Google has been testing a new feature that provides instant
results for whatever the user types in the search box.
Search-engine optimization consultant Rob Ousbey has been
widely credited with spying the Google test first. Ousbey
posted a video on his blog, showing Googles search results shifting
dynamically on the page as he types terms such as strawberry, cheesecake,
recipe, pictures, video.
Google confirmed the authenticity of
the video to TechCrunch, with a Google spokesperson apparently telling the
blog: At any given time we are running between 50-200 search experiments.
If codified as a regular feature, this instant search
would likely reduce the time needed to hunt down information; however, a slow
broadband connection could easily hobble its usefulness.
Googles search-feature testing, along with a recent spate
of acquisitions, suggests the company is aggressively exploring ways to
maintain its dominance in the search-engine arena.
On Aug. 20, Google
announced its acquisition of Like.com, a visual search engine. While
financial terms went undisclosed by Google, TechCrunch suggested the deal is
worth in the neighborhood of $100 million. A Google spokesperson told eWEEK:
Were pleased and excited to welcome Like.com to Google, where theyll work
closely with our commerce team.
Like.com focuses on soft goods such as clothes and
apparel. Weve developed technology, reads a note on the companys Website,
that lets us understand visually what terms like red high-heeled pumps and
floral patterned sleeveless dress mean and created algorithms to understand
whether those pumps complement or clash with that dress.
Like.com becomes yet another piece in Googles growing
visual-search portfolio, following the April acquisition of visual art search
engine Plink and the launch earlier this year of Google Goggles.
In addition to traditional search, Google finds itself locked
in a fierce, multi-competitor battle over smartphones. The companys Android
operating system has proven a robust seller, shipping in approximately 200,000
smartphones per day. A number of analysis firms have suggested that
Android-based smartphone outsold the Apple iPhone in the second quarter,
doubtlessly intensifying the animosity between the two companies.
Googles other opponents seem no less determined to take
their pound of flesh. On Aug. 12, Oracle
filed a lawsuit alleging Googles infringement on seven patents and other
copyrights related to Java, which powers Androids application framework
and other components. Google actively distributes Android (including without
limitation the Dalvik VM and the Android software development kit) and promotes
its use by manufacturers of products and applications, reads a key line in the
Unsurprisingly, Google has vowed to strongly defend itself
against Oracles suit.