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New Google search feature to foil flailing fingers

Posted on August 26, 2010

Search colossus Google has taken a PC approach to its latest feature, one which seems to have been designed to thwart those with chubby fingers, poor spelling or weak typing skills. I bet you thought we meant PC as in personal computer then didn’t you? No, we mean the horrid term ‘political correctness’ – and Google is pandering to those who fail miserably to even manage to search for something on the Internet.

Having a reputation for letting new, interesting, things slip out under the radar, the latest thing that has been unleashed from their nerve centre (presumably located in a dormant volcano, complete with a monorail and boiler suit-wearing goons and being scoped out this very instant by a suave British secret agent) is an incremental search. In other words, your search results update the instant that you type something in.

This has obvious disadvantages, along with its many advantages. On the plus side, it does mean that you don’t have to type the whole of ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch train station timetable’ into your search box to check the departure times from everyone’s favourite Welsh train station, but on the other hand it could prove problematical if you want some information on the herb ‘Whorlywort’ and your boss happens to be looking over your shoulder as you type out the first four letters w-h-o-r… Do’h!

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

This feature has yet to be rolled out in the UK, but it seems that it is just a matter of time. Of course, this can have an impact on your search engine results as well. If your business has an unusual name, or incorporates numbers instead of letters or words, it may lead to some confusion for the customer trying to seek you out on the web.

This issue can be addressed by a search engine optimisation company. Often, a consultation with an SEO expert can throw up some issues that you may not been aware of, such as optimising for common mis-spellings of words, or even Americanised versions. Although Google’s search algorithms are shrouded in secrecy, at least this is a problem that can be avoided as part of a thorough SEO campaign.

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Posted by Mark Glenning

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