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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Google Adds Four Search Flavors

Google announced four new search features at its annual meeting yesterday. Google Co-op works with partner companies that associate tags to URLs (from any website, not just pages internal to that organization), and the tagged results are added to the search results. Users subscribe to an individual company's tags; Digg and Fandango are among the players who've joined and many more will likely follow suit.

This is an extension of the idea of Google Base for adding tags to describe content, but instead companies are tagging other sites. I would think that Google would eventually allow an easy way to aggregate and filter out the most accurate of the descriptions, because the search results could get really messy as each tagger is likely to use slightly different semantics. Openness is great, but a Wikipedia approach of approving the tags would streamline the process for users.

Google Trends shows the search volume of terms over time to show surges in popularity. The results can show the areas (city, state, and international level) where the keyword is the most popular, and you can also graph the results by month or year. The graphs don't show absolute numbers, only relative amounts of searches. Google will generate interest in keywords to a broader audience, but more in-depth analytics are needed for biz users.

Google also updated Desktop to version 4, and introduced Google Notebook, a plug-in that collects information from Google searches as well as following user travels online. Obviously Notebook will be used for Google to sharpen its behavioral marketing skills. Notebook works for registered users only, which should allay some of the privacy concerns.

While Google is diversifying with its software products and WiFi initiatives, the company isn't about to give ground on its bread and butter search technology. They've now got more flavors Baskin Robbins, and the fragmentation will only continue.

Found via Computer Business Review.

By Jason Dowdell at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

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