Google SearchMash vs Google + ‘Truth Detector’

What if Google’s new search interface test bed “SearchMash” were to launch today as a Google competitor? How would it fare? It would lose of course just on the basis of brand and user familiarity even though the organic results are identical.

Compare George Bush (SearchMash) and George Bush (Google). Note the “ad” for SearchMash in the right rail of the Google results — curious:

George Bush
Save Time – Search The Web And
Find Images At The Same Time!
SearchMash.com

Google is obviously trying to build awareness of the engine so it can test different interface/results presentations and users’ reactions.

Right now there are no ads on SearchMash and images are presented in the right column instead of ads. Google occasionally presents images in the “one box” area of SERPs.

It’s interesting to speculate on what search will be in, say, five years. I’ve speculated about more “visual” interfaces in the past. But it’s safe to say that while the box may still be dominant, results will look different. It’s thus smart for Google to create this secondary “brand” to test different results interfaces. What I would like to see them do is some fairly radical stuff here. We’ll see . . .

Separately Google CEO Eric Schmidt argued (this was widely covered) that within five years there would be something like a political “truth detector” that would enable people in more or less real time to check the accuracy of politicians’ statements and representations.

That would be a radical (figuratively speaking) use of search. I hope he’s right.

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Here’s more on SearchMash from Loren Baker and Danny Sullivan.


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