Latest Google Experiment Suggests Popular Queries

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-12-10 Print this article Print

The search giant unveils a Google Labs project that displays possible search terms in real time as a user types a query.

Google Inc. introduced an experimental search service Friday that automatically suggests queries as a user types search terms. Called Google Suggest, the service is similar to a feature in Googles main Web search that suggests alternative spellings after a user enters a query. Google Suggest instead works in real time, listing possible search terms in a drop-down menu below the query box. Google Suggest comes out of Google Labs, the Mountain View, Calif., companys test ground for new services. That means the company has yet to decide whether it will be generally released.
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"By offering more refined searches upfront, Google Suggest can make searching more convenient and efficient, because it eliminates the need to type the entire text of a query," Google representatives said in a statement. The service also has the potential to direct users to queries they would not have previously considered, Google said. Google Suggest displays search recommendations based on the popularity of searches conducted on and not on searches performed by an individual user or from a particular computer, Google said. Click here to read more about Googles first steps into personalized search. Google already shares some of the most popular search terms on through its Google Zeitgeist site. In practice, a searcher on Google Suggest who types part of a word, such as "progr," would begin seeing instant refinements, such as "programming," "programming languages," "progesterone" or "progressive," Google said. Just last month, Google introduced another Google Labs project called Google Scholar for searching academic sources such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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