If search engines could read minds

Published on
by Brafton Editorial
Search engine companies are developing predictive technology, but could that impact marketer's content creation efforts?

Hi, Lauren Kaye, here, with this week’s Content & Coffee with Brafton. If we’re being honest about how the internet, search technology and web content have affected our lives, I think we could say they’ve made them significantly easier. Click play to watch the full video, or read the text version below. 


Get lost on the way to dinner? Look up directions on your phone so you don’t have to stop a stranger on the street. Want to know the answer to a weird and or embarrassing question, like whether you will lose your hair by wearing a hat too much? Look it up on the ‘net and erase your search history rather than calling up your doctor and asking over the phone or drive yourself crazy wondering.

Most Americans think the internet has had a positive influence on their lives and I can’t blame them. The way Google is going, we might not even have to go to the trouble of asking these questions. Search technology has the potential to become so advanced that it anticipates the information we’ll need to know next.

Pew finds most Americans have a very positive opinion of the 'net.

Bing recently gave us a little taste of what predictive search technology can do. The search engine will show internet users its predictions for reality TV show outcomes. If you type in “The Voice predictions,” it will show you which contenders are most likely to move on or be “in danger,” based on web searches and social signals. Limited to reality TV outcomes at present, Bing suggests this could be used for much wider purposes down the road.

What if Google could predict companies’ earnings reports before they are released? Or election results? Would it discourage people from voting or buying stocks? It’s hard to say, but I think there’s enough reason now to step back and look at the current trajectory and consider how it could impact marketing plans. Would brands’ messages even have a chance to influence customers, or would search engines swoop in and steer their decisions prematurely?

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below, or by tweeting @Brafton. Catch you next week and happy content marketing! 

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