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Google Squared Smackdown

In search engines on June 11, 2009 by Danielle Tagged: , , , , , ,

Google Squared tries to add value to your searches by structuring the concepts. It sounds like somebody wants a slice of the Wolfram Alpha and Cyc pie.

Here is a sample search on ‘heart disease’ that I ran today. It shows the results in a chart with different attributes in squares.

It is odd that it has columns entitled Mesh and Medlineplus, and populates these with alpha-numeric codes rather than controlled vocabulary. I looked up a code in MeshBrowser and it appears that this is the unique ID but I have never used it in several years of searching.  Perhaps there are databases out there that will know that D001145 means Arrhythmia?  PubMed sure doesn’t.

A post on ReadWriteWeb also suggests that Google Squared has some progress to make before it really adds any value. They tried a search on “dog breeds” and these did not appear in any way sorted, nor could you sort by the attribute columns such as height or weight. It was neat that there was a medical concern column (for dominant health problems found in each breed) though.

Adding your own choice of column requires a little guesswork. Regarding the “heart disease” example, I typed in Prognosis, Diagnosis, Differential, Mortality and Age. This varied the values of course, but many squares stated ‘no value found’. Where Mortality and Heart attack intersected, the box stated that “30% of heart attacks are fatal” and cited a website called wrongdiagnosis.com. Hmm, that doesn’t exactly give me confidence, but I’d expect you to remind me that this probably isn’t a tool geared towards healthcare professionals.

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One Response to “Google Squared Smackdown”

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