Google Translating Search Queries on the Fly

The most popular post on this blog, by far, is Where Does Google Chrome Store User History, Profile and Bookmarks. I had the good luck to be the first person on the Internet to post an answer to this question (even before Google did so in their documentation), just a few days into the original Chrome Beta release. The vast majority of hits come from Google searches that include one or more of the following keywords: Chrome, History, Profile, Bookmarks, Cookies, Save.

I mention this because I saw something very interesting in my site stats today. Someone got to this page by searching for “שמירת סימניות בכרום”. This is Hebrew for “Save Bookmarks in Chrome”. If you searched for this term in English you would see a link to my post on the subject somewhere in the range of the 5th-10th link. However, they searched in Hebrew, and even so, a link to this post showed up (number 8 in the results when I tried it).

So they must be taking the Hebrew, and while they are processing results in Hebrew, the search algorithm also translates it on the fly, searches on the term translated into English, and integrates relevant English results into the result set. This is very cool, and in a world where the bulk of technical literature and answers to questions like this are in English, it is very smart. There is a good chance that someone searching for this in Hebrew will still find an answer in English to be useful. Looks like the Google Search team still has a few tricks up their collective sleeve.

Google Reader Search has Arrived

I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader a while back (along with thousands of others) when they made their big UI switch. Ever since day one, the feature that I (along with others) have been looking forward to most is a search through my subscriptions. After all, Google is primarily a search company, how could they have a product without a good working search (and think of all the lost Adsense revenue)!

Well, the day has come:

Google Reader Search

(I actually read about this in my Google Reader, looked up and had to refresh my page in order to see a search bar. So it was really a fresh feature).

You can now search through your subscriptions, All items, Starred and Shared items, or any of your folders (!). Although one could say that it is about time, just try to think of the engineering nightmare that this feature must have caused. Every time you are adding or changing your subscriptions, you are changing the field of possible search domains. And although the goal is very similar to Co-op (select the domains to which you would like to limit your custom search) you are not searching through webpages, rather through XML-based RSS feeds (in different formats), so it was not as simple as just copying the same old search engine and results. (I am assuming that the search is going through the RSS feeds, and is not indexing the pages themselves. If this is indeed the case, it is one more point in favor of full feeds instead of partial feeds).

Thanks for the feature and good work!

Google’s New Search Interface

Want a sneak-preview at Google’s new search interface? Check out this article from Ars-Technica:

  1. Go to Google
  2. Enter the following into your address bar (one line), hit enter (ignore the popup): “javascript:alert(document.cookie=”PREF=ID=fb7740f107311e46:TM=1142683332:
    LM=1142683332:S=fNSw6ljXTzvL3dWu;path=/;domain=.google.com”)”
  3. Search away

You will get the a new look at a Google Search:
Google Preview

My initial opinion: I hope this is a first draft. That left sidebar column doesn’t seem to add much for me.

What do you think?