Thursday, May 04, 2006
Google Health on the way (probably)
Rumours of Google moving into verticle search (that is, search of a highly specific topic area), starting with Google Health have been going around for a while now, but Kevin Maney of USA Today is reporting that it could be coming very soon. He interviewed Marissa Mayer (VP Search Products and User Experience) and she said "Health is an interesting one -- keep your eye out for that next week." Next week means the annual Google Press Event, happening on the 10th. Although it might not be released on the 10th, presumably journalists will be given a good look.
Moving into verticle search is a good idea for Google. To fulfil their goal of 'organising the world's information' they will have to expand on their current searching technology, as it simply does not perform as well as a verticle search engine ever can on topics like health, because although it can calculate the rough importance of a page through PageRank, it cannot adequately judge what the page is about, only the word content and it's rough placement.
So, for example, a blog post on a famous blog (with a high PageRank) entitled Back Pain, moaning about the terrible back pain inflicting him/her, would be judged both important by Google from the PageRank and to be about back pain, which although it is, it is not a desirable search result for a user searching for back pain cures.
More on this story from InsideGoogle and TechCrunch.