This week in Google, the search engine gets some further refinements, and it's making moves on the tablet front while Google TV moves from Intel to ARM.
The Quest for Quality Search
Google's search algorithms never sit still and the latest batch of updates has taken effect. There's a full list over at Search Engine Roundtable, but the highlights include improvements in page rankings, with changes to landing page signals for Image Search, which finds the highest quality sources and the most relevant images.
A change in the image spam detection system (by extending main search techniques into image search) has improved Google's spam detection, helping to remove or reduce the effect of pages that are spam-happy.
On the search results side, there are many new tweaks, the highlights being the introduction of more relevant sitelinks, be it by location or improved country-level searches.Google has also updated its process for detecting sites that qualify for shopping, recipe and review-rich snippets. Now more results will appear with sites showing rich snippets to increase the likelihood of further reading.
More Hardcore Hardware
Rumors surfaced shortly after the launch of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet that Google may launch its own-branded version, or partner with Samsung to produce a Nexus tablet. The idea is that it can undercuts its rivals on price and recoup the money through content and use of Google's own services.
One commentator takes this to a wild conclusion and suggests Google could give them away for free, which is a pretty cool idea and would do a lot to stir up the market. But that would only work if Google could guarantee its services would remain in the pole position on these devices, and the speed with which Android tablets are rooted and put to other purposes suggest that wouldn't happen.
Google TV Gets Stronger
After a fairly feeble start, Google TV is coming back stronger at this year's Consumer Electronics Show with new ARM-powered processors that are faster than the Intel originals. Recent updates have improved the appearance and usability of the service and, with more powerful hardware, Google will be better positioned for the upcoming TV war with Apple.
By moving to ARM, Google TVs (with sets made by LG, Samsung and others) could also soon start running Android apps, creating a far wider opportunity for sales and exposure on a bigger screen. With Apple set to launch its own TVs in 2012, that big screen could soon be a massive battleground between content and service providers, with Google looking to claim major market share.