FTC ruling spurs Google transformation

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A positive ruling from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has enabled Google to ramp up the transformation of its search engine into an “answer engine”, reported CNN.

Recently, the FTC ended its investigations into Google, concluding that the company did not break any antitrust laws when the search giant endorsed its own products in its search results over those of competitors.

The FTC concurred that the recent updates were designed to improve and speed up the search experience, another step towards creating a search engine that can instantly answer queries just like the super computer in Star Trek. This decision has spurred Google to go ahead with its plans to further enhance its search engine, said Whit Andrews, an analyst at Gartner.

In the past few years, the search giant unveiled several new services that simply answer queries. For example, if you type “temperature” into Google, the search engine will display the local weather report. Likewise, researching famous people triggers the firm’s “Knowledge Graph”, which includes a picture and some basic information about that individual.

Queries on local businesses also lead to a list of Google maps and reviews, while the “Google Now” Android application delivers information based on a user’s interests without the need to use the search engine. In addition, a travel search brings up a list of flights and airfares.

Although these new features are very helpful, they compete with portals and online services that rely on the search giant for search traffic and could irk content providers with whom Google maintains a mutual relationship.