–Posted: 16 Oct 2010 11:37 AM PDT–
**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.
Search is always evolving, and we’re excited to share the latest this week—from Google Auto complete to our fun homepage doodles—as well as a glimpse at what the U.S. is searching for. Here’s this week’s round up of updates:
A birthday surprise
Because doodles are such a fun part of the search experience, we thought we’d share a fun little way Google will help celebrate your birthday. When you include your date of birth on your Google profile, you may notice a special treat on the Google homepage on your birthday (be sure to sign in). Click on the doodle for another birthday surprise!
Renaming Google Suggest
We first launched Google Suggest in 2004 in Labs to help people enter their searches faster. Suggest has been a very popular feature, and some people have been asking what happened to it. Never fear, it hasn’t gone anywhere—we just renamed it to “Google Autocomplete.” As part of our launch of Google Instant, we thought “Autocomplete” fit better with the new functionality—automatic queries and automatic results.
Google Instant in new countries across Asia
We’ve been rapidly expanding Google Instant around the globe. Last week we launched Instant in Australia, India, Korea, New Zealand and Singapore. Now that it’s been a few weeks since our initial release, we’ve been finding that people are really learning how to get the most out of Instant. For example, in just two weeks, we saw an increase in the fraction of searches performed without hitting enter or clicking search. This is a very demanding launch for our infrastructure and we’re expanding around the globe as soon as we can.
Eurostat data in search
We’ve also rolled out some improvements our public data search features. We’ve been working closely with Eurostat to surface some really useful and interesting data about unemployment rates, government debt, minimum wage and broadband penetration across Europe. Try searching for [arbeitslosenstatistik deutschland], [smic france] or [deuda publica españa] to see examples of this data visualisation in action. The data is available across 34 languages. We’ve also internationalized data from the World Bank. You can learn more on our European policy blog.
The week in searches
Curious to know what Google Searches skyrocketed in the U.S. this week? Check out the Google Beat, where you’ll find an inside look into what people are clicking on Google. This week, we cover everything from Columbus Day to Brett Favre and the buzz around “Cigar Guy.”
We hope you find these updates useful. Stay tuned for more next week.
Posted by Johanna Wright, Director, Search Product Management