Wolfram Alpha-esque results brought to the world's biggest search engine.
Wolfram Alpha may divide critics more savagely than a jar of Marmite but it certainly re-enforces a new paradigm in search – and something Google is keen to home in on…
Consequently, the (by far and away) leading industry search giant has today announced public availability of ‘Google Squared’ – a concept project it first unveiled last month and which tallies user queries into neat, comparable tables.
“Google Squared is an experimental tool that takes a category (like US presidents, roller coasters, or digital cameras) and attempts to create a starter “square” of information, automatically fetching and organizing facts from across the web,” said the company in a launch statement. “You can modify your square by removing rows and columns you don’t like–or by adding new rows and columns and having Google Squared attempt to fetch the relevant facts. Verify and correct the facts in your square by exploring the original sources and investigating other possible values. If you’re happy with your square you can save it and come back to it later. Google Squared does the grunt work for you, making research fast and easy.”
Certainly the ingenuity behind Google Squared cannot be denied. Consumers clearly would like to compare data, not just be presented with web pages linking to hundreds of pages of potentially useful information. On the other hand, much like Wolfram Alpha, results can be garbled or misunderstood more often than not and Squared remains several quantum leaps behind the Wolfram computational engine.
That said, competition is the spice of life and if anyone can bring competitive search offerings quickly up to speed it’s Google…