Saturday, January 08, 2005

Google Suggest BETA

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I dunno how new is this Google Suggest feature, but i just came across it and like it very much.

Here's an extract from the Google Suggest FAQ

What is Google Suggest?

As you type into the search box, Google Suggest guesses what you're typing and offers suggestions in real time. This is similar to Google's "Did you mean?" feature that offers alternative spellings for your query after you search, except that it works in real time. For example, if you type "bass," Google Suggest might offer a list of refinements that include "bass fishing" or "bass guitar." Similarly, if you type in only part of a word, like "progr," Google Suggest might offer you refinements like "programming," "programming languages," "progesterone," or "progressive." You can choose one by scrolling up or down the list with the arrow keys or mouse.

That's pretty cool. How does it do that?
Our algorithms use a wide range of information to predict the queries users are most likely to want to see. For example, Google Suggest uses data about the overall popularity of various searches to help rank the refinements it offers. An example of this type of popularity information can be found in the Google Zeitgeist. Google Suggest does not base its suggestions on your personal search history.

Google works well as is. Why should I use Google Suggest?
By suggesting more refined searches up front, Google Suggest can make your searches more convenient and efficient by keeping you from having to reformulate your query. Google Suggest might offer suggestions that you will find novel or intriguing.

How about a few examples of when it works best?
Here are a few cases where we've found Google Suggest to be useful. As you find your own, please send them our way; knowing what our users find most useful is our most effective tool for improving our products.

You type: Google Suggest might offer:
"bass" "bass guitar"
"bass fishing"
"prog" "programming"
"programming languages"
"duke" "duke university"
"dukes of hazzard"
"duke nukem"
"duke ellington"
"duke power"

Do I need a specific browser to use Google Suggest?
Your browser must be Internet Explorer 6.0 (or newer), Netscape 7.1 (or newer), Mozilla 1.4 (or newer), Firefox 0.8 (or newer), Opera 7.54 (or newer), or Safari 1.2.2 (or newer). You'll also need to have both JavaScript and cookies enabled.