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Google Experiments with Dictionary, Adds Reading Level to Side Bar

Two new search tidbits from Google

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Google Dictionary in Search

Today, Google is experimenting with Google Dictionary as an integrated part of search.  The dictionary would be available on the side bar as a search option and would allow users to find definitions of words without using “define” within their search.  The definition provided would come from the Google Dictionary, but would also include a section for web definitions below.

The feature is not yet available for everyone, so thanks to Google Operating System blog for the screencap:

Google Exhumes Reading Level

Google has offered a tool that categorizes search results based on reading level for some time now, but until now it has been an option tucked away in advanced search.  It is currently displayed on the side bar among the other search options.

If you use this option, your results will be displayed using an indicator for how difficult the material is to read.  Pages can be basic, intermediate or advanced.  A query for quantum physics produces mostly advanced results.

A query for Kim Kardashian does not, as would be expected.

Different age groups and people with varying levels of professionalism might use this tool to filter out results they can’t use properly.  Or, like me, sometimes you’re just too lazy to read anything difficult.

Google Experiments with Dictionary, Adds Reading Level to Side Bar
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  • http://thewebsensesolution.com Jon

    Although I would prefer to see ideas that increase literacy levels, I think that would be beyond the scope of a search engine. I do see the usefulness of finding search results targeted to the reading level of the user. On the most basic level, an article using words that the user doesn’t understand will not be helpful or useful for that user. Google is likely making a good business decision here.

  • Lis Hung

    The old google “multilingual” dictionary was a great companion for translators and travelers. Now, it is only available in the same language (source=target, Chinese to Chinese, English to English). I don’t see point in it.