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February 26 2014

January 23 2014

Google Sends Expedia Packing in Search Rankings

Google frowns on websites trying to game its search results — and Expedia appears to have gotten that memo a bit late.

The online travel agency has seen its page rankings drop 25% for travel-related searches on Google in recent days, according to Searchmetrics, a search-engine research firm. Losing that much visibility in search rankings almost guarantees a drop in traffic of at least 20% to Expedia, says Marcus Tober, Searchmetrics's founder and president. Such a rapid, sharp drop suggests that Google is penalizing the company for so-called "unnatural links" to Expedia.com that are posted on many travel blogs and other websites. Read more...

More about Google Search, Expedia, Business, Advertising, and Marketing
Sponsored post
Google Now Gives You More Info About a Site Before You Click

Google has added a new feature to its Search page: You can now find out more about every search result by clicking on the page name next to the actual link

The full search result name is either blue or purple, depending on whether you've visited it or not. Below it is the green link name, and next to it is the grey name of the page, which displays a short paragraph about the page in question

Google search for Mashable

A new feature on Google Search lets you see additional info about a search result before you click

Image: Mashable

Not all pages will have this description; Google says it will only show up when a site is widely recognized as notable online, when there is enough info to show or when the content might be especially interesting to you Read more...

More about Google, Google Search, Tech, Apps Software, and Knowledge Graph

December 17 2013

The Top 10 Things People Didn't Understand in 2013

Thanks to the Internet, we no longer have to be too embarrassed to ask "obvious" questions. Instead, we type them into a search engine and hope no one is peering at our screen. We can find answers to the most basic inquiries with very little digging, whether it's the goings-on of the world, medical worries or whatever is trending on Twitter.

Google compiled a list using data on the most popular searches for 2013. Results ranged across current events, pop culture and general knowledge queries, giving us a look at what people were most curious about over the last year.

More about Google, Social Media, Features, Google Search, and Conversations

November 06 2013

Google Search App for iOS Now Responds to 'OK, Google' Command

Google rolled out an update to its iOS app Tuesday, giving users more options for reminders, notifications and searches

The updates are for Google Now, the "personal assistant" feature of the Google Search mobile app. With the improvements, users on an iPad or iPhone can use the famous "OK Google” command.

The app runs like a voice-controlled personal assistant, perhaps providing some competition for Apple's Siri.

Using the "OK Google" command, users can program reminders and run searches without a keyboard. Just ask the app to remind you to go to the store after work or look up movie times for this weekend, and Google obeys. The app now supports push notifications, too, so users can set up alerts to remind them about appointments and reservations Read more...

More about Google, Google Search, Ios, Tech, and Apps Software

September 26 2013

Google Announces New Search Algorithm

One day before celebrating the company's 15th birthday, Google went back to the place where it all started — literally

Inside the garage that housed Larry Page and Sergey Brin when the world's largest search company was created, Google on Thursday announced a handful of new updates to the company's search offering, including a major update to Google's search algorithm that the company calls "Hummingbird." The new algorithm affects 90% of all searches, and has been in place for about a month, said Amit Singhal, senior VP at Google

Hummingbird is the company's most significant algorithm change since Google switched to "Caffeine" back in 2010 Read more...

More about Google, Google Search, Tech, Apps Software, and Hummingbird

August 25 2012

August 13 2012

January 20 2012

Google Algorithm Changes Downgrade Sites With Too Many Ads [VIDEO]

Got a lot of ads on your website? Google‘s new search algorithm, which looks for sites that maintain a good balance of content and ads, could automatically filter it out of search results pages. The change comes after complaints of searches regularly turning up sites that favor bulky ads over the content.

The search engine will show more high-quality websites by downgrading pages that display too many ads, according to a blog post from Google engineer Matt Cutts. High-quality sites will also be rewarded, encouraging “a healthy web ecosystem.”

Google, though, is already coming under fire for the changes. Some say its own site sometimes favors ad results. One example — see the video above — shows how a search for “Blu-Ray DVDs” turns up sidebar links to stores, supported personalized ads, shopping results, plus advertisement links that deflect from real content that users may be looking for.

The change, Google’s Cutts notes, will affect less than 1% of global queries or less than 1 in 100 searches. The new algorithm will reduce rankings for low-value ads and sites deemed less useful.

