Google Lens Visual Search Tool

What’s this about?

This is an extract from The Week In Search SEO Update for w/e 19th May 2017.

Google has announced its Google Lens Visual Search Tool, a rather nifty app that allows you to search for things in your mobile’s camera viewfinder and (if the structured data is right) act upon the results…

#SEO #GoogleLens #MobileSearch #StructuredData


 

Google Lens – Visual Search Tool Coming 

Google Lens Summary:

  • At Google’s recent I/O conference they announced the upcoming Google Lens search app / service.
  • This will be a visual search tool, based on what’s visible through the phone’s camera lens.
  • Using AI (isn’t everything?), they will go further than simply identify what an object is, and provide contextual actions based on the subject in focus. EG, restaurant details / reviews, movie times or tickets etc.
  • Information returned is likely to be based on structured data.

TWIS 19 May 2017 Google Lens

How to rank for Visual Search:

  1. Ensure your structured markup is fully up to date.
  2. Make sure event times, ticket prices, reviews, opening times etc are correct and working.
  3. Use the developer tools in Google Search Console to test your markup.
  4. Use fonts and layouts on signage that make it easy for visual search apps to look at and interpret.
  5. Contact me to discuss this, or for help with implementation.

Google Lens Discussion:

At first I thought Google was having a Back to the Future moment and resurfacing the Google Goggles app, but it seems this goes a step or two further with the critical shift in information retrieval based on the contents of the image – not just a simple answer to a “what is” query.

One thing that this highlights is how far ahead AI / machine-learning is for images over text comprehension, where it is still rather basic. Google has been moving quickly with this, with step-change advances in Google Photos – mainly built on the heuristics advances within mail server anti-spam programs which ensured certain types of images got filtered. .

I can see this being useful, especially if Google’s voice search fails to comprehend your accent, or language style, or if typing a search on a mobile is just too cumbersome.  The likelihood is this will be a toy for a while, until you realise it’s easier to snap and retrieve the details than fight with voice search.

It’s not yet known if Microsoft is miffed due to the naming similarity with its Office Lens app.

More info:

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