Google has quietly rolled out a new site called wdyl.com, which stands for What Do You Love?, complete with a little heart as a search button. The service is supposed to be an aggregator site which displays search results from multiple channels, which is a different approach from the usual Google way of having different pages for every service. The site has not been officially launched yet, and as of yesterday did not work without a “www” prefix. The public release was scheduled for yesterday but was pushed back indefinitely due to a technical issue. However, visitors can still use the site by going directly to the link.
The concept is certainly quite interesting. A search with generic terms like “basketball” and “love” gives a result page with various boxes showing results from a host of Google services like Trends, Books, Translate, Images, Youtube, Picasa, SketchUp and even a box called “Patents”. It is interesting to note that all of the channels are Google services, and some boxes like the ones for Gmail and Chrome are clearly a case of shameless self promotion. The site is also remarkably well designed, with a sliding ruler on the left to navigate to the bottom and a three column grid for displaying the channels.
Overall, it is still not clear whether this product from Google is simple another experiment like so many of their past offerings have been (Buzz, anyone?), or is a serious product. Techcrunch even went as far as to call it a seemingly “cute gimmick”. Most other users haven’t found the site particularly useful, but that may change by the time Google officially releases the service. Testers have also reported that the service is useful only for generic queries which yield results from all channels, however, specific queries usually do not yield anything more than the usual image, video and web channels.