Karen Blakeman asks Is Bing dropping search terms? (Mar 1), and it likely is. Gone are the days when we could count on search engines searching for ALL our terms. Too often our search terms are nowhere to be seen – even on large results sets.
Karen gives two ways to force Bing to include all terms. Interestingly, use the Boolean AND, or the prefix inbody:xxx
At Google we need to use Verbatim search, or intext:xxx. Don’t know about AND.
How did I miss MillionShort, a search engine that came on stream in 2012? Sanjay Arora in Toronto created it to strip out the most popular sites that show over and over again in Google and Bing and surface the ones that don’t rank as well.
Making the Web wild again: New search engine ignores popular websites, Toronto Star (May 30, 2012)
It is probably build on Google – or a Google Hack as Tech Crunch said.
You have a choice on how many to remove – and it doesn’t seem to simply take the first million because some results stay on the page. A panel on the right shows the domains that have been removed – and on my query, insomnia in the elderly, removals included good sites (bmj.com) and less useful ones (drugs.com). What was left was a mix of some worthwhile surprises, and less worthy sleeping aids and other treatments.
Option to remove top million results
MillionShort received good press when it came out in 2012 but, except for the addition of voice search, very little has happened since..
Bing has a full function calculator! But you’d have to know how to use it.
Bing Quietly Adds A Scientific Full Size Calculator, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Mar 3)
Bloggers about search engines are picking up signs that Google will soon change how it displays search results – bigger font, no underlined links. Would be nice if it changed the visited link colour as well to help people who are color blind.
Google To Launch New Search Results Design With Larger Fonts & No Underlines Soon?, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Mar 3)
Conceivably, a search engine with algorithms to deeply analyze content could help a student learn and find better content. This is the premise of two professors at the University of Alabama who are develping the Complexity Engine that will “search websites for content and delivers free, customized and age-appropriate reading materials”.
New search engine delivers content matched to ability, by Jim Steele, Phys.org. (Feb 28)
An Internet search engine developed specifically for schools by two University of Alabama in Huntsville professors is being tested as a way to increase reading abilities in challenged students and help motivate intellectual development in gifted students, while saving schools money on textbooks.
The article reports that the team has received $10,000. My guess is that they’ll need a much larger infusion of money.
Knowledge Graph has more than famous people and places. Google has been amassing much more as it aims to be answer king. Search for a hotel or restaurant and you are likely to get a full profile with links to recent reviews – even in Toronto.
Knowledge Graph of the WIndsor Arms in Toronto
But this might change soon to seeing the first line of the actual review.
Google Tests Detailed Local Reviews In Knowledge Graph, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Roundtable (Feb 26)
Hmm – this is one of those search engine features that leaves me cold. Bing aand Google can find fedex tracking numbers, although Bing does12 and 15 digit, and Google only does 15 digit. Wouldn’t it be easier and better to go directly to FedEx?
Bing Better Than Google At Tracking 12 Digit Fedex Tracking Numbers, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Roundable (Feb 26)
Is Google Goliath and DuckDuckGo David? Here’s another personal account from a person who left Google because of concerns about privacy and turned to DuckDuckGo. This writer tells the consequences in an interesting way: that she lost the convenience of Google knowing all about her, and had to learn how to search again at DuckDuckGo – and, it sounds like,she is glad of the new independence.
How I Quit Google “Spurred by privacy concerns, one writer decided to quit cold turkey — and found what she was searching for”, Julia Angwin, Time (Feb 24)
As soon as I switched, I realized how dependent on Google I had become. Without Google’s suggested searches and perfect memory of what I usually search for, each search required more work from me. For instance, DuckDuckGo doesn’t know that I live in New York City, so when I mistyped “Naturaly History Museum,” it brought up the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. For a comparison, I checked Google — and sure enough, it corrected my spelling and guessed I was in New York, listing the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan at the top of my search results.
DuckDuckGo’s lack of knowledge about me forced me to be smarter in my searches. For instance, I noticed I had become so lazy that I had been typing URLs — like CNN.com — into the Google Search bar instead of the navigation bar, even though I knew exactly where I was going. So I began typing the addresses into the correct spot on my web browser.
Read more: How I Quit Google | TIME.com http://ideas.time.com/2014/02/24/how-i-quit-google/#ixzz2uOmzlLsq
Good piece on DuckDuckGo and founder Gabriel Weinberg, and his core mission to deliver answers and protect privacy. DuckDuckGo does it all with at small team of employees.
Inside DuckDuckGo, Google’s Tiniest, Fiercest Competitor, John Paul Titlow, Fast Company (Feb 20)
“To deliver these answers, DuckDuckGo relies on a mixture of third-party data sources and the deep–sometimes bizarrely arcane–knowledge of its growing community of users and developers.”
Personalization has really arrived if this is true – Google may be tailoring results to your sequence of searches in a session, not just the single inquiry.
Evolving Google Search Algorithms by Bill Slawski, SEO by the SEA (Feb 21)
It appears that Google has been paying attention to this kind of search behavior from people who search like me. A patent granted to Google earlier this month watches queries performed by a searcher during a search session, and may give more weight to the words and phrases used earlier in a session like that, and might give less weight to terms that might be added on as a session continues.
But at the end, Slawski says Google Hummingbird update (ranking algorithms) uses historical search query sessions.
It is clear from Slawski’s posting that Google does a lot of tinkering and adjusting in the background. Is this good or bad for the information professional doing critical searches? Is this a reason to search anonymously to cut out influence of search history?