Google adds tools to help search users dig deeper

Google unveils Search Options and Google Squared at 'state of the union' event

Saying that its users are becoming increasingly sophisticated, Google Inc. today unveiled a list of new search technologies geared to help users 'slice and dice' their Google search results, along with a new tool to help them cull information instead of web pages.

The news came today during an event dubbed Searchology, which was held at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. and streamed across the Internet. A spokesman for Google called the event a "state of the union for search."

"As people get more sophisticated at search they are coming to us to solve more complex problems," said Marissa Mayer, vice president of Google's Search Products, in a blog post. "To stay on top of this, we have spent a lot of time looking at how we can better understand the wide range of information that's on the Web and quickly connect people to just the nuggets they need at that moment. We want to help our users find more useful information, and do more useful things with it."

One of the features announced today is called Search Options, which is a collection of tools designed to let users better "slice and dice" their search results so they can manipulate the information they're getting. Mayer said the tools should help people who struggle with what exactly what query they should pose.

"Let's say you are looking for forum discussions about a specific product, but are most interested in ones that have taken place more recently," she wrote. "That's not an easy query to formulate, but with Search Options you can search for the product's name, apply the option to filter out anything but forum sites, and then apply an option to only see results from the past week."

One Search Options tool is geared to give users more information when they do a search. For instance, instead of just getting results in text form, they could have the search engine return images as well as text.

In that same vein, Google also is adding more information to its results snippets - those little pieces of text that tell you about the site that's been pulled up. If you're searching for a hotel, for example, the snippet won't just tell you the name of the hotel and where it is - now it could tell you its price range, number of stars in customer reviews and the number of reviews listed.

Google can't make that information available on its own, though. The company is asking web site authors to add microformats or RDFa standards, both of which are geared to allow information, like contact data, to be automatically processed by software.

The company also showed off a preview of a tool they're calling Google Squared.

This tool, unlike most search engines, doesn't pull up web pages that hold information about the search query. Instead, it pulls up information from different sites and presents it in an organized manner.

Google Squared is set to be released to users as part of its Google Labs program later this month.

"These features really explore search from a broad and entirely new perspective," said Mayer. "Because we realize that when you can't quickly find just the exact information or content you need or want, it's our problem, not yours."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Googlegoogle searchSearchology

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?