Test your creativity

The main goal at Google Search is to bring you the most relevant and useful results as quickly as possible. But, we are aware that often that is only part of your task or journey. Sometimes, you need more than simple results. You might want to learn, to discover, to be entertained or get insights.

Insights can happen when you least expect them. To improve their chances, it’s good to try other things, or do things differently once in awhile. As a lifelong fan and connoisseur of New Yorker style cartoons, I always believed in the power of humor not just to entertain but to enlighten. I have tried to connect humor to everything I do (although, I have to admit, not always successfully). The best cartoonists possess great insights, which they illustrate in a clever package that we can consume in seconds and yet remember for years.

With all of this in mind, today we’re connecting Google search and cartoons through a search caption challenge. Cartoon caption contests have a long history dating back at least to the 1930s, as can be seen in this example I found from Ballyhoo magazine. For our modern version, we worked with artists like Matthew Diffee, Emily Flake, Christoph Niemann, Danny Shanahan and Jim Woodring, who created cartoons that place characters in unusual, interesting and funny situations—all with a common twist. In each cartoon, one of the characters is doing a Google search. We’ve left it to you to imagine what they’d be searching for at that moment, and left the caption blank for you to fill in with your answer.

To participate, go to Inside Search and submit your idea. Your caption will appear on the site, and you can share it with friends via a unique link. You can also vote on your favorite submissions and the most popular will rise to the top.

We hope this game helps you think in a way you wouldn’t otherwise, and maybe get some insights. Or just have fun.

Now You Can Share to Circles from the +1 Button

The +1 button is a great way to recommend the pages you love on Google Search. But sometimes there’s content you want to share right away — at least with certain circles of friends. That’s why we’ll be rolling out sharing on +1 button soon. Nuanced sharing is a critical part of the Google+ project — this enhancement is a first step to exposing such sharing across the Web.

Millions of sites are using the +1 button to let visitors recommend their content right in Google search results. Now these sites will get an added benefit as +1 provides an easy way for visitors to share content into Google+. If you manage a website, your visitors can start a conversation about your site’s content with the circles who are most likely to enjoy it, expanding your audience while helping your content get noticed on Google Search at the same time.

We know this is one of many scenarios for including sharing in developer applications. Expect to see more integration opportunities in the future. Check out the +Snippets documentation to get familiar with the approach we’re taking to including rich content in the conversations your users start.

You can preview this +1 button change by enrolling in the Google+ Platform Preview. This preview channel allows you to test updates before they launch to all users on your site.

Google Search for tablets

As part of our effort to evolve the Google design and experience, we’ve improved the www.google.com search experience on tablets. We’ve simplified the layout of search results pages and increased the size of page contents like text, buttons and other touch targets to make it faster and easier to browse and interact with search results in portrait or landscape view.

The search button located below the search box provides quick access to specific types of results like Images, Videos, Places, Shopping and more. Just tap to open the search menu and select an option to see results in one category.

For image results, we focused on improvements that enhance the viewing experience such as enlarged image previews, continuous scroll, and faster loading of image thumbnails.

This improved search experience is rolling out in the coming days to iPad and Android 3.1+ tablets across 36 languages. Give it a try by going to www.google.com in your tablet’s browser.