Google Puts Universal Search in Suggestions, Launches Quick Scroll

    December 15, 2009
    Chris Crum

In case you were thinking that Google hadn’t made enough announcements this week, they have made a couple more. First, they are adding universal search results to Google Suggest, and second, they have released a new Chrome extension called Google Quick Scroll.

Universal search in Google Suggest means that if you begin typing a query, not only will Google give you suggested text to help you complete your search, but they may even give you some of the other universal search information you’re used to seeing in search results. One example would be weather results for specific locations:

Google Suggest with Universal Search Results

"This kind of information will appear in Suggest either above or below the suggested search terms for a variety of queries," Google says. "For example, you can type ‘delta 140’ to see the flight status. You can also quickly discover the current time, figure out how many Euros you’ll get per dollar, or even brush up on metric conversions. In total, there are currently 10 universal search features available in Google Suggest: weather, flight status, local time, area codes, package tracking, answers, definitions, calculator, currency and unit conversions — and we plan to add additional features in the future."

As Google continues to add additional features to Universal Search in Google Suggest, let’s hope that they are able to better control those than they have been with Google Suggest in general, particularly if they add images to it. Google began adding ads to Google Suggest earlier this year.

The Quick Scroll Chrome extension lets users use Google’s search capabilities after leaving our results page. After a user clicks a result the extension scrolls right to the relevant content. A small black box appears in the lower right hand corner of the browser with a couple snippets of text from the page that might be relevant to your query.

Google Suggest with Universal Search Results

The extension works kind of like your web browser’s "find" feature, but it isn’t limited to exact words like that. It appears to use Google’s algorithm for determining relevance.

"Like Google Search, Quick Scroll analyzes things like proximity, prominence and position of the words to identify the most relevant content," the company says. "You can think of it like a personal assistant who reads webpages before you do and highlights the parts you might want to read. If several sections of the page have useful content, Quick Scroll will show you multiple text excerpts from different portions of the page and you can click on any of them to scroll to that spot."

Quick Scroll doesn’t appear for all results. It only shows up if Google doesn’t detect that the entire page is relevant to your query, and there is actually a need to scroll to a specific section.

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