Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Google Experimental Search

Today I stumbled across Google's experimental page which has some add-ons to search that can be enabled. "Keyboard shortcuts" kicks ass: it's basically a vi-like interface to search. j to go down, k to go up, / to search, etc. It's really quite slick.

Although Google says that you can only add one of these experimental features at a time, "Keyword suggestions" is an option that can be enabled via the Customize Google Firefox extension. "Keyword suggestions" is a great feature as well.

The "Alternate views" options , on the other hand, are a heaping waste of time. Even the search results for the example queries listed on the page are unintuitive and uninformative.

Google also offers keyboard shortcuts for a lot of other products (Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Reader, Maps, Video), detailed here.

UPDATE: I actually disabled the experimental features. The vi emulation was not helpful enough... I could scan the page visually faster than my fingers could keep up. Furthermore, I missed the utility of Firefox's "/" to search the text on the page fast on a Google search result page.

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