I joined Google on May 10th, 2010 and got this plaque to commemorate my 10th anniversary.
10 Years at Google
The company has grown and changed a lot over the years. In some ways I feel that Google is a different company every year. Always evolving rapidly, every system continuously improving or … deprecated and rewritten.
At the same time the core has remained constant. The bottom-up nature of innovation while frustrating (“why can’t we simply ask the VP to mandate X?”) is extremely empowering. The values still strong: while the company does stumble occasionally (we are not perfect), I strongly believe it is fundamentally a force of good in the world which is very important to me personally and makes me proud to be here. I agree with Peter Drucker (thank you Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley for introducing me to his writings): businesses need to deliver way more than return on investment, and Google always strives to do that.
Most importantly, the people I had the privilege to work with at YouTube, Google Search and now Google AI / Google Research have been inspirational and continue to reinforce my impostor syndrome daily 🙂 Same applies to Google partners and external collaborators I met along the way: you have helped me grow for which I am grateful. I hope that together we will overcome these uncertain times.
The 100 days of Google Dev are in full swing so I thought I’d highlight a few of my favorite videos you may have missed. The list is obviously biased and highly subjective, but you already knew that. Over the past several quarters our Search team at Google has been busy adding capabilities that make it easier for mobile app developers to integrate with Google Search. Starting with App Indexing, through Voice Actions, the Knowledge Graph and Google Now on Tap, there are a lot of new products and APIs your app can integrate with. Why? The benefits include better user acquisition (read: app installs), more user engagement (read: rather than sitting idle, your app is actually used) and, last but not least, user delight (read till the end to see what I mean).
Let me walk you through what’s new.
Voice Interaction API
The Voice Interaction API is new in Android M. It allows your app to carry on a conversation with the user. While previously one could trigger an app using voice actions, this API takes it to the next level by allowing your app to maintain a dialog with the user. Learn more form this video by Sunil Vemuri and Barnaby James.
Remember Webmaster Tools? No? That’s fine. Search released a new and improved version called Search Console, which lets you debug and analyze your Google Search performance. This includes troubleshooting App Indexing integration issues, which is very handy. To see how this all works, check out the video by Mariya Moeva.
AdWords, App Indexing and Analytics
While App Indexing brings organic user acquisition and engagement to your app, some people want to pay Google money, which I think is totally cool. Check out how you can do that through AdWords and how it all fits together by watching this overview by Jonathan Alferness and Scott Huffman. Both of them are VPs. You’ve been warned.
The Knowledge Graph
I have to admit that the Knowledge Graph is one of the coolest projects I got to work on at Google. To learn more about it check out my post on Medium, but here’s a new feature we’re rolling out – video actions and reviews. My colleague Satyajeet Salgar gives a nice overview in the video below.
Putting it all together
As you have probably figured out by now, Google Search has a number of products and APIs available for developers. In this video, Vivan Lum puts it all together. Vivan gets bonus points for the demo, so pay attention, yo.
Now on Tap
My favorite new Search feature announced at I/O is Now on Tap. It offers contextual assistance and leverages the Assist API, which is new in Android M. To see it in action check out the I/O keynote demo by Aparna Chennapragada. Developers can integrate with Now on Tap by implementing App Indexing.