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Google adds Weather feature

     
12:16 pm on Mar 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The search giant has unveiled yet another search feature which allows getting weather information by typing "weather" followed by a city name or zip code. Follow links for more information.

[google.com...]
[google.com...]

2:39 pm on Mar 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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also:

[google.com...]

12:45 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Where will it stop? When is enough 'content on the page' enough?
12:47 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Where will it stop?

Whoever said it had to?

12:50 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Then surfers need never leave Google and your listings with them are just donated content.

I feel the biggest reason webmasters have panned Ask Jeeves is that they don't send out any referrals - they trap people at the site (yahoo does the same to a degree). It is pretty clear, that putting weather and email on Google has and will continue to reduce the number of clicks Google sends offsite.

1:15 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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There will be much more to come, IMO.

I predict that the Google of the future will be more useful for users, and less of a free-lunch engine for webmasters.

1:19 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Then surfers need never leave Google and your listings with them are just donated content.

I think I understand what you are saying (kind of) in regards to people not having to leave Google for weather ... but how is it our listings (for other things) become donated content?

2:15 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think he's saying that our web page's content, combined with google's algorithms, provides the "draw" to come to google in the first place. but they never/rarely need to actually go to the results of the serps.

if that wasn't it then it was over my head as well. :)

2:22 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Weather, news, sports, flight information, email, pictures, etc etc.

Why would anyone ever leave Google? Why would we let them use our content as bait?

2:58 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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How long before Google has two buttons on a serp result:

Click here to see the information in Google

or

Click here to see the original page

?

3:05 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So what you're saying is that Google is positioning itself to be more of a Yahoo/MSN "hub" versus a "purely for search" engine.

(I know hub is the wrong word ... just can't think of the right word right now)

Yes ... I see what you mean. It does seem as though they are grabbing more and more away from webmasters. Hmmmm.

I'm not sure how I really feel about this. I've been wondering about all my photos being cached in Google Images for quite a while. It seems people think they can just go and grab whatever images they want and use them for their own purposes.

Since there is no information on Google's results pages stating that ownership of the photos displayed remain with the sites linked below each picture, I suppose some may think its ok to just take what they want.

Google also have a travel forum which is starting to gain exposure as well.

It does seem as though they are trying to horn into places they really don't belong. Yahoo and MSN both do the same thing. I wonder though if there is any real means of self defense without slaughtering the fatted calf?

3:08 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Click here to see the information in Google

They already do! Its called "cache" and appears beside every page listed.

3:18 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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They already do! Its called "cache" and appears beside every page listed.

I actually use the cache quite a bit for pages that seem to take a long time to load (or simply timeout). I go back to the serps and see Google's cache which makes it quicker to view. Maybe that's an angle:

View this page quicker!

4:16 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The only reason I go to a search engine is to search. If I want weather, I type in weather.com, how hard is that?

One reason Google got so big is that they were the best at one thing, SEARCH. They didn't clutter up the space with a lot of extra crap you weren't interested in.

It's okay, let them sign their own death warrant. It's time for someone else to take the throne.

4:24 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Surely this is going to have an effect on those poor webmasters running weather sites optimized for "weather <city>" queries.

Where will these query prefixes stop?
4:48 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, and tastes like a chicken........ ;)

anyone still guessing whether Google is a search engine or a portal? :)

4:55 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> poor webmasters running weather sites optimized for "weather <city>" queries.

weather $city and $city weather queries are my 14th largest referral.

6:13 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Kind of ironic, don't you think? Google's original positioning -- and I thought current positioning -- was streamlined searching. Find exactly what you need fast, without a lot of extraneous crap, without being forced to surf their site. Then GO to the results. Are they simply imitating the very thing they sought to eliminate at the start?

Frankly, this could be the beginning of the end if so. Because, IMHO, users will always want fast search to expert sites with the content they want. And someone else could easily come in with better technology and a simpler interface and out-Google Google if Google continues down this path.

7:26 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"anyone still guessing whether Google is a search engine or a portal? :)"

I listened to an analyst the other day - who discussed the major difference between Google & Yahoo.

Yahoo wanted to own the content / be a media company

Google didn't want to own any content - just have the tools to get there

7:43 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Imaster, "Portal" was the word I was searching for! :)
Funny how sometimes simple words escape you!

I think the worm may have turned for Google with the IPO. Looks as though there's no turning back at this point.

So now we have three portals:

  • One which set out to be a portal with search as part and parcel of its offerings.

  • One which is a portal but has designs on becoming a search engine ... just because.

  • One search engine trying to become a portal ... for lord knows what reason.

    Hmmm. The grass is always greener I suppose. Too bad. Sergey and Larry had a great (and simple) concept. In typical fashion, corporate greed has taken less than a year to dump all over their dream and make Google into something it was never intended to be.

