Google launches new features at Searchology 2009

By Amanda Sides | May 18, 2009
More Articles by Amanda

Matt Cutts reports on Searchology 2009 content and gives tidbits about Google that you may not have been aware of before.

Google Search Options. Referred to as a handy “toolbelt” by Marissa Mayer. This feature allows you to have a customization option to filter your search results. Simply click on “Show options…” link and then choose from the available links, such as related searches, wonder wheel, and sort by time, to filter your results displayed.

Google Squared. This Google Lab is said to be scheduled to launch later this month. You can type a search query and Google tries to build a “square” that can be saved. The example Matt Cutts gives is with the query “small dogs”. If that is what you search, Google will returns types of small dogs, along with a few facts about each type. You can customize your square by adding rows for the different types, along with new columns (i.e. “energy level”). Google will try to pull facts from across the web to fill in your requested square data.

Rich Snippets. When a search result may be more useful or relevant to what the searcher queried, Google may serve up the “rich snippet” that will offer more information. Data displayed includes things like price relevance, and ratings/reviews.  The data is found from around the web, so any search engine could formulate their own rich snippet to display.

Google SkyMap. This converts your Android-powered mobile into a “dynamic window on the night sky”. You can point your phone upwards, see a map of the brightest stars, planets, or constellations in that vicinity. This will help educate you on names of stars or constellations that you may be curious about.

Matt Cutts Summarizes some Tidbits he picked up from the event:

Spell Check. Matt Cutts describes several internal code names used for Google’s spell check features.

“Did you mean:” This is the normal spell check feature that offers an alternate spelling of the search query above the displayed results. “Cameleon” was a more aggressive feature that displays the alternate spelling suggestion in the middle of the page. This yields regular results for the query searched at the top, then the spelling suggestion with results for the alternate spelling underneath it. The last suggestion code name is “spellmeleon”. This is used when Google thinks you really botched your query and gives you a suggested alternate spelling first, with results that would be displayed from that, and then gives you the results for what you actually searched on. Another tidbit about search queries and results: if you type in “+ipodd” instead of “ipodd”, you will simply get results for “ipodd” and not the spellmeleon results for “ipod”, and then “ipodd”.

Miscellaneous Tidbits:

Mobile Search Results: Cutts says Scott Huffman revealed news about mobile search results that not everyone may be aware of. They are blended between results from the mobile web and regular search results.

Universal/Blended Results: This tidbit comes from Marissa Mayer- Approximately 1 in 4 searches will yield a universal/blended result on Google. She also mentioned that on any given day, 40% of searches are repeat searches. Cutts points out the ambiguity of this statement saying he’s not sure whether that implies a repeat search of a search done that day or just a repeat of a past search in general.

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