SEE ALSO: Google Promises Consumers Greater Ad Transparency

Afraid your site will be affected? Google suggests cleaning up obscure content with the help of its Browser Size tool, plus screen resolution emulators to see how users will see your webpage on different devices.

Tell us in the comments what you think of Google’s latest algorithmic tweak, and if you think it’ll impact your website.

More About: advertisements, Google, google search, mashable video

January 13 2012

January 11 2012

Google Fires Back at Twitter: You Took Yourself Out of Search

The war of words between Google and Twitter escalated Wednesday, as Google responded to Twitter’s accusation that plans to further integrate Google+ into its regular search results is “bad for people.”

“We are a bit surprised by Twitter’s comments, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer,” read a post on Google’s Google+ page on Wednesday, which Google confirmed to Mashable was its official statement on the matter. “Since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions.”

Rel=nofollow is code that prevents search engines from following links.

Google’s agreement with Twitter gave the search engine access to public tweets. The agreement expired in July and was not renewed. Now Google says it was Twitter who chose not to renew the deal.

Twitter had criticized Google’s new social search feature, which it calls Search plus Your World, on Tuesday. “As we’ve seen time and time again, news breaks first on Twitter,” its statement said. “We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone.”

But if Twitter had kept Google from including Tweets in its results, it would be just as much to blame as the search engine for making its breaking news hard to find.

Reporter Danny Sullivan cornered Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt at CES on Wednesday and asked him about Google’s relationship with Twitter.

Sullivan told Schmidt he thought one feature of Search plus Your World, which recommends relevant people to follow on Google+ but not other networks, is “the equivalent of saying ‘hey, you can only find information about finance on Google finance. You cannot find information about finance anywhere else.’”

“Let me remind you that to do the ‘everywhere else’ with Google finance — we had permission,” responded Schmidt.

When Sullivan said he thought Google had enough permission to include links from networks like Twitter in its search results, Schmidt said: “That’s your opinion. If you could arrange a letter from Facebook and Twitter to us, that would be helpful.”

Highlights from the Marketing Land interview are posted in the YouTube video below. We’ve reached out to Twitter spokespeople for comment and will update this article when we hear from them.

Do you think that Twitter was right to complain when Google integrated Google+ more closely with its search engine? Does it matter whether they refused Google access to public tweets in the first place? Let us know in the comments.

More About: eric schmidt, Google, google search, Twitter

January 10 2012

Google Merges Search and Google+ Into Social Media Juggernaut

Google Search Your World Personal Results

Integrated social search is immediately evident in three spots on your search results page. You have to be signed into Google+ to see all this.

Click here to view this gallery.

Now we know Google’s master-plan for integrating Google+ ever more deeply into the Google ecosystem: Pour the whole thing into Google search. Starting today, Google+ members, and to a lesser extent others who are signed into Google, will be able to search against both the broader web and their own Google+ social graph. That’s right; Google+ circles, photos, posts and more will be integrated into search in ways other social platforms can only dream about.

Google calls the search update “Search Across Your World.” Jack Menzel, product management director of search, explained that now Google+ members will be able to “search across information that is private and only shared to you, not just the public web.”

Google calls this access to “your web.” So instead of all the public information that is already available to everyone searching via Google, so you can see information that you posted into Google’s new social network and on some of Google’s other services like Picasa Web.

Menzel explained that starting today, Google+ results will be blended in with the traditional “authoritative results,” but clearly annotated. Type in a topic of interest, like “Rome,” and along with maps, travel info, historical references, you’ll find a post your friend wrote in Google+ about a recent trip to Rome. That post, though, will only appear if it’s been shared with you or if the post is public. Likewise, an image search will seamlessly blend the anonymous web with your web images and those of anyone you’re connected to — as long as they’ve shared them with you. Each image will be labeled as from “you” or with the name of your connection.

It’s a significant blurring of the line between the web as we know it and the web as you and your Circles of friends know it. Google’s Menzel admits, though, that those “your world” results are only as good as the information in the posts and on the photos. Many people post photos with the original JPEG file names. This will not help in the Your World search as, says Menzel, Google applies the same ranking standards to social graph data as it does to the rest of the web.

The deep integration of Google+ in search does not stop there, though. Google+ profiles will now be a part of the search query box. As long as you’re signed into Google+, Google will try to finish your search query with the most likely in-your-Circles match. Google, in other words, is assuming that you’re looking for someone you know and not just a random person with the same name. Actually, that could be a good bet.

