Google Related Surfaces Relevant Content in Chrome

 
 
By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-08-17
 
 
 

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Aug. 16 is doubling up on an existing Google Toolbar feature that adds content relevant to Web pages by making it an extension for its Chrome Web browser.

When Chrome users are browsing a Web page, such as a news article, or retailer Website, the Google Related extension may display content relevant to the context of the Web page in a bar at the bottom the screen. Google said not all Web pages will include related content.

This bar remains minimized until users hover over it. Users can click to select the results, which will then launch into the browser window so that users needn't open new browser windows or tabs. Moreover, users can share Web pages they like by clicking the increasingly ubiquitous +1 button.

"Whether you're reading a news article, shopping for a new pair of shoes or visiting your favorite musician's Website, Google Related works in the background to find you the most interesting and relevant content on the topics you're currently viewing," Google Related Product Manager Ran Ben-Yair said.

"For example, if you visit a restaurant's Website, Related can show you a map, reviews from Google Places, mentions from across the Web and other similar eateries that you might want to try."

Ben-Yair warned that Related constantly tracks the URLs and other information about the Web pages users visit to improve its search result relevance.

Chrome users who have installed the Chrome extension who decide they don't want to see the Related bar for results can hide it for specific pages and sites through the browser options menu. Google Toolbar users can disable Related through the Toolbar options menu. Search Engine Land has the best overview of how Related works.

When Google isn't speeding up searches with its Instant predictive search technology, it finds other ways to cram more search results in front of users' eyes. For example, Google late last year launched Instant Previews to show users a sneak peek of search results they might be interested in learning more about before they click on results.

Google also just bumped its site links number from eight sitelinks to 12, with the notion of serving more content for users. Ultimately, Google is trying to do this to boost search result click-throughs, which leads to more ad impressions.

However, one possible consequence is that users could begin to find themselves fatigued by the additional content and pop-up windows from hovering over results.

Google.com was forged with a Spartan existence, but the company in the past year is finding more ways to crowd the user experience for profit. It will be interesting to see any pushback.


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