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May 17, 2007

Google Searchology Lowdown (Part 1)

I had the opportunity to attend Google’s Searchology event and found it very exciting viewing it from the paradigm of a member of the press. All major news organizations were there: SearchEngineWatch, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, ZDNet, PC World, Boston Globe, Forbes and Search Engine Land. I may have been one of only a few people who were from a Search Marketing Firm.

I will start with the most important news items first. Udi Manber, VP of Engineering, said that 20-25% of search queries each day are new, that’s an amazing fact – I didn’t realize how fast the world was generating new content and news. He also announced that Google will be launching a new search feature which will allow users to translate search results into another language on the fly, talk about making the content on the internet even more accessible.

VP of Search Products, Marissa Mayer created even more buzz (which now is old news) by announcing the launch of 3 new additions to the Google Search Experience plus one new Google Service:

1) Universal Search – The integration of results from other Google Search Silos such as Video, News, Books and Images into the regular Google Search Results. Marissa launched the query “Steve Jobs” and the results (in addition to text listings) showed Images of Steve Jobs, a video of one of Steve Jobs’ presentations as well as related news items.

2) Contextual search navigation options – After launching a search query users will now see other search options underneath the query text box. These search options are the most relative searches options based on the user’s query. See image below.

3) Universal Navigation Bar – Google also added a new top navigation bar which contains links to other Google’s services (which are now just a click away). This top nav will appear on services such as Gmail as well. See image below.

4) Google Experimental – Shows the latest “experiments” that Google is working on, users can sign up for experiments which integrates the experiment into the user’s search experience. Users will be given the ability to provide feedback to Google as well.

Some of the coolest parts of the event included Sergey Brin joining the Q & A portion of the event as well as hanging around afterwards to answer questions from the press. While I was having lunch with Matthew Glotzbach (Google’s Product Management Director), Larry Page came down and sat beside us and we had a great conversation on how Google’s job will not be complete until Google’s results are so relevant that only a single result is needed to satisfy a users query. Larry also thought that it wasn’t impossible for all content to instantly be indexed as its added to the internet – which is essentially the ultimate feat for any search engine.

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow as I will upload my own videos of Marissa Mayer’s speech as well as pictures from the event.

Author:  Manoj Jasra is the Director of Technology at Enquiro Search Solutions. He is also the publisher of the Web Analytics World blog