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Searching the Internet of Things

Already, the Internet is expanding from its traditional role inside the desktops and laptops of its users. Its presence is becoming ubiquitous, in our pockets, on our wrists, and even throughout our kitchens. This paradigm shift, accelerated by one of Google’s latest open-source projects called the Physical Web, will certainly affect the way people search for things.

The Physical Web ( aims to enable users of mobile devices a low fidelity way of interacting with everyday items. Vending machines, parking meters and radios could someday soon be controlled without downloading their corresponding application. Instead, the process would be similar to how devices connect with wireless networks. Nearby phones would recognize enabled devices and relay related information. TechCrunch reports that this “Internet of Things” is projected to expand to 50 billion gadgets by 2020, which will certainly affect how people search.

Companies will be interested in making sure that their device can be connected to by nearby. With users bombarded with hundreds of billboards and bus stops trying to supply them with information, premium placement in search results will result in increased traffic. Google’s dominance over search shows no sign of waning and their position as facilitator of this emerging technology suggests they will be atop this search process as well. However, how the ranking and optimization will occur has yet to be determined. This process, how devices are ordered, will almost certainly be the future of search engine optimization.

This article connects to topics we have discussed in class. Primarily, it is about search. While PageRank and other related algorithms have proven themselves to be dominant in traditional web search, the article speculates that new forms of search may be completely different. Now, SEO focuses on quality content and keyword research, but that may be completely different after physical web search begins. The article also discusses networks. The connection of devices which were previously unrelated presents very interesting possibilities for consumers and engineers alike.


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