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Google Webquotes: Enables users to read multiple viewpoints and descriptions of a specific website. For example, enter [digital cameras] as a search term and Google Webquotes delivers a list of the most relevant results. Every digital camera website listed in the results page is accompanied by descriptions and critiques that have been automatically collected from third party sources from around the web.
Direct to Google Viewer [labs.google.com]
Google Viewer: Browse Google search results as a slide show. For example, enter [tahoe ski cams] as a search term and Google Viewer automatically displays a list of Tahoe ski cam sites accompanied by a live preview of each page. As Google Viewer displays the search results, users have the option to speed up or slow down the rate at which results are displayed or to stop the viewer at the site they wish to visit.
Direct to Google WebQuotes [labs.google.com]
Long ago when the internet was not well known and small a colleague of mine suggested self-categorizing websites. Webmasters can decide for themselves which category they belong to. While DMOZ is a human directory with the problems associated with it, like slow updates, some so-so editors etcetera, their categorization system ain't bad. It's the listings that are mostly the problem.
I've found that surfing with the googlebar and alexa together gives me a different view of sites and the web in general...I can use the directory to see what other sites belong in that category and Alexa to see similar sites within the category...it brings a whole new dimension to surfing....
If webmasters had a meta tag where they self-categorized themselves within the ODP structure, google could easily come up with algos to "rank" their relevance within a certain dmoz category. So the idea would be, webmasters would submit themselves to a category by putting it into the meta tag, and the labs would have an alternative view to directory.google.com where it would list all sites that believe they belong to a certain category in order of relevance.
Google, could rank them by an algo that goes beyond pagerank. If well respected sites that are themselves in the Widget/Butter category, and they link to several other pages believed to be part of the Widget/Butter category, and they aren't spamming up the idea by submitting a hundred pages with a hundred different categories, and they have the keyword Widget/Butter in the right combo on their page text...they get a better ranking.
And the meta tag is an initiative that a blogger is currently already working on so it isn't like you have to invent it from scratch.
Google is all about automation, but it relies a bit too heavily on dmoz in my opinion...this would even the score a bit I think...
Why not a directory using GilbertZ's idea of a cat Meta tag, but categorizing each web page based on ISBN. It's worked for years for the printed word; I've never understood why no engine seems to use it (or do you?).
I love the viewer. It's got a fat rewind button to take you back to the first result. Can we have a fast forward one as well so I can see my results? :(
Any links which make it easy to surf their categories? I once searched for info on ISBN and even emailed them but it was pretty complicated.
My favorite experiment with ISBN and Google: a couple Googlers hooked a bar code scanner (a CueCat) up to a Google search box. It's so much fun scanning a book and then automatically running a search for it--searching for ISBN numbers works pretty well on Google. :)
We'll keep trying to bring out neat ways to explore the web!
Good job, Google.
WebQuotes doesn't yet read numeric character references correctly (all the apostrophes and quotes get mangled). I'm sure that's a detail that will be polished up soon.
The online library catalogs of the world implement a communication protocol called Z39.50 which allows a person to search multiple library catalogs from one client - you effectively get an online "union catalog" as library folks say. The Z39.50 standard is also used by software like ProCite, so I can download records straight from the Library of Congress into my own database if I want. But the client software, not being driven by a very competitive environment for the most part, is rather clunky and is usually only available by logging into a library website somewhere.
I think it would be great if Google were to implement a "search the libraries of the world" page, where you could enter a search term and get a world union catalog SERP by way of the Z39.50 protocol. Google still maintains the spirit of its academic roots, and providing such a service, even if it didn't bring in a lot of money, would contribute to Google's reputation for quality. (And I suppose Amazon.com could always buy Adwords in the margin.) ;)
Is Google going to update the tool so that they will grab style sheets?
The onle thing i don't like is that when i stop the scrolling, the entire page is not loaded, and i ahve to open it in a seperate window. Some pages don't have all the info in the first page - it would be cooler if it scrolled the entire page after like a keyclick, and than went on..
When surfers kick off a slide show, it's no longer the top of the SERPs that's going to get the most clicks. Surfers will sit back and watch ten or twenty slides, then go back and select a couple that look like they are the most relevant.
Anyone on the first few pages has a decent chance of being found, not just the top dogs.
This thing is powerful if it catches on, and a win-win for everyone.
But can the information servers and pipelines handle the bandwith?
What I'd love to see on that page is quicklinks, somehow a list of the sites I've just viewed, 1-10 or 1-100 with the current one highlighted so if it scrolled by I can easily click the one I want to see...
That reinforces a basic but controversial idea I've been spreading - that "winning" in seo terms isn't everything. The real trick is to win with a website that grabs the reader's attention and presents them with a design that reaches them emotionally.
If you can get a top 10 spot in a crowded field, where the other webmasters have resorted to writing dissertations for their home pages or creating titles like "keyword1 keyword2 keyword3 keyword4 keyword5 keyword6" just to win, you can pull the traffic because the searcher is going to look in the first page of search results for the company that does the best job of using the search results presentation to present themselves as a professional organization. At a minimum, that means putting your company name in your title.
Then you have to have a winning design. Otherwise, they'll just hit the back button.
When a searcher is presented with a search result has a title like this, "keyword1 keyword2 keyword3 keyword4 keyword5 keyword6," they are left to wonder what company that is.
For sure, when the Viewer catches on, it is going to change the way people search for things like "web designer".
Winning wasn't everything before the Viewer came to be. When the Viewer catches on, it'll be even less.
By the way, I spent last night putting the external style sheets back into my sites.
- Position's importance is decreased for the benefit of look and feel of the page
- simple doorwaypages are out big time (esp. if they use js to forward to a sales page) :)
- viewer will increase usage of google *g*