Google’s Singhal Reflects on the Top Search Milestones Since 2004

Late Show host David Letterman may dominate searching rankings when you look for “Top Ten List,” but that hasn’t stopped Amit Singhal, Google’s senior vice president of search, from coming up with one of his own.

In fact, as he reflects on the years since Google’s 2004 IPO, Singhal ranks universal search, which blends different types of results to deliver the most relevant information in various formats; voice search, which enables users to ask questions by voice in 38 languages in the Google Search app; and the Knowledge Graph, which displays how elements are connected when users search, among Google’s biggest search milestones of the last decade.

In addition, Singhal called out Autocomplete, which he says means users don’t have to remember the whole name of whatever they are searching for and has even made the very act of typing out an entire phrase seem “archaic.”

He also points to:

  • Google Translate, which includes 80 languages and more than 1 billion daily translations;
  • Directions and traffic, which he says make it possible to “search the real world”;
  • Adapted search for mobile, tablets, and new screens like watches;
  • Actions, which enable users to text, email, or call someone without “digging and typing” with the Google Search app;
  • Info just for you, which allows users to ask the Google Search app questions about content saved in Gmail, such as flights, shipments, or appointments;
  • And answers before you have to ask, which means users with the Google Search app get automatic help with everyday tasks, such as travel reservations; warnings when traffic is bad; reminders of bills coming due; and best guesses at the last places they parked.

According to Singhal, Google made more than 890 improvements to Google Search last year, and “we’re cranking away at new features and the next generation of big bets all the time.”

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