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March 13, 2007

Google Navigator, Launched in China

Google launched a new service in China: Google Navigator (Dao Hang), a directory of popular sites.

"We discovered Google [search] has two substantially different kinds of user. One is the experienced search user – the basic Google interface is very suitable for them. But we also have large numbers of another kind of user with extremely limited needs: 'mouse clickers'. They just want to type key words to go quickly to their favorite website, but they are often stuck in Google for a long time without finding what they want," explains a Google China PR (focus on the meaning of the text, not on its form).

As you can see in the screenshot above (that shows an English translation of the page), Google links to popular Chinese sites, including Google's competitors. There are also categories and subcategories that let you discover the site you want to visit using only the mouse.

"The topmost categories include blogs, novels and literature, desktop wallpapers, photos, pinups and humor. (...) Different category sections can be repositioned with basic Ajax or Web 2.0 techniques. But even here, simplicity reigns. There's no potentially confusing drag and drop interface, just simple arrows that move a section up or down."

Google tries really hard to adapt to a Chinese market dominated by Baidu, the local Google*. And if some of the services designed for China are successful, they might become a part of Google's international offering.

{ Thank you, Akay. }

* Baidu has a lot in common with Google: the name (Baidu means "hundreds of times"), the sparse homepage, the advertising model and the similar list of services.

This blog is not affiliated with Google.