DuckDuckGo and Apple

Only 7% in a survey of 521 people knew about DuckDuckGo. Let’s change that. This is an excellent search engine that is designed to return answers – and on many “knowledge” type questions does as well as Google’s Knowledge Graph or Bing’s Snapshot. And with DuckDuckGo you benefit from its policy of not saving search history. Apple has recognized  its value and has included it in iOS 8, the latest version of the iPhone operating system.

Could DuckDuckGo Overtake Bing? by Eli Schwartz, Search Engine Land.

With more consumer awareness of alternatives like DuckDuckGo, that tipping point might not be too far in the future. If ever this event occurs, it is entirely conceivable that the surge of new users could push DuckDuckGo ahead of Bing. (According to our survey, only 7.7% of respondents used Bing on a daily basis.)

Google Authorship vs Author Rank

Google Authorship always seemed arcane to me. Danny Sullivan describes it as “Google’s way to allow the authors of content to identify themselves for display purposes” and it was done through markup code. Well – no more – but Google is keeping “Author Rank”

Google Authorship and Author Rank aren’t the same thing. Here’s why Google Authorship can die yet Author Rank lives on., Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land (AUg 29)

How can all this be, when Google has also said that it’s ignoring authorship markup?

The answer is that Google has other ways to determine who it believes to be the author of a story, if it wants. In particular, Google is likely to look for visible bylines that often appear on news stories. These existed before Google Authorship, and they aren’t going away.

Google’s Knowledge Vault

Google’s Knowledge Graph excels at displaying structured information on entities. Google is developing the next generation of this called Knowledge Vault.

Google “Knowledge Vault” To Power Future Of Search by Greg Sterling, Search Engine Land (Aug 25)

Sensationally characterized as “the largest store of knowledge in human history,” Knowledge Vault is being assembled from content across the internet without human editorial involvement. “Knowledge Vault autonomously gathers and merges information from across the web into a single base of facts about the world, and the people and objects in it,” says New Scientist.

Google Search Improvement

Google makes many changes every year to search – some we are barely aware of, some we don’t like at all, some that are loved instantly. This past year, according to Google’s  head of search Amit Singhal, Google made 890 “improvements”.

Google Made 890 Improvements To Search Over The Past Year, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Aug 19)

He doesn’t say what they were but does list highlights in last 10 years (which is a very long time). Of his ten, I think the most valuable were:

  • Autocomplete – stroke of genius – see the variation and choose one that best suits our intent.
  • Voice search – I love this on my iPad.
  • Knowledge Graph – information nuggets frequently have the answer, or at least a good overview.

Bing goes conversational

Bing has added conversational search by which it uses previous searches to interpret  the current query and select results. Begin with a question such as – who is the prime minister of canada – get the answer – then ask – what party does he belong to – Conservative.

Google announced conversational capabilities with the Hummingbird update, but it doesn’t carry on the conversation the way Bing does now.

Bing Launches Conversational Search, Amy Gesenhues, Search Engine Land (Aug 13)