Google announced two new improvements to Google Search: an expanded list of useful related searches and longer search result descriptions. Yahoo and other search engines have been developing more refined searches and added media features to their search pages, perhaps putting pressure on Google to introduce some new features of its own.
Google launched two new improvements to its core search engine on March
The two upgrades include an expanded list of useful related
searches and longer search result descriptions.
In order to provide an expanded list of useful related
searches, or the hyperlinked terms that appear at the top or bottom of the
search page under "Searches related to [your initial query]," Google has started
employing algorithms that "better understand associations and concepts,"
allowing for an increased number of relevant and refined hits. This aspect of
Google Search now supports 37 languages.
For example, if you searched for "Red Hat," your related
searches would include "linux," "unix," "download linux," and the like - not the
terms you originally inputted, but results that Google feels may have relevance
to what you're looking for.
Google is also including longer snippets beneath each search
result, giving the user a more in-depth summary of the page behind each
hyperlink. This expanded snippet will also highlight the words from your search
query in bold, showing how they appear within the context of the linked
"When you enter a longer query, with more than three words,
regular-length snippets may not give you enough information and
context," Ori Allon, technical lead of Google's Search Quality Team,
and Ken Wilder, snippets team engineer, wrote on the official Google
blog. "In these situations, we now increase the number of lines in the
snippet to provide more information and show more of the words you
typed in the
context of the page."
Google has recently expanded other parts of its business, as
On March 19, Google and Sony announced that Google would make
some 600,000 free public-domain eBooks available through the Sony Reader, increasing competitive pressure on Amazon and its new Kindle 2 eBook reader,
which has a library of 245,000 titles.
Earlier in the month, Google
also faced some controversy over its use of interest-based advertising.
Privacy advocates say Google's "online behavioral targeting" collects excessive
amounts of user data, while Google has countered by citing that users have
granular control over what information the search engine collects.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.