Danny Sullivan shows that Google can make very bad mistakes when it takes over writing the title for a page and ignoring what the owner/creator of the website wrote – When Google Gets It Wrong By Changing The Titles Of Web Pages (Search Engine Land, April 30)
Good video about finding an email address using advanced search syntax at Google. Video was created by Boost Elearning in 2009 but still very much applies.
SearchMetrics identified that many of the news items that Google shows in Web search – ie the universal search – come from AOL-owned Patch.com. Huffington Post is in second position.
Google News Sources Grow 15% In 2012 & Continue To Climb With Patch.com In The Lead, Amy Gesenhues, Search Engine Land (Apr 30)
The European Commission is forcing Google to play fair and not give preference to its own properties in search results. Google has prepared some proposals for labelling its own results more clearly. But this may not address the main complaints by vertical / specialized search services such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and many more.
EC details Google’s proposed search concessions, by Stephen Shankland, CNet (April 25)
Under Google’s proposal, the company would label its own services in specialized search results and mark them off as a separate region. And it would clearly show links to at least three rival services as well.
Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land provides a more detailed look at Google’s layout proposals — Google’s New European “Antitrust” Search Results: Here’s What They’ll Look Like
Google is getting more deeply into semantic web and natural language. Two postings at SemanticWeb.com explain.
Proof That Information Is Gold: Google Buys Wavii for $30 Million – Google acquired a news aggregation summary service, Wavil, that may become part of the Knowledge Graph division.
“When The Semantic Web Blog spoke with Aoun previously, he noted that even if Wavii on its own wasn’t a hit at conceptually organizing the web around events that occur, there was a lot of value in what Wavii was doing as it relates to marrying context intelligence and user understanding.”
Semantic Search at Google: The SEO Basics - referring to an article by Tommy Landry about the several ways that Google tries to serve search intent. Among these: synonyms, analyzing questions (understanding how to), rich snippets with structural information, knowledge graph, local findings – and more.
Google is removing and rearranging features again. It has dropped the instant page preview that used to be seen with a mouse-over to the right of the result. That was also where cached and similar were. No more – they are now accessible through a little green arrow.
Reported in Google Adds Green Arrows To View Cache, Similar Pages & To Share Results On Google+ by Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (April 24)
Not enough people were interested in Google related searches for Google to keep it in the list of search options. It has been removed from “more tools” but will still be shown at the bottom of search results page. To be honest, I never noticed it on the list, and often ignore the suggestions at the bottom of the page. However, I do know through students in my classes, that those “related searches” do help them consider new aspects or angles of their queries.
Google Pulls Related Searches Filter Due To Lack Of Usage, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Apr 23)
Is search changing? Claire Cain Miller points out some trends in this New York Times article — As Web Search Goes Mobile, Competitors Chip at Google’s Lead (Apr 3)
More searches are being run on mobile devices through apps and using specific sites for places to eat or things to buy or places to travel to.
No longer do consumers want to search the Web like the index of a book — finding links at which a particular keyword appears. They expect new kinds of customized search, like that on topical sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor or Amazon, which are chipping away at Google’s hold. Google and its competitors are trying to develop the knowledge and comprehension to answer specific queries, not just point users in the right direction.
Hence the drive to deliver answers – not links to pages that might have answers.
- “Google says there are 30 trillion Web addresses, up from 1 trillion five years ago “
- Google takes in about 75% of search ad sales.
- According to Comscore, in second half of 2012 , the “number of searches per searcher [ at Google ] declined 7 percent. In contrast, searches on topical sites, known as vertical search engines, climbed 8 percent.”
BIng’s snapshots – those nuggets of information that show on some general searches – are becoming more like Google’s Knowledge Graphs with its display of connected entitites.
Compare these two views of Vancouver BC. They are almost identical. Google has a map, Bing has “also searched for”.
Aaron Bradley at SEO Sceptic examined both in Bing Mounts a Personal Offensive Against Google’s Knowledge Graph (March 21)
He thinks Bing is doing a better job showing people because of social information:
“With this latest update Bing is more than ever taking advantage of its social partnerships, and is in general exploiting the availability of social information for (living) people.”
Bing, thanks to LinkedIn, can also provide snapshots on non-celebrities. Here’s one of my favourites – a celebrity in the library world – Stephen Abram. Of course, nothing at Google, because Bing is using social networking sites.
“Bing might arguably be returning more useful Snapshot results than the equivalent Knowledge Graph results because of the additional social properties (Twitter, LinkedIn, Klout) that are displayed for living celebrities in Snapshot, but not in the Knowledge Graph.”.
The semantic technologies underpining the analysis of entities and their linkages are delivering better answers – and Bing has made a great leap forward.
This is a guest posting from Marc Kosciejew. He follows privacy issues and is quite right in alerting us to Google’s unauthorized collection of personal data and its implications. Was Google being careless, unethical, arrogant? Evidence points to all of these.
It is disturbing and shocking how Google secretly collected personal information from its (intrusive) Street View mapping project; moreover, it’s particularly troubling that the online giant initially denied its clandestine activities.
“Google Concedes That Drive-By Prvying Violated Privacy”, The New York Times, 12 March 2013
Google acknowledged to state officials (from 38 American states) that it had violated people’s privacy during its Street View mapping project when it casually scooped up passwords, e-mail and other personal information from unsuspecting computer users.
The Street View case arose out of Google’s deployment of special vehicles to photograph the houses and offices lining the world’s streets. But the company also secretly collected personal information — e-mail, medical and financial records, passwords — as it cruised by. It was data-scooping from millions of unencrypted wireless networks.
A worldwide uproar and investigations in at least a dozen countries ensued. An Australian regulator, Stephen Conroy, called it “probably the single greatest breach in the history of privacy.”
Google initially denied any data had been collected from unknowing individuals, then sought to play down what data had been collected and fought with regulators who wanted to examine it. Google said the data had been destroyed, although it turned out some had not been. Some data was purged, but Google is holding the rest until several private lawsuits are resolved.
Privacy advocates and Google critics characterized the overall agreement as a breakthrough for a company they say has become a serial violator of privacy.
Google, for the first time, is required to aggressively police its own employees on privacy issues and to explicitly tell the public how to fend off privacy violations like this one. But some critics worry that the case’s beneficial impact for privacy rights may be limited. Consumer Watchdog, a privacy monitor and frequent Google critic, said that “asking Google to educate consumers about privacy is like asking the fox to teach the chickens how to ensure the security of their coop.”