Thursday, June 12, 2008
When you search on Google, we often offer you "related" search suggestions to help you find what you're looking for more quickly. We identify related search queries by evaluating data from multiple sources. Our algorithms try to ensure that we offer suggestions when they are most likely to help users. These algorithms also determine how many related search queries to display, and their location on the search results page. Therefore, you won't see related search suggestions for every query, and while they are usually shown below the search results, the algorithm sometimes causes them to display above the search results.
Further, we have teams that help evaluate the quality of these related search suggestions, and the enhancements to the user experience. We're constantly running experiments in order to get data that will help improve the user experience.
Recently, we improved our algorithms to process new information faster, and the result is quite tangible -- you should now see fresher suggestions for queries on current topics of interest.
Because information on the web is constantly changing, we think this improvement will help you find relevant information faster. To give this a test drive, try searching for iphone. You should see related queries around the brand new 3G iPhone announced earlier this week.
If you search for tomatoes, you'll see suggestions around the recent salmonella outbreak.
If you search for us open, you'll get a direct lead to the ongoing U.S. Open golf tournament.
If you're interested in kung fu, you will be told of the new Kung Fu Panda movie!
The query big brown suggests queries around the mystifying performance of the horse at the Belmont stakes.
Try other queries that are relevant to current events you're interested in. You'll know when you trigger fresh suggestions! Some of these search suggestions are very timely, but could have a short shelf life as new information on a topic is processed, and other related queries may be considered more relevant. The examples in this post could "expire" soon as this feature is very dynamic, so we've included screenshots. Note that you will not see related searches if you enable strict SafeSearch filtering. We've currently launched this in the U.S. for English queries, and are working on enabling this for other languages as well.
As always, we'd be interested to know what you think.