Google May 5 added more ways for users to pose, or slice and dice queries. These changes, which begin rolling out today across 37 languages with a mobile version available for English interfaces in the U.S., live in the left-hand panel and include content types and new, more relevant Search Options. Search refinement choices are tailored to be more relevant to each query. This effort, which advanced Google's Universal Search work, is the sort of advanced intelligence that could satisfy searchers conducting more advanced queries.
Google May 5 introduced
what may be the most comprehensive feature set for
the way users access its search engine, adding more ways for users to slice and
dice queries they put to Google.
, which began rolling out today across 37 languages,
with a mobile version available for English interfaces in the United States,
live in the left-hand panel.
Google now offers content type tabs to find the relevant content types for
each query a user makes, Nundu Janakiram, product manager for search at Google,
told eWEEK in an interview.
For example, the query "string theory" surfaces options to refine
search by everything, images, videos and books. A search for "red
shoes" returns different vertical search options, such as images, books,
videos and shopping. The query for the recently closed "nfl draft"
renders choices for updates, blogs and news.
Search refinement choices are tailored to be more relevant to each query.
This effort, which advanced Google's Universal Search work, is the sort of
advanced intelligence that could satisfy searchers conducting more advanced
Google also built out its Search Options, which included search refinements
regarding time, related searches, the Wonder Wheel and timeline. Previously
accessible via a button atop search results pages (SERPS), Search Options are
readily available under the content types.
Just as with content types, the crux of the refreshed Search Options is
relevance, so that Google doesn't "dump all of the tools on the page for
every single search," Janakiram said.
"What we've done here is select a subset of tools that are relevant to
a particular query and display them right in the interface," he said,
adding that Google hadn't yet built this technology when it first launched
Search Options in May 2009.
Returning to the query "string theory" returns the options for
related searches, Wonder Wheel and sites with images. A query for "big
green egg," a type of grill, returns shopping options. Users can, of
course, choose to see all options by clicking a button; Google is just trying
to shorten the route to the desired result.
Google also added new temporal relevancy features, including the ability to
detect a burst of new content from a breaking news event. For example, the new
search UI lets users refine search by the latest results, or for the past two
New refinements, titled "something different," borrows
functionality from the Google Squared
tool from Google Labs. For the query
"Rolling Stones," Google will offer other classic rock bands that cut
their teeth in the '60s and '70s, including Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Pink
Finally, Google refreshed the Google logo, lightening the drop shadow and
brightening the colors. Google also dropped the "wedding cake"
appearance of its footer for the SERP in favor of a cleaner design, Janakiram.
How will users take to these changes? Users comfortable with a service tend
to strongly resist change initially, then cotton to it over time. Or they run
off to another site, but neither Microsoft Bing nor Yahoo seems to appeal to loyal
The new changes make the left-hand panel busier for sure, but they are
unobtrusive enough and will actually help users looking to delve deeper into
The various extra buttons will lend some much-needed nuance to queries at a
time when users are expecting more information from searching Google.
Land's Danny Sullivan puts the refinements
through the ringer here