Google helps online searchers with spelling

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Google on Friday said it has enhanced its search engine to make it easier for people to find what they seek online despite spelling slips.

Google expanded automatic correction of misspelled search words to include 31 languages and improved software crafted to figure out correct spellings of people's names.

"Did you make a typo while looking for 'chocolate strawberries and cream' in Italian?" Google technical staff member Pandu Nayak asked rhetorically while showing an example in a blog post.

"The right word is so close you can taste it."

The Mountain View, California-based Internet search giant also finetuned a feature that suggests search terms based on where searchers are located.

Google last year launched a "Suggest" feature that recommends queries based on which country people are in. Search suggestions are now more localized if queries are made in US cities.

"Just as people in the United Kingdom often look for different things than people in United States, we?ve found that people in Seattle tend to look for different things than people in Dallas," Nayak said.

"In San Francisco 'bart' is probably not Bart Simpson; it?s probably Bay Area Rapid Transit," he added, comparing a search on a popular cartoon character name to a regional commuter rail system acronym.

Apr 17, 2010 14:42

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