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InsideGoogle-part of the Blog News Channel

InsideGoogle

part of the Blog News Channel

Google Running SearchMash

Google is running an alternate search engine called SearchMash, which includes some useful and “out there” features that might not be right for Google.com, but could make a really interesting search engine. Of course, if any of the features turn out to be huge hits, who knows? Google hasn’t commented on SearchMash yet, but they admit they own it in the privacy policy (and their name is in the WhoIs, anyway).

So, what does SearchMash offer?

  • Type in the search box without actually clicking in it. The idea? There isn’t exactly anywhere else to type, so any typing should just go there. Sounds like a good idea. This one could work on Google.com, if it doesn’t affect page loads too much. Doesn’t work in Opera, and only on search results pages.

  • Menu of options by each result, letting you click to get “Open in this windows”, “Open in new windows”, “Open cached copy”, “More from this site”, “More similar pages”. Another great idea that would work well on regular Google, and the code already exists there as part of the “More” tab above the search box.

  • Image results shown next to regular results. Never gonna happen, that’s where the ads go on Google.com.

  • Reorder results just by grabbing and dragging the number next to them. Cool idea. Currently does little, but could become part of Google Personalized Search, which already lets you remove results, so reordering is the next step.

  • Clicking for more results loads them in the current page and scrolls it down. A much more natural form of an idea Live.com had (and eventually junked), and a great implementation. I was able to load 90 results in a single page.

Someone at Google must have been jealous as Microsoft designed a cool AJAX search engine, one Google can’t afford to try, and made the great suggestion to just let them experiment on a second site. Kudos to Google for trying new things, and I hope some of them turn into brilliant features.

Also, note there is no “Search” button. That button has always been useless, just there to guide along less savvy users, and you just know it was the first thing the engineers removed.

Read more at:
Philipp
Gary Price and Gary Price
Ionut Alex., who notes a recent Marissa Mayer interview may hint at future features

October 3rd, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Microsoft, Search, General | 20 comments