When Google first unveiled key details about their Google BigQuery early last year, it shook up the search engine industry from the perspective of businesses who rely on the search engine giant for their traffic, and industry experts whose jobs it is to anticipate and optimize their clients’ content for the best search engine placements. But exactly how will Google BigQuery really affect search?
Google BigQuery in a Nutshell
As Google describes it, BigQuery is essentially a cloud-based service that allows them to take advantage of their massive computing resources and their experience with algorithms in order to properly use large data sets.
One of the main benefits of BigQuery that Google promotes is that it has the ability to massively speed up the analysis Google ad data, while at the same time call on and process huge data sets from external sources.
Google’s own product manager for the Cloud Platform Team, Ju-Kay Kwek, describes BigQuery as an array of SQL and GUI-driven SQL analyses of tens of terabytes of data per customer, with the difference being that it requires no indexing nor pre-caching. Additionally, users are promised to get fine-grained analysis of all their data without any summaries or aggregations.
BigQuery’s Effect on Search
The effect of Google BigQuery on search can be understood by using a previous project called Dremel as an example. Back in 2010, when Google released details on Dremel, the academic community were surprised, because the software platform pools the computing power of hundreds of servers in order to run queries on multiple petabytes of data (millions of gigabytes) within a matter of seconds. To industry experts, what Dremel proposes to do was next to impossible with current technology.
With Google BigQuery, the Dremel project is essentially made real, and it gives this much power to anyone, provided that they format their own data (using the CSV or JSON standard) and upload it on Google’s own cloud storage. What this means is that Google has effectively crowdsourced information on their servers, allowing individuals and companies themselves to offer their own data to Google, and with BigQuery’s ability to make sense of big data (something that it only had limited ability to do so in the past), its search engine will be able to offer much more relevant results that are not as easily gamed like it was in the past.
For normal search users, Google BigQuery probably won’t be too noticeable, except for the fact that irrelevant and spammy search results may become a thing of the past, replaced by search results and direct-to-business content that might be virtually indistinguishable from each other.