Posted by Andy Murray, Account Director
Have you ever spent hours researching a product that you’re interested in purchasing, like a car or digital camera? If so, you’ve undoubtedly visited many sites of manufacturers, resellers, and aggregators. You’ve used comparison shopping engines and stopped in many retailers/dealerships. This time is well spent, as you end up with the exact product you want at the price you’re willing to pay. But what if you could get to the same spot… only faster? Google Squared is making this happen.
Google Squared is a massive index of images, text and product (or informational) data. Serving results in a spreadsheet format, searchers can add new columns of product attributes (price, color, warranty, manufacturer, etc.) or add more rows of items or products (as well as deleting items/products that are not of interest). Try it for comparing digital cameras:
This format should allow you to perform many queries from one page, while building on top of the relevant information you’ve already compiled. If you log in using your Google account, you can also save your square to revisit later and continue the research process. Once you’ve found the product with all the right specs, you can click through to the Web site that contains the content to make your purchase.
Google Squared also comes in handy when doing informational research, outside of the purchase process. For example, say you needed to find information on arctic explorers. You can quickly get 7 different biographies and additional information to build on or refine:
As you begin to type a query in the “Add Columns” field, you’re given suggestions on related information you may find useful, depending on the topic of your square. For instance, pick a random letter to see what the suggest brings up; “nationality” is a suggestion for a query that starts with “n.” Nationality is very relevant piece of information that would likely be part of any research I’m doing on arctic explorers.
While this product is still in Google labs form, its functionality is already robust and useful for a variety of purposes. Once you have an idea of what you want to do research on (shopping or otherwise), you’ll instantly save valuable time compiling information from various sources by using Google Squared. I plan to keep a close watch on this product, as the value it adds to the search experience is potentially huge.