Google Brings ‘My Location’ To The Desktop

Knowing where a searcher is when s/he conducts a search is one of the big promises and opportunities in mobile search. Advertisers want the precise targeting, and it's also a convenience for the user who doesn't need to indicate a location when looking for products and services. There are already several tools and services that include location as part of the mobile search experience, but Google has added location-based web searching on the desktop via a new, beta version of the Google Toolbar. The new toolbar includes Google's "My Location" technology, which was introduced in 2007 for mobi [...]

Showing Off “The Innovation Machine” At Google

Google is almost uniquely situated among tech companies in that it can reveal very little about an event or announcement and be all but guaranteed that most of the journalists and bloggers on the tech beat in Northern California will show up to cover it. That's what happened today. Google brought bloggers and journalists into its San Francisco offices, on a beautiful 80+ degree day, to hear about ongoing innovation at Google Labs, together with a couple of related announcements. The two announcements were covered earlier by Chris Sherman and Matt McGee: Google Adds Search By Similarity To [...]

Google News Timeline Offers Powerful Search Options

In addition to the new similar image search, Google has also announced the addition of Google News Timeline as a Google Labs experimental service. Google News Timeline is what it sounds like -- a tool that lets you see news coverage over a period of time. A search for "somali pirates" showing weekly coverage looks like this: But it's also more than a simple news timeline, because Google has added a number of user controls that lets you customize the tool in several different ways. You can: choose from a variety of news types, such as newspapers, magazines, blogs, videos, images, [...]

Google Adds Search By Similarity To Image Search

Google has introduced a new experimental refinement tool that lets you click a "similar images" link beneath image search results and see a new screen of images with similar color, shape and other visual elements. The new tool has been released in Google Labs and isn't yet available in standard image search results. The similar images refinement is the latest in a series of tools Google has introduced to make image searching easier and more precise. These refinements include an a face filter, "exact size" filter, search suggestions and a color picker. Image search is "harder" than text [...]

Google Solicits User Input On Product Priorities

Barry spotted this via Twitter: Google has, somewhat quietly, launched a Product Ideas Blog. A related effort is the company's solicitation of ideas and their prioritization from users in a voting area. The first focus is on mobile. Users first must be registered but then can review, propose and vote on different ideas. The object is to generate and surface the top ideas and then, presumably, build them out. There are already lots of ideas there to peruse. Here are a few chosen at random (unedited): "Products Search in google maps. gmaps should show for every shop: the price, the lo [...]

Google Launches “In Quotes” Project To Compare US Presidential Candidates

Google has launched a new labs project named In Quotes. In Quotes allows you to compare quotes between the two US Presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama. For example, if Net neutrality is an important topic for you, just type in "neutrality" and up comes quotes from each candidate that you can scan through: This can be a fun tool to use in the upcoming elections but you should also be careful when using such a tool. Google themselves has a clear disclaimer at the bottom of the page that reads: Quotes and their speakers are determined automatically by a computer program a [...]

Google Expands Edit My Search Results Feature?

The Google Like/Don't Like feature, where you can move up results, hide search results, or remove search results, seems to have been expanded to a group of test searchers. We have reports from TechCrunch, Google Operating System, and Justin Hileman, with reports of users seeing this feature in the main search results. Justin does an excellent job taking us through each feature with screen shots. I personally have never seen an implementation of this on any of my searches. But I know Google has been testing this over the course of the year. [...]

Google Experimental Search Adds Info View & Map View

The Google Blog announced they have added some new features to Google Experimental search. Google has added map view and a new info view that allows you to show different results on the page. Let me take you through each new view. Google Experimental Map View: For example, conduct a search on search conferences in New York and up comes this page: Google will look for addresses and plot each result based on the address found for that result. Let's look a bit deeper at one that is close to home for me. I once wrote a personal blog post named Eating Kosher at Search Conferences where I me [...]

Google Like/Don’t Like: Move Results Up, Hide Them Or Suggest Your Own

Google has rolled out a new experimental feature that allows anyone to alter search results in the way they like. You can move good results higher, hide ones you think are bad and suggest your own. Google was spotted testing this feature with selected users back in August and September, and then Googlified spotted it going live this week for anyone to use. As you can see from the screen capture below, this new feature enables users to vote up a search result or completely remove a search result from the index. Clicking the up arrow will promote the search result to the top spot for that ke [...]

GOOG-411 Is Out Of Beta

The Google Blog announced that GOOG-411, Google's voice enabled search service, is now out of beta. To use GOOG-411 just dial 1-800-466-4411 (aka 800-GOOG-411) and listen to the voice prompts. As part of a promotion for GOOG-411 leaving beta, Google said they will unveil which Googler is the voice behind GOOG-411. Here is the video that announces GOOG-411's graduation from Google Labs: Google launched GOOG-411 back on April 6, 2007. And Greg Sterling had a nice post named Goog411 Voice Search and Speech Recognition. You can read our archives for more on Google Voice Search, plus checko [...]

Google’s Research Director Peter Norvig On ‘The Future Of Search’

MIT's Technology Review published an interview with Google Director of Research Peter Norvig that explores his (and presumably Google's) thinking about problems in search and "next-generation" search functionality that Google is working on. There's nothing strikingly new in the interview but it's an interesting overview and window into some of the current projects. Among them, Norvig emphasizes speech recognition and processing, both in mobile (i.e., Goog411) and hypothetically on the desktop. He also discusses getting users to provide more information ("natural language") or interact more w [...]

Google Experimental: Opt-In To Google User Interface Experiments

Google is constantly testing new user interface layouts that are presented to a randomly selected group of searchers. Each experiment sparks off a round of screenshots and sometimes hacks on how others can try out what's new. Now Google is making it easy for those who want to live their search lives on the edge. Google Experimental is a new service that allows you to opt-in to interface tests. Excellent. I'd wished for this back when doing a rant about all the testing last year. Thanks, Google! Postscript By Barry Schwartz: Here's a closer look at the user interface experiments being offere [...]

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