Google toys with pre-emptive search

The web giant has said it is exploring new ways of providing people with data before they have asked for it, based on their location and browsing history

Google is working on a service that finds information before a user has even started looking for it.

Marissa Mayer image

Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of geographic and local services, announced a pre-emptive form of search at the Le Web conference. Photo credit: Natasha Lomas/

In contrast to Google Instant, this service is about pre-emptively pushing data at users before they know they need it, said Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of geographic and local services, at the Le Web conference in Paris last week.

Mayer said that Google is looking at what she called "contextual discovery" as a way to evolve search — pushing information out to people before they have started to look for it, based on factors such as their web-browsing history or current location. "We're starting to play around with some new concepts in how to find information," she said. "Can we take location and a user's context and figure out what piece of information they need? It's kind of search without search."

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Google: We'll find info before you know you need it on

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