Google Inc. has announced new technologies designed to enhance and improve the search experience. Three new products--Google Co-op, Google Desktop 4, and Google Notebook--designed to help users worldwide find and share more relevant information. The products all incorporate new capabilities that leverage user communities, enabling users to either share more information with others or benefit from other users' expertise to improve the accuracy of search results. The company also introduced Google Trends, a new tool that enables users to examine billions of searches conducted on Google to gain insight into broad search patterns over time.
Google Co-op beta is a community where users can contribute their knowledge and expertise to improve Google search for everyone. Organizations, businesses, or individuals can label Web pages relevant to their areas of expertise or create specialized links to which users can subscribe. Once a user has subscribed to a provider's content, all of that provider's labels and subscribed links are added to the user's search results for relevant queries. These contributions serve as meta-information that helps Google's search algorithms connect users to information for their specific query. Users can subscribe to content and providers at www.google.com/coop/directory. Google Co-op is available now on all English language Google domains including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Also announced today, Google Desktop 4 beta--available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, and Brazilian Portuguese--allows users to improve their search experience, by personalizing their desktops with the introduction of Google Gadgets. These gadgets are mini-applications that reside on users' desktops and deliver personalized information such as games, media players, weather, and news. Google Desktop can also recommend new gadgets and can automatically create a personalized homepage for users based on the subjects they frequently search and access. Google Desktop 4 also enables users to: access their Google Gadget content and settings from other computers and protect it from computer crashes by saving it online; add favorite gadgets from their personalized Google homepage right onto their desktops; access other Google services from their desktop; and manually re-index their computers or remove deleted files from search results. Additionally, Google Desktop 4 now offers an option for network administrators to disable Search Across Computers on both the consumer and enterprise versions of the product at the network level by blocking access to a specific URL. Google Desktop 4 will be available in additional languages and include more localized features for users around the world.
Google Trends builds on the Google Zeitgeist to help users find facts and trends related to Google usage around the world. Google Trends enables users to learn how popular a particular search term has been on Google over time and see the relevant news articles that ran on that subject. Users will be able to observe the collective interests of all Google users to gain general insight into topics such as people's preferences on ice cream flavors, American Idol contestants, or the relative popularity of brands and politicians in specific countries. Google Notebook is a way for users to save and organize their thoughts when conducting research online. This personal browser tool permits users to clip text, images, and links from the pages they're browsing, save them to an online "notebook" that is accessible from any computer, and share them with others. Users can make their Google Notebook public and share the notes they've taken with others. Google Notebook will be available next week from Google Labs.
(www.google.com/coop; http://desktop.google.com; www.google.com/notebook)