Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Apple Gmail Widget

Just in time for Mother’s Day, a special Dashboard* widget Flores shows a vase of flowers, with every flower representing a new mail. Only up to four flowers are shown, but you can filter specific senders or subjects. Creator Stephan Meyer says, “the entire project took 24 hours, including learning JavaScript and CSS, and was completed 48 hours after purchasing Tiger. flores is dedicated to the women I’ve loved.” A less romantic alternative by Stephan is Coras, adding a coin to a stack on inbox activity. [Thanks Pierre.]

*If you’re wondering “What is Apple Dashboard?”, Google has a direct reply: “Apple Dashboard is a mini-applications layer for Mac OS X based on HTML, Cascading Style Sheets and JavaScript which has been widely compared to Konfabulator.”

Google Searching Alt-text

I’m not sure for how long, but Google web search is searching alt-text within unlinked images. Alt-attributes are serving as textual replacement within contexts where there are no images (it is not to be confused with the title-attribute, which serves as an image’s title, e.g. “Painting by Van Gogh”). Indexing this alt-text of course makes complete sense, but from what I often heard Google in the past would only search alt-text when the image is within a link.

If you want to see this in action, search for “google 2020” and you’ll find this page in the results – it does not anywhere contain the text “google 2020” except in the alt-text of an unlinked image, and the alt-text “[Google 2020]” is shown directly in the result snippet (if the keyword would have been merely “attached” to the page by someone using this text in a link pointing to it, this wouldn’t have happened).


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