“Don’t Be Evil” Tool — Backed By Facebook & Twitter — Shows Google’s “Search Plus Your World” Can Go Beyond Google+

what google should be I've written that Google has plenty of public data to allow parts its new Search Plus Your World feature to be inclusive of rival social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Now, those networks are proving that true, through a new "Don't Be Evil" tool that lets anyone leverage Google's own results to see this. The tool -- a bookmarklet that works in your browser -- changes three parts of Search Plus Your World that currently shows information only from Google Plus. These are: People & Pages results Google+ Sitelinks Google+ Suggestions In Autocomplete The tool can be found on [...]

“Ask On Google+” Links Appearing In Google’s Search Results

Google-Plus-Logo The invasion of Google+ into Google's search results continue. The latest Google+ification? Now Google's encouraging people at the end of its search listings if they "Want to ask your friends about" what they were Googling. Want To Ask Your Friends? Tom Critchlow tipped me off to spotting this in his search results. I checked, and I found the same thing happening for me: You can see that I've done a search for "sopa," and at the bottom of the results, I'm prompted: Want to ask your friends about sopa? Ask on Google+ While I see this, some of my other Search Engine Land editors d [...]

Google’s SPYW, Kenya Imbroglios An “Ink Blot” Test For Google As Good Or Evil

google-inkblot-featured I woke up this morning to discover some fairly outrageous allegations against Google in Kenya. Local search/directory startup Mocality says that Google crawled its site for local business sales leads and then falsely claimed in cold calls to those businesses it had a partnership with the publisher to sign them up. Mocality founder Stefan Magdalinski explains in a blog post that his company conducted a "sting" against Google and offers evidence of his claims against the company. Google says it's investigating. Beyond unethical there's a question about the legality of the behavior if proven [...]

To Understand Google Favoritism, Think “If Google+ Were YouTube”

Google-Plus-Logo Google's favoritism of Google+ in its new Search Plus results is just the latest in the line of favoritism it has done with vertical search? It's not, because Google hasn't really favored itself with vertical search. It is favoring itself with Google+, and that's why things are so disturbing. Vertical Search Is What Search Engines Should Do Long-time Google-critic and occasional Microsoft consultant Ben Edelman has this out today: I've found more than a dozen Google services receiving favored placement in Google search results. Consider Google Blog Search, Google Book Search, Google Checko [...]

Google “Search Plus” Impact on Local: Limited So Far

Amid all the controversy that has erupted over Google's new search personalization (Search Plus Your World), I've been doing local searches to see what if any impact it's having on that arena. So far, in my unscientific query survey, the impact seems to be minor. Below are some examples where I toggle between personalized and general Google results. In a few cases I've noticed AdWords differences but the organic results appear to be almost identical. However the "personal results" (top of the page) are radically different. In some cases they're very useful, in others completely irrelevant. [...]

Google’s Results Get More Personal With “Search Plus Your World”

google-search-plus-world-featured Google's search results are undergoing their most radical transformation ever, as a new "Search Plus Your World" format begins rolling out today. It finds both content that's been shared with you privately along with matches from the public web, all mixed into a single set of listings. The change is live now, though not everyone will see it until it fully launches over the next few days. It's only for those signed-in to Google.com and searching in English. You'll know when it happens, because Google will alert you with a message like this above your search results: The new system will [...]

Google+ Is Slowly Invading Google’s Main Search Results

google-plus-featured-3 Google+ content is slowly -- but very surely -- expanding its footprint inside of Google.com's main search results. The latest integration comes via the rel=author tag that Google's been supporting since the summer. Mike Blumenthal tipped us to this latest change, which may (or may not) still be in testing. Here's how it works for me, which -- as I'll explain below -- is slightly different from what Mike B. is seeing. When a search result with rel=author appears in Google's search results, the author's avatar and the adjacent byline both now link to a new Google search results pa [...]

Google + Thanksgiving Day TV Commercial

Google aired a 90 second TV commercial on Thanksgiving Day during the Lions/Packers Football game. The commercial highlighted some of the features of Google +, focusing on the circles and hangouts features - but mostly on circles. The goal of the commercial was to communicate how Google + enables you to share as you would in "real life," i.e. share certain things with certain groups of friends. Here is the commercial: This is not the first time Google aired a TV commercial. They did so back in February 2010 at the Super Bowl. Since then, seeing a TV commercial from Google is n [...]

Is Google+ Beginning To Integrate Into Google Places?

google-places-logo-square Today Mike Blumenthal of Blumenthals.com posted about what appears to be a new addition to Google's local results.  A specific query for "transmission servicing lexington ky" displayed the normal Google Places listings, with one exception: The grey icon is displayed next to a specific places results.  However, when clicked, the user is taken to the following Google+ only results page: The surprising thing about the above listing is that the link goes directly to a personal account, not an actual Google+ page.  We had extreme difficulty replicating this on any other queries in d [...]

Barack Obama Joins Google+, White House Itself Still Not There

barack First Britney Spears takes the top Google+ spot away from Google CEO Larry Page today. Now the President of the United States, Barack Obama, has opened an account. Not Yet Verified, But Yes, Real Is it really him? It's actually a Google+ brand page for the Obama For America campaign, and not verified at the moment, but Steve Grove, head of community partnerships for Google+ welcomed the account, so it's probably legit. On Facebook, Obama's campaign page has 24 million followers. On Twitter, the campaign page has 11 million followers. On Google Plus, the number isn't yet being shown [...]

