Google have launched a new site at www.wdyl.com called ‘What do you love?’ (WDYL). The site offers you a simple search box with the question ‘what do you love?’ followed by a button with a heart shape on which activates the search.
Once you’ve pressed the heart, then the magic begins. What WDYL offers is not just a conventional list of search results, but a huge conglomeration of results from a wide range of Google’s services. So, for instance, if I search for pancakes, on one page I get:
- A form to set up alerts for the term ‘pancakes’
- Images of Pancakes from Google Image search
- 3D sketches of Pancakes from Google SketchUp
- A graph of trends for the term ‘pancakes’ with Google Trends. I can see, for example, that there was a huge spike of searches around March 8th 2011 (odd that, isn’t it?)
- Lists of books, blogs, news and discussions about pancakes
- Videos about pancakes (which I can watch without leaving the search page)
There are actually a lot more services and results listed on the page, but you probably get the idea. Interestingly, it seems to give the results in a different order each time I search. Compare, for instance, the two searched below.
What does Google’s ‘What do you Love’ mean for search?
So, what does WDYL mean for search? Well, at the moment it’s still in its very early stages and is, perhaps, little more than a clever advertisement for some of Google’s lesser known features and services. But it could also be a foreshadow of what search results could look like in the future. Imagine if your results pages gave you everything you needed, without even needing to leave the search page. Being able to view videos and images, to choose books, view locations and set up alerts all on one page is a powerful development. If Google, or any other search engine for that matter, can build upon this, improve results, and allow users to customise the services and features listed on their results pages, then WDYL could be the prototype of a whole new way of searching.
For now, WDYL is a fun little tool that you’ll enjoy playing with, but it’s worth keeping an eye to see what Google make of it.
Post by Jon Potter