Firefox Search Bar

Startling news – Yahoo will be the default search engine in the Firefox browser for US users rather than Google (and one presumes the same will be true in Canada). This means getting search results from the Bing index. It is possible to adjust the search bar to default to whatever search engine you really want to use.

Yahoo to replace Google as Firefox’s default search engine in U.S., Michael Liedtke, AP via Globe and Mail (Nov 20)

The five-year alliance announced Wednesday will end a decade-old partnership in the U.S. between Google Inc. and the Mozilla Foundation, which oversees the Firefox browser. The tensions between Google and Mozilla had been rising since Google’s introduction of the Chrome browser in 2008 began to undercut Firefox.

Mozilla has this handy guide with screenshots and screencasts – Search bar – add, change and manage search engines on Firefox

The Growing Importance of Mobile

Google gives sites that are mobile friendly a ranking boost in search results.

Google Is Experimenting With Special Ranking For Mobile-Friendly Sites, Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land (Nov 18)

Google already penalizes sites that provide a bad experience to mobile searchers. Now the company has confirmed that it’s testing with what seems like a boost for those providing a great experience.

This is good, but it is also part of the trend that makes mobile access to the web more important than desktop. Wall Street Journal has noted that The Web Is Dying; Apps Are Killing It by Phil Foster (Nov 17)

Mountains of data tell us that, in aggregate, we are spending time in apps that we once spent surfing the Web. We’re in love with apps, and they’ve taken over. On phones, 86% of our time is spent in apps, and just 14% is spent on the Web, according to mobile-analytics company Flurry.

Search Pinterest

I can see using Pinterest for searching on topics – especially high level – to find a few good sites that someone has “curated”. It is a scrapbook / bookmark kind of site – and that is its advantage.

Pinterest Evolving Into A Personalized Search Substitute, by Greg Sterling, Search Engine Land (Nov 10)

Much more than a “scrap-booking” site (its origins) or even a product discovery or shopping site, Pinterest sees itself now as a kind of personalized search site that can blend search and discovery in new and compelling ways.

Google’s “browseable fact repository”

What I have learned from this posting from SEO by the Sea — Google’s Query Language (Nov 13)

– Google has patents on something it calls a “browseable fact repository” – this became the Knowledge Graph.

– Google engineers considered a query language for this. It would have had to be something like SPARQL for searching a relational database.  Bill Slawski describes the key bits, which we can be pretty sure almost no one would ever learn.

– Google decided on a “united search interface” instead – understandable.

– Handy reference - Punctuation, symbols and operators in search.


Firefox at 10

Mozilla’s Firefox browser is nearly 10 years old. In 2004 the one to beat was Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. That’s done. Now the challenge is to counter Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android

Ten years in, Firefox fights on — now against Google and Apple by Stephen Shankland, CNet (Nov 10)

Instead of just taking on a browser, Mozilla now is competing against two operating systems, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Mozilla’s alternative is Firefox OS, a browser-based operating system. The goal remains the same, though: give people choice about what technology they use on the Internet and give them control over their data.

It might be a rough road: mobile usage is increasing rapidly, and Firefox’s share of that market is very small. It’s become a matter of operating systems. Here’s hoping for a Firefox OS.

More tips from MES

Mary Ellen Bates had more super-searcher tools and tips for attendees at Internet Librarian 2014. @mebs #internetlibrarian Good reminder that changing position of search terms does make a difference – to which I will add, it can even make a difference in getting a Knowledge nugget. There are several hacking-type of tips using advanced search operators – good to know. And a message for users of Android and iOS devices – look into Google Now – it can anticipate your needs, as Bates shows.