Secret Google Ninja!

This is a very elaborate Easter Egg hidden within Google. It only works if you follow the precise instructions:

Go to Google Reader, then use your cursor keys thus: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A. A ninja then pops onto your screen and into your search box.

If you can’t be bothered, here’s a screenshot:

Verbatim for Raw Google Results

Google have unleashed a wonderful new feature called Verbatim. It can be found in Search Tools in the left navigation of search results. What it does is strip the search results of everything that might give you a different results page than someone else in another land. No personalization, no country bias, no spelling corrections, no synonyms, and so on.

Full story:
http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2011/11/search-using-your-terms-verbatim.html

Google Gravity

Do a Google search for “Google Gravity”. Click on “I’m feeling lucky” (or you might find it on right hand side of the suggested searches). Then watch your screen collapse:

Or just search for “askew” to make the results page lean…

Hello Google Flights

http://www.google.com/flights

This new service is indicative of how Google, while providing un-monetized information, is also positioning itself to profit from it at a later date, if the service proves popular.

Limited to the USA at this stage, I like the interface (clean and quick, of course), especially how you an see where you could travel to and the minimum prices, for those with no fixed plans.

Farewell Aardvark

I was really surprised when Google purchased Aardvark, considering they’d already given up on the questions and answer game years prior with Google Answers.

Still, I persisted with it, because I like to help people out. But because my expertise was based on keywords found in my Gmail account, rather than my true expertise, most of the questions I received were not suited to me. And when I didn’t respond to a question immediately, and it gave up on me, I felt like I had missed out. It constantly left me feeling disappointed :(

So, along with all the other Labs projects, Aardvark is ending at the end of September. I’m guessing that such an automated system, with no monetization, probably didn’t have any staff to make redundant!

Farewell Google Realtime

It was good while it lasted, but without Twitter it is nothing. For two months since Google’s agreement with Twitter expired, the Realtime Search, and realtime results within Google Everything, have just dispapeared. It is expected that it will be resurrected when they feel Google+ can provide enough useful content.