Paging Dr. Google
Several Google watchers say they have discovered the secret formula search query to unlock the new "search for more" listings, as pictured here and here.
Typically, Google unleashes a new feature by making it first available in a limited geographic area for testing purposes, followed by a general release. It appears that the feature is well into its testing phase, given the number of sightings.
And on May 3, Google Vice President Marissa Mayer told USA Today to expect to hear more about Google Health at a May 10 press event.
A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company is testing the feature. "We have been doing a variety of research in the health area, including how to improve the quality of health-related search results," the spokesperson wrote in an e-mail. "We have nothing new to announce at this time."
The goal of all the tinkering at Google, as well as at Yahoo, Microsofts MSN, Ask.com and other Internet search providers is to gain a larger share of the $13.8 billion being spent on online advertising this year.
Creating new features that resonate with consumers, in theory, increases the number of Internet search queries, which then translates into more search engine revenues. Thats because each firm sells advertising alongside search results, and gets paid whenever a consumer clicks on the ads. So, the larger the audience, the higher the probability that someone will actually click on the ad.
Google Health is an example of how search engines are seeking a bigger slice of the ad pie by focusing on the quality of their results, rather than the number of Web sites being searched, as in the past.
For Google, that means opening up its "onebox," which is a search technology for creating mini-search engines. So far there are Google oneboxes for travel needs, musical interests, and now, apparently, health considerations.
But oneboxes also let Google do much more to diversify, like incorporating Google Images photos.
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