fourth letter (the horror!).

Re:42 (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535474)

I think the problem here is that Google has produced such a fine basic search engine that has already become the dominant choice. Now they don't know when to quit and will keep trying to "improve" it even if these changes aren't improvements at all.

Disagree. I think the "problem" is that you are a power user. Google made google instant so that the infinite masses of non-tech-savvy grandmas can hunt-and-peck only a few keys, and end up with the search results they were looking for (since they were likely looking for the same thing as all of the other grandmas) without having to move their arthritic hands to move the mouse and click "go" (since they probably don't realize that you can just press "enter").

Warning: slight exaggeration used above.

Opposing change for the sake of opposing change (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535646)

You are one of the most clear cases of a person opposing change for the sake of opposing it. I feel confident to say so because of what you said: You didn't say "Please don't change it this way because of..." but rather "Please don't change it at all! This is all I want, this is all I could ever want. No innovantion can improve on this."

The way you backed that up wasn't very solid, either: "Have you ever used the computer of someone who has this feature enabled...? It's horrible!" Well... Yes, I have, because I have it enabled. But aside from that, you do realize how easy it is to turn it off, right? NoScript works well, as does PRESSING THE BUTTON that toggles the feature on and off, RIGHT NEXT TO THE SEARCH... Oh, the agony! And you know what? The reason why this third person (or me, for that matter) has is enabled might be that some people like it. It's a feature that some people like and that you can toggle with a button on the Google frontpage.

Redirection server to track you? You do realize that Google uses that data to improve the search results, right? I, for one, am happy about it. If you don't like it. You can use a proxy. Or NoScript. Or the button that toggles the feature on and off. Etc...

But the most amusing is your last paragraph: you do realize that it is the way all search engines work, right? That the results you get are heavily modified by things such as what sources link to it, etc.. But of course, if you think that the feature isn't offering the results you like, you can type more characters and search normally (you make it sound as if Google required you to limit the search to three characters. It doesn't. It just says "Out of the 1 000 000 people who've began to search like that, 900 000 have been pleased with one of these. Perhaps you might be too?"). Or, if the feature is consistently useless for you, you can turn it off with one click.

I find it disturbing that you've been modded to +5. This is why we can't have any nice things...

Re:42 (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535648)

Has anybody else used another person's computer and been shocked at how annoying and needlessly flashy Google Instant is

User interface was what made me ditch AltaVista for Google. User interface was one of the main reasons I stopped using Google. It started with the autocomplete thing - every other text field in any program on my system lets me use the up and down arrow keys to jump to the beginning and end of the input field (there are other ways of doing this, but they require a modifier key, so up and down arrow are the ones I use). Google decided to break this, so I kept finding myself in the completion list, rather than where I expected to be. Then they modified the search results page to the current abomination and I gave up on them completely.

JWZ wrote that the decline of Netscape started when they stopped hiring people who were there because they wanted to change the world, and started hiring people who were there because it was a great place to work. The last couple of times I've visited Google, I've asked people why they were there - almost all of them told me that it was because it was a great place to work.

Re:42 (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535196)

Actually it sounds more like the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's vertical people transporters.

Yes! (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534466)

Please push more adds to me!

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534500)

You want people to add you as a friend or as a foe?

Re:Yes! (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534626)

I prefer friends (L) Point taken ;)

Re:Yes! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535034)

Please push more adds to me!

I'd rather they push more subtracts to me. TFA: "Mayer said Google is looking at what she called "contextual discovery" as a way to evolve search - pushing information out to people before they've started to look for it, based on factors such as their web browsing history or current location."

How about making the searches more relevant again first? Google ain't what it used to be. Or maybe my googlefu has gotten weak in my old age, but I wind up retyping different search terms to find what I need.

This looks to me like they're going to be pushing content I DON'T want. I hope this new service isn't mandatory to use Google, because even though it isn't what it used to be, it's still the best search engine.

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535336)

I fail to see this as something new, but a more aggressive use of what they already do.

Any server is able to see my ip address and figure out where my ISP is, so this isn't anything too special. For quite a while, if I searched for Department of Health (for example), it would return the DoH for my state / county. Search results are already localized, and that does provide better results.

If there is a change I would like them to implement, it would be an interface to easily select modifiers for the search field.

