Few tech companies have achieved the level of success that Google has. Google has become synonymous with the idea of searching for things online, dominating the competition and consistently offering the best user experience. Beyond that, it keeps reaching into new territory, offering tech solutions for varied user problems, and constantly refining itself with new improvements.
As sophisticated and exciting as Google is today, its future may be even more phenomenal.
Google's Expanding Empire
Google has been slowly expanding into other areas of development (while still updating its core search product for the modern era) over the course of the past two decades. It has taken over email, maps and directions, cloud storage, and even virtual assistantship. Its search product has grown and adapted for new technologies like mobile devices, and has begun to shape the way we experience search with developments like semantic search and the integrated Knowledge Graph. So where does it go from here?
Predictions for Future Development
Based on Google's current lines of development and a bit of guesswork about its motivations, we predict six potential areas of development for the search giant:
1. Booking and trip planning
Various websites have risen to prominence based on their ability to make hotel booking faster, more informative, and easier for the average user. For example, this page for hotel rooms in Las Vegas features interactive maps, various hotels, different price points, nearby attractions, and more. What else could you need? But soon, Google may encroach on this territory. Already, Google is offering tidbits of information like the cost of hotels and estimations of flight costs based on data it pulls from travel sites. In the near future, it may expand these capabilities to become a seamless, all-in-one trip booking feature. This would certainly make things easier, especially for people who travel frequently for work.
2. More integrated shopping and checkouts
Currently, Google offers some forms of integrated shopping as a form of advertising. Companies can pay to have certain products featured in Google advertising, above organic search results, and if users decide to purchase them, they can, at which point they'll be taken to an integrated checkout screen. In the near future, Google may offer direct integrations with ecommerce platforms to make the search engine-company relationship even tighter, and provide an even better experience to end users.
3. 3D mapping
Google has already dominated the maps industry with Google Maps, but the next wave of development is making the maps three-dimensional. This will be important, not only for new technologies like augmented and virtual reality, but also for self-driving cars (which Google is also a leader in). In fact, Google is already beginning to research and gather data for a 3D mapping system, so don't be surprised when you see it emerge in the coming years.
4. Space exploration
Google has already helped contribute funds to organizations to facilitate further research into space exploration, but the next step may be the company taking the reins on exploration itself. The privatization of space exploration is becoming more of a norm, with companies like SpaceX emerging to push the limits of human potential. With Google's massive resources, penchant for pushing limits, and access to sophisticated technology, it's not unreasonable to think that the tech giant could be the force that gets us further into the depths of the universe.
5. Personal health and wellness
Google may also soon delve into the health and wellness industry. Its core search engine is already giving predictive answers to user questions, and is always improving the sophistication of its personalized search capabilities. If combined with in-depth medical knowledge and some means of tracking personal behaviors like eating and exercise habits, it could be a lucrative opportunity -- and one that could collectively improve the world's health.
6. Social good
Google's motto to not "be evil" has driven them to strive for more social good, and its massive access to capital makes it capable of even more grandiose efforts. In the near future, Google may start working on complex, global problems like poverty or hunger -- and its foray into the provision of free universal internet is an impressive start to this plan.
It's hard to say exactly when or how Google will develop from here. It will likely be a gradual transition; but it's exciting, to say the least. As a marketer, business owner, or even just a consumer, it's important to stay abreast of these changes, so you can make the most of them and adapt your life accordingly.