Every day we get millions of search queries about music. You want to know more about your favorite artists, find that new album or iconic song or figure out the name of that tune stuck in your head. In fact, according to Insights for Search, two of the top 10 queries in the U.S. are music-related. But often, if your answer is in a song, it can take a while to get there. We call this "time to result" — and we're always looking for ways to reduce it.
Today, we're rolling out a search feature that does just that by enabling you to search and more easily discover millions of songs, all via a simple Google web search. If you're searching for music, "time to result" is really "time to music." Now, when you enter a music-related query — like the name of a song, artist or album — your search results will include links to an audio preview of those songs provided by our music search partners MySpace (which just acquired iLike) or Lala. When you click the result you'll be able to listen to an audio preview of the song directly from one of those partners. For example, if I search for [21st century breakdown], the first results provide links to songs from Green Day's new album. MySpace and Lala also provide links to purchase the full song.
Many times, though, you don't know the name of the song or the artist who sings it. Maybe you remember only the chorus — or maybe you remember who sang it, but you forgot the exact name of the song. If you've ever heard a catchy song in a car or cafe, but just can't figure out the name of the song, you'll know what I'm talking about. This search feature also helps you find many of those songs by entering a search containing a line or two of lyrics. So if I search for [static silhouette somehow], I'll get results for Phoenix's song "Rome."
Finally, a search engine should also be able to help you discover music you'll like, even if you can't tell it what exactly you want to hear. We've partnered with Pandora, imeem and Rhapsody to include links to their sites where you can discover music related to your queries as well.
This feature doesn't just make search better. It also helps people discover new sources of licensed music online while helping artists to discover new generations of fans and reconnect with longtime listeners. Our users love music, and this tool introduces millions of music seekers in the U.S. to a new generation of licensed online music services, from MySpace and Lala to Pandora, imeem and Rhapsody.
Of course, this is just a first step toward making search more musical. There's a lot of music out there in the world, and in some instances, we may not return links to the song you're looking for. But by combining the strength of Google's search algorithms with our music search partners' efforts to increase the comprehensiveness of their music content, we're on track to answer more of your rhymes with the right rhythms.
We'll be rolling this feature out gradually to users across the U.S. over the next day. To learn more, check out this page or watch the video below. As we said back when we first announced universal search, the best answer is still the best answer, whether it's in the form of a video, an image, a magazine — or a song. And of course, the best way to know you've found the music you were looking for is to hear it. Well, let the music begin!