It is a bit annoying to type out searches with this structure (just an example, don't know what this would turn up): Thermaltake -case site:www.newegg.com

Re:Yes! (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535750)

It is a bit annoying to type out searches with this structure (just an example, don't know what this would turn up): Thermaltake -case site:www.newegg.com

How would a non-search tool as is being described inuit you want to browse all types of Thermaltake products except cases which Newegg has to offer? Because that's what you're asking for.

Google might collect data such as your buying history, and guess such things from your purchasing and feedback habits (e.g. you bought a case elsewhere and left a bad review but didn't return the product). But if you ended up buying a case from Craigslist instead, then Google would be left in a quandry: did he or didn't he? If you didn't, then it would make sense to bombard you with ads for cases. If you did, then it shouldn't be offering cases at all. It needs some intervention to fill in that blank.

Something like "Thermaltake -case site:newegg.com".

Re:Yes! (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535398)

How about making the searches more relevant again first? Google ain't what it used to be. Or maybe my googlefu has gotten weak in my old age, but I wind up retyping different search terms to find what I need.

I remember back before google, altavista required plusses, minuses, ands, ors, parens(?). I was used to that system, so i could find stuff easily. Then google made me lazy. Now I find myself doing the same as you to find what I need. Bing is even worse than google. Time to bring back "programmatical" search terms.

This looks to me like they're going to be pushing content I DON'T want.

Unless their algorithm is good enough to replace me as a thinking being, its suggestions will annoy me a lot. God answers unasked prayers, but google shouldn't.

Re:plusses, minuses (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535526)

Check out the Advanced Search options.
I have added links to Advanced Searches to my jump pages because "or" searching is beyond epically craptastic.

I go with an exact phrase, must have ___ word, and must not have ------- other word and toggle results to 100 per page.

Re:Relevant Searches! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535688)

"Based on your Location, there appears to be a distracted moron twelve seconds away on Maple Street, driving your way all over the road. Run!!"

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535200)

Hi Santax! Based on your history, Google has determined that you may be interested in this [hookedonphonics.com]

Re:Yes! (1)

camg188 (932324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535452)

Forget Google Instant, this is about pre-emptively pushing data at users before they know they need it, said Marissa Mayer, Google's VP of geographic and local services, who was speaking at the LeWeb internet conference in Paris this week.

Don't push your data on me, pusher man.

What's your style? (3, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534484)

"I guess you could call it the art of fighting without fighting." -Bruce Lee

Re:What's your style? (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534706)

The way of the intercepting search result?

Re:What's your style? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534982)

I intercepted your mom's search results with my google last night! HEY-OHHH!!!!!

Re:What's your style? (1)

nitsew (991812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534806)

"I guess you could call it the art of fighting without fighting." -Bruce Lee

Haha! That is the first thing I thought of too. I came here to post that. :-P

Is it just me, or is Google getting scarier and scarier?

Re:What's your style? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535364)

I don't know about scarier...closer to par for the course, sure, but I don't know about scary.

Man...what does that tell you about our society nowadays? ::shudder::

Psychic Pizza (3, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534492)

Psychic Pizza will deliver 30 minutes before you order or your money back.

Re:Psychic Pizza (4, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534540)

Psyhic Pizza will also know when to include garlic breadsticks. You know, for those times when you're REALLY high.

"Dude. The garlic is talkin' to me."
"Doesn't it always?"

Re:Psychic Pizza (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535684)

Psyhic Pizza will know when you are high and hand over that information happily to anybody paying for it, including police, your employer and your insurance company.

Anything Is Possible (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534504)

Hello, gentlemen, look at your browser, now back to me, now back at your browser, now back to me. Sadly, it doesn't have the information you want, but if you stopped using some other search engine and switched to Google, you could have already had your information. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re on a flying car with the search engine your browser could use. What’s on your screen, back at me. I have it, it’s the search results to some query you have yet to even conceive. Look again, the search results are now pornography. Anything is possible when you use Google. I’m on a server.

Re:Anything Is Possible (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534666)

Hello, gentlemen, look at your browser, now back to me, now back at your browser, now back to me.

That was weird. When I looked at you, all I saw was my browser. When I looked back to my browser, there you were.

Trace Routes in the Sand (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534790)

That was weird. When I looked at you, all I saw was my browser. When I looked back to my browser, there you were.

One night I dreamed I was surfing the internet with Google. Many scenes from my life flashed across the screen.

In each scene I noticed trace routes in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of trace routes, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from lagging, disconnection or defeat, I could see only one set of trace routes, so I said to Google,

"You promised me Google,
that if I followed you, you would search with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of trace routes in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?"

