Sullivan Unimpressed by Inside Search
Perhaps that is a big reason why nothing at Inside Search excited Search Engine Land Editor Danny Sullivan, who has been following Google since its inception. Sullivan suggested Google Voice Search on the desktop may be a clever way of helping people who don't use Android phones, or Google Voice Search on the iPhone, to get a sense of what they're missing."Will they even realize that going from Google to another Website seems faster than say going from Bing to another Website? But perhaps subconsciously, they will-which might keep them coming back to Google." Search Engine Land's Greg Sterling shared Sullivan's sentiment overall. "All of this stuff was in a way incremental and not things that mainstream users will tap every day," Sterling told eWEEK. Voice search on the desktop, he allowed, might be used by a sizable minority of people tired of typing searches. One area Sterling believes might grab users' fancy is Google's mobile search enhancements, where Google is now surfacing new shortcut icons for restaurants, gas stations and other shops that appear at the bottom of the mobile homepage on Android smartphones and Apple iPhones. When users scroll through the results, the map of those places remains at the top of the page and adjusts automatically to the listing a user is looking at, providing listing info and location context. Reynolds said such features set Google up for dominance in the mobile sector as "text search on PC fades into the sunset of innovation and graphical, multimodal search patterns arrive on the smartphone." As for the contextual discovery technologies-which target users with results based on their personal tastes and Web activity-nary a peep was heard. Sterling agreed the contextual discovery innovation isn't yet happening, though he noted nearby location tools and recommendation engine provide the foundation. "The way forward is there; the execution is just a bit muted at present," he said.
As for the Instant enhancements, Sullivan questioned whether consumers truly notice what is happening behind the scenes to speed up their Google searches.