Google Copied My IdeasPosted: May 17, 2007
I have been writing search articles since November 2006 and as a search engineer it helps me to construct my thoughts and focus on my work. I was never really under the impression that anybody in industry paid a huge amount of attention to my thinking though – maybe they still don’t – but I appear to have predicted many of the features of Google’s new experimental search in quite some elaborate detail.
See results on a timeline or map. With the timeline and map views, Google’s technology extracts key dates and locations from select search results so you can view the information in a different dimension.
Timeline and map views work best for searches related to people, companies, events and places.
You can find the opinion at other levels as well though, and this is where the power comes in in terms of really targeting what the user is looking for quickly and efficiently. All the following mean that this is the first true example of social search:
- Find the opinion over a range of dates, good for current events, modern history, changes in trends.
The text in black is from Google’s experimental ‘Timeline and map views’ search, the text in blue is from this article published February 19th, 2007. I was talking about a semantic implementation used to search through results by a timeframe instead of a straight relevance search. You can even narrow down date ranges by clicking on the timeline to select an era.
Spooky eh? I don’t think anyone else predicted that.
I hear you though, that’s just one example and I got lucky, so lets see… what else did I talk about in the same article?
- When you begin a search, you enter just one or two keywords in the topic you’re interested in.
- Related keywords appear, which you can then select from to target your search and remove any doubts about dual meanings of a word for example.
The image above is from Google’s brand spanking new ‘Left-hand search navigation‘. Look at the white box (I’ve faded the rest out for clarity) and there you have it, exactly the feature I was talking about in all its living glory.
So what about the other features of Google’s new experimental search? Right hand search navigation… oh hang on that’s just the left hand navigation on the… urr… right side. Revolutionary. There’s also keyboard shortcuts! Oh hang on I just did a Ctrl-S.
In fact all the ‘new’ features of Google’s experimental search are ones I wrote about developing back in February and this I find slightly irritating for a few reasons:
- It’s very unlikely that they saw my work and copied it. The main worry for me is that they still can’t come up with anything new even in what they call experimental search and that’s what bothers me about a company with so many PhDs. Why don’t they just give me a job? And yes, I am bitter 🙂
- They are afraid to push the boundaries. For instance in my article I write about some ideas far more experimental than these, but they’ve not got anything exciting or new in there. I want to see the things that happen in the Googleplex, and then get binned for being too radical or wacky. I want to see binned.google.com never mind labs.google.com.
Again, Google copying me is hugely unlikely, this I’m sure is a coincidence. However, a coincidence that should never happen. I’m one person developing search technology with no PhD and heck I never even finished my degree I just cram programming languages into my brain and think of crazy ideas until they form into something I can use.
They have all the intelligence in one building, you have no idea what I’d give to use that kind of working environment and the batsh*t insane ideas we’d make a reality.