Google's speed freaks tweak suggestions, Chrome

New features in Google Suggest and Chrome allow searches to get the information they seek while saving a few (minor) steps in the process.

Google introduced two search features Friday that focus on delivering search results without having to visit the search results page.

The weather information at the bottom of the Google Suggest list used to only be found on search results pages. Google

Universal search features such as weather, time, and flight-tracking information can now be found in the Google Suggest drop-down list of possible results for relevant queries, such as "weather San Francisco." In addition, Google has released an extension for its Chrome browser called Quick Scroll that is essentially Google's take on the Control-F (or Command-F for you other folks) basic search function.

Google has offered image-based answers to simple questions such as "What time is it in New York?" or "How many kilograms are in 2 pounds?" for some time. Of course, you had to click through to the search results page to get that answer. The company apparently felt that was two seconds of your life it was unfairly robbing from you, and so has added those types of results directly in the list of suggestions that appears below the search box on many queries.

Quick Scroll, on the other hand, provides a bit more search horsepower on a given Web page than the old-fashioned "Find" command. Google provided the example of someone wondering whether or not Belgian street vendors sell waffles, searching on that query, and clicking through to a Wikipedia page on waffles. At that point, Quick Scroll will pop up in a small window with your original search query and a link to the text where that information can be found on the page.

These features are all outgrowths of Google's obsession with speed, highlighted by its announcement of real-time search results earlier this week. Ordinary users might not care, but speed junkies are taking over the Web and could very well find something else to do with those spare two seconds: such as conduct another search on Google that brings up (contextual and relevant, of course) ads.

About the author

    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.

     

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