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Google Announces Can't Be Missed Press Event On Search – What's Up?

Google’s announced a special press event for next Wednesday on search that “you won’t want to miss.” What big news could there be? Let’s speculate — but I wouldn’t get too excited.

Here’s what the invite says:

We invite you to join us on Wednesday, September 8, to share our latest technological innovation and to get an inside look at the evolution of Google search. Speakers include:

  • Marissa Mayer, VP, Search Products & User Experience
  • Johanna Wright, Director of Product Management
  • Ben Gomes, Distinguished Engineer
  • Othar Hansson, Senior Staff Software Engineer

It’s an event you won’t want to miss.

My guess is that this will be similar to the “Searchology” events that Google’s held in 2007 and 2009. This is a general update on things Google’s doing in search, usually peppered with a few product announcements, but nothing that dramatically huge. Last year, we got news of Google Squared, Rich Snippets and Google Sky.

This event features fewer speakers, though interestingly, it’s being held at San Francisco’s Museum Of Modern Art. Perhaps a clue there?

When Google Music Search 2.0 launched, it was at Capitol Records in Los Angeles. Google Ocean was unveiled at the California Academy Of Sciences. So is this an art-related thing?

Maybe. Or maybe not. Google Realtime Search was launched at the Computer History Museum — but there was nothing particularly computer historyish about that product.

That event, by the way, had virtually the same pitch: “an inside look at the evolution of Google search.” So what’s being announced is anyone’s guess.

Last clue. The first three speakers listed all deal heavily with Google’s user interface, the look and feel of how search results and options are presented. Ben Gomes was recently featured in the Mercury News on his work at Google. Othar Hansson has been involved with microformat support — things that make search descriptions more interactive. So maybe this will be related to that. More background on rich snippets is below:

Stay tuned. We’ll be liveblogging from the event when it starts at 9:30am Pacific Time.

Postscript by Barry Schwartz: I am updating this post the day prior to the big Google search event and I want to share my predictions for what Google may announce tomorrow. In short, I believe Google will be rolling out their HTML 5 powered search results interface. That includes showing more than 20 results per page, powering them via AJAX, updating the search results page as you type and other elements of making the page more ‘HTML 5’ified.’

Postscript: You can read our live blogging or learn how to watch the Google search event live at 9:30 PST by going here.

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