Google gets smarter…again

November 21st, 2005 by Merrilee

I noticed something new (to me) in Google over coffee this morning.

I was at a party over the weekend, and met a dog with so much personality that I wanted to know more about the breed. Naturally I went to Google.

I typed in “skipper key.” Do this search, and let your eyes wander down the page a little bit. I had the breed name wrong, (it’s schipperke, which I never would have guessed in a million years). But how did Google know that I was interested in “skipper key dog” since I only typed in “skipper key?” Now scroll down a little more to the “also see” references.

I’m sure I’ve missed some an announcement of new developments, although I do read John Battelle’s Searchblog so I feel fairly up-to-date. I’m throwing myself on your collective mercy. What’s going on here? When did Google start conducting reference interviews instead of just politely correcting my spelling?

And check out the schipperke!

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2 Responses to “Google gets smarter…again”

  1. G. Price Says:

    Google has been testing this and many other UI tests for months.
    Here’s a summary from August of some of them that my SEW colleague, Danny Sullivan posted. Btw, in addition to compiling ResourceShelf, I’m also the news editor at SEW.
    http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/050819-132509

    Btw, it’s very important to remember that Google isn’t the only large web engine doing exciting things. I think it’s crucial for the info industry not to forget this.

    Here’s one of my favorite tests that has been around for a year and is perfect for the upcoming season.

    http://shopping.yahoo.com/smartsort
    (Works best with IE)
    Create a customized list of results based on what is more or less important to you. The key thing here is the use of the sliders to change results. When I’ve demoed this site to hundreds of info pros they love it and could see the concept being used elsewhere.

    For example.
    + Full text books (more or less important)
    + ILL (how long can you wait)
    + Books in the stacks today
    + Reading level

    In this case, Yahoo has licensed product reviews from PC World (I think).

    Yahoo has a similar demo here:
    http://mindset.research.yahoo.com/

    Remember, this is all early “test” stuff.

    Want more? Just let me know. Btw, Ask Jeeves (no foolin’) is doing some great stuff. They are NOT the same company they were years ago. In many respects they are working to become a key ready ref search tool in addition to a web engine.

  2. Jill Hurst-Wahl Says:

    Thanks for pointing it out. I hadn’t noticed this feature.