Personalizing results is all about context – where you are, what you looked at before, and probably several other factors, which Google NOW is determined to identify. This is especially true for activity on the smartphone. And it’s not just Google – it’s in apps, in the fitbit you wear, Facebook, everything – as you will read in this article.
The Future Of Search Engines Is Context, Aaron Friedman, Search Engine Land (April 6)
TripAdvisor users will have new tools for keeping a travel journal through TripAdvisor’s acquisition of ZeTrip and the Rove app.
TripAdvisor Buys ZeTrip And Its Personal Travel Journal App Rove, Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch (Feb 2)
While TripAdvisor is not being very specific about how it might use Rove’s technology, the acquisition comes at an interesting time in mobile location-based services. Facebook last week launched a new feature for app users called “Place Tips”, which pushes friends’ tips and insights about locations that you are visiting. It’s a direct competitor to Yelp and Foursquare/Swarm, and comes at the same time that the latter has tapped into passive services itself, picking up users’ location information and pushing suggestions to you without them having to make any effort.
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.
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.
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.
Google Maps on Android and iOS will help you book a restaurant through Open Table and get you to your destination. Great for travel.
Getting started with the new Google Maps By Nicole Cozma, CNet (Nov 6)
If you are a gatherer of pieces on the Web to read later, Pocket may be the tool for you – desktop and mobile. And, you can gather even more by connecting it to IFTTT (If This, Then That)
The service lets you bookmark anything on the Web; articles are stored in your personal library, where they can be easily located and read when it’s most convenient. It doesn’t matter if you have a connection either, as Pocket can download (almost) everything to your device automatically.
The in-depth guide to using Pocket by Nick Summers, The Next Web (Oct 20)
Use Google app on your smart phone or tablet to find restaurants and bars nearby. Great for dinner reservations. Works in Toronto. Just say – show restaurants near my home – and presto, Google gives map, names, and addresses.
Google Upgrades Conversational Search On Its Mobile Apps, Matt McGee, Search Engine Land (Oct 9)
Basically, the app is smarter about knowing where you are (at a hotel, for example), letting you complete actions by voice (i.e., making reservations via OpenTable), getting directions as part of the ongoing conversation you’re having with the app and getting reminders.
How good are the question-answering apps on smart phones? Stone Temple Consulting compared queries about “knowledge” on Google Now, Siri, and Cortana.
The Great Knowledge Box Showdown: Google Now vs. Siri vs. Cortana by Eric Enge, Stone Temple (Oct 7)
Google Now did best on the number it could answer with an “enhanced result” (55%), and the completeness of the response (88%).
The future is nearly upon us. Smartphones come with very smart digital assistants. Google has been in the lead with Google Now on Android and iOS. Microsoft has launched Cortana available on Windows Phone 8.1 and Nokia phones. Danny Sullivan identifies the difference between the digital assistant and predictive search. Google Now, and to some extent, Cortana do both. Apple’s Siri only assists.
“Predictive search is easily confused with digital assistants. They’re not one-and-the-same. Siri, Google Now and Cortana are all digital assistants that will add reminders to your calendar or help you do certain things with your phone, like sending a text, playing a song or setting an alarm.”
Life With Cortana, Microsoft’s Predictive Search Challenger To Google Now & Siri, by Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land (Jul 21)
Read on for detailed comparison and some tips on how to use Google Now and Cortana. Want one?