It’s often said, “to get the right answer, one must ask the right question”. This adage holds true even the domain of internet search and Google. No matter how simple and intuitive Google Search is, you just won’t reach the right information without the correct query. Thankfully, the guys at Google keep trying to make our lives easier and their latest effort involves adding a whole bunch of search options that will help you get by more easily. The recently added search options panel lets you view search results in different ways. For instance, very often we’re interested at looking at only reviews of a particular product and not other general information. For this, just click on reviews under the search panel and you’ll get access to only reviews of that particular product. You can then apply additional filters from the search panel such as results only within the last one week or year. You can even switch to the timeline view to see the chronology of the information in a graphical format or see how the topic has evolved over a certain period.
Like reviews, people also look for forum results for products, in which case, they are looking for only recent discussions. Such a query may be difficult to form, but now with search panel options all you need to do is click on forum results and specify a timeline. The search panel also makes it easy to switch between different types of content such as videos, forums and reviews. Google has also tried to improve the snippets of text that it culls from the web pages and presents under each search result. These rich snippets are supposed to show more contextually useful information, such as the actual sentiment of the reviewer in the case of reviews. You can even click ‘more text’ to increase the length of the snippet. This will probably mean never having to go to the actual page at all. To make ‘rich snippets’ work properly Google hopes that web publishers will adopt micro-formats or RDF a standards to tag relevant data.
As for what’s in store other than these options released, there is something known as Google Squared, that’s on the Google drawing board and soon to be unveiled under Labs. Google Squared won’t just find webpages about your topic but instead, it is supposed to automatically fetch and organize facts from across the internet.
Another feature in the works is Wonder Wheel. It gives you a graphical representation of search terms. You can click on any node to explore related queries. You can keep clicking nodes to drill deeper into a subject and look at a holistic view.