Where’s It Hurt? After You Search For A Symptom, New Google Health Search Results Suggest Causes

google-health-computer-featured Roughly 100 million people in the US search for health information on a monthly basis, according to 2011 comScore data. Google has seen these queries up close and recently concluded that it doesn't do a great job of servicing them. The company is thus introducing improved results that shorten the time from symptom-related search to discovery of potential medical causes and conditions. Google Chief Health Strategist Roni Zeiger, MD, says the company sees users search on health symptoms and then almost immediately turn around and search for conditions they discovered in those initial search r [...]

Volunia, A Social Search Engine, Says The Web Has Come Alive

volunia-logo Google might be synonymous with the word search in most of the world, but that hasn't dissuaded others from bringing new search engines to the market, usually aiming to innovate in an area where Google has somehow let up its guard. Volunia, launched this week, promises to help searchers with three distinguishing features: High level site previews in search results A multimedia search within a site function A social layer which, among other things, allows Volunia users to share information and connect to one another My sense is that it is the social layer which will be most apprecia [...]

An Interview With A Google Search Quality Rater

google-search-quality-featured Since at least 2005, Google has been using a large, worldwide focus group to help review its search results and the quality of the web pages that rank well in its algorithm. The people in this program are called Quality Raters and, as you can imagine, the work they do is important to search marketers everywhere. Google was actually advertising Quality Rater jobs in late 2004, but today the Quality Raters don't actually work for Google; they work for contractors such as Lionbridge, Leapforce, Butler Hill and possibly others. According to Lionbridge's Internet Assessors Program job page, it h [...]

Google Fails To Trounce Bing (Again): The Fallacy Of The Superior Search Engine Revisited

A year ago, I wrote a quick post called, Google vs. Bing, The Fallacy of the Superior Search Engine, in which I selected twenty search-difficult queries and ran a subjective head to head evaluation of the search results from Google and Bing. The end result confirmed what I had long anecdotally experienced – the difference in result relevancy between the engines was really not that much. In fact, Bing bested Google slightly. Admittedly, my little test, with n=20, had the academic rigor of a Sarah Palin geography lesson. I was rightly skewered by some readers, including one who called th [...]

Are You A Search Geek? Test Your Mettle with this Contest – and Win Two Tickets to SMX West!

Looking for some relief from the craziness of the holiday season? Why not test your search marketing intelligence, by taking the 4th Annual SMX Biggest Search Geek Contest sponsored by Marin Software. You could just win a trip for two to SMX West in San Jose, Feb. 28- March 1, plus an Apple iPad2! The quiz tests your Search IQ with 20 questions about all aspects of search marketing, including paid, organic, and the occasional history question such as this one from a previous quiz: What was the name of Larry Page and Sergey Brin's 1996 research project that laid the foundation for Google [...]

Google’s Let It Snow Easter Egg

Google has a new easter egg for the winter holiday season - search for [let it snow] and Google will turn the search results page into a powdery snow covered set of search results. The search results will become so hard to see that you will instinctively want to wipe the screen clean with your hand. Instead, use the mouse and it will help you wipe off the snow. Don't have any patience for that? No worries, click the "Defrost" button at the top and the snow will melt away. Finally, you can draw shapes in the snow and share them on Google+ with your friends. Here is a video of it in act [...]

The Right Stuff: Heavy Duty Real-Time Airline Flight Tracking Tools

plane_finder_ar_sky_blue Seemingly every day, more real-time or near real-time data becomes accessible on the internet. Over the next few weeks, I'll be writing about many different types of real-time resources, but today, I'll be focusing on real-time flight data—virtually addicting tools for frequent flyers and aviation geeks alike. For example, two weeks ago, Wolfram|Alpha launched a new real-time flight tracking feature that displays information about flights flying close to your own location. I'm a major Wolfram|Alpha user and supporter. However, since Wolfram is using GeoIP, which approximates location r [...]

For The Holidays, Google Has NORAD Tracks Santa & Bing Has Magical Holiday Calendar

google-bing-holiday-featured Google's teaming up again with NORAD to product one of my favorite Christmas traditions, the NORAD Tracks Santa web site. But new for this year, Bing joins the holiday sweepstakes with a Advent calendar-like Bing Magical Holiday Calendar. NOTE: For the latest news on 2012 Santa tracking, see our post: Where’s Santa Claus? The 2012 Santa Tracker List, From NORAD To Google, From The Web To Apps Where's Santa? Google & NORAD Know Let's start with Santa. Since it's not Christmas Eve, the site has a countdown until it begins Santa tracking operations for 2011: The site also has holiday [...]

Social Media Tactics That Work – Next Monday in Scottsdale, AZ

smx-social-featured Sidestepping the "social media" questions from your bosses and clients? "What are we doing? Is it effective? How much does it cost? What’s this Google+ thing?" Get the answers. Attend SMX Social Media Marketing next week in Scottsdale, AZ and you’ll hear from the pioneering internet marketers who are inventing social media marketing. Learn the latest tactics and best-practices for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Whether you’re managing your brand’s reputation, driving traffic with content or buying paid ads, SMX Social Media Marketing is for you. Check out the agenda. SMX Socia [...]

Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Search Engine? Bing’s New TV Ads Have A Ranking/Bass Stop-Motion Flavor

bing-rudolph-tv-featured If you know that Hermey The Elf longs to be a dentist, that Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer's girlfriend is named Clarice, and if you can sing "Silver and Gold" as well as Yukon Cornelius, Bing's new holiday ad campaign will be right up your alley. The Microsoft search engine's newest video spots play off the classic Rankin/Bass Christmas TV specials, updating the plot and inserting Bing into the action. One spot shows the Abominable Snow Monster trying to roar ferociously but evoking laughter rather than fear from those who hear him. So, he returns to his cave and searches for "scar [...]

