Google Numrange (Number Range)
GG provides some example of how to use the new Google Numrange feature.
Yup. Normally features just sort of trickle out at Google and we don't really announce them that much, but every often we save them up a little bit. It helps people realize that there's often a lot going on at Google behind the scenes to improve search.
Here's another fun way to use numrange search: businesses along a stretch of road. For example, the main little downtown area in Mountain View, CA is along Castro St. It's a great street to walk down and get a slice of pizza, buy a candle, or read a book. So a search like
"100..900 castro" mountain view
is a good way to see some of the stuff in downtown Mountain View. You can even hack up your own little version of a local search. Imagine that you know Portland, Oregon zip codes are often in the range 97201 to 97272. A search like
lets you find web pages that mention the word 'guitars' and also has a number in that range.
The thing that I like about numrange search is that it shows some of the core improvements in our indexing/scoring infrastructure that Google has built behind the scenes. Stop and think for a minute: for the last 9-10 years, most search engines have relied on searching for a simple list of keywords, then processing the documents that match. Searching for web pages that match anywhere in a range of numbers gives a glimpse into more powerful indexing and search capabilities than just matching on a single keyword. Sometimes that power will be visible (e.g. numrange) and sometimes it won't be as visible, but my takehome point is that Google is never content with search as it is today. We're always looking for new types of data to search, new ways to search it, and innovative ways to make that search better. It's one of the reasons I love coming to work every day. :)
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