You’ll also see results for public profiles of those you don’t follow or have in any circles. Naturally, the new Google Search will allow you to add them right from the results page. Similarly, when you search for a topic, Google will helpfully return results with “prominent people” who are experts in that topic. Yes, you can follow them direct from the results, as well.

At every turn, if you’re part of Google+. Google’s new search tools will only pull you further in, ensuring that the still young social engine is top of mind. As Google sees it, you’re getting more relevant results, because this is the information and the people you choose to connect with in the first place.

SEE ALSO: Mashable’s Complete Guide to Google+

Google’s search largess, though, extends only so far. No other social graphs are currently included in the results. So though you have dozens of Facebook and Twitter connections, Google will not attempt to enrich the results with that part of Your Web. Google is not filtering out results from Twitter and Facebook, but Menzel said Google only has access to that one open graph [Google +] and it does not “pull in anyone else’s social graph.”

Delivering information that is shared, ostensibly, only between small groups of people could raise some privacy and security red flags. To counter that, Google’s Search Across Your World only works if you’re signed into Google+ and searching on Google’s secure search at https://www.google.com. Once you start using Your World search, by the way, you’re not stuck with it. Google is adding a handy toggle button that’ll let you switch back at any time to good-old-fashioned authoritative search from people you probably don’t know.

Last year, I joked that Google would place a “plus sign” next to the Google logo on its venerable search page. I even described a service much like the Across Your World. Clearly this was not such a crazy idea. Now the questions are how far will this go and how far will it take Google+? Is this the big lever Google needed to push to propel the Google+ social platform forward and past rivals like Facebook and Twitter? It’s definitely a turning point and it’ll be interesting to see how Facebook, in particular responds. Is it time for Facebook to finally launch that fabled Facebook Search Engine?

Share your thoughts in the comments

More About: Google, google search

January 09 2012

Why Google Gives Its Search Projects Weird Names

Google made more than two dozen improvements to its bedrock search feature in December, and the projects had cryptic internal names — including “Old Possum,” “SweatNovember” and “Pho Viet.”

Why the funky nomenclature?

“Code names make changes easier to talk about and remember, and they can also be a lot of fun,” Google tech staffer Pandu Nayak writes in a blog post. “You might remember ‘Panda’ and ‘Caffeine,’ but you probably don’t remember last month’s ‘Top result selection code rewrite.’”

Nayak recounts one example of the naming process, from a 2010 revamping of Google Search’s question-answering feature. The previous incarnation was codenamed “DAFFIE,” an acronym for the tongue-twisting and mind-boggling title “Database of All Fact Fiction Information and Exaggeration.” When the company planned a complete makeover of the feature in 2010, engineer Amit Singhal riffed on the original codename’s similarity to the cartoon character Daffy Duck.

Singhal dubbed the new system “Porky Pig,” likening the new answering feature’s quest to kill off the old one to Porky Pig’s efforts to eliminate Daffy Duck.

“The team laughed thinking that Amit was just confused (everyone knows Elmer Fudd is the hunter),” Nayak writes. “But, it turns out Amit was right, as he often is. In 1937 in the original cartoon to feature Daffy Duck, Porky Pig was in fact hunting Daffy.”

In December, “Old Possum” enabled faster mobile browsing by skipping redirects to take users straight to pages optimized for smartphone browsers. “Pho Viet” introduced more accurate spelling predictions for search queries in Vietnamese, and “SweatNovember” improved accuracy in translating Hebrew synonyms.

Here are some of the other improvements Google says it made made to its search feature last month: adding live results for NFL and college football information; tweaking the +1 to only show up when search results are hovered over or have already been recommended; better spam detection for image results; more accurate country-specific results; and improved lyric searches. To see the full list, click here.

What Google Search improvements would you most like to see? Where do you think “Old Possum,” “Pho Viet” and “SweatNovember” got their codenames? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, LICreate

More About: Google, google search

For more Tech coverage:

September 02 2011

Behind the Scenes With Google’s New AdMob Campaign [PICS]

When the Google mobile ads team was looking for the best way to promote the Google Search app for iPhone, the company turned to its in-house AdMob platform for help.

In the software industry, there is a term known as dogfooding — where a company uses its own products to achieve a certain task. In this case, Google worked with Grow Interactive to “eat its own dogfood” by creating a rich media mobile ad for the Google Search iPhone app. The goal of the campaign, dubbed “Uncover Your World,” is to show off Google Search app’s features in an interactive, fun way.

