Google has hit yet again, but this time companies do not need to change their SEO strategies or spend time recovering from any algorithm update. The latest Google announcement revolves around personal information and being able to type personal information questions into Google search. In other words, the search engine is starting to develop more human-like qualities and have a little bit more personality. Some see the new change as a positive, while others can’t help but bring light to the obvious thought that we’re trying to ignore: Isn’t this a little bit creepy?
How Google Will Soon Utilize Personal Information and New Search Queries
Let’s back up a little bit and get a little bit more detail regarding Google’s announcement. The information that Google is going to offer will refer to travel. This means that you can type in search queries regarding your personal travel information, not just any old question about your life. A few search queries might include:
- When will my package arrive?
- What’s my flight status?
- Do I have a confirmation number for my hotel?
- Is it someone’s birthday tomorrow?
- What time are my reservations at Oven Grinder’s again?
- Show me the photo of Lauren and I in Peru.
In order for Google to know this information, it has to be found somewhere in your Gmail, Google Calendar, or Google+. In other words, if you booked a flight using your Yahoo email address, Google isn’t going to be able to help you. This type of information has been available in Google Now, but it will be rolled out to all U.S., English-speaking queries on desktop, tablet, and smartphone in the coming weeks.
So what about security? So back to the question about this being creepy. No one is going to be able to ask these sorts of questions about you, and in fact you won’t be able to ask these sorts of questions unless you are signed into Google. The search engine explained “this information is just for you—secure, via encrypted connection.” You can control whether you want the service on or off and can turn it off permanently if you wish. You can learn more about this here where Google explains this new idea.
What This Means for SEO and Your Company
For most companies, this is not going to affect SEO or anything search related. The only thing to keep in mind here is that if you are a restaurant or work in the travel industry, you might want to urge your customers to use Google when filling out an email address. You not only want to prompt customers to use a Gmail account, but make it easy for them to add things to their calendar and Google+ or try to ask them to post photos from their vacation on Google+.
Although it might not be popular now, this new feature has the potential to become very popular in the future. The sooner you can get into the habit of thinking of search in this way, the further ahead of the game you’ll be when people start to realize how convenient Google is when traveling.