Who was expecting the 12th May to cause such a stir in the world of search? Well it was the second Searchology event hosted by Google and if the first event (when Google announced universal search) was anything to go by, we should have been prepared for some serious progress announcements from the search giant.
Timing could not have been more appropriate as Twitter is surrounded with speculation of challenging Google’s search share with its own search functionality.
So the announcements cover three main features:
1. Search Options
2. Rich Snippets
3. Sky Map for Android
There are 100s of possibilities now available with Search Options, deciding what is relevant for each client and how to make the most of the technology to gain market share is the fun part.
Many of the search options were already available through the top level links and advanced search. What this feature adds is an easy-to-use filter system giving users greater control over their search results. Great for shopping and the latest news (Maybe a step towards Google’s Twitter-style search). This addition has strengthened the importance of fresh content and multi-channel optimisation.
Two great new tools are the Timeline and Wonder Wheel. Anyone familiar with Google Analytics will recognise the timeline functionality as it is similar to the date navigation, and I love Wonder Wheel because it provides a key phrase related visual tool. There are already many questions we are asking ourselves and will be asking our clients.
Microformats and RDFa standards have a serious calling with the introduction of Rich Snippets. This feature is really cool and adds a lot of customer value to search results. So developers and publishers need to get on board. Find out more on the Rich Snippets help page.
SkyMap for Android
This application looks so much fun it nearly made me put my iPhone down and go pick up an Android based mobile. Nearly! Check out the video below, this application proves Google’s potential to challenge the iPhone stronghold on the mobile market. The king of cool, easy-to-use applications delivers again.