As you can see from the video, the ad is more like a mini mobile app, rather than an advertisement, using HTML5 elements like inline audio and video.

You can also unlock mini games in the ad, which take advantage of features like the microphone, built-in camera and tilt sensors.

Early reports indicate that users really enjoy the ad and interactive ad experience. Google tells us that the average time that users are spending with the ad is 1:30. That’s a significant amount of time for online mobile content in general, let alone an advertisement.

Behind the Scenes

Google and Grow Interactive documented the process of creating the ad in this behind-the-scenes video. We think using a 3D printer to create the models that were captured for the video and in the ad itself was an inspired — and very cool — approach.

Google also provided us with some behind-the-scenes photos of the creation process. It’s fascinating to see the work that went into creating the ad’s components. If anything, the easiest part of the whole process was using the AdMob platform to create the digital and interactive assets.

Cafe Model

Cinema Model

Citywide Model View

Hardware Store

Setting the Stage

The Image Search Menu

Creating the Models

3D Printouts

Navigating the Ad

Painting Drips

Painting the Diner

Taking Photos


Tiny Chairs

Tractor Interactions

iPhone users can see and experience the ad for themselves at uncoveryourworld.com.

Let us know what you think of this new trend of interactive, robust mobile ads in the comments.

More About: admob, Google, Google mobile, google search, HTML5

For more Business & Marketing coverage:

July 20 2011

Google Warning Users They May Be Infected By Malware

Google has identified a piece of malware that is redirecting unusual search traffic to its servers, prompting the company to warn affected users.

“Recently, we found some unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of our data centers,” security engineer Damian Menscher wrote on the company’s blog. “After collaborating with security engineers at several companies that were sending this modified traffic, we determined that the computers exhibiting this behavior were infected with a particular strain of malicious software.”

The malware has affected an unspecified number of users, but apparently it was enough for the company to announce that they will be displaying a “prominent notification” at the top of google search results to anybody they believe is infected.

“This particular malware causes infected computers to send traffic to Google through a small number of intermediary servers called ‘proxies.’ We hope that by taking steps to notify users whose traffic is coming through these proxies, we can help them update their antivirus software and remove the infections.”

Google has never used its search engine as a massive malware warning system for users, although it did accidentally mark every website on the web as harmful in 2009.

More About: Google, google search, malware, security

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:

July 02 2011

Google+: The Pros & Cons

The web is still talking about Google+, the search giant’s new social initiative and answer to Facebook. Now that it has been out in the wild for a few days, people have had some time to assess Google’s social network, especially where it hits a home run and where it strikes out.

We’ve already written a review about Google+, but we were curious about what early Google+ users thought about it. So we decided to ask a circle on Google+ about what they believe is good and bad about Google+. And they delivered: we got more than 100 responses about the pros and cons of Google’s new social layer.

SEE ALSO: REVIEW | PHOTOS | VIDEOS | POLL: What do you think of Google+?

Let’s be clear: Google+ is in its infancy, and many of the things they mentioned are part of future releases or bugs that Google intends to fix. Still, the conversation we’ll provide a look into where Google’s social networking is succeeding and where it comes up short against its competitors.

Here are some of the pros and cons of Google+, according to its users:

Pro: Gorgeous UI

Many Google+ users commented on the sleekness of its user interface. It’s clean, it’s easy-to-use and its not cluttered. A big reason for this is Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original designers of the Apple Macintosh GUI. Google gave him free reign in designing the Google+ UI.

Here is what some Google+ said about the UI:

“The UI is definitely top notch. It seems Google has finally gotten it right. The selective sharing seems to work much more intuitively.” ~ Cheryl Allin

“This is a shiny awesome toy with a kickass UI and amazing bonus features like Sparks and Huddle.” ~ Cassius Wright

“Excellent UI that is simply but powerful.” ~ Will Hucks

“I love it for its clean UI and how it seamlessly integrates into rest of Google. Finding stream notification from gmail is really cool.” ~ Sudha Jamthe

“It’s extremely clean and devoid of advertising or spam, something that has been slowly creeping into Facebook making it more of a cluttered mess.” ~ Aaron Clark

Our Take: The UI is better than most Google products. It’s not only clean and easy to understand, but it has character and flavor (you’ll notice it when adding or removing people from circles). Their bet on Hertzfeld paid off.

