Google Inc. Is getting ready to add more features to its already dominant Web search engine – and some of the changes could give web browsers less reason to click thru to other sites. That eventuality might upset the creators of the material highlighted in Google’s results.
For example, one of Google’s new tools will assemble the work of other sites into a spreadsheet-style format. Unlike Google’s standard search results, the spreadsheet experiment, called “Google Squared,” does not simply show a group of Web links related to a search request. Instead, it fishes thru Google’s huge database to organize important facts and other content in rows and columns.
In a Tues. demonstration that was webcast, Google showed how a search request made about tiny dogs thru the Squared tool will display footage next to extensive outlines about different breeds, on Google’s own site. The content was brought in from other Web destinations.
The Squared results show where the info originated, so folk can still quickly go to the first source, recounted Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice chairman of search products. She stressed Google is attempting to keep its millions of users ecstatic by helping them make more “informed clicks.”
Google already is under attack by paper publishers who say the company unfairly profits by showing press releases and story pieces pulled from their sites. Mountain View, Calif.-based Google maintains that its practices stick to copyright laws and that it provides ways for papers to block their content from being indexed by its search engine.
Other revisions coming to Google will include more details, or “snippets,” posted under Web links in the search results. And there’ll be new options that may enable users to confine the results to a particular period of time or class, e.g. product reviews.
The changes are predicted to roll out in phases during the following couple of weeks.
Although Google sells advertisements all over the Web, the company rakes in its biggest profits when folks click the selling messages that appear alongside its search results. That is one reason Google is still trying to further dominate its lead in Web search, even though it already processes almost two thirds of all U.S. Searches , according to comScore Inc.
Even as it has laid off employees, cut back perquisites and closed disfavored services to help raise its profits in the recession, Google has promised to keep making an investment in research and development. “We are always attempting for the perfect or perfect search engine,” Mayer asserted. She suspects Google is about 90% toward its objective, but expects the final 10% to be the hardest.
The technology does misfire, as Google readily recognized Tues. . As an element of the preview at Squared, Google showed how a demand for info about plants returned a spreadsheet that encompassed a row for the sport of squash.
Guest blog post by Travis Holzman