As Google Search celebrates its 25th birthday, the goal of delivering high-quality information to everyone remains the same. With 15% of daily searches being unique, constant improvements are necessary to stay relevant. Google has made thousands of improvements to Search each year, leveraging advancements in AI to reimagine its capabilities.
The journey of Search in Asia Pacific began in 1998 when Google started as an English-only service. Recognizing the need to cater to users in different languages, Google expanded to include Japanese, Korean, and Simplified and Traditional Chinese within two years. This made Search available for 75 million web pages in Asian languages, enabling more users to find content in their preferred language. Subsequent expansions and improvements have led to Search being available in over 40 Asian languages today.
Establishing an office in Tokyo in 2001 marked a pivotal milestone for Google’s presence in Asia Pacific. It provided an opportunity to better understand the region and enhance products accordingly. As language support grew, Google introduced machine learning translation to enable users to access web pages written in other languages and translate them into their preferred language. This feature was launched in India in 2017.
In addition to expanding language capabilities, Google has introduced new ways to search for information. Voice Search, launched in 2008, allows users to speak their thoughts instead of typing them, which has gained popularity in India. The ability to listen to search results was also introduced, starting with Hindi and five other Indian languages in 2021. Furthermore, Google has enabled searching with the camera and recently introduced a search experiment in Japan and India using generative AI to enhance understanding and exploration of topics.
Throughout its journey, Google Search has prioritized accessibility and inclusivity, ensuring that users have access to information in their preferred language and can utilize various forms of input, such as voice and visual search. The continuous improvement and expansion of Search demonstrate Google’s commitment to delivering the best possible search experience to users in Asia Pacific and beyond.