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This week in search 11/05/10

News from Google

This is one of a regular series of posts on search experience updates. Look for the label This week in search and subscribe to the series. - Ed.As the leaves turn here in Mountain View, we’re reminded again about the importance of time. On the search team, we work every day to save you precious seconds so you can spend that time doing the things that really matter. This week, we’ve brought Google Instant to mobile, helping you more quickly find the results you’re looking for. We also brought you up-to-the-minute election results, so you could be the first to find out if your candidate got the job, and improved snippets for shopping sites, so you can quickly pick, say, the right stopwatch or alarm clock to buy. Speaking of alarm clocks, read on to the end of the post for an important tip...

Google Instant for mobile
Yesterday, we released a beta version of Google Instant for mobile, currently for Android 2.2+ and iOS4 devices in the U.S. To try it out, go to in your phone’s browser and tap the Google Instant “Turn on” link beneath the search box. Like the desktop version of Instant, when you type on your mobile device you’ll see predictions of what you might be searching for, and results for the top prediction appear automatically. Here’s a demo:

Live midterm election results in search
During this week's midterm elections in the U.S., people came to Google to get up-to-the-minute results. To speed things up we flipped on a simple way to find election results when you search terms like [elections] or [midterm election results]. It includes the latest results for U.S. House and Senate races and, where appropriate, your state Governor and Senate races. You can also choose to see the results for any specific states with queries like [new york election results]. Many people were curious about the results for California—a search for [ca election results 2010] and related terms was the #2 hottest query on Tuesday.

Rich snippets for shopping sites
In time for the holiday season, we now support rich snippets for shopping sites! Rich snippets are search results that have been enhanced using structured data from webpages. When you’re looking for something to buy, you’ll start seeing a new search result format with product price, availability and reviews. Here’s an example from a search for an [office lava lamp]:

This feature is currently available in the U.S., but we’ll be rolling it out in new countries soon. For more details, read our post on the Webmaster Central blog.

This week in searches
With the end of daylight savings time (which happens this weekend in the U.S.), in many parts of the world people were thinking about time this week. Between the U.S. elections, Halloween and, of course, the World Series, there was plenty to schedule. We all know the Giants won the title, but who won the search trends battle? Watch this week’s Google Beat to find out.

Thanks for sharing a few minutes to learn more about the latest in search. Oh, and don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour this Sunday!

Ben Gomes, Distinguished Engineer

published @ November 6, 2010

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