Chrome 27 browser from Google has “conversational search” – “click the mic in the search box, ask your question in a natural way, and get spoken answers”. Here’s the video from Google [2:57 min]. Guess we’ll have to be careful what we say while using Chrome.
See Google’s conversational search arrives with new Chrome, Stephen Shankland, CNet (May 22)
Danny Sullivan called it impressive – Google’s Impressive “Conversational Search” Goes Live On Chrome (Search Engine Land – May 22) Speak your search and get the answer back – in audio!
“That’s cool and impressive, speaking a search and getting an answer read back to you. But that’s not the real magic. What’s really special is that you can continue your search “conversation” by asking further questions in a way you could never do with regular search, by making use of pronouns and other shortcuts that reference things in your previous query.”
Danny Sullivan shows that Google can make very bad mistakes when it takes over writing the title for a page and ignoring what the owner/creator of the website wrote – When Google Gets It Wrong By Changing The Titles Of Web Pages (Search Engine Land, April 30)
SearchMetrics identified that many of the news items that Google shows in Web search – ie the universal search – come from AOL-owned Patch.com. Huffington Post is in second position.
Google News Sources Grow 15% In 2012 & Continue To Climb With Patch.com In The Lead, Amy Gesenhues, Search Engine Land (Apr 30)
We should all know by now that DuckDuckGo is scrupulous about not keeping any record on what you search. There is no search history! I have recommended this search engine to everyone I know who is at all concerned about the very obvious use of search history at Google or Bing to influence search results.
This article explains how DDG does that through use of HTTPS encryption. Get your privacy ducks in a row with DuckDuckGo by Alex Wawro, PCWorld (April 19)
We also learn that DDG, while it has its own crawler, also sends the query to over 30 search engines including
Google Yahoo, Bing and Blekko. It’s a meta-search engine – but with a difference – it employs Web of Trust ratings to assess results — these are two more reasons to add DuckDuckGo to your search tool kit. It’s not only private – it has breadth and screens the results.
Note this correction: DDG does not search Google, but it does use the Bing index and Blekko. More information about sources here.
Zac at DDG reminded me that there are also instant answers obtained from many sources – see this page about goodies and try a few.
Google is removing and rearranging features again. It has dropped the instant page preview that used to be seen with a mouse-over to the right of the result. That was also where cached and similar were. No more – they are now accessible through a little green arrow.
Reported in Google Adds Green Arrows To View Cache, Similar Pages & To Share Results On Google+ by Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (April 24)
Not enough people were interested in Google related searches for Google to keep it in the list of search options. It has been removed from “more tools” but will still be shown at the bottom of search results page. To be honest, I never noticed it on the list, and often ignore the suggestions at the bottom of the page. However, I do know through students in my classes, that those “related searches” do help them consider new aspects or angles of their queries.
Google Pulls Related Searches Filter Due To Lack Of Usage, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Apr 23)
Google is getting smarter – it wants to answer questions before you ask them through Google Now.
Google Now To Make Its Way To The Google Home Page?, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (April 22)
“Google’s home page may soon have Google Now functionality. Google can know your location based on your browser settings and it already knows your time and may be able to use your Gmail emails. It can tie it all together and give you Google Now functionality directly on the Google home page.”
Message might be – avoid searching on breaking news to reduce risk of malware. Study by a German IT group analyzed amount of malware in search results at Google, Blekko, Bing and Yandex. Google was least, and Yandex most.
Google Beats Bing, Yandex & Blekko At Keeping Malware Out Of Search Results [Study], Matt McGee, Search Engine Land (Apr 11)
AV-TEST found that news-related search results frequently contained malicious links, due to malware developers’ focusing on breaking news topics and because “users are the least suspicious in such cases and therefore quickly click on the links provided.”
Is search changing? Claire Cain Miller points out some trends in this New York Times article — As Web Search Goes Mobile, Competitors Chip at Google’s Lead (Apr 3)
More searches are being run on mobile devices through apps and using specific sites for places to eat or things to buy or places to travel to.
No longer do consumers want to search the Web like the index of a book — finding links at which a particular keyword appears. They expect new kinds of customized search, like that on topical sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor or Amazon, which are chipping away at Google’s hold. Google and its competitors are trying to develop the knowledge and comprehension to answer specific queries, not just point users in the right direction.
Hence the drive to deliver answers – not links to pages that might have answers.
- “Google says there are 30 trillion Web addresses, up from 1 trillion five years ago “
- Google takes in about 75% of search ad sales.
- According to Comscore, in second half of 2012 , the “number of searches per searcher [ at Google ] declined 7 percent. In contrast, searches on topical sites, known as vertical search engines, climbed 8 percent.”
Greg Notess reported that Bing added date searching as a standard filter on the search results page. But don’t expect to find it in Canada. Of course, the Bing Canada version doesn’t have it, and neither does Bing.com when I say (notwithstanding my IP address) that my country is USA.
That whole Bing thing in Canada is too frustrating. But if you’re reading this from the US, check Greg’s posting to find out what to look for.
Bing’s Updated Date Searching, Search Engine Showdown (Mar 28, 2013)