The internet is changing, says Google
Web must now have content that is rich, up-to-date and immediately useful
One billion people will be connected to the internet by the end of 2011, according to Mohamad Murad, Google's Gulf regional manager.
There are currently 35bn connected devices and the global population is 6bn in total, meaning there are more connected devices in the world than people.
"Today, not only our phones are connected to the internet, our music player is connected, our TVs are connected, our microwave is connected, probably even our fridge is connected, for every person, there are five connected devices," said Murad.
Google says the nature of search has moved from ten years ago, when people were usually looking for text articles on specific topics, often for research purposes, but this has changed to include many different types of data, which users are looking for as part of their daily lives. Users also expect to get up-to-date information from searches.
"We see 4bn searches globally per day, the UAE is a small percentage of that, but also because the internet is exploding, there are many more types of information on the internet, education, news, entertainment, flight information, geographical stuff etc. The nature of search has changed," said Murad.
"Today if you are searching for something on Libya, you really want to know what happened two minutes ago, you do not want to know what happened a year ago and that is the big problem. We expect Google to give results that are two minutes old and that is a challenge for us and we like a challenge," he added.
According to Google, the whole structure of the internet is changing significantly, it is no longer just pages, it is much richer, it is becoming much more mobile, it is also becoming social and becoming locally relevant to each country, region, city or town.
"In the last ten years there was massive adoption of mobile devices, but we were just calling people and SMSing and at best we were doing instant messaging. Today it is changing significantly; there are some areas in the world where people's first interaction with the internet was through a mobile device. Especially in large continents like Africa and India where there is no fixed line infrastructure," said Murad.
According to Google, by 2012, the number of mobile users and mobile devices will beat the number of standard PC's and PC users.
"The internet is becoming mobile. Some people argue that this is the decade of mobile, some say it is the decade of cloud computing, I say it is the decade of mobile because of cloud computing," said Murad.
Google undertook a global study to discover the impact of the internet on GDP's of various countries.
"We saw that although this economy [the internet] is very young, only ten years old, in places like the UK, it is contributing up to 7% of the GDP. In other countries that are slightly behind it is contributing 2 to 3% of GDP," said Murad.