Google’s ranking of TLDs

What does Google do with the new TLDs? Nothing. And now it seems Google doesn’t give preferential ranking to .edu or .gov.

Google Explains How It Handles The New Top Level Domains (TLDs), Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (July 21)

In summary, there are no TLDs that Google finds preferential to others; they are all treated equally in rankings. There are some geo-specific TLDs that Google will default to a specific country and use that as an indicator that the website is more important in a specific geographic region. But all TLDs are treated equally.

Copyright in the E.U.

European Union is having trouble grappling with copyright and access to materials in an online world. (Aren’t we all?) Here we read – EU Parliament takes strong stance against geoblocking (PC World, Jul 10).

A new report the E.U. Parliament called on a Commission examining copyright and access “to look for ways to improve access to online content across borders, “while recognizing the importance of territorial licences, particularly for TV and film productions.”

Of concern to Google, German conservative MEPs asked for “cillary copyright for press publishers. Such a copyright would potentially force search engines like Google to pay for the republishing of news snippets.”

Resources for the investigative journalist

Helen Brown readers of her blog to Bookmark these five great deep web research resources (Helen Brown Group, July 16).

Two are handbooks for investigative journalists which I have blogged about also. Stunning.

Two are the work of Paul Myers, an investigative journalist in the UK. Research Clinic has some collections and articles. However, be aware that collections and tip sheets are hard to keep current. For example, the page of Google’s search syntax lists ~ tilda as an operator – no – that was dropped; and link: as an operator for picking up pages that link to a site is so unreliable as to be useless.

If your interest is in genealogy, the best gem will be PIBuzz by Tamara Thompson. She’s in California and has collected many US records databases.

GMail Filtering

GMail is getting better at identifying and filtering out spam and junk email by applying the same intelligence that is used for Google Search and Google Now.

The mail you want, not the spam you don’t, Official GMail Blog (Jul 9)

Especially note: “Finally, the spam filter is better than ever at rooting out email impersonation—that nasty source of most phishing scams. Thanks to new machine learning signals, Gmail can now figure out whether a message actually came from its sender, and keep bogus email at bay.

Search turns mobile

The smartphone is changing people’s search practices and Google, in the face of a multitude of apps, is fighting to stay King of Search. Leading the charge is Amit Singhal, Google’s search chief.

Reinventing Google for a Mobile World, Conor Dougherty, New York Times (July 9)

“My job is not to just look at the trend today. My job is to look at what’s beyond the horizon,” Mr. Singhal said in the interview. “And beyond the horizon, there is so much more people can do on their devices that is not possible today.”