Google has added a new free tool that lets you find related web content when you browse to select pages. The recommended links appear in a thin bar at the bottom of your browser.
The New Google Tool
Google has added a few extensions over the last several months that expand any given browser’s online toolkit. These have ranged from a tool designed to help Google make charitable contributions to a personal search engine results page blocklist that later contributed to Google’s fine-tuning of Panda. Here’s their most recent tool, titled Google Related:
As the video mentions, this tool is designed to be simple, providing only a thin bar of content at the bottom of your screen. While there’s some internal promotion (links to YouTube are common, for example), Google gives links to competitors as well.
As just one example, when I go to the website of Amanda Palmer (one of my favorite musicians), I see this bar at the bottom:
This links me to her most popular music videos, shows recent news stories, links me to her Wiki and Twitter pages, shows me the websites of her other music projects, and displays the most popular images of Palmer herself. It seems like a good way to find information you may not have otherwise stumbled upon; for example, I didn’t know Amanda Palmer recently wrote a song about “Doctor Who” – that’s pretty awesome.
Personalization and Site-Owner Applicability
Google personalizes the results of the Related bar by paying attention to user behaviors. While it’s not likely that this will make a substantial impact on Google’s algorithms overall, it may become another minor metric, especially for personalized Google results. Presumably, the impact of Related will be similar to that of the Google Toolbar.
Is it possible to take advantage of Related as a webmaster? You bet. You can optimize your media or page content by improving your rank on other Google services; the images, video, and news content reflect the top results found in Google universal search and Google News.