Google names top 10 improvements since 2004

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Google celebrates 10-year IPO anniversary

Google's head of search, Amit Singhal, has posted a blog that lists what he considers to be the search feature's 10 biggest advancements since 2004.

Singhal begins the piece by saying it "feels like just yesterday" that he and his family packed up their things in New Jersey and migrated to California in 2000.

He notes that one of the most memorable moments during his 14-year tenure was the company's initial public offering (IPO) in 2004, which happened exactly a decade ago this week.

Huge gambles pay off

Since the IPO, Google has bought YouTube, created Chrome, developed Android and launched the hugely popular Google Maps. All of these proved wise moves but, Singhal says, were "big bets" at the time.

According to Singhal, the top 10 improvements made to Google Search since the IPO have been:

  1. Autocomplete
  2. Translations
  3. Directions and traffic
  4. Universal search
  5. Mobile and new screens
  6. Voice search
  7. Actions
  8. The Knowledge Graph
  9. Info just for you
  10. Answers before you have to ask

He elaborates: "The heart of Google is still search. It's now so much better than just the 10 blue links of years past. In 2024, the Google of 2014 will seem ancient, and the Google of 2004 prehistoric."

Singhal also states that Google has made more than 890 improvements to its search function alone within the last year.

Carla Fazakerley, head of SEO at theEword, has said: "Google has made huge strides in the last decade - both as a company and a search engine. Because all these changes have happened gradually, they weren't as noticeable at the time, but when you actually look back now at how Google appeared and functioned 10 years ago, it's startling."