Exploring Google’s enhanced search features


Technology is moving quite rapidly in the upward direction, even in the field of search engines. Google search engine is the company’s most used product. It is major source of revenue for the company. With the addition of Google Instant and Google Suggestions to its search arsenal, the Web giant shook things up in the Web search domain. However, more recently Google introduced two new features-Voce Search and Search by Image. These features not only benefits end users, but are also important for Web content publishers, as they offer them additional means of getting their content to appear in the search results.


Google voice search

Google Voice Search was introduced to mobile phone users in 2008. The feature was gradually improved upon, and made available on in June 2011- Allowing desktop users to benefit from this enhancement. Voice Search allows users to say a query rather than typing it out. Currently, it is only available to people using Google Chrome Web browser. Users also need a built-in or attached microphone to avail the service.


How it works

  • Click on the microphone icon in the search box, and a box appears, including the voice levels and instruction to speak now.
  • A user then verbalizes his query, and Voice Search searches for it.
  • The interesting part is that Voice Search detects when you are done speaking and then loads the results.

Google also uses Chrome’s built-in cache to speed up the search results. Currently this feature is only available for American English. Quality of results is adequate, but not perfect. As the name suggests, Voice Search depends on the recognizing what is said in the query and the technology behind this feather relies on feedback from users- because it ‘’it learn from mistakes’’ and teaches itself to recognize pronunciations of words.


Search by image

Google introduced its Search by Image feature in mid-June Last year, and made it available for all major Web browsers. To use the Google Search by Image option, simply log on to Google Images, click on the camera icon, and then either upload image, or paste the URL of the image in the box. Google Image search then find matches and will display results directly into the search, to locate visually similar images. You can also drag and drop any image into the search box from any location on your computer.


Quality of results

The quality of results is decent in most instances. The results shown for the image are exact duplicate in many different sizes and variations. However, visually-similar images usually show images that have similar color schemes or style, but are often inaccurate. In many Instances, when searching for an individual, results do not even show the images of the same gender or ethnicity. The recognition technology behind this feature attempts to identify objects and shapes by using complex algorithms on the index, and displays the closest-matching results. Additionally, Google Search by Image feature also shows you relevant keywords which it believes match the description of the picture uploaded. If image search is unable to tell you what the image is about, it still finds visually-similar mages. To improve the search, you can also add a description of your image in the search box on the results page.

What do you think?

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Written by Sohail Qaisar

Sohail Qaisar loves to write on topics like technology, check out his very interesting article on graphics cards, Nvidia or ATI. Contact him through: [email protected]

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