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Google Squared should be live by now [and it's live now]  (View post)

Franta H. [PersonRank 6]

Monday, June 1, 2009
9 years ago6,108 views

Google said in a blogspot in May when they announced Google Squared:

"We'll be opening it up to users later this month on Google Labs."

But unfortunately Squared is still not live. I hope they will launch it as soon as possible. Maybe they wanted to launch it on the 3rd of June when Bing was supposed to launch in order to divide media attention between Bing and Squared... but thet's only a speculation...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

The URL, for reference: google.com/squared/

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Nice thinking Franta! I can't wait to try squared!

Paul [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

Here's my theory:

They announced Squared around the time Wolfram|Alpha was launched, because they knew that the longer they left it after Alpha's launch, the more it would look like, rightly or wrongly, Squared was just a response to Alpha. For the same reason, they said that Squared would be launched by the end of the month, even though they knew this wasn't feasible.

In short, they lied.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

[put at-character here]Paul:
... as if you could develop a such a complex service in a few weeks to respond to the competition. Google Squared is the anti-Wolfram|Alpha because it finds facts from the web, not from hand-picked authoritative sources.

que [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

My guess is we'll hear more about it on Wednesday when Bing 'was' originally scheduled to debut. It would be a way to deflect at least some of the media attention & advertising blitz that Bing will receive.

hebbet [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Google added Disallow: /squared/api Disallow: /squared/search on robots.txt

Kirby Witmer [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I'm not sure if this was mentioned before or not, but there is also a login page for Google Squared although I couldn't get it to work.

www.google.com/accounts/Servic ...

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

www.google.com/accounts/Manage ... => Google Squared => google.com/squared

beussery [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

[moved ~hebbet]
The following was just added to Google's robots.txt:

Disallow: /squared/api
Disallow: /squared/search
Disallow: /squared/table

Is this a signal of something new, just another tease or was "Squared" simply a diversion for Wave? Hopefully we'll know shortly! ;)

WebSonic.nl [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

[moved from "Google Squared live"]

google.com/squared

hebbet [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

it is now live

Above 12 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

beussery [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

LIKE IT!

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I love it! Not much FAIL going around, here is a definite fail however google.com/squared/search?q=ir ...

noodlesquares [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

Most of the results other than the samples don't make much sense in terms of which items Google picks or how they're ordered. Compare to tables that have some human intelligence guiding them: noodlesquares.com [disclaimer: associated with Noodle Squares]

Wesley de Souza [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

VERY impressive, works fine for a lot of random queries, showing the technology was very well built (unlike Microsoft's Bing, what a mess).

The bad news is that "times" is not an easter egg anymore. I don't remember the others to test.

WebSonic.nl [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

When you search for search engines Yahoo is placed on top, Bing is not in the list yet.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Whoops, I'm now getting "We're sorry... ... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now. " (but just on Google Squared, not Google web search).

Tim [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

It's appalling.

For example, 'uk cities' doesn't list London, Edinburgh or Glasgow in the first results.

Wolfram|Alpha has nothing to fear.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I'm getting mixed results.

e.g. This was good [80s movies]:
google.com/squared/search?q=80 ...

This wasn't so good [beatles albums]:
google.com/squared/search?q=be ...

hebbet [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

[put at-character here]philipp: [Up] blogoscoped.com/forum/155401.h ... spam?

Grega M [PersonRank 2]

9 years ago #

If you search for "US states" (kind of standard one, isn't it?) and add more and more items, you get a strange one at the end:

Gillibrand, Kirsten E.

Senator Gillibrand's number one priority is to create good-paying jobs and invest in long ... Sign-up to receive regular e-mail newsletters from Kirsten ...

And District of Columbia's capital is +$30.708

[Anonymous] [PersonRank 4]

9 years ago #

How is this different from freebase?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

[bad movies] starts out with an interesting list, but the goes on to list genres, not movie titles...

milivella [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Nice post, Philipp, personal *and* informative. Thanks.

> As usual, Google prefers automatic web-wide gathering & mining of data instead of having human editors create non-scalable content

Exactly.

John Hartley [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

Talking of easter eggs: magpie team

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Tim, try [british cities] instead of [uk cities] and then you get e.g. London and Glasgow. Sometimes trying slightly different query formulations can help.

milivella [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

[put at-character here]Tony:

[beatles lps]
google.com/squared/search?q=be ...
and [beatles cds]
google.com/squared/search?q=be ...
seem to work a bit better.

milivella [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Quick impression: it has great prospectives, but in this moment it's far from Google standard (even if you consider Google products at their launch date).

milivella [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

(Yes, I know that it's in Labs.)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

> Quick impression: it has great prospectives, but in this
> moment it's far from Google standard

Some of the results are more on the lines of humorous than something you could use for research. I wonder if Google is really eager to get usage data, like for instance, corrections or additions (which could at least theoretically help power future results, not sure if Google would want to go that route?).

And thanks John, I added an update with the magpie team query!

Artem Russakovskii [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

My fail:


beerpla.net/for_www/screenshot ...

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

This is kind of like "Google Sets" taken to the next level. But somehow I feel that "Google Base" should have come into this too, but I don't see any sign of it.

Isaac Waller [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

Search for "free email services." Apparently Gmail is $65.99, and Hotmail is $400,000,000. The only free free email service is Yahoo!.

Zim [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Impressing. This is amazing!
It's so smart!

Grega M [PersonRank 2]

9 years ago #

[religions]
Christianity – author = Lewis CS, mariage = Morgan Stanley & Mitsubishi UFJ
Islam – date of birth = July 21, 1948
Reincarnation – marriage = Sikh & Catholic

This is really bad.

