04 January 2015

Google Cards for Synonyms and Antonyms

Google has a clever way to adapt the dictionary card based on your query. If you search for [work synonym], Google only includes a list of synonyms for each meaning. When you search for [work antonyms], Google shows a list of antonyms for each meaning of the word. Expand the card to see all the definitions and to find more information about word, including etymology and use over time.

For some reason, when you search for synonyms, Google shows most definitions, so the dictionary card can become quite big if the word has a lot of meanings. Here's an example for "work", which shows the unexpanded card. As you can see, the card uses more space than the list of search results.

Google, Did You Know?

When searching for a song, Google usually shows a big card that links to the YouTube music video. The card includes a thumbnail and some information about the song (artists, album, release date, awards, lyrics). It's now clear if Google obtains that information from Wikipedia or from other sources, but sometimes Google's algorithms make mistakes.

Pentatonix has recently released a cover of "Mary, Did You Know" and Google shows the right YouTube music video when you search for [Mary, did you know]. Unfortunately, the information placed below the video thumbnail is inaccurate. Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd aren't the right artists, the song is not from 2002 and the album is not called "The Gift".

"'Mary, Did You Know?' is a Christmas song with lyrics and music written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene. It was originally recorded by Christian recording artist, Michael English on his solo debut album in 1991. A duet version recorded by Wynonna Judd and Kenny Rogers peaked at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts in 1997," informs Wikipedia.

Fortunately, there's a "Feedback" link that lets you report mistakes.

Google's In the News

Google's search results used to include a news section that featured relevant articles from Google News. This section was replaced by "In the News", a feature that goes beyond Google News and also shows popular YouTube videos, forum threads and posts from blogs that aren't indexed by Google News.

For example, a search for [Nexus 6] returns 3 "in the news" results and none of them is from a site currently indexed by Google News. The first result is a Nexus 6 unboxing, the second one is a blog post from XDA Developers that shows how to enable double-tap to wake and the third result is a PocketNow post about re-enabling tethering.

A search for [gifs] returns 3 results from reddit, which is not indexed by Google News:

Back in October, a Google spokesperson said: "We will be pulling from all over the web which means that we will present as diverse a range of voices as possible to ensure we get users to the answer they are looking for."