Google Claims Government Requests For User Information Have Increased Over 100% Since 2010

google-transparency-report Google released an updated Transparency Report today, claiming government requests for user information have increased more than 100 percent since it began posting transparency reports in 2010. According to Google, this is the eighth update to its transparency report in the last three years. Google said the climb in requests is in part a result of an increase in the number of governments wanting information, "More governments have made requests than ever before. And these numbers only include the requests we're allowed to publish." The top three governments requesting information between [...]

Google’s Hummingbird Takes Flight: SEOs Give Insight On Google’s New Algorithm

google-hummingbird4-featured On the eve of its 15th birthday last week, Google revealed a new search algorithm named Hummingbird. Designed to be more precise and provide faster query results, the algorithm is based on semantic search, focusing on user intent versus individual search terms. As Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan explained in his FAQ: All About the New Google "Hummingbird" Algorithm: Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query - the whole sentence or conversation or meaning - is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages match [...]

RKG Launches SEO Forecasting Tool & Pilot Program Offering Insight On ‘Not Provided’ Query Data

SEO bubble On the heels of acquiring Nine By Nine Blue along with its search analytics Blueprint software, digital and search marketing firm RKG announced today a new SEO predictive forecasting tool to be added to the Blueprint software suite. In addition to the newly added SEO solution, RKG is launching a pilot program for companies interested in uncovering previously "not provided" search query data. "To understand search, you have to understand why you were discovered and then how you can improve on this," said RKG CEO George Gallate, "The ability to see what customers are searching for, includi [...]

Semantic & Graph-Based Search: The Future Face Of Search

In a June 2010 Semantic Web Meetup in San Diego, Peter Mika of Yahoo!'s research division gave a presentation entitled, "The future face of Search is Semantic for Facebook, Google and Yahoo!" As the title suggests, the presentation focused on the ever-growing use of semantic markup as a means for helping computers parse and understand content. The talk focused on what was then the current state of the Semantic Web, as well as upcoming formats/technologies in development and the research being done in the field of semantic search. The idea that the Semantic Web would be central to search [...]

Blocking Sites Within Google Goes International

Google announced that the blocking sites feature introduced in the US based results in March this year, is now available internationally. Google's Johannes Henkel said "starting today, you can now block sites on most Google domains." Here is a picture of blocking Matt Cutts blog in Google France: As discussed before, there is a dashboard to manage sites that you block. So you can add new blocked sites, remove sites you blocked and so on. Google did not specify which international Google properties this does not work on, but they did say it should work on "most Google domai [...]

Confirmed: Google Showing Google +1 Counts To Logged Out Users

plus-1-image Google is now showing the Google +1 counts for logged out users. When the Google +1 feature launched in March, searchers were only able to see who in their Google network +1'ed a search result. Now, if you search while logged out, Google will show you the total +1 count for some search results. This may help Google promote the Google +1 feature and encourage additional users to try it. Search Engine Watch spotted the change earlier. Google has since confirmed to us that it is new and showing to all signed-out users. "We're now showing aggregate +1 annotations for signed-out users in sear [...]

Google Gathers Your Map Activity Under “My Places” Tab

google-my-places While can store your search history, Google Maps is now storing and offering what you might call "map history" under a new tab called "My Places." It's a convenient way to access the different types of activity you might've had inside Google Maps: My Maps you've made Business listings you've starred Businesses you've rated/reviewed It's just those three options for now, but there's room for more. I'd love Google to add a sort of address book in there where I could store the street addresses that I look up most often (for getting directions, etc.). Yahoo has had an [...]

Study Asks, Can You Trust Google’s Personalized Search Results?

New research designed to analyze Google's personalized search results and make the process the search engine uses more transparent has generated interesting and controversial findings. The study examined a number of commonly held notions about personalization, including the idea that personalization is subtle, that it can often surface more long-tail results, and that personalization is based exclusively on a person's past search and web browsing behavior. Among the key conclusions: Despite personalized results, for most people search quality has been declining, results are less personal, refl [...]

Upstart DuckDuckGo Challenges Google With Strong Privacy, Cool Tools & Quackpot Name

Here at Search Engine Land we regularly hear from people who have created "radical," innovative," "next generation" search technology, promising to "fix" the "broken" search we all allegedly pitifully struggle with today. In virtually every instance that I can remember, these promises over-hype and under-deliver, rarely offering something that becomes part of my regular search arsenal. But the bizarrely-named DuckDuckGo is different, for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it's actually a very good search engine—and it truly can do useful things. Second, the creator of DuckDuckGo has [...]

DuckDuckGo Challenges Google On Privacy With

DuckDuckGo, a small search engine that's largely flown under the public radar, has started the new year by taking a public shot at Google on the issue of search privacy. The company has launched, an illustrated guide showing how Google tracks its users ... and how DuckDuckGo doesn't. The site: shows how a search for "herpes" shows up in Google Analytics as a search referral with information about the user's location, browser, and other data shows how the "herpes" search can lead to targeted ads being associated with a user profile and how that profile can "potentially [...]

