Sunday, October 25, 2009

This week in search 10/24/09


This is part of a regular series of posts on search experience updates that runs on Fridays. Look for the label "This week in search" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

On Wednesday, we announced our newly-formed partnership with Twitter. This will help Google users find more up-to-the-minute, real-time data in the search results. We will be including tweets in our search results and bringing them to you when they are most relevant, and we will also be building a real-time search that includes Twitter and other providers. This week's announcement is just the beginning of our collaboration; stay tuned for upcoming products and features that focus on real-time search.

Social Search demo
At the Web 2.0 conference this week, we demonstrated a new product called Social Search. Due to the ever-increasing popularity of social networks, we've been thinking about how your social network could influence and improve your search results. Social Search does just that by surfacing content in your search results that is written by your friends or people you follow. That way, you get the best resources from the web overall, plus the best results (blogs, reviews, travelogues) that are relevant to you, since they were written by people you know. Social Search will be launching soon on Google Experimental and Google Labs.

Recommendations in Google Reader
This week, we also launched recommendations in Google Reader. This may seem far from search, but it is actually built using technology pioneered in search. The personalized ranking piece uses some of the same techniques as personalized search. The "Popular items" piece builds on our "What'! s Popula r" gadget from iGoogle. We're very proud of both of these features, as we think they represent an interesting application of search that will help users more easily find content that they want to read.

New look-and-feel on maps
We have updated the way that maps render on Google Maps, and it is our biggest change in almost 5 years. The changes are subtle but significant. The blog post with the announcement has some very interesting before and after examples. The impetus of this change is to improve usability and readability and literally help people find where they are going faster — our goal both on the web with search, and in the physical world with maps.

Hope you enjoyed this week's features. Stay tuned for what's next!

Posted by Marissa Mayer, VP, Search Products & User Experience