G Suite’s Cloud Search Gets Natural Language Processing

September 19, 2017 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Google has added natural language processing to G Suite’s Cloud Search function, allowing G Suite customers to search through workplace files, documents, and the like using the same kind of language they may use to ask a coworker a question about the item they’re searching for. Cloud Search can now accept relative, natural commands, which means that you can look for documents shared by a certain person, documents that need your attention, presentations shared on a certain day, schedule items of a certain type, and other broad queries. The Google Cloud Search app will show you information cards with relevant finds, letting you sort through the narrowed-down results list to find exactly what you need. The change should be effective immediately for all G Suite customers who use Cloud Search.

Google has been hard at work spreading natural language processing across their entire portfolio of products and services, in both the consumer and enterprise spaces. Getting users to the information and resources that they’re looking for faster is not just an attempt to keep users loyal to Google’s product suite, it’s the central appeal of Google Assistant, one of the company’s most ambitious cross-platform projects. Extending that to G Suite means that business as usual can go far more smoothly, with less time spent searching for important resources or information. Google is following a trend predicted by Gartner, whereby some 30% of electronically originated queries in the enterprise world would involve natural language.

Google Cloud Search itself is a rebrand and enhancement of the old Google Springboard service, and started to roll out in its current form back in February of this year. Google Cloud Search essentially takes all of the resources and information under a given G Suite management umbrella, and indexes them in much the same way as Google Search results, making it just as easy to search for a quarterly report from a few years ago for a different department as it is to search how to un-jam a printer. Google Cloud Search is available to all G Suite end users, so long as their administrators give their blessing, and can even be configured to not show results to employees who do not have clearance to view or edit them.