More Google-y Goodness For Your Searching Pleasure

ABA Law Technology Resource Center reports on new Google features to make your searching easier to perform and more effective. Here is the quoted text from the ABA entry in full:

New Search Results

Google quietly rolled out “universal search” results on the main Google search results page. Now video results from their recent acquisition YouTube, as well as images, books, blog posts, news, and local information will appear in the main results set, as opposed to only appearing in their individual search pages. Another change is in the options for each result. In the past users could choose to see “similar pages” and “cached pages”. Now, appears the option to “Note This”. This option leads the user to the new Google Notes, a concept similar to eSnips or Furl. If you like having all your services in one Google basket you should check this out. 

The new search results are bound to change ranking status for some companies, and will cause a scramble to get to the top spot for those in the search engine optimization business.

Still Playing with Search

Google is also experimenting with a new user interface with a site called “SearchMash”. The Google brand is nowhere to be found, but most things look familiar. A dead giveaway is if you explore the privacy policy very far you will find yourself in the Google privacy policy. The new interface is very similar to some of the metasearch engines like Clusty and Vivisimo (in looks only), and shows a main results set with the option to expand subsearch sets in images, blogs, videos, and Wikipedia. The handy  Google feature “search this site” has been retooled as well. Now you can drill into a site for your original query simply by clicking on the domain in the results set – no retyping or trying to remember the syntax to search within a site. It has a lot of potential and it should be interesting to see where this will go. For now, just enjoy the BETA

Defender of the Universe?

According to some sources Google is readying to police the web, automatically identifying compromised sites that could carry malware and drive-by downloads by marking the sites in the search results as “potentially harmful”. The interesting part here is the treatment of Web 2.0 sites, and how Google will attempt to discovery malware in a site, such as a blog, that has constantly changing content. Google security specialist Niels Provos, along with four of his Google colleagues, has written a paper “The Ghost in the Browser” discussing Google’s plans to incorporate security analysis into its index.  The Google researchers reviewed 4.5 million Web sites and found that about one in 10 Web pages could successfully “drive-by download” a Trojan horse virus onto a visitor’s computer.

For those who would like to be warned of potential malware on websites right now, McAfee’s SiteAdvisor offers some help, and shows site ratings for search results in MSN, Google, and Yahoo!

Happy Hunting!

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