In 1998, a new search engine from an obscure startup launched. It featured a logo, a text field and buttons for search and “I’m Feeling Lucky” — and not much else. Its name, as I don’t actually have to tell you, was Google, and it changed the way that the world interacted with information.
It’s tempting to think of Google search as something that hasn’t evolved radically over the years, in part because the Google.com homepage hasn’t changed much — the logo, search field and dual buttons are all still there. Even the results, which now weave in images, videos, Knowledge Graph summaries and other elements, are still dominated by straightforward text results of the sort that many a would-be Google rival has derided as “ten blue links.”
Under the surface, however, Google has changed plenty, in increasingly profound ways. The way we interact with it has also…
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