The Confusing World Of Sharing Songs From Google Music To Google+

google-music-icons-featured Exciting! Now you can share full songs from Google Music with others on Google+, like no other service allows. That's how I heard the pitch watching the Google Music event today. The reality is much different. Nice, but still disappointing in ways. Google Music Vs. Android Market Google Music is Google's cloud-based music service. Until today, you could listen to a few songs it had in there already offered for free, or anything that you uploaded from your own computer, but you couldn't buy new music to put into your "locker" directly. That was part of today's big news. Now you can buy mus [...]

Google+ Badge Tool Now Makes Facepile-Style Badges, +1 Counts To Be Consolidated

Google-Plus-Logo Want to show off the people who follow your shiny new Google+ Page, right on your own website? Now you can, with a Google+ badge that shows the faces of those subscribed. Badge Maker Now, Uh, Makes Badges When Google+ Pages launched last week, the badge making tool also went live -- but it only produced static icons, not badges. Now that's changed, Google has emailed: The Google+ badge has graduated out of preview today, be one of the first to put it on your site! For those who've already added the code, this means all users will be able to see the badge starting today. Featuring both [...]

Up Close With Creating & Managing Google+ Pages

google-plus-featured Today, Google launched Google+ Pages, allowing businesses to take part in its social network. Here's a walk-through on how to create and manage these pages: Creating A Page Within two days or sooner, everyone is supposed to be able to make pages by using the Create A Page tool. Availability is rolling out now, so if you get an "Google+ Pages isn't ready" error, keep checking back. (NOTE: Google now says everyone should have access). Assuming you do have access, I'll start with what you see when making a page for the "Product or Brand" category, though the steps work the same for any c [...]

Brands & News Sites Among Winners From Google’s Freshness Algo Update, Report Says

fresh-symbol Major brands and a variety of news sites -- from established outlets to internet-only gossip sites -- are among the winners from Google's recent algorithm update that aimed to reward fresh and more recent content. The findings come from SearchMetrics, the same company that has fairly accurately estimated Panda-related winners and losers several times this year. SearchMetrics uses a "visibility score" that's based on analyzing millions of keywords; the numbers below are related to that score, and not to specific traffic gains or losses. Freshness Algorithm Winners The list below is lengthy [...]

Confirmed: Google Testing New “Sources” Display In Search Results

google-sources-rihanna Google has confirmed that it's testing a new content module in its search results that's (currently) called "Sources." The module appears to have been spotted first by Cyrus Shepard, who shared screenshots of the new display including this one from a search for pop singer Rihanna. (You can click for a slightly larger version.) As you can see, the right column is widened to allow several pieces of background info to show -- things like biographical info from Wikipedia, her birthdate and other family information, plus links to songs and similar artists. A separate screenshot on a se [...]

Google+ Pages Now Open For Businesses, Brands, Places & More

Google-Plus-Logo Finally, Google is now allowing businesses, brands and any non-human entity to participate in its Google+ social network, through new Google+ Pages that are launching today, promised to be available to everyone shortly. Businesses Weren't Allowed, Initially Businesses have wanted to be part of Google+ from the start. In fact, many businesses and brands made use of regular Google+ accounts as a way to participate on the service despite their non-human status. However, in July, Google terminated any business accounts that it spotted, including one from Sesame Street, promising that formal b [...]

Photo Tour: Grand Opening Of Google LA

google-la-featured Google's new Los Angeles office had its grand opening yesterday, consolidating operations that were previously spread-out among three different offices in Santa Monica into the funky Frank Gehry-designed "Binoculars" building in Venice Beach. The new operation is home to 500 employees, who begin work tomorrow. The were welcomed by Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president of advertising at Google. A photo tour of the event. Above, the exterior of Google LA. You enter the offices through the Google Doodle Museum, a hallway filled with Google's [...]

Social Tracking Integrations For Google Analytics

google-analytics-square-logo Back in June, Google Analytics unveiled a new set of Social Engagement Reports, which can be used to get content interaction metrics from social sharing icons such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other. Google+ is tracked by default (no codes needed), but other networks must implement the _trackSocial method in order to collect the interactions. Last week, the Analytics team announced an official integration with social sharing services ShareThis and AddThis. According to their blog post: To enable the integration for all of your AddThis buttons, you are now just one lin [...]

Do You Have Duplicate Content Issues Across Domain? Google Will Now Alert You

Google-Webmaster-SEO-Rep-1304428070 Today, Google webmaster tools has launched a new message alert to let site owners know when a particular URL doesn't appear because Google sees it as duplicate of a URL on a different domain. In the blog post announcing the feature and in an in-depth help topic, they provide details on how they identify duplicate clusters of content and choose a "canonical" version of that cluster to display in search results. "When we discover a group of pages with duplicate content, Google uses algorithms to select one representative URL for that content. A group of pages may contain URLs from the same site [...]

Guest Opinion: Is Google’s Privacy Move Really An Anti-Competitive Practice?

google-blinds3-featured Fresh on the heels of a free pass from a befuddled congress after admitting that they are a monopoly, Google’s decision to cloak search query strings under the guise of privacy makes it clear they are doubling down on their abusive, anti-competitive practices. Consider the following points: Cloaking the referrer and the query string it contains severely hampers publishers and competing ad networks' ability to monetize site traffic while Google gets to keep all the data and use it to target. The Google display network already had an enormous advantage over competitors. Google is using [...]

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