Google Now is a search assistant for Android smartphones (for about a year) and iOS (since May 7th). It can, among other things, respond to voice requests from users just like Siri (Apple’s search assistant) does. However, Google Now has a feature that may very well change the online search industry, predictive search.
Its main hook is its ability to anticipate users’ needs and questions they might ask. For example, if you bought a plane ticket online, Google Now will remind you the time of your departure a few hours before. In addition, if you booked a room at your destination, the application will automatically give you directions to get to your hotel as soon as your plane lands.
The software needs access to the following personal data in order to provide you with results that anticipate your needs :
- Your location
- Your Google Searches History
- Google Calendar
- Google +
- Google Finance
Indeed, it is by merging all this information that Google Now is able to give you the information you need when you need it. The picture below shows the different predictive search possibilities by operating system (Android, iOS, or both).
Is it perfect?
In general, the application does a good job with its recommendations. However, Anick Jesdanun of AP Technology has tested Google Now on her iPhone and experienced a few bad results from the application. When she searched for a company, the results that were suggested to her for 2 days were data on the company’s stocks when she does not own stocks. Also, she mentions in her article that Google Now is not able to differentiate two people’s travel information if they shared it with each other. The application told her to go take her flight in Taipei (her brother’s flight) when her actual flight was in Frankfurt. However, she said that she found the application useful enough to keep it active on her phone despite the strange results that she experienced.
The impact of Google Now on the SEO industry
Google has a huge influence on the SEO industry and Google Now will certainly be influential on it too. Indeed, a desktop version of the software (which is not yet available, but should eventually be) will be a very interesting potential source of visibility for businesses. To prepare for these changes, Guillaume Bouchard, a renowned Canadian SEO leader, suggests that companies and their SEO specialists make sure that their Google platforms such as Google + and Google + Local are optimized as these services are used to generate results in Google Now. Thus, when the software and its best SEO practices will be revealed, a part of the optimization work will be done.
Do you use Google Now? If you do, what is your opinion about it? Comment and share!
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Google – http://www.google.ca/landing/now/