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Google silently releases new search alternative, WDYL

Mysterious new search option

Google didn’t blog, tweet, Google+, Facebook or write up a press release about their new search option, “What do you love?” aka WDYL. We’ve been playing with it for a little over a week and really enjoy it.

“What do you love?” was quietly launched alongside Google’s announcements of Google+, Picasa becoming Google Pictures and Blogger becoming Google Blogs, as a clear effort to consolidate and conformity of their branding.

The “what do you love?” search appears to be a showcase of several Google products that are related to search. Results are separated by type of result in well organized and easy to view individual boxes (so blogs are in a different box than news or maps), presumably so that users don’t have to tell Google to separate it out, rather it offers an alternative view.

Searching for a simple phrase

A simple search for “Phoenix real estate” shows Google Groups (discussions on any topic, launched in 2010), options in the News (not blogs, but sites indexed as news by Google), books about Phoenix real estate, Google Earth 3D search, mobile search, translation options, Google Maps, Google Patent search, an option to create an alert for the phrase, and SketchUp.

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We are disappointed, however, that what seems to be more relevant is at the bottom and that is a box for blog searches, YouTube video search results for the phrase, Google Trends and the ability to email someone about the phrase from Gmail. The site also allows searchers to go to “Moderator” and join a debate on the topic they’ve searched, perform an image search, and create a Google Calendar event from search.

The mysterious product’s future

We believe this alternative mysterious silently released product is an experiment and it shouldn’t be counted on or used as a metric to change any websites quite yet, but it does give us a glimpse into Google’s current state of showing off products and expanding seekers’ horizons.

Google has a nasty habit of experimenting with products and rather than making it clear to consumers who become reliant on the service, they take the top features of the experiment and roll them into an existing product rather than keep the standalone product.

Could this, however, be a format users begin to prefer? Do you think modules will start showing up in traditional search? Tell us in comments what you think.

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