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Google testing poll questions to improve search results

March 23, 2013|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • Google is experimenting with asking users questions in order to improve its search results.
Google is experimenting with asking users questions in order to improve… (Salvador Rodriguez/Los…)

Quick poll: Do you want to answer questions to improve your Google experience?

The Silicon Valley tech giant is testing using poll questions to improve the search results it shows to users. The Times spotted the feature Friday, and Google confirmed it is an experiment the company is conducting.

"We always ask for user feedback in a range of forms -- from live experiments to inviting people in to our UX labs -- in order to improve our products," Google told The Times in an email. "This is one of our experiments -- one of many signals we take into consideration to make search better."

QUIZ: How much do you know about Google?

The poll question shows up on the right side of the Web page, and it asks users for feedback on the search results.

"Which result do you prefer?" the results page asked me after I ran a Google search. The available answers were: the first result, the second result, both results or neither result.

Web companies, especially those like Google, Facebook and Twitter, are known for testing possible new features on small groups of users before exposing the entire user base to them. Companies do this to see how users react and discover whether they like the new features and find them useful.

Some experimental features are fully adopted and applied to all users. Others simply get scrapped and forgotten.

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