Ingredients for a New Model – The Future of Search

A great detective can see patterns that others don’t or perhaps just didn’t invest the time to notice. 

In the media world, the ingredients are often right in front of us. 

Search is one of those models that is about to change dramatically in the next five to 10 years, which is why every communicator and marketer should become fluent in search, not just appreciative. 

As I was participating in a CommPro webinar on the importance of search, I couldn’t help but think about these ingredients. 

Here are seven new factors that will lead to an evolution in search:  

The Shift to Audio Search 

Today, 27% of the global online population uses their voice to search via their mobile phones. About 55% of U.S. teens use voice search every day and 71% of us even prefer voice. It is inevitable that our voice will replace the typing of words, which changes the keywords we use and requires search to build expertise in understanding how we speak from dialect to slang. SEO and SEM are already impacted by this shift.

The Ability to Pick Up New Data Signals 

Alexa is an example of how devices can pick up whatever we say and understand the causality of signals. Shodan is a search engine dedicated to picking up the coordinates of smart devices so that anything that hits Wi-Fi will be be part of search. That’s a game changer, once we start to build insights from these new data sets. 

The Move from 5G to 6G 

6G will have 10 times greater speeds than 5G, which translates into response times we can’t imagine today. This will impact everything from autonomous travel and our ability to download content to how we intake input from sensors. It will result in a new explosion of data that can tie together all the new data signals we are receiving at a speed that is useful for business and life in general. 

The Ability to Search Across Language 

Language does not need to be a barrier for search. Technology will make it possible to not just translate, but also understand and integrate what is said in any language, then present it in the one language we prefer. Sounds crazy, but it’s doable. 

Images, Emojis and Other Non-Words 

Our images, favorite emojis, and anything that is not a word is searchable as an object. We are greatly improving our ability to identify objects, which will lead to a more searchable world that combines it all for us. Keep in mind, as well, that non-word communication further breaks down the barrier of language worldwide. 

Awareness of Algorithmic Bias 

At the same time, we’ll be much better, technologically, in identifying algorithmic bias of search engines, which is a significant issue worldwide today. Just look at Yandex versus Google for any topic and you’ll see how different the search experience can be for a user. Or look within Google itself and see that what we receive is impacted by human decisions. That’s reality and not in itself an issue. The advance ahead is our ability to make bias transparent, so we know what is being suppressed or promoted. That’s just based on our willpower and desire to make it happen.

Internal Search 

We can use Grail to search our own bodies to see if we have a pre-cancer situation. We are building better search engines for use within apps. We will figure out how to get sensors to aggregate their data, so we learn from our daily habits. We are figuring out how to apply search to understand any body of work or how our bodies literally work.   

There are more ingredients, but this is enough to illustrate the point. The next generation of search will integrate data worldwide in ways we can barely imagine today, leading to insights and intelligence we don’t think is possible today. 

Let’s all embrace the change, innovate together, and see how we can build better insights and value for society and business. Together, we’ll make the most of this exciting next phase of search.  

By Bob Pearson