Monday, February 26, 2007

Google Spell Checker

People make mistakes when they are typing their search queries. Google tries to correct them by their own spell checker which is based on 'occurrences of all words on the Internet'. This automated process of identifying typos means that there are chances that Google would wrongly flags correctly spelled words and tries to suggest a irrelevant alternative. In the screenshot, for instance, 'chile's population' (which is correctly spelled) is being flagged as a typo and Google tries to suggest 'china's population' as an alternative. Obviously in this case, where China being the most populated country in the world would definitely have a higher occurrence in all the words on the Internet (searching for 'China' in Google return approximately 639,000,000 while 'Chile' only returns 211,000,000). To improve the situation, Google users can: give feedback on ridiculous suggestions using the 'Dissatisfied? Help us improve' link at the bottom of the search result page. While Google can lower the minimum word occurrence which flags keywords as typos.

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