Meet +1: Google’s Answer To The Facebook Like Button

google-plusone-featured Nearly a year after Facebook Like buttons spread out across the web, Google has announced its own rival, the +1 button. It launches today as part of Google's search engine, allowing you to "+1" the search results and ads that you like. And in a few months, it'll be arriving at a web site near you. Is +1 (pronounced "Plus One") part of the new social network that Google's long been rumored to be building? Or is +1 simply that "social layer" that Google has said would come and isn't really meant as a rival to Facebook? Yes. Come along -- let's see how it works now, where it might go, an [...]

The Yahoo Search Direct Alphabet: Where Every Letter Starts With Yahoo

yahoo-alphabet-featured And you thought Google favored its own properties? Check this out: In Yahoo's new Search Direct feature, 21 of the 26 one-letter alphabet queries show a Yahoo property as the first "answer." If you type the letter "A," for example, Yahoo Answers is the featured result; type "B," and Yahoo Bookmarks is the first answer, and so on through most of the alphabet. That continues until you get to the letter "I," where iTunes becomes the featured answer. In fact, the five letters that don't show a Yahoo property first are: I - iTunes J - Jennifer Lopez Q - QVC X - Xb [...]

Mobile Search Use Stats: Big At Home, When Watching TV, While Running Errands

mobile search 66 during tv 45 during computer For those who believe that mobile search is just done by users "on the go," guess again. A series of research reports and findings have come out over the past couple of weeks that show heavy smartphone and mobile search use also happens at home and even while other devices are being used, such as watching TV or suprisingly, even when using a computer. Performics Does Mobile Search Study Previous reports from Yahoo and InsightExpress have already shown some of this surprising behavior. This week Performics released its own mobile search report, which was commissioned to better understand how [...]

Kadafi, Gaddafi, Qaddafi: In The Age Of Search, News Publications Still Struggle With Libya Leader’s Name

qaddafi-featured A decades-old dispute involving Libya remains unresolved. How do news organizations spell the name of Libya's leader, Muammar Gaddafi? The exact spelling has a bigger impact these days, where people search for news. Use the wrong spelling, and your story might go missing. Can search tell us the "right" one? More below. Google News: A Copy Editor's Nightmare Consider this page from Google News, the "Muammar al-Gaddafi" page that pulls in headlines from all over the world about the leader: That page would give any newspaper copy editor fits, given that there are at least four different [...]

25 Things I Hate About Google, Revisited 5 Years Later

25-things-featured Five years ago, I wrote a story called "25 Things I Hate About Google." It went viral, to my surprise. I thought it was worth revisiting that story on its five year anniversary, to see how many of those "hates" have been fixed. So let's dive in! It's actually been five years and a week since my original story, which was written on March 13, 2006. I'd meant to get this finished for the exact anniversary, but it took longer than I expected. For those who might feel I'm full of Google hate -- I'm not. I admire much of what the company does, and my original piece -- as well as this follow-up [...]

Could The US Demand That Google Boost Hollywood Sites To Fight Online Piracy?

Should the US demand that Google, Bing and other search engines give preference to "authorized" sites offering television shows and movies? At least some members of the US House of Representatives pondered the idea yesterday, during a hearing on online piracy issues. The US House Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet Subcommittee hearings yesterday on online piracy and copyright, of which has a nice write-up. The entertainment industry has been lobbying heavily for more government intervention to protect their interests and these hearings would appear [...]

You Can Hate (Block) But No Longer Love (Star) Google’s Search Results

Google has disabled the ability to star search results from within the Google search results page. As you may remember, Google replaced SearchWiki with starring results back in March 2010, about 16-months after Google launched SearchWiki. Now that Google has re-introduced a way to block sites in Google, Google has determined you no longer need to star search results from the search results page. This does not mean that you can no longer see stars in your Google search results. It does however mean that you will no longer be able to star results directly from the search results. Instea [...]

Behind The Scenes With Google’s Logo Doodlers At SXSW

Search Engine Land has long been chronicling Google Doodles, the special logos the company produces to celebrate a wide variety of occasions. So, of course, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to hear the stories behind the Doodles, when Doodle team creative lead Ryan Germick, along with user experience designer Marcin Wichary, took the stage at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin. Usually fun, creative and whimsical, the Doodles provide Google with an opportunity to show a human side, Germick and Wichary said, adding that it also lets the company unify the Internet community with a sh [...]