Oops, She Did It — Britney Spears Beats Larry Page As Most Popular On Google+

britney bitch Google+ took a big step toward being a more "normal" social network today, as Britney Spears passed Larry Page to be the most followed person on the service. Move Over, Tech Celebs Until now, the most popular people on Google+ have been technology celebrities, in particular first Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (who never posted to his Google+ account), then Google CEO Larry Page. In contrast, the most followed people on Facebook and Twitter -- more mature social networks -- tend to be the same celebrities you find in real life, such as musicians and actors. Spears Goes To Number One Curre [...]

Google Announces Shutter Of Knol, Gears, Search Timeline & More

Google has announced the shutting down of several Google services from the Google Search Timeline to their knowledge site, Knol. Here is a list of services Google is closing in the near future or has already closed: Google Bookmarks Lists closing on December 19, 2011, which leaves searchers with no way to recoup their Google starred results. Google Friend Connect is shutting down March 1, 2012 and sending people to Google +. Google Gears will lose all support on December 1, 2011 but Chrome now has offline support. Google Search Timeline is currently not working anymore. Google Wave [...]

Google News Spotlight Now Spotlights Your Friends & Stories They +1

googlenews-plusone The Google News Blog announced that the Spotlight section on Google News may contain stories that your Google + friends and Gmail contacts have +1'ed. If you are logged in while using Google News and your friends or contacts have used the Google +1 button to like the stories in your Spotlight section, that information will show up in the Spotlight section near the article. It will even let you click on the name of your friend/contact to see their social profile on Google. Google said: Starting today, the Spotlight section will sometimes include articles that your Gmail contacts and peop [...]

Google+ Expands Search Options, Adds Trending Topics To Search Results

google-plus-featured Google+ has made a few tweaks to how its search function operates, and has added the obligatory trending topics its search results pages. The first change begins right in the search box itself: As you type a search query, Google+ now separates possible matches in a pop-up window with People or Pages that may match your query. There are more changes if you follow through on the search itself. When Google finally added search to Google+, the search results page had four tabs: Everything, People, Google+ Posts and Sparks. Now, the search results have two tabs with different options [...]

Google+: Brands Rush In Where Consumers Fear To Tread

Screen shot 2011-11-18 at 5.59.35 AM Earlier this week BrightEdge released data on early adoption of Google+ pages by brands. It also offered a comparison with Facebook. The SEO firm said that 61 percent of the top 100 brands in the US have Google+ Pages, in the little over a week since the doors were officially opened. By contrast 93 percent of that same top 100 have Facebook pages. The Google+ adoption numbers are impressive. Indeed, given the possibility that Google+ may turn into a major new social platform brands want to quickly establish themselves on it. So far, however, there isn’t that much follower action, accordin [...]

Report: Google+ Sees Its 3rd Largest Week Since Launch

A new report from Experian Hitwise revealed that Google+ picked up steam last week and had its 3rd largest week to date.  Hitwise chronicled US visits back to the social network's inception and analyzed the social network's total traffic.  Last week (the week ending on Nov. 12th) Google+ saw a 5% increase from the previous week and a 25% gain from a month ago. The only two weeks that  recorded higher traffic were the weeks that directly proceeded the public launch of Google+.  Last week's traffic spike is likely due to the major page additions for brands, business and places t [...]

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 [...]

Third Party Page Management Comes To Google+

Google+ pages for brands & businesses were announced last week, and Google has been busy rolling out supporting features.  Yesterday, Google began displaying select Google+ pages in the search results.  Today it has been announced that Google+ partnered with six companies to create Google+ page management tools. The selected companies are: Buddy Media Context Optional Hearsay Social HootSuite Involver Virtue More information on each specific tool can be located on the Google+ 3rd Party tools page along with Google+ pages for each. If you are a tool creator looki [...]

Recent Google+ Posts & “Add To Circles” Buttons Are Coming To Google’s Search Results

Google-Plus-Logo Earlier today, 'All About Content' reported that Google+ data was showing in Google's organic search listings.  Two different items are now appearing in the search results pages, recent Google+ posts and an "Add To Circles" button.  The only caveat?  These results will only show for select Google+ brand accounts that have been approved for Direct Connect.  Even those brands who have been approved for Direct Connect may have to wait, as these features are being rolled out slowly.  Here's a look at the new additions: Google+ Posts Whether or not you currently have a Google+ account [...]

Google Acquires Katango ‘Magicians’ To Improve Google+ Circles

google-katango Finding it too much hassle to organize your friends and contacts into circles on Google+? Google may have a solution on the way, thanks to the company's acquisition of Katango. Katango launched this past summer with an iPhone app that automagically organizes Facebook friends through an algorithmic approach that looks at profile information, past interactions with friends and the interactions friends have with each other. Google+ Product VP Bradley Horowitz just confirmed the acquisition in a post on Google+, saying In the earliest days of Google+, I alluded to the fact that we had bi [...]

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