This week, Google introduced a number of search capabilities that promise to broaden its search reach and continue to keep would-be competitors like Microsoft's Bing and Yahoo under Google's thumb. Here's how Google is doing it:
1. Google Real-Time Search
Google this week said that it would integrate realtime search results in search engine queries, meaning that social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace that have content based on realtime status and other updates will be more easily found on Google. Microsoft's Bing also offers realtime searchability from social networking platforms, but the breadth and depth of Google's realtime search capability appear to be stronger.
Burning question: What does Google need to do to make that realtime capability even more comprehensive?
2. Google Goggles
The new Google Goggles allows users to take photos of something they're trying to identify using a mobile device (for now, an Android mobile device). Google's visual search will capture the image and return information, as if a user had typed in relevant search terms.
Burning question: When will Googles, available for Android phones, be made available for other platforms? And will it?
3. Google Favorite Places
Google is apparently providing more than 100,000 bar-code decals to various businesses around the country. Google is hoping that those businesses will post the bar codes so that mobile device users -- iPhone, Android and BlackBerry alike -- can scan those bar codes and instantly call up information such as reviews and promotions related to that business.
Burning question: Will businesses find Google Favorite Places as helpful a promotional tool as, say, offering coupons through Twitter or advertising promotions in Facebook communities?
4. What's Nearby for Google Maps
Google's What's Nearby for Google Maps is a mobile device feature through which users are supposed to be able to find landmarks, businesses and other local attractions based on where they are. Google also said it had updated Google Suggest to customize search results based on location. Typing in certain beginnings of words will yield different results depending on the city.
5. More languages in Google Voice Search
Google's voice search feature now supports Japanese in addition to English and Mandarin.
Leave a comment in the ChannelWeb Connect community and let us know what, if any, of these new features grab you. Which would be most effective if adapted for broader business use?