Expanding the Knowledge Graph

Dr. Meyers finds that Google is much better at understanding questions and could be revolutionizing organic search.

Knowledge Graph 2.0: Now Featuring Your Knowledge, Dr Peter J Meyers, The Moz Blog (Mar 25)

But where does Google get the information – from humans!

The main sources of data for the Knowledge Graph are curated by people. Ironically, Google is facing the same dilemma with Knowledge Graph in 2014 that led to the creation of internet search engines in the first place.

But that will have to changes. Meyers gives some examples of direct extraction of answers from pages.

New Google SERP Design

No – your browser isn’t malfunctioning.  Google rolled out its new design for the search results page.  Like it?

Google Makes It Official: New Search Results Design Goes Live For All, Search Engine Land (Mar 13)

No underlining, slightly larger font. A result might have a thumbnail image.

You can change it back following directions on this page — How to remove the new Google search results design, All Google Testing (Mar 13) – probably not worth the trouble.

Google’s In Depth Articles

Google didn’t drop In Depth articles, it just changed the design so you wouldn’t be able to spot them. This article doesn’t say that exactly but the screenshots of before and after prove it. I should add that in-depth articles rarely (and maybe never) show on searches done in Canada, whether google.ca or google.com.

Google In-Depth Article Testing New Design, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Roundtable (Mar 11)

Did discover, though, that the carousel will appear across the top for the search colleges canada.

Is Google answering more questions?

Google is constantly experimenting and not everything sticks. Last Januaryl, Barry Schwartz had screenshots of Google’s new prowess at answering questions – even to go so far as do what Ask could years ago – explain why the sky is blue. I can’t get Google to answer any of my questions – could be my location (Toronto), or Google has retracted them Nonetheless, they may turn up again.

Google Search OneBox Answers Are Getting More Detailed, by Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Jan 28, 2014)

Bing and Google drop search terms

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.

Google vs DuckDuckGo – again

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

Google’s search algorithms – what’s really happening?

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?

Google and topic analysis

Slawski finds some evidence that Google matches on “the topic of a post rather than keywords”. And if it isn’t actually doing that now, it’s very close to doing so.

Will Keywords be Replaced by Topics for Some Searches? by Bill Slawski, SEO by the Sea (Jan 16)

Google can get some idea of topic from Freebase where users add content. But Slawski says “it’s possible that Google might look to other sources to better understand things such as topics, such as Open Information Extraction.” It could be matter of statistics of the probablity of query relating to a domain topic.