Con: Noise in the Stream

Google+ is designed to minimize noise in the stream through the use of circles, but it’s still too noisy for most users. The big issue is that posts are pushed to the top whenever there’s a new comment, something that most users think is unnecessary. There are also still issues with collapsing posts with long comment threads.

Here are some users’ thoughts on the noise level in Google+:

“Feed shows recently updated regardless of original post time rather than posts in a chronological order.” ~ Steven Crader

“Timeline needs to be customizable especially when following high-profile people.” ~ Spencer Scott

“There should be choices on how to view a stream feed. > (1) newest post, (2) newest comment, (3) censored by google+ (oops, I mean relevance)” ~ Phil Staudt

“I don’t like that I don’t have the option to choose whether I want my feed to come up as items jumping to the top when there’s a new comment or when something new is just added to my feed. I don’t think I’ll be reading every single comment people leave.” ~ Kelly Ryder

“Posts aren’t in chronological order. I keep seeing the same things I’ve seen since yesterday because they have a lot of +1′s and new content is occasionally interspersed throughout the stream.” ~ Zac Witte

“Noisy threads like this one that keep popping to the top of my stream!” ~ Hillel Fuld

Our Take: Google+ needs to stop bumping posts to the top of the stream anytime there’s a comment, and this change needs to be implemented as soon as possible. There needs to be a way to see “top stories” from your stream. Yes, it’s a Facebook feature, but it’s a really good Facebook feature.

Pro: Circles Is Slick

User reaction to Circles, Google+’s friend list feature, has been very positive overall. Users have commented that it’s the easiest system on the market for putting friends into groups, making it easier to share posts with just your business colleagues or your family.

Here are some of their thoughts on Google Circles:

“Selective content pushing and intake with groups is awesome.” ~ Kayvan Farzeneh

“Circles are huge. They solve the reason I don’t use Facebook.” ~ Chris Heald

“I love that Circles makes it so much less creepy for me to befriend random people online.” ~ Jonathan Davis

“The ability to quickly and easily group people (across multiple circles) means that the communications you have with others will be more relevant when choosing to share a message with a specific circle. I imagine this will be extremely helpful in minimizing the noise.” ~ Jodi Echakowitz

Our Take: Google+ Circles is well designed and far superior to Facebook friend lists or Twitter Lists. However, we’re in the camp that people don’t want to organize their friends, no matter how gorgeous the UI. It’s just a tedious task no matter how you approach it.

Con: Doesn’t Work With Google Apps

During a Google+ Hangout session I had with Google VP of Product Management Bradley Horowitz, I learned that the biggest piece of feedback so far is that users want to use Google+ with their Google Apps accounts. It makes sense — people are attached to their email addresses, and many people (like us) primarily use email addresses linked to Google Apps accounts.

Most of the comments we saw about this problem looked like this:

“I cannot use it with my Google Apps account.” ~ Stefan Sarzio

“I cannot use with Google Apps. :(” ~ Aakar Anil

Our Take: Google should make this a top priority.

Pro: Google+ Hangouts

The one feature that has stood out above all the other Google+ features is Hangouts. Hangouts, which lets up to 10 users simultaneously video chat with each other, has been a hit with the early Google+ beta testers.

Instead of creating a group video chat system where you reach to your friends to chat, users instead create “hangouts” that pop up on their feeds. Users can then join those hangouts. That small change in how group video chat is done has proven to be a winner:

“The actual design of the interface is slick, and Hangouts are cool as a get-out.” ~ Christopher Carfi

“Hangouts. ‘Nuff said.” ~ PaulDavid Shrader

“You can make circles of just people you are working with; do a 10 person video chat with them, group mobile messaging, google chat, etc. So far very useful for collaboration and with a few tweeks could be near perfect.” ~ Dillon Rhodes

Our Take: Hangouts is Google+’s killer feature. With a few tweaks, it could be an amazing video platform.

Con: Lack of Search

Google is known for search, so why doesn’t it have a search engine for finding content your friends are sharing? That’s the question a lot of users are asking:

“I have to say that for the King Kong of search to release a social service that is presently not searchable – strikes me as a little odd and noteworthy.” ~ Wayne Schulz

“Leaves a little to be desired when filling out profile information, would be nice to see cohesive search tools.” ~ Carl V. Lewis

“Searching for people in the top field opens a new tab instead of displaying results in the stream.” ~ Lenny Neslin

Our Take: It’s not a big deal now that Google+ doesn’t have Stream search, but Google had better put it on the list of things to implement in the next two months if it hasn’t done so already.

