Google Blogoscoped

Monday, March 29, 2004

Google Introduces Numrange Searches

You can use the brand new numrange operator* to search the web within a number range you set. Just put two dots inbetween two numbers.

For example, querying Google for War 1900..1910 will return pages with the words War 1900, War 1901 and so on. Or, enter DVD player $250..350 to find DVD players within a certain price range. Or 5000..10000 kg truck.

Use the minus operator, as in year-1900..2000, to glue a word to the number. Sometimes, Google will tell you the query is too long to process (e..g if you stick several number ranges together).

*This feature is already available via the Google Web API and might allow for interesting new Google tools.

Want to Google what happened on the birthdays of your life? E.g when you are born on May 26 1977, enter on-5-26-1977..2004 to get relevant results.

Also see the Google help entry on numrange.

Google Labs Add Personalized Web Search, Web Alerts

Google Labs today added two new features:

Personalized search lets you create your own profile of interests (such as Technology -> Science). When searching, you can then drag a slider to show personal results. E.g. I entered some Internet/ computer related interests; then searching for nothing but “news” with a maximized personalization, I got to see technology blog Slashdot in top position.

Google Personalized profiles are stored on individual computers by setting a cookie. Though this means information cannot be shared between several computers, it also means your information is private and there is no need for a login.

As for Google Web Alerts, you are not restricted to entering a single keyword. You can also find out when new sites link to you by entering e.g.

MSN Answerbot vs Google Answers

“[MSNs Yusuf Mehdi] also said Microsoft is developing MSN Answerbot, an application to let users find online answers to specific questions. For example, a user could type, “What is the tallest mountain in the United States?” and get the answer.

Google charges users for a similar service, Google Answers. On that site, researchers track down answers for a fee that starts at $2.50, according to Google.”
– Kim Peterson, MSN to add features Google got to first (Seattle Times), March 27, 2004

This comparison is slightly ridiculous, as Google Answers is not an automated application, but a human service. Automated applications (as AskJeeves shows) have well-defined limits in their answering (and natural language processing) capabilities.

Also see the interesting [PDF] Web Question Answering: Is More Always Better? (by Microsoft Researchers)


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!