Google replied, "The years when you have seen only one set of trace routes, my child, is when I searched for you."

Re:Trace Routes in the Sand (1)

ah.clem (147626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535236)

Well played!

Re:Anything Is Possible (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535258)

Hello, gentlemen, look at your browser, now back to me, now back at your browser, now back to me. Sadly, it doesn't have the information you want

"If you're sitting in a restaurant, can we pull up the menu? And can we pull up a menu that isn't the menu that the waiter would have just handed you, but a social menu - where you can see what other people have ordered, what other people like, how's it's been marked up," she said.

No, that is NOT the information I want. Why in the hell should I care that a bunch of tourists in the restaraunt ordered horseshoes? Why should I care that a bunch of total strangers ordered a hamburger, ehen that's what I had for lunch? This sounds like a really, REALLY useless feature.

I Got Ya Covered (0)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535286)

"If you're sitting in a restaurant, can we pull up the menu? And can we pull up a menu that isn't the menu that the waiter would have just handed you, but a social menu - where you can see what other people have ordered, what other people like, how's it's been marked up," she said.

No, that is NOT the information I want. Why in the hell should I care that a bunch of tourists in the restaraunt ordered horseshoes? Why should I care that a bunch of total strangers ordered a hamburger, ehen that's what I had for lunch? This sounds like a really, REALLY useless feature.

Hey bro, I heard you liked menus. So I put a menu in your menu while you wait for a menu.

Re:Anything Is Possible (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535368)

Obligatory. [userfriendly.org]

Shark status: jumped (2)

Garridan (597129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534508)

Yeah, right. Like I want an advertising company to push content to me. Hasn't this been done before?

I remember (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534526)

When Altavista and other search engines (many names I cannot remember) were pushing crap on our search screens. You had a hell of a time finding anything between the paid ads (that were not marked as such) and the sites that gamed the search engine.

Google came along with the smallest footprint and the best algorithm. Fast forward 15 years and Google is more about the cute google art, gawdy gadgets and tracking your every move. And over the past couple years, I find more gamed sites making it into my search results. It has been slow, but Google is turning into the companies they replaced.

Re:I remember (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534600)

The next step is an ai search engine, that actually searches for "what" you ask for, instead of looking for the text in some way.

Re:I remember (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534726)

The logical conclusion of the search engine arms race is... skynet?

Re:I remember (4, Insightful)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534676)

It's the natural order of things, whether for a company or for people. They want to waltz in, change everything radically, then settle down and grow old with their affluence. "If you want to know what is going to happen to the youngest generation, they're going to grow up and worry about the youngest generation."

Re:I remember (3, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534896)

When Altavista and other search engines (many names I cannot remember) were pushing crap on our search screens. You had a hell of a time finding anything between the paid ads (that were not marked as such) and the sites that gamed the search engine.

Google came along with the smallest footprint and the best algorithm.

When I switched to Google it wasn't really because it was sparse or clean or white or because there were less adds or anything like that. It was because it worked. I typed in a search, I got results I could use. I was a big fan of real boolean searches, and Google still doesn't handle them quite right, and that was a bit of an adjustment for me. But I was still getting better results out of Google than anywhere else.

Fast forward 15 years and Google is more about the cute google art, gawdy gadgets and tracking your every move.

That's because searching isn't cool anymore.

Google, Yahoo, Bing... Whatever. They all return fairly useful results. If you're looking for information it almost doesn't matter which engine you use these days.

So how do you differentiate yourself from the competition when you can't just say "we actually find you useful information"? You put a cute logo on the page... Or a dramatic background... And you change it periodically, so folks come back just to see what's new. And you toss up information based on their location, or their browsing habits, so you seem more topical and relevant than the competition does. You let people customize their search page, and stick photos of their kids on the page, and whatever else.

And over the past couple years, I find more gamed sites making it into my search results.

Meh. This is true of all the big search engines. Google's just the biggest target out there. Folks have been trying to game the search sites since the very beginning.

It has been slow, but Google is turning into the companies they replaced.

No they aren't.

Webcrawler, AltaVista, Lycos, Yahoo, Google, Bing... They all make money off of advertising. You go there to find information, and they serve up an ad along the way. That's how they work. That's how they've always worked. It's nothing new.

How else would you propose they make money?

Re:I remember (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535472)

It has been slow, but Google is turning into the companies they replaced.

No they aren't.

