[LINK] Google "More Search Options"

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Wed May 13 19:40:09 EST 2009


The Official Google Blog ... 5/12/2009 12:15:00 PM 

'More Search Options and other updates from our Searchology event'
 
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/more-search-options-and-other-
updates.html


Today we are hosting our second Searchology event, to update our users, 
partners, and customers on the progress we have made in search and tell 
them about new features. 

Our first Searchology was two years ago, when we were excited to launch 
Universal Search, a feature that blended results of different types (web 
pages, images, videos, books, etc.) on the results page. Since then 
Universal Search has grown quite a bit, adding new types of results, 
expanding to new countries, and triggering on ten times as many queries 
as it did when we launched it.

But as people get more sophisticated at search they are coming to us to 
solve more complex problems. 

To stay on top of this, we have spent a lot of time looking at how we can 
better understand the wide range of information that's on the web and 
quickly connect people to just the nuggets they need at that moment. We 
want to help our users find more useful information, and do more useful 
things with it.

Our first announcement today is a new set of features that we call Search 
Options, which are a collection of tools that let you slice and dice your 
results and generate different views to find what you need faster and 
easier. 

Search Options helps solve a problem that can be vexing: what query 
should I ask?

Let's say you are looking for forum discussions about a specific product, 
but are most interested in ones that have taken place more recently. 

That's not an easy query to formulate, but with Search Options you can 
search for the product's name, apply the option to filter out anything 
but forum sites, and then apply an option to only see results from the 
past week. Just last week, at our Shareholders' Meeting, I had a woman 
ask me why she couldn't organize her results by time, with the most 
recent information appearing first. "Come back Tuesday," I wanted to say!

The Search Options panel also gives you the ability to view your results 
in new ways. One view gives you more information about each result, 
including images as well as text, while others let you explore and 
iterate your search in different ways.

Check out a video tour here: (at above url)


We think of the Search Options panel as a tool belt that gives you new 
ways to interact with Google Search, and we plan to fill it with more 
innovative and useful features in the future.

Another challenging problem we have worked on is better understanding the 
information you get back from a search. When you see your results from a 
Google search, how do you decide which one has the best information for 
you? Or, how can we help you make the best decision about where to click?

We call the set of information we return with each result a "snippet," 
and today we are announcing that some of our snippets are going to get 
richer. These "rich snippets" extract and show more useful information 
from web pages than the preview text that you are used to seeing. For 
example, if you are thinking of trying out a new restaurant and are 
searching for reviews, rich snippets could include things like the 
average review score, the number of reviews, and the restaurant's price 
range: (at above url)

In this example, you can quickly see that the Drooling Dog Bar B Q has 
gotten lots of positive reviews, and if you want to see what other people 
have said about the restaurant, clicking this result is a good choice.

We can't provide these snippets on our own, so we hope that web 
publishers will help us by adopting microformats or RDFa standards to 
mark up their HTML and bring this structured data to the surface. 

This will help people better understand the information you have on your 
page so they can spend more time there and less on Google. We will be 
rolling this feature out gradually to ensure that the quality of Google's 
search results stays high. 

If you are a webmaster and are interested in participating, visit the 
rich snippets help page to learn more. 

 http://www.google.com/support/webmasters

We also showed a preview of a new tool that we're calling Google Squared. 

Unlike a normal search engine, Google Squared doesn't find webpages about 
your topic — instead, it automatically fetches and organizes facts from 
across the Internet. We'll be opening it up to users later this month on 
Google Labs.

These features really explore search from a broad and entirely new 
perspective. Because we realize that when you can't quickly find just the 
exact information or content you need or want, it's our problem, not 
yours. 

And it's a problem with plenty of room left for innovation.  Stay tuned.

Posted by Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products and User 
Experience, and Jack Menzel, Group Product Manager 

--

Cheers,
Stephen


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