New Arrangements for Yahoo and Microsoft

Yahoo and Microsoft have agreed to a new relationship by which Yahoo will be allowed to be less dependent on Bing for ads and search results – Yahoo will be able to draw from other sources including its own technology.

Yahoo-Bing Reach New Search Deal; Yahoo Gains Right To Serve Search Ads On The PC, Greg Sterling, Search Engine Land (Apr 16)

Yahoo, when it partnered with Microsoft for Bing search several years ago, gave up everything on desktop search. Now it’s reclaiming space for placing its own ads on 49% of search results, and of generating 49% of search results from sources other than Bing.

“Bing will continue to provide the underlying non-paid search results and technology for Yahoo. In the old agreement, Yahoo gave up the technology it had for ten years and pretty much just mirrored Bing’s results with a Yahoo look-and-feel. But under the new agreement, it now has the flexibility to generate about half its results using its own technology or even to partner with someone else, if it wants. Bing just has to be used for 51% of all search results.”

Is this in time for Yahoo to draw back search traffic?

HathiTrust digital repository

HathiTrust over 11 million texts in its digital repository – but they aren’t all fully viewable.

has 5 Million Public Domain Ebooks in HathiTrust: What Does This Mean?

That library now numbers over 13 million titles, most of which are in copyright and therefore not freely available for online reading. Instead, these can be used for research: if you need to figure out what terms appear in which books (and how often), you can use HathiTrust to do so; having identified the books that are of interest to you, you can then pursue full access to them by some other means. Other kinds of research are possible as well, within constraints designed to maximize access without crossing legal lines.

Google drops in-depth

Several have reported that Google has dropped labelling In Depth Articles – they are being blended into organic results and the accompanying images have been dropped. In Depth articles didn’t show in Google.ca results – annoying for searchers in Canada. This is an odd change in design – don’t they want users to know that those items are more “in depth” and of higher quality?

Google Quietly Drops In Depth Articles Title In Search Results, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Roundtable. (Apr 10)

DuckDuckGo – more instant answers

DuckDuckGo has a newsletter – part of the blog where they announce the new and brilliant features.

DuckDuckGo Adds Instant Answers For Nearby Parking, Online Courses & UV Index Risks, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (April 7)

One new feature is to find nearby parking to a place. Much to my amazement it had an answer for Roy Thomson Hall Toronto – though only one, not close, and very expensive – but it’s a start.

Will find online courses too – just enter topic + online course; eg., happiness online courses – there are many.

Context Pervades the Smartphone

Personalizing results is all about context – where you are, what you looked at before, and probably several other factors, which Google NOW is determined to identify. This is especially true for activity on the smartphone. And it’s not just Google – it’s in apps, in the fitbit you wear, Facebook, everything – as you will read in this article.

The Future Of Search Engines Is Context, Aaron Friedman, Search Engine Land (April 6)

Google Search Can Penetrate Databases

Google explains in this patent a prototype for surfacing content from structured databases.

How Google May Index Deep Web Entities, by Bill Slawski, SEO by the Sea (April 5)

Bill Slawski presents this takeaway

If you’ve been looking for a connection between the SEO of web-page Crawling, and the use of Data from sources like Knowledge-bases, this paper describes such a connection – using data from a knowledge-base such as freebase to query the content of a deepweb database, such as an ecommerce site where content doesn’t surface to be crawled unless it is queried first.

Dates in Google Answer Boxes

Watch for it – Google is showing more dates with search results – especially those handy Answer Boxes.

Google Begins Including Dates on Answer Boxes in Search Results to Show Timeliness, Jennifer Slegg, The SEM Post (April 6)

Some answer boxes are now displaying the date the content was published at the end of the content in the answer box to show how timely the information presented is. Especially on topics that are constantly changing, this means that a searcher can perhaps get a better idea of how accurate the information is based upon the date it was published