Singhal on Google

Google’s search chief Amit Singhal described a Google search future that is mainly mobile. He spoke about – Now on Tap — a facility “which is being released as part of the latest Android mobile operating system – lets users get related information about whatever is on their handset’s screen with a single button press.”

Google search chief Amit Singhal looks to the future, Leo Kelion, BBC (Sept 29)

Image recognition is another area receiving Google’s attention. Good

Google voice search recordings

Google stores your voice searches on its servers – claims this helps Google’s work in voice recognition. If you’d like to see what has been saved so far, delete any of your voice searches, or stop the recording entirely, watch this how-to video from CNet on how to change the settings in your Google account – Stop Google from tracking your voice: How To Video



Google Health Search

There is no shame today in “googling” a health condition – results are often from the top medical sites – and this is about to get better.

Google To Double The Number Of Health Conditions In Search Results Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Sept 3).

Google announced they are more than doubling their health conditions database, so that when you search for health or medical topics in Google, you are more likely to find factual medical data on that condition.

I checked congestive heart failure on and was impressed at the quality of results from US and Canadian sites in the three pages. But – searchers still need to be careful to distinguish the authoritative sites from the product sites, and to thoroughly search the authoritative ones..

Images in the Knowledge Graph

There is more than meets the eye in Google’s algorithms for choosing images to show in the Knowledge Graph. Bill Slawski gives a summary of the patent.

How Google Decides Which Images To Show For Entities In Knowledge Panels, SEO by the Sea (Aug 16)

“The combination of image scores and quality scores for web pages that contain images of entities might be used to generate an image authority score.”

Automating social media search

Social Searcher, the social search engine, released version 2 of its API for “social search and media monitoring”.

Request real time search results in unified format from 9 social networks: Twitter, Google+, Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, Flickr, Dailymotion, Vimeo. Query syntax supports exact phrase search, minus keywords and OR operators.

See full description in the blog posting. Free trial available.

Graphiq – Data visualization engine

Graphiq Search is described as a “data visualization or knowledge graph search engine”, meaning that it displays charts related to the query.

Graphiq Search: FindTheBest Becomes Knowledge Graph Engine by Greg Sterling, Search Engine Land (Aug 11)

“Using a huge volume of data sources, automation and human editorial oversight, the company says that it has created “the world’s deepest and most interconnected Knowledge Graph, featuring 1,000 collections, 1 billion entities, 120 billion attributes, and 25 billion curated relationships.””

It has a good depth of knowledge for the United States that it has extracted from a variety of databases. Anything outside the U.S. is weaker. Still, it can provide pages of “country facts” such as this one on Canada.

Graphiq Search Engine result for Canada

Graphiq Search Engine result for Canada

It encourages browsing through Topics and a page of what is Trending, as well as through the sheer variety of data and displays. It’s a bit like a rabbit hole – you’ll be jumping from one slide to the next comparing data.

Hulbee – new alternative search engine

Announcements of new search engines are rare. From Switzerland comes a new search engine called Hulbee that promises privacy in searching (away from prying eyes in the USA) and semantic understanding of query and results.

“Leveraging semantic search algorithms, Hulbee provides users with a means to find what they’re looking for, even when they’re unsure of the precise phrase or term to input.”

Hulbee Launches Only Privacy-First Search Engine Secure From NSA, EU And Data Miners – PRNewswire (Aug 5)

“Unlike other search engines, which deliver results based of what’s most often searched, Hulbee is based on semantic search, which focuses on the meaning of the word and on various themes associated with it. After sifting through data in 33 languages, the Hulbee search engine presents a collection of words presented in colorful thematic tiles on the screen, giving users a broad range of choices rather than just the most popular selections.”

It’s attractive and seems serviceable for finding relevant search results. It had sufficient depth for the query I tried for Ontario history. People needing an alternate search engine might explore this.

The tiles display Hulbee’s view of concepts (described as a word cloud) . Word clouds have nearly disappeared from search, and I’m glad to see Hulbee revive this as an aid for refining the query. Don’t be unnerved, though, if you see an ad in the panel of concept tiles on the left.

Hulbee Search Engine

Hulbee Search Engine

Image database seems limited at this time but it does have controls for size, color, style, face, and aspect.

Translator on the menubar will be handy for anyone working in multiple languages.

Other collections are video and music. The shopping vertical is definitely meant for Europeans.

Does Google favour its own services?

Google has been accused again of promoting its own services over others in search results. The latest study was sponsored by Yelp which has complained about this before.

Study Claims Google Is Delivering “Degraded” Search Results, Adding Steam To EU Antitrust Case, Search Engine Land (Jun 29)

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, researchers from Columbia University and Harvard Business School claim Google is delivering a “degraded version of its search engine,” outranking its own services over more relevant results for local searches on restaurants and hotels.