Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Google goes Web 2.0

It looks like Google have things kicking around that they consider such a radical change that they can't even drop them onto Google Labs. It appears that Google is now running an alternative search engine, which they've named searchmash (via Inside Google).


The searchmash user interface

While the Google web applications use a lot of AJAX it hasn't really penetrated that heavily onto their front page. This is possibly because they'd have to rip their interface down to the ground and build it around AJAX concepts to do things properly, and with searchmash, that's exactly what they've done.

The interface is clean, simple and fast and you can see where the AJAX components, like the ability to reorder the search results, could feedback into the page rank algorithm and benefit everyone.

Google just got the jump on everyone again, although no doubt they're cursing whoever leaked the existence of the new interface this early.

That said, a CSS overhaul, some Adsense placements, and they're pretty much good to go at this point, so maybe they're just rubbing their hands with glee. People have been complaining that Google hasn't improved their search, that it was getting less and less cutting edge. This is their answer, looks good to me...

Update: More from Philipp Lenssen and Gary Price [1, 2] on the new site. It appears that Google has registered a number of mashup site names, and if I'd stumbled across that information before searchmash had gone live, I'd probably think nothing of it, but now? It's real interesting to think what might be going on, especially with hints that Google has started to throw a lot more effort back towards its core business, search...