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Friday, December 04, 2009
Google Introduces Public DNS, Translated Search and Dictionary


Google has began weaving an automated language translation feature into its universal search service, introduced a new public DNS resolver as well as Google Dictionary, which presents definitions and synonyms.

Translated Search

Google introduced a new "Translated search" tool in the Search Options panel that makes finding and reading content written in other languages easier.

Translated search helps users find information from sites written in other languages. Google has been offering this feature in Google Translate for a while, but now it is fully integrated into Google search, making it easier for users to find and read results from pages across the web, even if they weren't written in a language they speak.

When users search on Google for something in their own language, they can use this tool to search the web in another language.

"Click "Show Options" at the top of the search results page and select "Translated search" to try it out. We'll algorithmically select the best language(s) to translate your search query into and then return you translated results from those pages. We'll even display results from multiple languages," Google technical lead Maureen Heymans and product manager Jeff Chin said in a blog post.

Searchers can look for Web pages written in any of 51 languages. The tool will display results from as many as five languages at a time, according to Google.

Google is rolling out the new feature today.

Introducing Public DBS

Google also today launched a public DNS resolver called Google Public DNS.

DNS is often handled automatically by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), but it provides an essential function for the web. It is the switchboard of the Internet, converting easy-to-remember domain names ? e.g., www.google.com ? into the unique Internet Protocol (IP) numbers ? e.g., 74.125.45.100 ? that computers use to communicate with one another.

The average Internet user ends up performing hundreds of DNS lookups each day, and some complex pages require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading.

"This can slow down the browsing experience. Our research has shown that speed matters to Internet users, so over the past several months our engineers have been working to make improvements to our public DNS resolver to make users' web-surfing experiences faster, safer and more reliable. You can read about the specific technical improvements we've made in our product documentation and get installation instructions from our product website," Prem Ramaswami, Product Manager explained in a blog post.

Google invites all those who are web-savvy and comfortable with changing their network settings to check out the Google Code Blog for detailed instructions and more information on how to set up Google Public DNS on their computer or router.

"As people begin to use Google Public DNS, we plan to share what we learn with the broader web community and other DNS providers, to improve the browsing experience for Internet users globally. The goal of Google Public DNS is to benefit users worldwide while also helping the tens of thousands of DNS resolvers improve their services, ultimately making the web faster for everyone," Ramaswami added.

Google Dictionary

The search giant has also quietly rolled out Google Dictionary, which presents definitions and synonyms.

In addition to Google's own database of definitions, looking up a word on the Dictionary website provides a list of definitions pulled from a variety of academically authoritative sources.

It has a few cool features. Users can mark words with the star button and come back to them later, see a list of recent searches and switch to translator resources or dictionaries for other languages -- not to be confused with Google Translate.

Dictionary companies have expected Google would saunter into their realm any day.

However, the company that might be hurt the most by Google's new product is Answers.com.


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