The Google Blog announced a few new features for Google search this week. First, they confirmed the realtime counter we reported earlier last week. Second, local search suggestions are now for cities around the world, not just in the US. Finally, Google Alerts for news based alerts is now improved.
In April 2010, Google made Google Suggest — which is now is calling “Autocomplete” — locally relevant, so that if you are in a specific city or metropolitan area, Google will tailor the autocompletions based on that area.
Google said they have extended the “hyper-local predictions” around the globe to every country that has Autocomplete. For example, those in Barcelona, Spain who start typing [rest] will be autocompleted to see [restaurants in Barcelona].
Google Alerts for News has been adapted to show you a more generic response of alerts for more generic queries. Google explained:
However, we’ve found many people are specifying general topics like “finance,” “entertainment” or even simply “news.” Up until this week, Google Alerts would return a long list of content from across the web about these very broad topics. This worked, but we realized it’s probably much more helpful to send you the corresponding section from Google News, since it seems like you’re looking for a digest of the big topics of the day. So we’re now including News sections in Alerts if you enter one of the following terms like: news, world news, business, entertainment, finance, health, science, sports or technology. This allows you to have your favorite part of Google News delivered to your inbox every morning.