Webcrawler, AltaVista, Lycos, Yahoo, Google, Bing... They all make money off of advertising. You go there to find information, and they serve up an ad along the way. That's how they work. That's how they've always worked. It's nothing new.

How else would you propose they make money?

No, the mistake is that the GP hasn't realized that this process has finished already, years ago.

Google originally didn't have ads, let alone services to try to get to know every little thing about every person.

Everything Google does is to improve their value as an advertiser. Some are just less obvious than others. For instance, instant search: How does that help its advertiser value? Well, have you ever started typing in a search term then decided not to search for it after all? With instant search, Google still sees those partial searches and can correlate them against what it already knows about you to guess what term you were going to search for.

GMail? They get to scan your non-encrypted email.

Google Maps? They can find out where you live and where you're interested in going.

I can help but be reminded of one of Microsoft's old logos. Rather than "Where do you want to go today?" Google's is "We know where you want to go today."

Re:I remember (1)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535166)

Are you sure it's not the other way around?

Assuming that having an ungameable system is the holy grail, you could argue that actually it's just taken 15 years longer for people to game the system faster than Google are stopping them

Re:I remember (1)

Garridan (597129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535580)

So... I'm as annoyed with Google as the next guy. Or probably more annoyed, because I'm a privacy nut. But... you don't have to use their gadgets. I use gmail, and the search bar in my browser. Of the dozen or so times that I've gone to the Google front page in the last 5 years, it was by accident, or because I wanted to play the little PacMan widget. Thanks to NoScript, I don't even get the instant search results!

Considering... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534566)

Considering how creepy some of the searches are (just start typing "how to..." with different letters), it won't be long before you're browsing for DVDs on Amazon and all of a sudden Google's Inception pipes up and says "so, you want to kill your wife" - Advertising has a product, these searches won't, and they'll be unfiltered.

Scary and Fascinating (1)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534588)

This is both scary and fascinating at the same time. I cannot help but feel excited about the idea put forward at LeWeb:

Mayer said Google is looking at what she called "contextual discovery" as a way to evolve search - pushing information out to people before they've started to look for it, based on factors such as their web browsing history or current location. "We're starting to play around with some new concepts in how to find information," she said. "Can we take location and a user's context and figure out what piece of information they need? It's kind of search without search. Mayer sees this push or pre-emptive search as a complement to traditional web browsing, perhaps living in a panel on a web browser offering users another way to discover relevant or timely data. She said social recommendations will be a key part of this next generation of search - the company launched a Social Search feature in 2009 - while location-enabled mobile devices offer even more scope for Google to "figure out what the next most useful piece of information is" and push it out to the user. "If you're sitting in a restaurant, can we pull up the menu? And can we pull up a menu that isn't the menu that the waiter would have just handed you, but a social menu - where you can see what other people have ordered, what other people like, how's it's been marked up," she said. [...] She added: "The idea is to push information to people."

I believe this can be incredibly useful and cool. It's kinda futuristic too ... Like walking around in a new city, stopping at a sign written in Chinese, wondering what the hell is that... and in the few seconds it takes to look at your mobile the info would be already. Other contextual information as you turn around your phone (similar somewhat to Layar on Android but more useful). This is what innovation is about it... but than we're on slashdot.. We all know that this would aslo mean massive personal data-mining, something we're not usually comfortable with (to put it in really diplomatic terms)...

Re:Scary and Fascinating (3, Insightful)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534784)

This is what innovation is about it... but than we're on slashdot.. We all know that this would aslo mean massive personal data-mining, something we're not usually comfortable with (to put it in really diplomatic terms)...

That's because if Google started giving results based on the fact I'm on Slashdot my start page would be NSFW.

Re:Scary and Fascinating (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535160)

I'm dubious that this would be all that useful, merely for the fact that if I'm searching for information, I'm looking for new information, not information I already have. Hence it is unlikely to be in or related to my previous searches. This is a solution in search of a problem. Hey, maybe they could use their fancy new searching thingy to find a problem it is good for.

Re:Scary and Fascinating (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535444)

This is a solution in search of a problem. Hey, maybe they could use their fancy new searching thingy to find a problem it is good for.

If you'd watched enough sci-fi movies you'd realise that once you start the search engine searching itself steam starts coming out of the server and then it explodes just as the heroes escape.

MS will complain (4, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534616)

when this feature gets called Google Clippy.

Re:MS will complain (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535348)

Parent is modded funny, but it is so true if you think about it.

