Should Google Be Worried?

Internet September 29, 2014

Maybe so. Check out this latest news in the online world coming to us from China, of all places. You know that for most of the world, Google is the de-facto standard for Search. Yes, it is certainly true that Microsoft Bing has started to take a piece of the search pie. Yet that may not even matter for too much longer.

Here’s what is going on. In another part of the world, China to be exact, there is yet another go to source for search traffic. That source is the search engine Baidu. Actually, you can state in no uncertain terms that Baidu owns search in the China market and some places beyond.

Here’s where this tale gets more intriguing. Baidu has decided to turn the Search market upside down. Baidu recently pulled Google former mastermind Andrew Ng over to their side to focus on what is called deep learning. Deep learning, once fully implemented into search engine technology, will completely redefine search.

As you know, search engines at this point are entirely based on text. However, in new markets such as China and others, new comers to an age of ever present technology are in many cases first accessing the Internet on a SmartPhone. For all of it’s positive features, the Smartphone is simply not as convenient for entering search terms.

Baidu is working on deep learning technology to move Search away from text. Once the results from their deep learning start to show up, Baidu will be able to provide Search based upon images or speech. This is ideal for Baidu since their primary market, (China) is still learning to access the Internet and perform what are considered everyday tasks in other parts of the world. As Ng puts it “..images and speech are a much more natural way for humans to express their queries. Infants learn to see and speak well before they learn to type”.

There’s more. As any Google searcher will attest, there are times when a text based search can yield frustrating results. Think about a simple example of searching for the name of an unusual plant you happen to be gazing at along the waterfront. What text terms would you even start with? On the other hand, imagine how seamless this process could be if you could snap a picture and have Baidu automatically recognize the image?

As you can see, the other search engine giant Baidu is taking search engine technology further and faster than anyone would have thought just a few short years ago.


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