Tuesday, October 10, 2006

SearchMash: Google's other search site

Google is operating a separate search site: SearchMash. It was unveiled a few days ago, has a very simple homepage (no ads) and produces roughly the same results as the main Google search. But it also displays the top three relevant images, and has a few Ajax features that let you for example click the URL of a search result to get a menu of options, drag the results to re-order them (paving the way to a possible collective refinement of the search), or view more results without having to move to another page. SearchMash has attracted both criticism and praise, but it's clearly mostly a playground for developers to test new ideas using Google tools and technologies in different ways. The creation of this new, separate, un-branded sandbox reveals - despite the "chaos by design" recently eulogized by Fortune - that Google's main page has become a very delicate object, which doesn't allow for experimentation anymore.

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