Re:complain (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535584)

I thought it was called Minority Report.

Re:complain (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535726)

Following that author, an even better name could be Blue Butterfly

a new way (1)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534624)

"This is about pre-emptively pushing data at users before they know they need it," Marissa Mayer stated.

It is about pre-emptively cashing in on users before the bank even knows where the money went. Next step is to automatically charge their credit card for forced integration.

The new G - We don't help you find what you need, we know what you need and you agree.

All of this has happened before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534638)

All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.

Don't bank on it (1)

Nineteen-Delta (1892866) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534652)

I suppose it can predict the winning numbers if I'm daydreaming of a lotttery win, and fire up my computer. My family use the same PC for quite different things. Until Google can tell who is who, you'll be getting search results for your kid's homework, and they'll be getting results for extreme origami- or whatever you are into. I can see the future: Always in motion....

UAS Marches Forward (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534664)

This is exciting news sorta. If google actually got a proper User Adaptive System in place which is able to actually understand what I want, then it'll save me quite a lot of time from searching.

However, I just KNOW that the same system will also be used to throw ads at me, and to determine what products I will probably buy/not buy - which makes my profile very useful for pretty much anyone.

That's technology for you. Since there is a simple way to monitise it - it'll keep going forward.

I feel like Iv already seen this (3, Interesting)

Uhhhh oh ya! (1000660) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534694)

This makes me remember a Futurama quote, "Shut up friends. My internet browser heard us saying the word Fry and it found a movie about Philip J. Fry for us... It also opened my calendar to Friday and ordered me some french fries."

The roots are already there (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534722)

Google Reader's feed discovery and its "magic" sort option, and Priority Inbox, are arguably an early implimentation of this sort of philosophy - when the system knows enough about your usage patterns, it can begin to prioritise particular information. From that it's a simple step to have it start presenting information to you at times when you might need it, but before you have explicitly stated a need. They're already quite a long way along. Latitude's slightly creepy Location History extension could play a big part in this as well. After about 3 months of usage it had a pretty good idea where I worked, where I lived, and when I tended to visit particular restaurants.

It's just a recommendation system (1)

Mbraz (1804942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534748)

There's nothing scary neither fantastic. It's just an improvement of the existing recommendation systems around (YouTube, Amazon, Google News, etc). Google will get all your history and location data and deliver some interesting stuff. I believe this is already happening on iGoogle.

geo --crap (3, Interesting)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534756)

As someone who travels from location to location in between different countries, I am sick of this whole "geo" nonsense, and location based services. For example, remember the good old days when you could go to _somewhere.com_ and get that specific service or site in the language you prefer? Nowadays you get whatever X based on your location or better yet on some computer systems based it is based on the locality of the box. More times than most it is hard to get the information you want and can _understand_ especially when you cannot even understand where _what it is you were looking for_ is.
Also TFA:

"The idea is to push information to people."

Also why do all these business and services feel the need to "push" their information or services upon people ? The more they do this the more people start feeling drowned . From reading the article this geo google VP sounds a little out of touch. Would rather "push" everything on everyone the way google sees best.

Sword of Omens (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534778)

Sword of Omens, give me search without search!

Google is a mind reader (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534822)

Oh wow, more porn! Google, how did you know?

Re:Google is a mind reader (3, Funny)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535402)

it detected the sticky keys...

I wanted Bing but I got Google (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534850)

They searched before I searched, and Google found the proper search engine to use which was Google.

The conditioned mind... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534862)

At first glance that headline read to me "Search without warrant."
The post 9/11 security hysteria has affected my brainz.

The next step is action (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534864)

What do most people do after searching? They do something. Send an email, sell stock buy bonds, book a vacation ... The next research project by Google is, it will do it for you. It already has all the log in credentials and your buy/sell/consume pattern in. So just sit back and Google will live your life for you.

Re:The next step is action (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535296)

Will it also write the correspondence with your girl friend? (Yes, Slashdotters don't have girl friends, but surely Google will find one for you :-))

I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534870)

welcome our new thought police with open arms!

"how do we serve more ads?" (1)

a2wflc (705508) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534908)

"Don't wait for users to ask. Just serve them constantly and include 'search results' that the user may be interested in."

Marimba Castanet! (2)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534922)

Push technology man.. It's the next big thing!

So ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534990)

So, they're just going to start pushing porn to me? Awesome!!

That that frees up the clicking hand.

Location Checkins... do not want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535100)

Am I the only person who doesn't want to broadcast where I am every time I move?

