Their announcement in June gave the following details:
Google Squared is an experimental search tool that collects facts from the web and presents them in an organized collection, similar to a spreadsheet. If you search for [roller coasters], Google Squared builds a square with rows for each of several specific roller coasters and columns for corresponding facts, such as image, height and maximum speed.
While gathering facts from across the Internet is relatively easy (albeit tedious) for humans to do, it’s far more difficult for computers to do automatically. Google Squared is a first step towards solving that challenge. It essentially searches the web to find the types of facts you might be interested in, extracts them and presents them in a meaningful way.
If you click on any fact, you’ll see the sources Google Squared gathered it from as well as a list of other possible values that you can investigate. So even if your square isn’t perfect at the beginning, it’s easy to work with Google Squared to get a better answer in no time. Once you’ve got a square you’re happy with, you can save it and come back to it later.
If I had seen that, I might not have grasped the full potential. However the latest news indicates that Google Squared has quality improvements and allows sorting and exporting.
At launch, your first square could include at most 30 facts or cells. With today’s update, squares display four times as much data — up to 120 facts. For example, instead of seeing only five companies and six categories, now you’ll see a table with 20 companies and up to six attributes.
The quality of the information is also better, because we’re ranking based on both relevance to your query and whether we can find high quality facts. Now we’re actively filtering out items (rows) and attributes (columns) from the initial square if we haven’t found enough accurate data. Perhaps more interesting, we built Squared to learn from edits and corrections, so as people have been improving their squares, Google Squared has gotten better for everyone.
We’ve also added the ability to sort columns, so you can rank, group and compare items. Squared will even convert units in the background to make sure the data is sorted properly. We’ve also added the ability to export data from Squared to a Google Spreadsheet or a CSV file, which should make it easier to do interesting things with the data.
Google Squared is extremely useful if you want to find a list of potential company leads. Suppose you are a wine distributor and you want to develop a list of restaurants in Langley, BC. Just do a search with Google Squared for Restaurants in Langley, BC. The result is a spreadsheet of key factors for the entries including telephone numbers.
You can download this as a CSV file and open it in Excel or you can transfer it to a Google spreadsheet within Google Documents.
Try it! I think you’ll be impressed.
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- Google Squared Gets Some Much Needed Improvements (readwriteweb.com)