This week in search 11/20/09

This is part of a regular series of posts on search experience updates that runs on Fridays. Look for the label This week in search and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

This week brought a number of new features to the fore.

Google Translate
The biggest and most visible release this week was our update to Google Translate. New changes to the interface help you translate instantly and see translations as you type. We have also introduced both input and output transliteration: for selected languages, our tool will show you letter by letter how a word or phrase appears in a different language as you type. We have also added text-to-speech, so you can figure out how to pronounce new words as you learn them.

Rich snippets in Japanese
On the topic of international launches, at our Searchology event in May we announced the launch of rich snippets, which webmasters can use to help Google show more useful information from the page. For example, if you are thinking of trying out a new restaurant and are searching for reviews, rich snippets could include things like the average review score, the number of reviews, and the restaurant's price range. Starting this week, this feature is available in Japanese.

Flu shot finder now on results pages
Following in the footsteps of last week's launch, we have now added our flu shot finder to the search results page.

Example searches: flu shot, h1n1 shot, flu vaccine

Site hierarchies in search results
Google usually shows a green web address, or URL, at the bottom of each search result to let you know where you're headed. Tuesday we began rolling out an improvement that replaces the URL in some search results with a hierarchy showing the precise location of the page on the website. The new display offers valuable context and new navigation options. For example, on the result below, you can see that this page is in the Martial Art Techniques section.

Example searches: venn diagram, how to punch harder, hodgkins lymphoma, keurig

Hope you enjoyed this week's new features. Stay tuned for more!