Google Assistant, Privacy Issues & Semantic Search #SEOLunch

Google Assistant, Privacy Issues & Semantic Search #SEOLunch

Google Assistant Wants to Be Your Android's Siri #SEOLunch

Every week there seems to be more and more news involving Google’s various products, services and now – investor relations. Since the launch of Google+ though, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to find non-industry sites discussing Google’s changes as they happen in the search envinronment.

Last week I caught an article on Search Engine Journal that highlighted some comments that Amit Singhal made as part of an interview. Here is how SEJ author David Angiotti referenced the interview:

The algorithmic shift is partially motivated by Google’s plans to launch Google Assistant later this year on Android devices. Google Assistant, which will compete directly with Apple’s Siri, will provide users with answers to questions and specific information rather than traditional search results. Singhal, who is a senior Google VP and Google Fellow, recently indicated that semantic search is a necessary for a company to be competitive long-term in the mobile space.

“When we can deliver small nuggets of information, that system is far more suited to mobile phones and searching with voice.” — A. Singhal

While search engines already do an excellent job of analyzing the words a user types in the search box and matching the query to web pages that contain similar words or topics, matching the intent of a specific user is much more difficult.

While it is no surprise that Google will remain heavily invested in their Android lifeforms, I found the desire to attack semantic mobile search technology the same way Siri does as a bit of a surprise. I’m not sure why, but it’s an emphasis that Singhal is clearly trying to reinforce.

Now, Google Assistant doesn’t have the same sexy appeal as Siri, but if the accuracy and benefit to the user is there – that opens up an entirely new mindset from which optimization needs to take place.

The focus will certainly move a bit to focus on specific phrases that are commonly said, not necessarily typed.

As Angiotti mentioned in the SEJ piece, Google has been hard at work with their “Knowledge Graph” too. While the mention of that sounds all well and good, I’m a little worried about how Google will find ways to mesh this KG into the mobile platform while also tying in the Android operating system and mobile components.

It’s simply too big brother for me to be happy about at the moment.

Am I alone in having that concern?

Has anyone ever thought to consider how much more information Google Assistant could pick up on?

And… How would Google’s recent update in privacy policy impact those of us who are using Android devices?

Please share your thoughts (or concerns) in the comments below!

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