Google: New Search Tools For The Discerning Googler


Google presented the new features Tuesday at Searchology, an event at its Mountain View, Calif., campus that the search giant called "a state of the union in search." According to a post to the Google blog, the event was the second-ever Searchology, following the 2007 meeting in which Google first launched Universal Search.

According to the blog post, written by Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products, and Jack Menzel, group product manager, Google Search Options is a "collection of tools that let you slice and dice your results and generate different views to find what you need faster and easier." In practice, that "slice-and-dice search" allows users to filter searches using more specific criteria, as demonstrated in a video on the Google blog.

Google Squared, according to Mayer and Menzel, is a spreadsheet program expected to launch later in May that will enable users to compare information generated from search queries in a spreadsheet format. For example, a search for "diet soda" might yield a spreadsheet that compares histories, branding information, nutrition facts and other bits of information about certain soft drinks.

Rich Snippets, according to Google, improves the information provided in Google search's snippets piece -- the descriptions that turn up underneath the main results in a Google search. On the blog, Mayer and Menzel show how a search for a restaurant brings up not only a snippet about the restaurant but "could include things like the average review score, the number of reviews and the restaurant's price range."

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In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mayer called search a "90-10 problem," in that there is still 10 percent of the ideal consumer search -- getting consumers the exact information they wanted in the exact format they wanted -- that proves elusive to Google.

It's hard to say that anything proves too elusive to the search giant, however -- its share of the overall search market remains enormous, and is growing larger.

The most recent data from ComScore, for March 2009, has Google at 63.7 percent of all Internet searches conducted in the United States. Yahoo is a distant second at 20.5 percent, with Microsoft at 8.3 percent, the Ask Network at 3.8 percent and AOL at 3.7 percent.