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New Google "launch"? Did I miss something?

     
12:58 am on May 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I was just reading about the new Wolfram Alpha search technology, and came across the following statement:

Wolfram Alpha has been designed with professionals and academics in mind, so its grasp of popular culture is, at the moment, comparatively poor... For this reason alone it is unlikely to provide an immediate threat to Google, which is working on a similar type of search engine, a version of which it launched last week.

Full Story [independent.co.uk]

Question: What is the latest version of Google, that "launched last week"? Would that explain some of the radical changes in the SERPs that some have reported here?

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1:13 am on May 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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For those who are following this emerging storry, here's our own thread about Wolfram Alpha [webmasterworld.com]. Site search will show that our members have been monitoring Wolfram's new approach to computing for quite a few years.

This story readas like some rather tangled up reporting to me. My guess? It's based on some conjecture thyat appeared in the blogs last week that Google released Profiles [webmasterworld.com] intentionally to push Wolfram Alfa's "sneak preview" out of the new cycle. That idea smells like tin-foil hat to me.

But neither Profiles nor Google organic search goes into the same direction or even touches on the same technology that Wolfram has developed. Just read the first 20% of Wolfram's book "New Kind Of Science" and learn about this model of celluar automata. You'll see right away that Google is not playing in this sandbox.

So I strongly doubt that any changes we see in the SERPs are related to Wolfram's new "knowledge engine". From what I can see, the churn at Google is actually a bit lower than it was in March and April.