Searchology Event At Google Today: Tons of Announcements

Update: There are a couple of fairly significant announcements in the notes section below. I’m starting to turn these into posts. Lots coming.

At least half of silicon valley’s tech writers and major bloggers are at Google HQ today at the invite-only Searchology, where we are watching a series of presentations by Google executives.

There may or may not be announcements of note – Google is only promising to “highlight the latest news on search innovations.” Speakers will include Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products & User Experience; Udi Manber, VP of Engineering; and Craig Silverstein, Technology Director.

The Agenda:

  • Welcome
  • Search of Days Past (Craig Silverstein)
  • Search as We Know it Today (Kerry Rodden and Ben Gomes)
  • Next Step in Evolution of Search (Udi Manber, Marissa Mayer)
  • Q&A (Udi Manber, Marissa Mayer, Alan Eustace)

What I didn’t know is that I could be attending this from the comfort of my bed – the whole thing is being streamed and is available here.

I’ll update this post with any interesting announcements, until it’s over or my battery runs out.

Notes (chronological order):

Elliot Schrage, VP Global Communications & Public Affairs, welcomes us and asks us to turn off our cell phones. There are three seriously large lava lamps at stage left.

Craig Silverstein, Technology Director and Google’s third employee after Larry and Sergey, is currently on stage talking about the history of Google.

Silverstein has a great slide up right now showing the Google home pages over time:

Ben Gomes (Software Engeineer) and Kerry Rodden (Senior User Experience Researcher) are talking about the current state of search. Overview and definition of page rank.

– very cool slide showing results of usability study and where people look on search results page.

Preparing for next session (had to take a minute to write about Club Penguin and may have missed a few things).

Udi Manber (former CEO of Amazon’s A9) coming on stage. Definitely something being announced.

Udi – “search is very very hard”. 20-25% of the queries we will see today we have never seen before.

Good slide on easy v. hard queries (from google’s perspective) and their never ending quest for context.

Udi – we will launch very soon a way to search in different languages and get results in different languages. Google will auto-translate your query and the results to return more results. Screen shot (sorry about the quality):

Marissa Mayer
is now on stage. Says they have a couple of announcements to make search more intuitive.

First announcment: UNIVERSAL SEARCH. integration of search. Books, local, images, news and video will be integrated into main google search.

examples: steve jobs. integration of images, news, related, etc.

restuarants mounting view california – integration of local into main search. Called Universal.

– see google video link as no. 2 link. can watch the actual movie.

second announcemnt – google video search is now integrating beyond youtube and google videos, integrating other properties like metacafe. includes metacafe plus others. 5 or 6 total.

I have a dream – integration of video directly into search results (embedding)

another video example.

Marissa – some people will still want to search in verticals like video or news. Google is adding links directly above results to vertical engines that have relevant results (blogs, books, groups, code, etc.)

Next announcement: Google Universal Navigation bar:
nav bar that goes across all google properties. get to gmail, etc. with one click at any time.

next: Google Experimental. can see all the latest experiments on google. sign up to any and it adds to your default google search experience.

timeline view. Map view. Integrates directly into search. more – see experimental site.

going to QA. Sergey Brin joined as well