Google is Watching You

A new Google patent is calling forth shades of Orwell’s 1984. Filed on the 28th of February 2013, and published on the 14th of April 2016, the patent named Ranking Query Results Using Biometric Parameters, describes a technology that will make it possible for Google to observe your reaction to a search result through the camera on your phone. So yes, soon we’ll be able to say: Google (or the Big Brother of search engines) is watching you.

How will Big Brother be watching you?

As mentioned, you will be observed through your phone’s camera. It is said that the technology will be able to determine your reaction to a specific search result by analysing the following:

·         Body Temperature;

·         Pupil Dilation;

·         Eye Movement;

·         Degree of Facial Flushing;

·         Blink Rate;

·         Heart Rate.

How it’ll be able to monitor your body temperature and heart rate using your camera is a bit of a mystery but, then again, Google tends to be mysterious about all of its future updates. Even after updates have been implemented, we find ourselves, more often than not, faced with an enigma code that is impossible to crack. The best that we can do is to take Google’s word for it and make the necessary adjustments.

Why does Big Brother want to watch You?

This is yet to be clarified, but it would stand to reason that Google will probably use this technology to determine how satisfied users are with their search results and use the information to ensure that, in future searches, users are presented with results that they’ll be satisfied with.  

How will it work from a practical perspective?

If, for instance, you have a negative reaction to a search result, Google will, in all likelihood, record this reading and not only ensure that the result never appears again in your search results, but also compare it to other people’s reactions to the same search result and thus give it an overall satisfaction rating. If the overall rating is low, the result will be ranked low whenever a corresponding search term is used.  

What does this mean for SEO?       

Needless to say, if our predictions are correct, then this will be a big game changer in the world of SEO. Companies will have to ensure that clients are absolutely satisfied with their offerings or, even despite their other SEO efforts, they might end up at the bottom of the search results.

We don’t believe that all other SEO efforts will become obsolete, but it might be a good idea to start investing in content marketing, as this will add additional value to your client offering. By not only offering a product or service to your client base, but also giving them information-rich content, you might be able to elicit a few extra smiles. 

In conclusion or Should we be afraid of the Thought Police?

The idea of being observed through one’s phone is a scary one and makes one speculate about when and how this technology is going to be abused. From an objective perspective, however, it really is an ingenious way in which to capture people’s true reactions and establish how they really feel about things. These reactions will be true because they are instant - reactions that weren’t thought about and refined, or filtered through social media. Imagine what you could do with knowledge like that from a business perspective?