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Sep 10, 2002: Google is at it Again

Tara Calishain of ResearchBuzz wrote a nice short piece on search tools that provide clustered results in LLRX.com. My recent rants on search have mostly been about improving results presentation, and there's lots of food for thought here.

Of all the tools Tara lists, I found Google Sets most interesting, even though, oddly, it's not about search results. It's also a lot of fun. Enter a couple of terms, and Google Sets will provide similar or related terms that can help you expand a query or understand a domain better.

I tried "Pee Wee Herman" and "Barney" (don't ask why) and got some interesting results. Some (e.g., "Raffi" and "Teletubbies") seemed relevant, some (e.g., "Spice Girls") not. At least I didn't think so. Anyway, this could be a useful approach if your site doesn't have a thesaurus handy. Apparently some of the term relationships come from the Open Directory Project; don't know any more about it though.

Other notes:

  • Marcio Tristao interviews me and Peter in Web Insider, a Brazilian site (which means that, yes, it's in Portuguese). Marcio, obrigado!
  • Check out the Adaptive Path gang's upcoming user experience workshop in San Francisco, October 2-4. While you're there, give Peter Merholz a noogie. He absolutely loves'em.

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