DecorMyEyes Merchant Vitaly Borker Arrested After NYT Piece On Google Rankings

Just over a week ago, the New York Times introduced the world to Vitaly Borker, who boasted of being abusive to customers and claimed, inaccurately, that such behavior had a side benefit of producing good rankings in Google. Now another side benefit: Borker's arrest. Arrest On Federal Charges From an CNBC article on the arrest: Vitaly Borker, an alleged cyber-bully and fraudster, cheated his customers, and when they complained, tried to intimidate them with obscenity and threats of serious violence," said Manhattan US Attorney Pheet Bharara in a press release. "Especially during this [...]

Google Bookmarks Lists

Google Operating System reports that Google has updated Google Bookmarks to allow you to create lists and share those bookmark lists with others. The bookmarks feature is not new, Google enabled you to store bookmarks and search them. The sharing feature is also not new, Google did once give you a way to share them, in fact, you can share them on Google Buzz I believe. But now, in Google Bookmarks at, you can directly share them. Here is a screen shot: You can learn more about Google Bookmarks over here. Update: Google just posted on this new feature. [...]

Google Adds Visited Pages, Past Hour & Fewer Shopping Sites Filtering

You like it! You really like it! It being the Google Search Options feature that Google added to its search pages back in May, the company says. So as a reward, Google is adding options to filter out (or highlight) pages you've visited before, pages that Google's found in the past hour and a toggle to show more or fewer "commercial" listings in its results. My companion piece, Up Close With Google Search Options, does exactly as the headline says. It will take you through ALL the Search Options that Google's offers in great depth, including the new ones. But for those who just want [...]

Up Close With Google Search Options

Now that Google Search Options has added new features, I thought it was a good time to revisit how everything works -- and in some cases, doesn't work. Let's get up close and personal with all the filtering options! NOTE: See Meet The New Google Look & Its Colorful, Useful "Search Options" Column for important updates on how Search Options described below now work. By the way, this is a long article. If you want a digest of what's new today, then see the much shorter companion piece, Google Adds Visited Pages, Past Hour & Fewer Shopping Sites Filtering. Using Search Options [...]

Report: Most People Don’t Want Online Tracking Even If It Means Relevant Ads Or Savings

Get ready marketers: a credible new report with sweeping implications from the University of Pennsylvania and UC Berkeley is likely to be the nail in the coffin of self regulation of online advertising. Specifically I'm talking about behavioral targeting, which largely concerns online display advertising but does marginally touch search at Yahoo and Google. The NY Times discussed the report, released today: The study’s authors hired a survey company to conduct interviews with 1,000 adult Internet users. The interview, which lasted about 20 minutes, included questions like "Please tell me [...]

Google’s Search Suggestions Change On Second Search

I am not sure if this is new, but when you look at the first search suggestions given to you by Google and then look at the second set of search suggestions, Google will change them, assuming you were not happy with the first set of results. Google Operating System just pointed this out and I have never seen it mentioned prior (doesn't mean it hasn't been mentioned prior). Here is an example of this in action: (1) Search suggestions by Google for the word [search]: (2) Then I land on the search results page and try it again, and notice that the suggestions are different: [...]

What Happened To Google’s ‘Commitment To Transparency’?

It's no secret that Google -- and other search engines -- uses a variety of factors to customize search results: your search history, your location, and so forth. If you misspell a word, search engines often guess what you intended to type and show auto-corrected results. But on Google's search results pages, it's becoming a secret when these changes are happening. Google Blogoscoped writes about Google ignoring some search terms altogether (as if it knows better than you what you meant to search for). The example in that post is a search for "dictionary cleaning up suddenly," in which Goo [...]

Making Sense Of All The Data: Google, Hadoop & Cloudera

The article, Hadoop, a Free Software Program, Finds Uses Beyond Search, explains the very interesting history behind Hadoop. What is Hadoop? It's distributed computing software that enables data mining and analysis on a huge scale. It also, apparently, is an open-source version of proprietary software developed by Google to process and analyze massive volumes of data for search. Here's how the NY Times explains the problem Google was addressing: By 2003, Google found it increasingly difficult to ingest and index the entire Internet on a regular basis. Adding to these woes, Google lacked a rel [...]

Google Testing “Preferred Sites” Option In Search Preferences

Google Operating System discovered a new experiment Google is running named Preferred Sites. In short, users who are in this experiment will be able to add a list of sites in their search preferences page as their "preferred sites." Google will then use that information to show those sites in a higher ranking order in the Google results for that user, when it makes sense. Let me share some examples of how this works. If you set to be a preferred site and you are logged in to your Google account and conduct a search for space station, Google may bump up a result from CNN to the top [...]

Google Adds Style Options To Image Search, Search History Found In Search Suggestions, & Google Reader Blog Adds “What’s Hot”

It has been an active weekend for Google. Google has added additional search options to Google Image Search. Google has also introduced a "What's Hot" area to Google Reader Blog. Finally, Google is testing showing search history within Google search suggestions. Google has added additional search options by style. So in addition to searching for faces or photo content types of images, or news content, you can also search for line drawings, and clip art. Here is a picture of the available style options in Google Image Search: Google Operating System reports that some users are se [...]

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