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 is testing a bookmarking-page-saving feature called Bing Saves. See this dashboard. It seems to save the page, Pinterest style. Why?
Bing Saves, Search Bookmarking Feature, Now Public Beta, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Mar 4)
Search engines have had bookmarking features before and discontinued them. Of course you have to be signed into your account, and you’re giving Bing information about your interests when you do that. There might be some convenience to this, if you are a big Bing user. But, mark my words, the moment you start to rely on Bing Saves, Bing will close the service. Google and Bing remove features arbitrarily all the time.
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)
This year is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1. We are sure to see many announcements of historical materials being made available online.
Europeana (http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en) brings together content from 20 countries – film, images, family papers, and memorabilia.
Europeana 1914-1918: A new website that brings all sides of World War One together launches in Berlin, featuring 10,000 items from the British Library’s collections, Press release (Jan 29)
Europeana 1914-1918 is full of original source material – digitised photographs, maps, diaries, newspapers, letters, drawings and other content that can be used by teachers, historians, journalists, students and interest groups to create new resources.
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.
A mapping of Twitter conversations reveals networks and structures. This report from Pew Internet identified six different kinds of network crowds and the types of discussions in each. Polarized crowds are often political – each side in its own camp; tight crowds are formed by highly interconnected people.
Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters, Marc Smith and others, Pew Internet (Feb 20)
Social media networks have an overall structure while the individual people within them have a local network structure based on their direct connections and the connections among their connections. Network maps show that each kind of social media crowd has a distinct structure of connection and influence. Key users occupy strategic locations in these networks, in positions like hubs and bridges.
The Web will be 25 years old on March 12, and I’ve been teaching web searching for 20 years. Pew Internet recognizes the anniversary with The Web at 25 in the U.S. by Susannah Fox and Lee Rainie (Feb 27)
How did we manage without it? Over those 25 years browsers added function and conveniencer, content has expanded, access became easier and faster, and eventually we became quite dependent.
The overall verdict: The internet has been a plus for society and an especially good thing for individual users
If you use Facebook, you’ll want to know this. How to delete your Facebook search history, Nicole Cozma, Facebook (Feb 21)
Facebook keeps a record of everything you search for on its Web site. Check out this How To guide for cleaning up the list, or just limiting what information Facebook is storing about you.
I admit to not understanding the first thing about Google’s concept of authorship, but I distrust an arrangement by which authorship is recognized only through Google+. (Explained in The definitive guide to Google authorship markup.)
Regardless, this article provides a few clues as to what Google is doing in ranking results.
The Secret To Staying Relevant With Authorship by Jim Yu, Search Engine Land (Feb 25)
Google has a “master plan” to use authorship — “While Step 1 was all about associating content with authors via authorship, Step 2 is about refining to the top echelon of authors and filtering their quality content into the results more favorably.”
Social connections matter — “Many of the principles we’ve come to call “best practices” still apply; we know that authority, social connections and quality content continue to go hand-in-hand when it comes to relevance of the search results.”
Especially Google + social connections — “Cutts said social signals like a +1 aren’t just a number — those endorsements are a sign of authority. If you’re someone worth listening to, search engines will think you’re worth listening to, as well.”
But main message on the artilcle is the importance of creating high quality content – often – and being recognized for it.