Key Takeaways from Google's 2022 I/O Keynote

Author: Nick Oropall, Director, Platform Product Marketing
Blog Date: May 2022

As usual, Google's 2022 I/O Keynote was jam packed with updates to the Google products we use every day, as well as a look into some futuristic technology, which may be closer than we think. While the new Pixel phones, watch, and earbuds drove major applause from the crowd, some of the trends that stuck out to me were some of the advancements in search, augmented reality, and content generation.

Search is Multi-Modal

This has been happening for years now, but it is clear that Google no longer thinks of search as simply typing a query into a box. Voice search has been exploding for a while, but much of the keynote focused on photo and video search. "Search" is about taking in user intent, and providing helpful answers, no matter how the user runs the search or whatever the medium may be.

In the near term SEO strategy, we expect photos to become increasingly important (with videos following shortly thereafter). Every business needs a photo strategy using a combination of user generated content as well as professional photos. Google is beginning to show the power of user generated content, by using neural rendering to build a 3D model of the interior of a restaurant by simply using photos taken by its guests.

Augmented Reality is on the Horizon

Augmented reality has been put to the test by some of the biggest and brightest companies around the world. Everyone's favorite example (and perhaps the broadest success) was of course, Pokemon Go.

In this keynote, Google showcased a ton of work they have done that will advance the power and the possibilities of AR. This included live subtitles, business information, product information, and more. A massive area of investment seemed to be in local search and maps as the groundwork for another round of augmented reality glasses.

What this means tactically is that organizations around the world need to continue to provide Google as much information about your business as possible. This includes the standard NAP (Name Address Phone Number), as well as more rich content such as reviews and photos. Businesses that have a robust set of rich content will get to take advantage of new opportunities, and stand out in these new experiences.

Content Generation is Already Here

The last key trend that stood out to me was that content generation, seemingly the most futuristic trend of the bunch, is already here. Throughout the keynote, Google continually showcased the power of AI generated content.

This took the form of generating chapters in YouTube, generating subtitles in different languages, generating summaries of Google Docs (I cannot wait for this one), generating to-do lists, and even search results.

My big takeaway from this was that businesses around the world using content generation to scale content creation efforts is no longer a matter of if, but when. Who will be the first to take advantage of content generation to:

  • Fill out all the data on location listings by using just a photo of the store
  • Automatically build an entire website with copy and images from a conversation
  • Launch a chatbot by simply crawling your website

The future is closer than we think.

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