Google Squared Site Is Up and Running
Article by George Norman
On 04 Jun 2009
Google Squared, the new search feature announced by the Mountain View search engine giant at the Searchology 2009 event and described at said event by Vice President of Search Products and use Experience, Marissa Mayer, as a feature that “unlike a normal search engine, Google Squared doesn't find webpages about your topic — instead, it automatically fetches and organizes facts from across the Internet” has finally went live. I mean the web page, which has been up since late May, is now finally running as it should.

“Some information is easy to find. If you want to learn the rules of golf, you can search Google for [golf rules] and we'll return a list of relevant web sites right at the top. But not all your information needs are that simple. Some questions can be more complex, requiring you to visit ten, perhaps twenty websites to research and collect what you need. Google Squared is an experimental search tool that collects facts from the web and presents them in an organized collection, similar to a spreadsheet,” explains Associate Product Manager for Google Squared, Alex Komoroske.


I gave Google Square a shot and searched for “flowers” and “birds” as you can see from the images at the bottom of the article. For each search query Google Squared built a square (what else?) with rows for each of several specific flowers and birds and corresponding collums with facts such as family, order and class (for birds) and family and genus (for flowers).

The simple truth of the matter is that gathering info from the internet is a tedious process, but it is relatively simple to accomplish – for humans, not for computers. In trying to make it easier for computers to scour the web in search of facts just like a human would, Google took the first step with Google Squared. It is the type of search engine that does not display results according to keywords, but according to the facts you might be interested in. The technology is still in its infancy, but it is a step in the right direction.

Alex Komoroske again: “This technology is by no means perfect. That's why we designed Google Squared to be conversational, enabling you to respond to the initial result and get a better answer. If there's another row or column you'd like to see, you can add it and Google Squared will automatically attempt to fetch and fill in the relevant facts for you. As you remove rows and columns you don't like, Google Squared will get a fresh idea of what you're interested in and suggest new rows and columns to add.”

If you would like to get started with Google Squared, you can visit the web page here.
If you would like to see a video of Google Squared in action, one is available on YouTube here.

Tags: Google, Google Squared
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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