Google’s Enhanced search feature.

August 28, 2008

in Internet,News

This week Google began rolling out its latest search feature, Google Suggest on its homepage. The new tool, which offers suggestions when you begin typing into the blank search box, was launched to help people who have difficulty defining their queries or are bad spellers.

Google Suggest is supposed to make searching more convenient. Say you’re looking for videos of Michael Phelps’s 100 meter butterfly race. The more keywords you type in, like “Michel Phelps 100,” the better Google gets at guessing what you’re looking for. Like other search engines, Google uses its own algorithms to anticipate what you’re looking for. Google already offers a similar feature, “Did you mean?” that corrects misspelled keywords after a search is performed on the homepage. The company has also promoted the suggestion function on YouTube, the Firefox browser Google search box and its Google Labs site.

The feature works like the “did you mean?” suggestions. Google Suggest also spell checks and specifies.It uses information about the relative popularity of common user searches to rank its suggestions, Suggest doesn’t formulate its suggestions based off of personal searches (as that would violate the terms of Google’s privacy policy). Instead, it starts searching for likely query terms a person is entering before they finish typing the words.

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