Alright, enough doom and gloom for a bit. Let me do a couple posts about user interfaces (UI). Everyone who thinks that search engines are completely perfect and can never be improved, please raise your hand. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Okay, good. We all agree that it’s important for search engines to keep trying fresh ideas. Here’s one UI test that’s pretty cool:
Can you see what’s going on? For a small number of sites, we’re not just showing our regular snippets: we try to expose useful links from within a site. In this Berkeley example, Google shows links for Berkeley departments, academics at Berkeley, etc. Pretty neat (and more importantly, useful) stuff.
People who know Google well will go “Cool” and move on. Other folks will ask things like “Are sites or their links selected by hand–can my site get in on this? Is money involved?” And the answer is: it’s all algorithmic. The algorithms pick the sites where this could be helpful. Of course money isn’t involved at all.