Thursday, May 17, 2007

Google Searchology - Marching Towards Universal Search

Today is a big day for Google with all the exciting announcements that further enhances the core of Google's great empire - search. From day one, Google aimed themselves to become the universal search engine that ultimately search across all its content sources, compare and rank all the information in real time, and deliver a single, integrated set of search results that offers users precisely what they are looking for. Beginning today, Google will incorporate information from a variety of previously separate sources – including videos, images, news, maps, books, and websites – into a single set of results.

"At first, universal search results may be subtle. Over time users will recognize additional types of content integrated into their search results as the company advances toward delivering a truly comprehensive search experience."
- Google Press Release

Here are the three major upgrades:

The Power of Google Technology
Google has begin their first stage of an upgraded ranking mechanism (PageRank) that automatically and objectively compares different types of information. As always, Google search results are ranked automatically by algorithms to deliver the best results to users anywhere in the world. Most of this innovation addresses basic ranking algorithms and is often not obvious to users. Users just see more accurate results, more often, in more languages, which is our primary goal.

New Navigation Features
New dynamically generated navigation links have been added above the search results to suggest additional information that is relevant to a user's query. For example, a search for "python" will now generate links to Blog Search, Book Search, Groups, and Code, to let the user know there is additional information on his or her query in each of those areas. As a result, users can find a wider array of information on their topic, including data types they might not have initially considered.

Google's homepage and a number of applications (e.g. Gmail and Picasa Web Album, etc.) have also been updated with a new navigation bar on the top of the screen to provide easier access to popular Google products. Now, instead of having links above the homepage search box, users will see a navigation bar on the top left side of the page with various Google search properties and popular products including Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs & Spreadsheets, and Picasa Web Albums.

Experience the Experiments
Google also announced today a new experimental version of its popular search service called Google Experimental, available on Google Labs. This new test site provides users an opportunity to try out some of the latest search experiments and innovations and provide Google with feedback. One of the first experiments to be featured on the site enables users to view their search results on a map or timeline. For instance, when someone searches for "Albert Einstein" on Google Experimental, they can choose to view the search results on a map that shows locations mentioned within web pages about Albert Einstein or on a timeline that illustrates the history of Albert Einstein's life.

Related: Press Release | Official Google Blog | Search Engline Land

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