[source: Google Blog]
Some information is easy to find. If you want to learn the rules of golf, you can search Google for [golf rules] and we’ll return a list of relevant web sites right at the top. But not all your information needs are that simple. Some questions can be more complex, requiring you to visit ten, perhaps twenty websites to research and collect what you need.
For instance, I’m a big fan of roller coasters. In the past I’ve used Google to search for information about roller coasters, such as which ones are the tallest, fastest, and have the most loops. Finding this information used to take multiple searches — I’d find roller coaster sizes on one website, heights on another, and speeds on a third. By manually comparing the sites, I could get the information I was looking for, but it took some time. With Google Squared, a new feature just released in Google Labs, I can find my roller coaster facts almost instantly.
Google Squared is an experimental search tool that collects facts from the web and presents them in an organized collection, similar to a spreadsheet. If you search for [roller coasters], Google Squared builds a square with rows for each of several specific roller coasters and columns for corresponding facts, such as image, height and maximum speed.
While gathering facts from across the Internet is relatively easy (albeit tedious) for humans to do, it’s far more difficult for computers to do automatically. Google Squared is a first step towards solving that challenge. It essentially searches the web to find the types of facts you might be interested in, extracts them and presents them in a meaningful way.
This technology is by no means perfect. That’s why we designed Google Squared to be conversational, enabling you to respond to the initial result and get a better answer. If there’s another row or column you’d like to see, you can add it and Google Squared will automatically attempt to fetch and fill in the relevant facts for you. As you remove rows and columns you don’t like, Google Squared will get a fresh idea of what you’re interested in and suggest new rows and columns to add. See it in action in the video below:
If you click on any fact, you’ll see the sources Google Squared gathered it from as well as a list of other possible values that you can investigate. So even if your square isn’t perfect at the beginning, it’s easy to work with Google Squared to get a better answer in no time. Once you’ve got a square you’re happy with, you can save it and come back to it later.
To give Google Squared a whirl, try searching for [planets] or [romantic movies]. You can try out Google Squared now in Google Labs.
Posted by Alex Komoroske, Associate Product Manager for Google Squared