Google Working on Computational Search

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-11-12 Print this article Print

But Google isn't computing this data for users; it is merely crawling the Web and using the World Bank's API to access its data indicators. In other words, Google is doing what it's always done: leveraging its superior natural language prowess to speedily retrieve results.

In several tests of these charts, Google Watch found the response time to be sub-second when adding new boxes to the query of how many Internet users there were in specific countries.

During an interview with Google Watch, Ola Rosling, product manager for public data at Google, said Google intends to add more governmental data sources in the future, but declined to specify what public data Google is looking to index within its search engine.

Google Watch also asked him when Google was going to start calculating equations itself, rather than just surfacing the data from other sources. Rosling said:

"That's an interesting question. For now, we're focusing on much more lightweight usage. We're also not computing any numbers ourselves. At this point, we're not targeting that kind of usage. What comes in the future will be disclosed when it's ready, but it's an interesting idea."

Clearly, Google is working on it. Now that Bing is buddies with Wolfram Alpha, it will be interesting to see whether Google stays the course and pursues computational search on its own, or reaches out to Wolfram for its own data deal.

This isn't the first time Microsoft Bing and Google hosted dueling announcements. Microsoft Bing executives unveiled the Bing Twitter site for indexing tweets at the Web 2.0 Summit Oct. 21, only to have Google make its own Twitter deal pledge hours later.

Meanwhile, new stats from HitWise showed Bing made a 7 percent month-over-month gain in U.S. search-engine market share in October from September, notching 9.57 percent of the market. Google and Yahoo saw their shares drop by 1 percent, to 70.60 percent and 16.14 percent, respectively.

Bing's growth, tempered though it may be by Google's seemingly insurmountable share, is impressive when weighed against HitWise's stats from September, when it found Bing's U.S. search fell from 9.49 percent of in August to 8.99 percent.

Bing continues to crawl to double digits. Will Wolfram Alpha and Twitter help it get there?


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