Laura Granka | 2008 Gain Conference

Laura Granka

Laura Granka explains that even though Google is good at finding answers, many people have trouble with asking the right questions. So, Google studies users, through eye tracking and testing, to come up with methods that improve the user experience. These design solutions anticipate the user's needs and offer suggestions, such as providing more kinds of results including maps, news, blogs and images. Granka notes that search will continue to change, and so will Google.

Laura Granka is a leading figure in the search industry. She has spent the past six years studying how people acquire information, in both online and physical environments, and has authored more than 20 publications and presentations on this topic. While completing her master’s at Cornell University, Granka was an early pioneer in the use of eye tracking to determine how users evaluate online search results. Working with a team of computer scientists, she applied that knowledge about user behavior towards improving result ranking algorithms. Granka has conducted search research for Google since 2004, leading the Search Quality and User Experience teams through a number of key launches. She is currently completing her PhD at Stanford University.