Google Does Search Too

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This week it’s hard not to write about Google+. It is not every day that a very profitable Internet company launches a social network. But even though Google+ has stolen the limelight, there are a few other releases from the search giant worth paying attention to.

Apparently Google Does Search Too

What do you love? The obvious answer.

This week Google also announced a cool search tool called ‘What do you love?’ and the inclusion of author attribution in the search results. Google’s core strength is information retrieval. Becoming the Internet’s content curation tool of choice and consequently becoming a major source of attention and traffic is why the company is where it is today.

One of this week’s releases was a cool new search tool with an engaging interface. ‘What do you love?’ runs a query against a number of Google services and products, including search, books, images, 3D objects and maps. The result is more of a subject orientated page than a search result, and it links off to each Google service listed. The tool is very new, and there is a small box at the bottom of the page promising ‘More coming soon’.

Finding the Authors or the Publishers?

Earlier in June a blog post titled Authorship markup and web search was published on the Google Webmaster Central blog. Only two weeks later another blog post called Highlighting content creators in search results stated that author attribution would be added to the search results pages.

This feature is powered by the authorship markup which we announced two weeks ago. We hope as more authors link to their content, it will improve your search experience and the quality of content being created on the web.

Authors, Attribution and Snippets

People develop preferences for certain content creators. There is no need to look further than traditional media like books and movies for examples of this behaviour. Selecting content by author is about trust and choosing a style and view you prefer. On the Internet most methods of content discovery, from search to social media, draw more attention to the publisher of a piece or the platform than the author.

Trust in exploration and selection of information is skewed heavily towards the source, be it a link from a friend or a listing in an aggregator or a search tool, and the publisher who provided the space for it online. Most of the time the author is invisible at the point where the user decides what to click on.

Google seems to think that authorship and attribution are important. Solid attribution is a real issue online in an environment where it is increasingly separated from its origin. Tying individual identity to work has potential for authors developing their personal brand or apps collating an individual’s work for easy consumption. It will be interesting to see how author attribution and the tools to make it happen in search will affect other personal aggregators as online content consumption becomes even more separate from the sites that host it.

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