Truth. Sometimes it's subjective. My truth isn't always your truth. It depends on the person's perspective, upbringing, environment and other factors. Science often is used to convince others that one truth over another prevails. Other times companies rely on technology to find the data that verifies truth pulled from a multitude of sources.
One of the more fascinating findings from Stone Temple Consulting's recent study on voice search involves the need for quick answers to find the best answer. But not just quick answers -- truth in answers. I'm not surprised. Mobile technology and the ability to access just about anything via the Internet fostered the need for instant answers. Some might call that impatience. Google calls it giving searchers what they need with less clicks.
When using voice commands on mobile devices, more than 60% want more results that answer questions directly, according to the findings. "People are very give-me-what-I-want-now orientated," said Eric Enge, Stone Temple Consulting CEO.
So I wondered whether Google and Bing would create another type of advertising system based on the fact that people want more direct answers. Google retired Answers in 2006, but relies on technology like Featured Snippets, Knowledge Graph and machine learning in its place.
"I'm clearly speculating, but can you imagine an AdWords-like system for a featured snippet, which directly answers the user's question," Enge said. "Keep in mind that AdWords is a pretty good system for surfacing the best ads because it's heavily dependent on click-through rates."
Enge said it would be very difficult for Google to get all the answers correct because the ad tech would have to weight CTRs and other related satisfaction methods very highly. "Google can't be in a place of allowing someone to buy truth," he said. "The answer would first need to be verified as being indisputably true."
As I sit on the West Coast in my cozy office reading the news about a country truly divided by politics on the day Donald J. Trump takes an oath to become the forty-fifth president of the United States, I can't help but have the meaning of truth top of mind.