Google Fast Flip’s SearchMe-like Interface


I liked the idea behind Google’s fast flip when I first saw it on SearchMe. It looks like SearchMe is history; the site’s down and the first hit for [searchme] on Bing (yes, still my default search engine) has the title “SearchMe IP for Sale”.

So I’m glad to see Google rolled out a knockoff, albeit only for news. The slick part is that the Google version is much faster, with their standard minimal interface and super-zippy AJAX caching like in Google Maps. Can I have this faster interface for general web search, please?

Build Your Own

The news faceting they’re doing on fast flip would be trivial to recreate — they classify by a few categories (e.g. politics, sports). Interesting, like with Google news, the assigned categories aren’t necessarily related to the source’s own categorization of articles.

They also facet by author, but only a little bit and only in cases where I saw a clear and easy to parse byline “by X”.

It’s all About the Ads

Google is stripping ads out of the original sources and displaying their own vertical banner ads in the right column. Displaying the full original content makes it even less likely for me to click through to the original source than it was with Google News. So Google’s giving the original content providers a cut of the ad revenue.

Even though Google touts its search results and newspapers their journalism, they’re both in the advertising business. It remains to be seen how they’ll get along with this new form of co-opetition.

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