    Ya see what happens when you try to be all things to all people rather than sticking to what you know?

    NEXT!

    Anyone taking side bets on the next "real" search engine to make its entrance? My guess is that it will take two years. In the meantime, we'll just have to deal the hand we've been dealt. :(

  • 8:12 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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    I don't see how any normal person would see this as not useful.
    9:14 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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    Let me show you the future:

    * One: You, as a user, go to G or Y or MSN or AJ or whatever similar site.
    * Two: you type (or speak) your query: keyword(s), question, etc.
    * Three: from its web sites cache it runs a Web Data Extraction (aka scraping) based on your query, parses returned contents into a self indexing text database, retrieves data, combines with relative returns from its scanned print database and rewrites as a summary with option of a detailed thesis.

    Increasingly inexpensive storage and processing power combined with increasingly better extraction, aggregation, and computer writing programs mean that the place with the data is the place with the information. The Information Mall is born.

    Libraries and print publications will survive on copyright material (for a while). Traditional websites will exist, if and only if, they can provide something beyond "content". E-commerce, personal/hobby, opinion/review, etc. will likely struggle on.

    There is no law against research and rewriting in "own" words as "original". Doing so totally via algorithm and script is recent. Doing it well will be new.

    I know individuals doing much of this now. G et al will simply be more efficient having already stored the web in their local databanks.

    Great user resource until the charges start. Disasterous for "content" webmasters/sites in the short/medium term. Access permissions, ToS, linking, etc. will all become incredibly more complex and important.

    Did you ever wonder why so many intranet and b2b networks, etc. are closed? Now you know one reason - the above scenario has been seen coming for a long time.

    Information has value - and you've been happily bartering it away in exchange for a non-guaranteed SERP.

    11:29 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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    The real interesting thing about this feature is that they are, I think, using geo targeting to figure out which city you want.

    My city name exists in (at least) New Jersey, Illinois, and Georgia. But, when I type <city> weather, I get mine, not one of the others.

    I tried another city name that has locations in three states, none of which are too big, and it didn't produce any results. But, when I tried city state weather, it displayed Google's forecast.

    I tried another city name that has one location in a top ten TV market, and other smaller cities in several states, and it automatically showed me the forecast for the top ten market.

    It shows the move towards local SERPS, and some fairly good planning by Google.

    11:38 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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    Where will it stop?

    I've noticed a number of searches that I care about now have so much stuff at the top on Google that the organic serps barely make it above the fold on a 800x600 screen.

    You get Froogle, Images, and maybe a couple preium adswords listings first.

    Time to start pushing bigger monitors and higher settings I nguess :)

    11:46 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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    Weather feeds are so ubiquitous and there isn't a single site out there adding anything to them that I don't see why Google wouldn't cut them out of the loop. I won't ever have a problem with a site dropping in their own dictionary, weather, calculator, etc. type modules.

    Movie show-times though? That's the one that's worth getting upset about, not the weather. :(

    12:54 am on Mar 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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    I don't see how any normal person would see this as not useful.

    From G: "All weather conditions and forecasts are provided by Wunderground, Inc."

    They produce crap forecasts. I spend a lot of time outside in the elevated interior districts of a large island in the Caribbean. Those generic forecasts are totally useless. When I'm not in the south, I'm in a rural part of Canada; again, those forecasts are useless. If I want a real weather report, I go local, not to some McWeather report from Babylon.

    <added> I see that it's only available for the US, (for the time-being). If they extend it to the rest of the world, it will be totally ridiculous. The thought that someone in Hong Kong is going to get their forecast from the US is absurd. And what kind of sweetheart deal do they have going with Weather Underground?</added>

    10:04 am on Mar 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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    A very useful service no doubt. For the user.
    Google values the user and recognises their worth.

    Yet its still very non-obtrusive and I can see this continuing. Google offering more and more 'little' useful services to their users. We've already seen the movies and travel tools. Now we have weather. This is really just the beginning.

    Golden rule.
    Content is king. Keep them coming back for more.

    Can anyone see a MyGoogle page in the future? ;)

    10:37 am on Mar 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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    Now that they've got the weather covered, they must be working on their classified personals:. I can see it now:

    match SWM seeking SWF city state

    advanced search will let you filter more by looks, behavior and worldly assets

    ;)

    10:03 pm on Mar 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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    I think Teoma is a nice looking search
    4:08 am on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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    ypsites:
    > Find exactly what you need fast, without a lot of extraneous crap, without being
    > forced to surf their site.

    Yep, that's why the new Google weather feature is darn cool. Just the info I need, quickly, and without any fuss.

    moheybee:
    > I don't see how any normal person would see this as not useful.

    Amen.

    This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38