It seems like Google gets more human every day, particularly when you see some of the new features getting rolled out on an almost ongoing basis. Much of the recent Google news has been about what it has done away from its core search function and rather about many of its recent acquisitions – something which again may be giving us a clue as to where Google is going in the future.
However I was very interested by one of the most recent one-box results really took me by surprise. The result in question suggested this wasn’t merely an absolute answer but in Googles words a ‘best guess’:
According to Google sources, these results are not confined to certain sectors or channels and can be triggered if there are enough ‘high quality’ sources reinforcing a particular answer. The technology behind the platform is Google Squared which uses structured date to power a number of other parts of the Google search page such as the something different results (If you reference the original Google Squared blog post many of the original results actually incorporate the ‘best guess’ one box result)
The Squared technology is used at present to return ‘short answers’ something the best guess results obviously do. I for one can’t help thinking this may be the first of a number of these types of short answers that we see rolled out during the course of 2011, however one may have to wait and see.