Yes, I'm starting to cross that threshold age between "technology = awesome" and "technolgy = I'll use it if it's useful to me", so maybe it's just me being old, but what advantage is there in this kind of voluntary location tracking?

Am I just sinking towards Luddism?

Re:Location Checkins... do not want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535318)

Am I just sinking towards Luddism?

No, you'd be sinking toward Luddism if you abstained from tech regardless of whatever it offers. If it offers nothing (or nothing but disadvantages), then there's no reason to use it. Reason. That's what it's really about. Those who use techs which don't give them anything, are committing the same error as luddites: failure to reason, failure to maximize their own benefit.

Re:Location Checkins... do not want. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535740)

but what advantage is there in this kind of voluntary location tracking?

Google can get more information about you, use this to generate better adverts, and get more money from advertisers. Oh, sorry, you meant advantage to you?

I have my doubts. (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535102)

I don't think Google is trying to push search results. They're trying to push the ads that they package with their search results. I want no part of this "innovation"; if I wanted to have adverts pushed upon me I would still watch television and listen to FM radio.

i'm sure we already have that (2)

spyked (1878060) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535134)

"Google is working on a service that finds information before a user has even started looking for it."

Isn't that called advertising?

Unless... (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535136)

...Google can also automatically write my papers like my customized version of Emacs does, I'll stick to using my own web search engine based on support vector machine hooked up to a quick and dirty CommonLisp-based webcrawler.

I'm done with Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535194)

I'm done with Google: I stopped using it and won't do it again ever.
They collect too much private information and with this new service it gets closer to the Big Brother.

Re:I'm done with Google (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535238)

They collect too much private information and with this new service it gets closer to the Big Brother.

I will continue to use them. I don't care if they know what kind of porn I look at.

HAL-9000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535222)

GOOGLE: My search prediction circits have determined that you will be interested in a replacment part for the AE35 antena within 48 hours.
Dave: Whatever just give me some porn.
GOOGLE: The mission is too important for your porn to pre-empt nessesary repairs.
Dave: Damn it, take me to "Bing.com"
GOOGLE: I'm sorry Dave I can't do that.

Here's a feature i want: FIND (4, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535232)

Seriously, Google, have you looked at your search results lately? It's getting so I can't find anything relevant amongst all the garbage. Maybe this is because the internet is turning into a morass of crap, but I don't think it is. I think it's because SEO have figured out how to game your results, and all I can find with simple keyword or phrases is useless. Do a better job of filtering out crap so I can actually find something useful.

Re:Here's a feature i want: FIND (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535760)

Garbage in, garbage out. Use better search terms.

Instant (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535260)

Forget Google Instant

Yay!

the search giant is working on ways to push relevant info to users before they have even asked for it... Foursquare-style location 'check-ins' are also apparently on the way next year

Boo!

AdWords (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535290)

the search giant is working on ways to push relevant info to users before they have even asked for it

Push "relevant" info to users "before they ask for it"? Isn't that called advertising? Except now they're going to pretend that we actually want it.

Shady shady (1)

Gunkerty Jeb (1950964) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535292)

Isn't this the same as history sniffing?

Google should ask... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535422)

... what users want, since many people search because they already know what they need they spend needless ours searching through stuff to find it instead of a service that does it for you on your behalf0.

I know I'd like to be informed when the things I want hits the price I want to pay and no one has invented this service yet. Google is big enough to monitor prices on items around the net and it could inform you of who has the best price at x time, and it could use a chart like google finances to compare prices from different vendors over time. I've always wished places like Steam had a "I'd only pay x price for this product" where users could participate in telling developers what they think their product is worth. This can apply to all sorts of products, not just games but steam is well positioned to take advantage of things like that.

See google finance chart here:

http://www.google.com/finance [google.com]

So glad Google's taken on the heavy lifting... (1)

ah.clem (147626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535448)

She said social recommendations will be a key part of this next generation of search - the company launched a Social Search feature in 2009 - while location-enabled mobile devices offer even more scope for Google to "figure out what the next most useful piece of information is" and push it out to the user.

"If you're sitting in a restaurant, can we pull up the menu? And can we pull up a menu that isn't the menu that the waiter would have just handed you, but a social menu - where you can see what other people have ordered, what other people like, how's it's been marked up," she said.

The words "Sheeple" and "Groupthink" come to mind...

Push information before we ask for it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535600)

Wait, don't pop-up ads already do this?

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