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New Google Features: Personalized Search, New Look, and Numrange



Importance: High

Google announces a number of new Google features that were launched last night. Especially interesting is the debut of personalized search in Google Labs. That one will be very interesting (perhaps the merger of Orkut and search is not that far off) :)

GoogleGuy Says: [Link to quote]

Hey everybody, I didn't see a link to the press release that we sent out last night yet. You can read about the new enhancements here:
http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/enhancements.html
There's a lot in there:
- Labs has a demo of personalized search. Tell us your interests, and then you can move a slider and see the search results change in real-time. This gives you a good look at how search can be improved by knowing what the user is interested in.
- Labs also has a new feature called Web Alerts. When the Google search results or new results change for a term that you enter, Google will drop you an email to let you know. Both webmasters and regular users can enjoy this. :)
- There's a brand new user interface. The UI team made tons of little changes make the UI cleaner and faster to get search results.
- Searching in Google News will now show thumbnail photos in the results.

Plus my personal favorite that I haven't seen mentioned yet: numrange search. For example, suppose you want to search for results about Mt. Everest, but you're actually interested in things like the base camp and events that have happened at a certain elevation. If you do the search
everest "21000..21500 feet"

then you'll results specific to that elevation. The base camp seems to be reported at anywhere from 21,000 feet to 21,300 feet, for example--this search will find all the references.

A few nice things to notice about numrange searching: in the example above, you notice that it works with phrase quotes. And if you check out the search results, you'll see that we can match a number even if it looks like 21,300 instead of 21300. It also works correctly with dollar signs. I was at a book sale this weekend and I actually saw some dude scanning books with a bar-code scanner attached to his phone. I noticed that the phone was a Motorola and the scanner was a Symbol. I did a quick Google search when I got home and found out the the scanner was a PSM20i. Cool. Now suppose I want to find out how much they cost. I do the search
psm20i $100..$500

and suddenly I get the web pages that mention psm20i and have a dollar keyword between 100 and 500. Kinda fun. Or suppose your rich uncle has died (in the United States) and you want to find out about the estate tax on all his moolah.
estate tax $750000..5000000

would find web pages with specific numbers for you. Or you forget the ratio between the weight of an electron and a proton. You know it's somewhere in the range 1/1800 and 1/1900. Don't worry, that happens to me all the time too. A search like
electron ratio 1800..1900

will give you the answer straight off: 1:1836.

You get the idea--there's a bunch of new ways to find data that numrange searches unlock. So enjoy the new UI and things like thumbnails in news search results. And have fun playing with personalized search and web alerts and thinking about the future of search. I know we have. :)


said at 12:44 PM (utc-5) | TrackBack (0)

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1 03/30/04 10:58 EDT David Leonhardt: Numrange could be VERY... View latest post