Pro (and Con): Google+ Is Everywhere

Google SVP of Social Vic Gundotra told Mashable that the company named its social platform Google+ because it’s designed to be an extension of Google. The plus sign is just a small addition to the Google logo because the search giant wants people to think of Google+ as just Google.

As part of that initiative, Google+ is on every Google product. Google+ notifications appear in Gmail, Google Docs and almost every Google products. We wouldn’t be surprised to see it pop up on YouTube sometime in the future, either.

Most people seem to like that Google+ is accessible no matter where they are, but some have expressed their reservations about it. Some people don’t want their email and their search to be social in any way. The result is that the ubiquity of Google+ has created a sharp divide:

“It’s everywhere. Checking mail, G+ is there, Addind calendar entries, G+ is there.” ~ Patrik Björklund

“G+ is nearly ubiquitous. It’s present across all the google tabs I keep open anyway.” ~ Rob Michael

“I work in Google. I don’t need an annoying thing at the top of the page telling me that I need to go do something. If I wanted that, I would head over to plus.google.com and see.” ~ David Aronchick

“I use Gmail and Google Reader a lot and with Google+ I get notifications, can comment and interact with my circles, without leaving the Google tool I use at this time. I call this efficient!” ~ Jan Firsching

“Cons: Integrates with the Google ecosystem.” ~ Ciro Villa

Our Take: Google is smart to integrate Google+ into every part of its empire — it creates engagement and reinforces that Google intends to be social. It needs to provide assurances that private emails and private search remain private, though. How to do that may be one of its toughest challenges.

More About: Google, Google Hangouts, google search

For more Social Media coverage:

May 07 2011

Google Experimenting With Redesigned Search Results Page [SCREENSHOT]

Google has begun testing a new design for its search engine results page, one that sports a new color scheme and a lot more white space.

A Google representative confirmed to us the company is conducting one of its user tests. As you can see from the screenshot below, the redesign results page incorporates a tweaked color scheme. The greens, purples and blues are not as harsh as the current set of colors used on Google.com.

The bigger changes focus on separating and spacing out individual search results. There is simply a lot more white space around each search result and each link. Also, each search result is divided by a dashed line.

Combined, the changes are rather dramatic for a search engine used by millions of people daily. Google is gathering data on how people react to the new changes. Those numbers will determine whether or not these changes will move out of testing and become permanent.

This isn’t the only Google experiment to make headlines this month. On Monday, the tech giant began testing Voice Search integration on Google.com.

Check out screenshot, and let us know what you think of the changes in the comments.

Screenshot courtesy of TwitPic, chanian

More About: design, Google, google search

For more Dev & Design coverage:

May 03 2011

Voice Search Being Tested on Google.com [SCREENSHOTS]

Google has begun testing an integration of voice search with the Google.com search engine.

Helpful tipster Matt Schlicht first spotted the feature earlier Monday afternoon. Voice search detects your computer’s microphone settings and can open up a “Speak now” widget to detect your words and transcribe them into a search query.

Android phone owners should be familiar with Google Voice Search; it’s available in the Google Search widget. Google Voice Search on Android even translates voice commands into actions. For example, “Directions to Empire State Building New York” will get you instant driving directions to Manhattan’s famous landmark.

Google has been working hard on improving the accuracy of its voice search product. It now recognizes Chinese and learns from your speech patterns. Perhaps now Google believes it’s accurate enough to begin testing with the general populace.

Right now, voice search seems to be in a limited testing period. We’ve reached out to Google for comment.

While searching by voice may be easier than typing in some cases, we don’t think you’re suddenly going to see an uptick in people shouting out their search queries. As our tipster pointed out on Twitter today, Google Voice Search “works surprisingly well but is very awkward to use in the office.”

What do you think of Google Voice Search? Should Google roll it out on its homepage?

Update: Google’s experiment is confirmed. “Google is constantly experimenting with new features,” was the only thing a Google spokesperson would tell us officially, though.

The Google Voice Search Icon

Google.com users with access to the experiment might see this page the next time they visit Google.com

Google Voice Search Widget

Talking into the mic activates the Google Voice Search widget.

Google Voice Search Results

This is the result. Notice the shade of purple that distinguishes a voice search.

Lead image courtesy of iStockphoto, berekin

More About: Google, google search, google voice search, google.com

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:

March 10 2011

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