Google News now provides quotes by individuals as part of its search function in a new feature that can be seen as either annoying or useful.
Search any prominent individual in Google News and you will be greeted with the usual litany of recent dispatches, gossip columns, feature articles and the like. But now, in a new feature of the world's most popular search engine, the top result will often be a quote from a top relevant article.
The quote gives Web browsers a new means to see what they will be getting if they click on the article that comes to the top of the search pile.
For instance, searching for Eli Manning, the star quarterback for the NFC Champion New York Giants, generates one of a number of quotes, including this one from the Washington Post: I don't think he's ever been the away team in his own stadium, which he said as a retort to his brother Peyton's advice as he readies for the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
And searching for Steve Martin, the famed comedian and actor, brings up quotes including the following from a GratefulWeb.com article: Serendipity has made a better match than any bluegrass computer dating service.
The little-noticed new function seems to only work for certain celebrities, as a search for 2012 Australian Open winner Victoria Vika Azarenka brings up a quote from her, while searching for her better-known rival Maria Sharapova does not. Also, searches for singers Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga did not bring up quotes, while searches for actors Jim Carrey and Demi Moore did.
It remains to be determined exactly how the search engine's algorithms and/or programmers decide which celebs get quotes at the top of their search results. Whether or not you find the function to be annoying or useful, get used to them being a part of Google for the foreseeable future.