Google Squared Launches

The semantic web is coming, the semantic web is coming!

Simon Chester alerted us a while ago to Google Lab’s new project: Stub Posting on Google Squared. It has now launched: Simon C asked in his post what Slaw readers might make of this, and I’d like to repeat his question now that you can take it out for a spin and kick its tires. I can see how the basic organization into fundamental facets that shift depending on the nature of your search terms would be useful to school students; but I’m not sure whether it will enhance more sophisticated requests of the kind Slaw readers might make of Google.

As an aside, I still think there’s a lot Google could and should do to help legal researchers, whether amateur or professional, by tweaking its algorithms to recognize legal terminology and concepts. Google Squared would be a place for them to start.


  1. I would love to give feedback on Google Squared. Unfortunatly, it must be getting a lot of traffic because every search I attempt pooches without giving a list of results. 3 Geeks and A Law Blog have reviewed it in comparison with Wolfram-Alpha giving G2 good grade for legal research results.

    The comparison is a bit of a disconnect for me since one is semantic and the other is computational. I admit to bafflement on the programatic differences this would mean.

  2. Shaunna,

    The disconnect between G2 and Wolfram Alpha (semantic vs. computational) is justified on your part. It is a little like apples and oranges comparison. However, I was looking at the comparison more on a 30K foot level in that we were comparing how results looked on the new types of search resources. From what I’ve seen from G2 there is a lot of ‘potential’ in the product, but there is also a bit of a learning curve when it comes to manipulating the results of your search. It is this ‘tweaking’ part that probably contains the most value to the legal researcher.

  3. For some reason that I am unable to understand Google does not seem interested in creating any sort of case law database. It is a bit puzzling since they have created an index for U.S. patents, even though patent searches have always been free at the USPTO website, and even though there are plenty of other ways to download patent PDFs for free.

    On the other hand, it is extremely difficult for the public to search for case law and most of it cannot be located at all without a costly subscription to lexisnexis or westlaw.

  4. Great concept by Google (again !), but lacks security, easily redirected to another site without knowledge ! Would be nice McAfee site advisor worked on it or Google came up with one of their own…..Since it’s still in Google Labs I’m sure they will come up with a better square.