The large part of the world's population (Arabic) writes right-to-left. For the Arabic, Hebrew, and other right-to-left searchers of the world, searching just got a little easier. If you're searching from a supported local interface (e.g. google.co.il/ or google.com.eg/) we now dynamically detect the direction of your query.
Enter a query like [??? ????] or [???? ????] and your query will align right so you can type to the left. Enter a query like [2008 world cup soccer] or [(5 - 3) * 32] and it will align left so you can type to the right. Enter a mixed query like [SMS ?????] and we'll set the alignment and overall direction based (roughly) on the first word.
For instance, if you go to Google Egypt and enter “hello world,” the text will be left-aligned flowing towards the right; entering “?????? ????????” on the other hand will be right-aligned, flowing towards the left. (This is not to be confused with the user’s ability to type from right to left when entering Hebrew or Arabic, which was possible before in Google and elsewhere as it is already handled on the operating system level; however, on overall right-to-left web pages like MSN Israel, all query input will start at the right, including English one.)
Josh Daniel: We've enjoyed learning about bidirectional issues. Enabling applications for bidirectionality is especially tricky because any sentence or phrase may contain a mix of left-to-right text (e.g. English, numbers), right-to-left text (e.g. Arabic, Hebrew), and neutral text (e.g. punctuation). The rules for displaying the direction of characters in individual words are different from the rules for displaying the direction of words in a phrase. Things are further complicated due to widely varying limitations across web browsers.[Google blog]
Google, Search, Web Search, Bidirectional, Bidirectional Search, Arabic, Hebrew