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April 2010, Matt Cutts who was working at Google on search, was asked how does he see search working in a decade from now. It is always fun to look at predictions from the past and see how they came out. And making a prediction on how search will change over a ten-year period, espesially back then, was pretty bold.

The video was just 1 minute and 18 seconds long but he said a few things:

(1) (CORRECT) He isn’t sure if we will see “brain add-ons” in search. He was right, I mean, we had Google Glass, but nothing is implanted in our brains today.

(2) (CORRECT) We will have devices with us all the time, like cell phones, but more capable, he said.

(3) (CORRECT) More of your information will be in the cloud. Yep.

(4) (Partially CORRECT) Personalization in search will be more important. Search engines will know more about what you like and dislike and relevancy will be based on that. He said location or previous things you clicked on would influence search. Well, location is important but outside of location, what you click on in search is not really being used. Personalization was thought to be a big deal in the future, but it really did not happen as expected.

Here is the video:

Here is the transcript:

Bluge from London in the UK asks, “How do you see search working a decade from now?”

Great question, hard question. It’s hard to predict two years in the future, let alone 10. You know I’ve seen people who are trying to tweet using their brainwaves. And it takes like 20 minutes. Will we have a brain connection? I don’t know. I don’t know if Larry and Sergey were joking when they were talking about hooking Google up as a brain add-on.

But you’ll probably have devices that are with you all the time. That will look like cell phones, but a lot
more capable.

You’ll probably have a lot of your information in the cloud. The idea of having it stuck on one particular client or machine won’t make a lot of sense.

I think we’ll be searching a lot more data. And probably if you’re willing to tell a search engine more about you, or let the search engine know more about what you like or don’t like, the search results will be a lot more relevant. So I can imagine the type of personalization that’s really really useful, based on your location or the previous things that you clicked on.

I think search is gonna be interesting. I’ll be really curious to see how it looks a decade from now. My hope is Google will still be helping users when that time rolls around.

Here is John Mueller’s tweet that brought this up today:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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