Google Improves and Refreshes Services: Reader, Search Suggest, Google Sites, Earth Outreach
Article by George Norman
On 20 May 2009
Just last week we were announcing that Google made a few mods and enhancements to two of its online services: Google News, its automated news aggregator, and Google Search (details here). This week a whole bunch of the Mountain View search giant’s online services have been updated and refreshed: Google Reader, Google Search Suggest, Google Sites and Google Earth Outreach.

Google Reader, the online feed aggregator that comes with a more social networking friendly commenting option, now comes with several small changes and enhancements.


Mihai Parparita explains: “The Google Reader team has just finished releasing a new version of Reader with a bunch of small changes and tweaks. We've added a new set of tabs to the trends page called "Friends trends." This way you can see which of your friends share the most, and whose shared items you actually get around to reading. With this release, comments are now available to our non-English users. Additionally, item sources are now visible in the comment view and it's easier to mark items as read there. We've recently released a revamped new user page that tries to help with that. In addition to a welcome video and a tutorial, it also tries to help you get started by pointing out the kinds of feeds that you can subscribe to. We've also made improvements to our mobile interface. You can now post notes if an interesting thought occurs to you while waiting in line.”

Google Suggest, the feature that shoots out suggestions while you type in a query in Google search has received some enhancements as well. Google Suggest will display recent searches from your search history as long as you are logged into your Google account and as long as you have Web History enabled. There is also the option to remove suggestion from your search history. Alongside those two enhancements, there are several other:
- Add the top search result to the list of suggestions.
- The “Google Search” and “I’m feeling lucky” tabs are displayed within the suggestions list.
- Suggestion show on the Google homepage and on search results pages.
- The number of search results is removed for suggested queries.
Additional details on these enhancements and a means of activating them (if the Google homepage has not been refreshed in your case) are available here.

Google Sites, the service that lets you set up collaborative web pages, has been updated as well – its looks have been modified to better resemble Google Docs.

Last but not least, the Google Earth Outreach has been refreshed. Tanya Keen and Karin Tuxen-Bettman, Google Earth Outreach, explain: “You want to change the world. We want to help. With our newly re-designed website, Google Earth Outreach can help more than ever. Our new showcase, tutorials, and community give non-profit and public benefit organizations the ability to explore, create, and connect at Google Earth Outreach. Visit our new Earth Outreach website today [here].”

Tags: Google, Reader, Search Suggest, Google Sites, Earth Outreach
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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