In 2009 Google Provided a Look at the Web of the Future
2009 brought a lot of changes to the web, and brought us a glimpse of what lies ahead in the future. Google was at the forefront of that future, and continues to shape the web as we surf it, as well as how we build it.
Historically, Google played a large role in the changes we saw in the last year. Mobile applications have become more important to the public, large corporations are taking Google’s services seriously as a business tool, and the way people surf has changed thanks to the Google empire. Let’s take a look at how one company has affected the way we search the web, and as a result, how developers build the web.
According to comScore’s January 2009 report, Google had a reasonable share of all web searches at 63.5% of the market. In March, Google started working on their search mechanism by adding support for longer queries and giving related searches an upgrade by using semantic results. In April, they started showing localized search results, as well as allowing search filtering options that included time-based search queries.
Search results also began to include social networking profiles from the leading social networks such as MySpace and Facebook. They also included music search results that featured “instant play” options from MySpace and Lala. The addition of “real time” search results came in early December, when Google included “live” content from Twitter, Facebook Pages, MySpace, Yahoo! Answers and news articles in a special box on their results page.
By the end of the year, Google’s mobile Android OS was not only being used in dozens of cell phones, Google also rolled out its new Android-based Nexus smart phone to thousands of its own employees, with the promise of a public release in early 2010, with cheaper prices than most smart phones, no carrier commitment and a valid threat to the all-mighty iPhone market.
So what does all this mean to developers? Not only must a site be well designed, with compelling content and a user-friendly interface, but it must be developed with Google in mind. Yes, there are other search engines, but as of November of 2009, Yahoo retained 17.5% of the market with Microsoft trailing at 10.3%. Google remains king of the hill, even if they only grew by 2.1% over the last year.