July 24, 2012

2 New Search Experiments: 'Share' Button & Expanded Knowledge Graph Box

The company that never sleeps seems to be making news in every area except the one that makes them the most money--search. Well, fear not. Google is not just an ad company,, a hardware manufacturer, a mobile OS company, an online video company, an email provider, a social network, an online retailer, a mapping service, a web browser developer, an ebook distributor, and a cloud storage provider. At their core, they are still a search company, and they are still dedicated to being the best search engine out there.

"Share" Button In Search Results

That's why this week the Google Operating System blog is reporting on 2 different search experiments. The first one is a "Share" link that appears next to the URLs in search results and replaces the +1 button. Clicking on the link brings up the standard Google+ share box. But fear not, if you want to share the web page with someone who's not on Google+, you can simply type in their email address.

This experiment appears to be very prevalent, with a lot of people (including myself) seeing the new "Share" button. If you trust the comments on the Google Operating System blog, it also seems to be an unpopular change, since it takes away the +1 button, which a lot of people used as a social bookmarking service. In other words, instead of creating a bookmark for every page on the web you want to remember, people just clicked the +1 button, which allowed them to easily find that page in the future. What would make more sense is if Google used a +1 button that also opened up a share box.

Expanded Knowledge Graph Box

The second experiment is an expansion of the previously-introduced Knowledge Graph box which often appears on the right-hand side of the results and offers interesting facts about your search. This change introduces an "explore more" link. When clicked, it brings up a longer list of related Knowledge Graph entries across the top.