Google should invest in novel search services: some ideas

I was extremely disappointed when I read that Google was launching a new hotel search service. Of course, competition may lead to better services, but there are already so many hotel search sites out there. Why can’t they use their resources to make a search service for something that is NOT available, or if it is, very poorly so…?

Here are couple ideas for things that need a better search service:

1. A non-profit/charity search service.

You want to give it to charity or non-profit, but not any charity, something that has some personal meaning to you. You may want more unique things, such as adopt-a-highway and animal sponsorships at the aquarium or donating rice with vocabulary games (Freerice). Or you may want something that specifically addresses a certain population. Wouldn’t be great to have a search service that makes it easier to find things you want to support?

2. Academic programs

There are so many degree programs, most of which you can only find through a hierarchical process. For example, someone interested in studying the effects of using social network sites could be in a psychology program, a communication program, information science, telecommunication program, computer science, sociology, or anthropology. The way that school search websites are designed however, don’t really get at that granular level. The same goes for colleges at the undergrad level. Faculty to student ratio and diversity , blah blah are all important, but it would be nice if the search could incorporate more cultural factors too.

3. Grocery search

Have you been in a situation where you need a specific ingredient and had to go to five stores to find it? If stores’ inventory is already in a system, is there a way to tap into that?

4. Old Map search

Google maps is great, but what about old maps? We should digitize old maps and have a time function in Google maps search.

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