Google looks for answers with Squared

Google Squared

Forget Wolfram Alpha as a Google killer how about Google Squared as the Wolfram Alpha killer?

Google Labs has released a new search tool that lines up data from across the web in a chart for easy comparison. So like Wolfram Alpha, it looks to give answers, rather than pages.

"Google Squared is an experimental search tool that collects facts from the web and presents them in an organized collection, similar to a spreadsheet," wrote Alex Komoroske, associate product manager for Google Squared, in the official blog.

"If you search for roller coasters, Google Squared builds a square with rows for each of several specific roller coasters and columns for corresponding facts, such as image, height and maximum speed," he wrote.

Clicking on any piece of information will show its source as well as other statistics pulled from the site. The "squares" can be edited and saved for later, too.

"This technology is by no means perfect," admitted Komoroske. "That's why we designed Google Squared to be conversational, enabling you to respond to the initial result and get a better answer."

"If there's another row or column you'd like to see, you can add it and Google Squared will automatically attempt to fetch and fill in the relevant facts for you," he said. "As you remove rows and columns you don't like, Google Squared will get a fresh idea of what you're interested in and suggest new rows and columns to add."

There are differences between Wolfram Alpha's computational knowledge engine and Google Squared, however. Wolfram Alpha pulls its answers from a human-edited database, while Google's tool uses what's already on the web.

"While gathering facts from across the Internet is relatively easy (albeit tedious) for humans to do, it's far more difficult for computers to do automatically," Komoroske explained.

Watch the Google video below for more on the new experimental tool, or try it for yourself here.

Click here for our review of Wolfram Alpha.