Google tries to understand what you want to search for but never do

By on November 29, 2012, 8:30 AM

Google is pretty much the go-to search engine for most people. They’ve done a fantastic job at narrowing down exactly what you are looking for based on your query (most of the time, anyway) but what about the things you want to search for, but never get around to?

It seems a bit creepy to think about at first but sure enough, a recent study conducted by the search giant explored this very subject.

Tom Simonite from Technology Review was one of 150 or so participants in what Google called the Daily Information Needs Study last month. As he tells it, he was contacted at eight different times each day for a period of three days. Each time, Google asked him to name some things that he wanted to know recently – just everyday things that he wouldn’t otherwise bother to look up.

People search Google all the time to locate a wealth of information but even still, individuals often turn to other outlets like a friend of an instruction manual to find what they are looking for. Lead user experience designer for Google search Jon Wiley, one of the people that helped lead the study, would like to find out about these hidden needs and understand how to meet them.

Wiley isn’t prepared to share the study results at this time but there’s little doubt that information like this will ultimately be put to use in some form or another. Projects like Google Glass seem like a viable candidate for providing information to a user before a question even arises.

User Comments: 5

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Critica1Hit said:

Yep I've though of doing some quick research on things throughout the day and at the end of the day when I'm home or otherwise able to actually do the search, I have either forgotten about it or not in the mood or w/e reason.

Some may argue this will kill actual socialization even further, and I would agree to some extend. Some of the things I have wondered and though of searching, I never even bothered to ask anyone, so there was no social interaction either way.


:o Maybe google needs AI?

World domination lol

Guest said:

Google is the Geo log, archiving everything from you cause archived peoples has no future.

ikesmasher said:

People do not search for specific answers on a daily basis. I want/need to know something, anything I look it up. Like, I look up everything on google from homework help to computer building advice to "when does this nutella expire." google doesnt need to change anything on their search engine if thats what they are thinking, apart from this nonsense of changing abbreviations to words and such automatically, or including "similiar" words that I didnt type.

KbloodyK KbloodyK said:

I hate it when someone borrows my computer and they try to google something and google does that.

google: ah okay, you just typed in the letter T, you must be wanting teen and mom double team guy in the shower.

Person borrowing my computer: Oh my god! EEEW!

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