On Wednesday, Google officially unveiled its newest lab project called Google Squared , which attempts to organize search results into a spreadsheet style layout. Although it might appear at first glance that this is a Wolfram Alpha competitor, Google is quick to defend the original aspects of the service. Unlike Wolfram Alpha, Google isn’t actually performing any calculations, and they will simply continue to do what they do best, present information that has been cached from the web. The idea behind squared is to help organize your search results so that you get all of the relevant information you’re looking for in one shot. It is hoped that this will minimize the amount of times users will need to refine their original search terms in order to get the results they are looking for.
The system isn’t quite perfect however, and ARS Technica was able to achieve some pretty humorous results by searching for the term “ NYC population ”. While reviewing the results, I noticed that Google populated a column named “status”, and listed Queens as “hospitalized”. Another column is titled “white” and the associated image is a heard of deer wandering around an army base. That’s not to say the system is totally broken however, and when it works, it works extremely well. A quick search for the term “ Palm Pre ” for example, turned up categories such as memory, weight, dimensions, display, etc. They clearly have some work to do on making the columns more relevant, but it certainly is an encouraging start.
Give Google Squared a spin and let us know what you think.