[disasters]
Tornado – subject = reply with quote
Europe – Promotions = sale???

As good as there are some results, it is shown that sometimes you need a human editor...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

The [Creative Common licenses] are:
   * Attribution
   * Attribution-NonCommercial
   * Sampling
   * Developing Nations
   * Cory Doctorow
   * ...

[Social networks] shows the number of Orkut employees: "Jun 18, 2004".

[Sins] shows Pride, Sloth, Gluttony and more, and the columns "Author", "Director" and "Language"...

[Alcoholic beverages] has a column "Contact"... apparently you can contact beer at Box 2143 Somerset.

milivella [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Philipp:

> I wonder if Google is really eager to get usage data, like for instance, corrections or additions

This is a realistic chance!

Gaurav [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

This is so bad.. it's typical of Google to launch something that's not quite ready..

Zack [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

Philipp, congratulations on creating Google!

google.com/squared/search?q=se ...

And check it out, looks like Yahoo was bought out by Craigslist too :D

In all seriousness, great idea but the algorithm still needs some work.

Zack [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

^^

forgot to mention that you need to add "created by" and "owner" columns

George R [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

squared [don't be evil] google.com/squared/search?q=do ...
squared [google products] google.com/squared/search?q=go ...
squared [google services] google.com/squared/search?q=go ...
squared [google labs] google.com/squared/search?q=go ...
squared [google beta] google.com/squared/search?q=go ...

shivs [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

# Searching for "IIM" (Indian Institute of Management) does not list even a single IIM. Manually listing them and then adding columns URL, Telephone give no result although the value of these 2 is available in description column

# Search for "Google Products", add a column URL, and I had a good laugh.

Not an impressive product ... just a way of wasting time over the internet!!!

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Unofficial Google blogs
google.com/squared/search?q=Zo ...

I like it, really. (it's rare, so I've to say it)

raghu [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

I created for Indian Movies: google.com/squared/table/agfZX ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

> Philipp, congratulations on creating Google!
>
> google.com/squared/search?q=se ...

Hmm, what do you see there? Can't seem to see that...

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Results are totally wrong at least 30% of the time, if not more. That renders them totally useless, because you can never trust what you get...

If you look for "president of Poland" you get list of... Catholic cardinals. "Polish presidents" finds only one (the communistic one), and claims he was succeeded by a communistic Prime Minister, who newer was a president. "presidents of Poland" again gives you one president, this time from pre-WWII Polish 2nd Republic. It seems there is no way to get Google Squared to show me list of presidents from the current 3th Republic.

"European Union members" shows just bunch of dates and plain gibberish – google.com/squared/search?q=eu ...
Typing "European Union member states" gives you a little better results, but after couple of countries, random dates make a comeback.

So it may be a cool technology, but I don't think it would be very useful when doing actual research.

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

> Hmm, what do you see there? Can't seem to see that...

Google Squered finds only two possible values for Google's URL (you have to click on the cell to see them both):

"==> gives knowledge to everyone from people to small companies. Therefore means big organisation (or countries, or powerfull people) do not have anymore this advantage. That is way important."

and...

" blogoscoped.com/\"

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

[put at-character here]MattCutts you are better paid than Larry and Sergey, but less than Vint Cerf. Anyway, this last one is only 326 pixels tall, so he doesn't count. :-D
google.com/squared/search?q=go ...

Jon [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

google.com/squared/search?q=go ...

The entry for employees on health is ammusing

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

> So it may be a cool technology, but I don't think it would
> be very useful when doing actual research.

Squared is a fabulous data mining tool. It doesn't give you your answers, but it is a tool to help you to find those answers.

In the same way, a car doesn't deliver you to your destination. Instead, it is a tool to help you get there.

Ido [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

> > Philipp, congratulations on creating Google!
> >
> > google.com/squared/search?q=se ...
>
> Hmm, what do you see there? Can't seem to see that...

add "Created By" column to the search "search engines"

on the product – big FAIL.
I agree with Ludwik Trammer, such a high miss rate makes the whole product unsafe to use. The difference between this product and the normal google search is that I can tolerate somewhat incorrect results as long as they are related to the subject, but with a spreadsheet, I need to know that the information is correct, it doesn't do me any good if I need to double check every cell.

features that are missing:
export to CSV/google spreadsheet
sort by column

que [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I think its biggest deficiency is that it culls each data element from such disparate sources that it only seems to give acceptable results for specific samples like roller coasters. Even then, it gets most of its data from a few sources which are accurate but then oddly gathers the rest of the data from different sites. Why mix and match randomly when the primary source site is providing adequate data already?

I think a better approach would be one of these ways.

1. Gather as much source data as possible from a highly ranked and structured site like Wikipedia or IMDB, and then if specific 'facts' are not available or confidence is low, then look elsewhere for the data.

2. Generate a list of highly ranked source sites first and let the user select amongst them or add to them. Then, determine the facts based only on those sites.

3. This may be planned for later – I don't know. But, allow the user-created Squares to be ranked within the algorithm to help generate future Squares. Then, allow me to select from user-created Squares if my query matches another users. Chances are, the user-created Squares would likely be better than the system can generate on its own.

I just don't see how gathering information from so many unrelated sources and combining it is in any better than at least gathering from highly ranked and structured sites first before looking beyond them.

milivella [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

que:

> I just don't see how gathering information from so many unrelated sources and combining it is in any better than at least gathering from highly ranked and structured sites first before looking beyond them.

Very sensible to me!

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