This week in search 1/22/10

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.

The Google that you used today is actually better than the Google that you used yesterday. On a daily basis, we make a number of algorithmic enhancements and release other search features that ultimately make finding what you're looking for quick, easy and enjoyable. Here are a few of the exciting feature releases this week:

Hours and menu information in universal search
Want to know when your favorite museum is open? Interested in ordering in and need to quickly check the menu for that restaurant around the corner? This week we were excited to launch hours and menu information in local results for universal Google search. Now you can add the words "hours" or "menu" to your search to get back the information you want in a snap.

Example searches: [computer history museum mountain view hours], [sushi sakae burlingame menu]

Rich Snippets for events
What are Rich Snippets? They show brief annotations that webmasters make to summarize what's on the page so you can see it at a glance on your search results page. So far we've launched improved snippets for two formats: reviews and people. Today, we unveiled a new Rich Snippets format for events. The next time you're searching for events, you'll see how the new format lists them as search result snippets, along with dates, locations and links directly to pages about those specific events. And, as webmasters implement the new markup on their webpages, you'll begin to see these event results more frequently.

Example search: [concerts in san jose]

Answer highlighting
Earlier today, we were excited to release the answer highlighting feature, which helps you get to information more quickly by delivering the likely answer to your question in boldface type right in search results. If the pages returned for these searches contain a simple answer to a factual-based search, the snippet will more often include the relevant text in boldface for easy reference. Read more about answer highlighting here.

Example searches: [who is the author of 1984], [p.s. i love you release date], [terminator salvation director]

We hope that you enjoy the features we launched this week — and that they make your search experience even better than yesterday.