Google features

Google features come and go – almost always without explanation.

Jon Wiley, a search designer at Google, spoke briefly about this – mostly it is to avoid bloatware. Removing features, he said, “is one of the toughest but most important parts of designing products – deciding what to trim as you move forward”

Google Search Designer Explains Why Some Features & Tools Get Axed, Search Engine Land (Jul 28)

And – Google may have added a new timeline to the Knowledge Graph.

Google Testing Timeline View In Knowledge Graph, Search Engine Land (Jul 28)

“Google is testing a new knowledge graph interface for showing a timeline of data, facts and knowledge in the top carousel section of the Google search results.”

Google starts to remove results

The European Union court decision to require Google to remove results about people requesting “to be forgotten” has resulted in a near deluge of requests – 50,000 of them. Google has begun reviewing them and removing those that are “objectionable” according to the ruling.

Google’s ‘right to be forgotten’ takedowns a ‘challenge to press freedom’
, Juergen Baetz, AP via Globe and Mail (Jul 3)

At least three British media, including the Guardian newspaper and public broadcaster BBC, said they have been notified by Google that links to some of their articles were removed from search results in Europe.

Universal Results

We have come to expect “universal results” for a query – meaning results that pick up videos, images, news. Google introduced it, Bing does it, and DuckDuckGo has a form of it.

This study of Google’s search results showed that it returns some blend of  universal results  for 85% of queries.

“The study shows that for all searches, 85% of them contain some element of universal search blend. The most common are video results, followed by images, then news, shopping and maps. “

Study: Google Universal Results Show Up For 85% Of All Searches: Videos In 65% & Maps In 1%, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Jun 18)

The New DuckDuckGo

In case you haven’t used DuckDuckGo in a while, Barry Schwartz gives a quick summary with screenshots of updates. Mainly,

  • new white look – very popular now
  • more images – might be across the top
  • smarter in search results (I think so)
  • auto-suggest search results

DuckDuckGo Adds Carousel, Auto-Complete, Local Results & More Search Engine Roundtable (May 6)

Dave Johnson at CBS Moneywatch was impressed.

He wrote: “The new DuckDuckGo brings a lot of the search engine’s power to the forefront with a functional and attractive design. Now, searches that yield quick answers — like those for the weather or facts that can be scraped from Wolfram Alpha — are delivered in elegant boxes at the top of the window, very similar to Google’s cards”

DuckDuckGo: A privacy-friendly alternative to Google (May 8)

Improvements to Bing’s Snapshots

Bing has been growing its Snapshot answers. Like Google’s Knowledge Graph, Snapshot (actual search engine is called Sartori) displays information packets about entities and shows relationships.

Bing Snapshot Adds 150 Million New Entities & Relationships To Search Engine by Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Apr 1)

This posting shows changes in April that added 150 million new entities (doctors, lawyers, dentists, real estate properties according to the announcement – likely all USA) and expanded relationships to pick up audio or video clips if available.

On May 16 Bing added more facts about food and drugs to its knowledge base. (From Search Engine Land: Bing Snapshot)

Oh Yum

DuckDuckGo, a meta search engine that seeks results from best sources, has partnered with Yummly, a semantically smart search engine for food recipes. What a fusion!

Yummly Partners With DuckDuckGo To Serve Up Recipes For The Growing Search Engine, Amy Gesenhues, Search Engine Land (Jun 11)

Images from Yummly on recipe search at DuckDuckGo

Search at DuckDuckGo for recipes showing the Yummly banner

“By working with Yummly we are delivering the most useful and visually stunning recipe search experience out there. Yummly’s technology understands recipe search queries and we’ve worked together to create a great recipe instant answers experience,” said Gabriel Weinberg, founder and CEO at DuckDuckGo. [From the Yummly announcement ]

What Google Knows

Find out with a few clicks from this article what Google “knows” about you. Some of the things will be wrong, some you told Google in your profile, and some bits you’d prefer to be unknown.

How Much Does Google Really Know About You?, by Matt Smith, Make Use Of (Jun 17)

There is your Google web history, the Dashboard – showing everything you use, Google Ad Settings – where there are sure to be some errors. Add to this what Google knows about you though Google+, Gmail, and Google Drive.

Taken as a whole, the information Google collects about users is shockingly complete. The company can mine your emails and Drive documents, track your browsing history, track the videos you watch on YouTube, obtain your WiFi passwords and much more.

Right to be forgotten

Last May, the European Union Court of Justice ruled that a person could require that Google remove information about that person from search results -  they have the “right to be forgotten”.

Google will indicate in search results that “right to be forgotten” has been applied. More information about this and related stories in Yes, Google Will Disclose “Right To Be Forgotten” Removals by Barry Schwartz (June 9)

This applies only in the Google search engines for Europe – not to Google.com and the United States. Right To Be Forgotten Won’t Happen On Google.com (June 10)