Company files patent for allowing searches to be conducted in the address bar.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has filed for a patent to allow users to enter either search terms and domain names into a search box (such as an address bar), and having the computer figure out if the search term was meant to be a specific domain name or web site.
Patent application 20090006389 was filed last year and just published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this month. The abstract reads:
Methods and systems allow users to enter natural language terms that describe a particular web site into an address field of a browser instead of a formal URL. The terms are evaluated to determine whether they correspond, with a high likelihood, to a particular web site. If so, this web site may be immediately accessed. If not, a list of search results based on the terms may be displayed by the browser.
For example, if a user types “lands end” into a search box or the browser bar, the computer could decide that the user meant to visit landsend.com and send them directly there as opposed to delivering search results related to “lands end”.
This type of unified address bar/search box can be found in Google Chrome, the web browser the company launched last year. The patent filing is a continuation of earlier patents for “highlighted confident results” from searches.
It’s unclear if this technology has an impact on direct navigation. If users become used to typing search queries into the address bar, it could boost direct navigation. However, some web browsers append .com to terms typed into the address box. For example, typing baseball would bring you to baseball.com. With search functionality enabled the browser may instead offer search listings.