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Google CEO Eric Schmidt envisions a radically changed internet five years from now: dominated by Chinese-language and social media content, delivered over super-fast bandwidth in real time. Figuring out how to rank real-time social content is "the great challenge of the age," Schmidt said
Social media content already is taking over, that's a pretty safe bet there Eric. Disgusting user-generated content will be everywhere and will need to be evaluated in real-time!
Don't think this one is going to come true - granted there are far more people in the world who speak Chinese, but at the same time English is spoken as a first, second, or business/trade use language in 115 countries and Chinese in only 13.
The number of people learning English in China is also now larger than the combined populations of the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. Add that to the number of people learning English in India and all other countries and I don't think Eric's right on this one.
I'm from the UK and I think it's a bit sad that over here we basically don't learn other languages (when compared to other countries), but English is essentially the 'world language' and its adoption is becoming faster and faster as China grows / develops, not the other way around.
I bet he's got a trick or two up his sleve, this Eric guy. He's telling everyone what has already happened. He's not telling the real trends Google plans to capitalize on. Nothing to see here, move along.
It's not like he's a policy wonk. His company profits by following the trends, not making them. His job depends on seeing the trends early on, and so far they've been pretty successful.
if we went to a chinese language version of webmasterworld right now, how could we reply to anything? but if we went to a french or italian or spanish or german one then it would be no problem.
What does "dominate" mean? Each user will just continue to see pages in their own language (maybe with Google in between translating in real-time? Would be a nice add-on for Chrome).
> chinese character keyboards...
Just regular qwerty-keybords, typing latin characters.
We can index real-time info now - but how do we rank it?
Seperately like you do for news. Combining those with general search will be bad for all searchers.
It's because of this fundamental shift towards user-generated information that people will listen more to other people than to traditional sources.
If I look up widget review maybe I'm interested in a random stranger's opinion, otherwise I'm probably looking for the official/traditional sources.
Today's teenagers are the model of how the web will work in five years - they jump from app to app to app seamlessly.
What does this have to do with anything? Is he saying websites will become web apps? He better hope not because that's probably going to be harder to index and rank than real time information.
So, how much did he get paid to play captain obvious? Sorry to sound cranky, but I find nothing new, unique or particularly tantalizing about his vision.
It was a 45-minute interview that covered a lot of topics. Just because Engine quoted two sentences doesn't mean that's all the man said. :-)
By the middle of next year, Internet surfers will be allowed to use Web addresses written completely in Chinese, Arabic, Korean and other languages using non-Latin alphabets, the organization overseeing Internet domain names announced Friday in a decision that could make the Web more accessible.
NYT: Internet Addresses Can Use New Scripts [nytimes.com]
Social media site's days are numbered as standalone sites, what they provide is quickly being integrated into every site thus... yawn.
Search is still the number one way to FIND what you want, especially when wanting to buy a product THUS being tops in search is still going to be a money maker AND spam sites/fancy new big money sites just cannot and will not be able to beat out small niche publishers who know their stuff (and their niche).
The net will not be very different in 5 years save for improved spam fighting techniques and more higher quality sites on page one of search results.
Quality is the future.
Search is still the number one way to FIND what you want, especially when wanting to buy a product THUS being tops in search is still going to be a money maker.
this is the most worrying thing as far as us webmasters are concered, i think. because coming top in the serps is not what it was.
look at google's new comparison ads, which they've just announced. they are selling stuff themselves now. the serps are being swamped with links to their own content. those new place pages are another good example.
everyone talks about how important it is being above the fold. but even if you come number one in the serps you frequently find yourself below two lots of ads, ten local business listings, a map and links to recent news items.
people are going to google to find something, only to be served google's own content. the websites in the serps are being shut out because they don't make google any money.
i think the future lies away from the search engines, at least as far as us webmasters are concerned. we will have to rely on other ways to reach people.
if you think about it, it's not ideal for people to rely on just one company to serve up an index of sites anyway. it's like relying one just one newspaper for your news, or one TV channel for your programs.
so i reckon search will move away from one-stop company pages like google.com and move onto a more social kind of thing, where the results are drawn from the community's surfing habits, maybe built straight into the browser.
five years from now, the idea that everyone relied on just one company, google -- or yahoo, or altavista -- to tell us what the web consists of will be a bit old hat.