Google Earth Shows Before & After Images Of Japan Earthquake And Tsunami

Google has captured a bunch of new satellite imagery that shows the devastation of the 8.9 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. You can see those images in Picasa or on Google Earth with a KML file (Japan Earthquake and Tsunami). Separately Google has set up a "people finder" for those still missing in Japan. It also offers a "crisis response" page with news, emergency resources and updates. You can also donate there directly to the Japanese Red Cross. [...]

Lessons Learned at SMX West: Google’s Panda Update, White Hat Cloaking & Link Building

An amazing amount of great information came out of SMX West this week. Below is a summary of some of what I found to be the most actionable and useful. Google's Own Words About the Farmer/Panda Update Google's Matt Cutts said that while the change isn't 100% perfect, searcher feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. He noted that the change is completely algorithmic with no manual exceptions. Blocking "Low Quality" Content Matt reiterated that enough low quality content on a site could reduce rankings for that site as a whole. Improving the quality of the pages or removing the pages alto [...]

New: Google Lets You Block Any Site From Search Results

Google announced you can now hide or block certain sites from showing up in the Google search results. When you do a search in Google, the search results will show a new link near the "Cache" link when you click a result and then return to Google. The link that Google adds to the search results reads "Block all results." Clicking on that will allow you to block the site from showing up in the Google results. If you are not logged in, Google will immediately block the result and confirm they did so. But if you want the site to remain blocked on future searches, you have [...]

Using Influence To Tune Signal To Noise On The Social Web

In this article, we will explore how influence can be used to extract signal and remove noise from search results. With realtime results showing up in lots of publishers’ pages, it’s important to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio in social streams so consumers are exposed to only the most valuable social content. Using influence is the most effective way to identify the most important social content, and present it to consumers. What Is Influence? Influence has been a hot topic of discussion on blogs and in the media, with several different definitions floating around. We define influen [...]

Search Technology Behind iPad Magazine “Zite”

Discovery Engine Worio has taken its search technology and reinvented itself as an iPad magazine along the lines of Flipboard. Called Zite (after Zeitgeist), the iPad app uses the same search and machine learning capabilities developed at the British Columbia-based Worio to create a personalized magazine that "gets smarter" as you use it. (CEO Ali Davar says the company's servers "are getting crushed" right now because of the publicity the app has received.) It starts by taking Twitter and, curiously, Google Reader feeds -- though not Facebook because of the "noise" in that feed -- to creat [...]

SEO Remains A Viable Marketing Strategy For Anyone

Ah, another SEO is dead post from a non-SEO to get the blood rushing on an otherwise calm weekend. I've been ignoring these more and more lately, but in the wake of Google's Farmer Update, it looks like everyone could use some history lessons. Don't depend solely on SEO, but don't neglect it, either. SEO Is Not The Only Way Let me quote someone I know really well, some sage words about SEO, from 1996. That's 15 years ago, from before anyone was even saying "search engine optimization" widely. This person had written one of the first guides on how webmasters and site owners should ensure t [...]

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 [...]

Facebook’s 2010 Metrics: Dominant & Still Growing, comScore Says

Total unique Facebook visitors in 2010? Up 38 percent. Average daily Facebook visitors in 2010? Up 69 percent. Total Facebook page views in 2010? Up 71 percent. Overall time spent on Facebook in 2010? Up 79 percent. The list could go on and on. In fact, it does. Here's a look at comScore's estimates for Facebook in 2010, covering more than a dozen key performance metrics. None of them were down, and most saw significant, double-digit gains. That's taken from comScore's "2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review," which was released yesterday and is available for download (registratio [...]

Internet-To-TV Players Compared: Roku, Apple TV, Boxee & Google TV

Looking to stream movies or television content from the internet to your TV? There are a variety of streaming media players on the market. The chart below provides an at-a-glance look at how the leaders -- Roku, Apple TV, Boxee Box and Google TV -- measure up against each other. NOTE: See our updated story: COMPARED: What You Can Watch On Google Chromecast, Apple TV & Roku After the chart, you'll find further details about the features listed, why they may be important to you, followed by links to our reviews of each product. Please note that this chart only covers how these players [...]

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