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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Google Related Links (Again)

Google once had a program called Related Links, started in 2006 and then cancelled in 2007 (see an older screenshot). Now they're reviving the name with a new Google Labs experiment. Google Related Links (II) shows further links from a given domain which are deemed relevant to a particular page the widget is embedded on. For instance, when I provided a page containing an interview with Wikipedian Mathias Schindler, Google's demo returned links like "Wikipedia Explains the World", "The Wikipedia Vandalism History of Sergey Brin", "Wikipedia Categories Visualizer", "Wikipedia Nofollows Links" and so on. Not bad -- such kind of links often make sense at the bottom of an article to help people find further articles of interest, but they can be laborous to maintain manually.

Well, there's at least one catch, too: this Google product is invite-only at the moment. You need to drop a mail to, stating your Gmail address, domains and roundabout page views per day, and then calmly hope for the best. We also don't know how long the experiment will be around this time. And then I'm not sure if the "related searches by Google" part of the widget is mandatory or optional... it seems like a way for Google to drive traffic to them, but I find it much less useful.


Another Labs experiment released by Google is called Script Converter. You can provide the URL of a web page (or a text snippet) to have the script be converted to its "phonetic equivalent" of another script. Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, English, Nepali and more are included in the selection box. (Also see Google's Indic Transliteration site.)

[Thanks! Top screenshot based on screenshot by Google, with alterations to remove the highlights and description.]

Update: As I've now been invited to the Related Links app, here are some additional details:

  • You can adjust the number of links to show, as well as things like gadget layout
  • The related searches can be disabled (i.e. set to 0 searches)
  • You can add URLs to a blacklist, i.e. these pages won't appear in related links
  • You can define "useless prefixes" and suffixes, that is, strings of text from page titles that won't be shown

I'm giving it a try by including it below:


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