The Feature Google Killed The + Command For — Direct Connect — Is Now Dead

google-plus-signs-600 Cast your mind back to November 2011, only a few months after the launch of Google+. That's when Google made one of its biggest Google+ification moves. It demoted a long-standing search feature involving the plus symbol so that searchers could instead more easily reach new "Google+ Pages" that had been launched. Today, this "Direct Connect" feature is forgotten and broken. How Direct Connect Worked When Direct Connect launched, Google promised that people could go directly to popular pages on Google+ by beginning their searches with a + sign followed by a few characters of the page's name. F [...]


Tweet Showing How Google Itself Is A “Scraper Site” Goes Massively Viral

gone-viral-600 Perhaps it's SEO's "Oreo moment," a tweet relating to search engine optimization that's gained nearly as much attention as Oreo's famous Super Bowl blackout tweet. But the subject was a perfect storm of goodness -- a real-life example of Google doing the type of thing in search it seems to be telling others not to do. Yesterday, the head of Google's web spam team Matt Cutts announced a new Google Scraper Report for publishers to use if they see a site that has copied or "scraped" its content and which outranks the publisher in Google searches. That quickly brought up a number of people j [...]


Googling The Weather: From 20% Project To Sophisticated Query Analysis

google-weather-600 Millions of us have asked Google to play weatherperson. In order to get an answer to one of our oldest and most basic questions, we type a variety of words and numbers -- city names, neighborhoods and ZIP codes, plus words like "weather," "forecast" or maybe "temperature" -- into the Google search box, and Google typically has an answer back to us in less than a second. But have you noticed that our weather-related searches can be more complex now than ever? It's true. In recent years, Google has gone from focusing on the keywords we use to figuring out the meaning of our search que [...]


Bing Beats Google With Bitcoin Conversion Tool

bitcoin-featured First Yandex, and now Bing has beaten Google to offer Bitcoin conversion prices. Bing has announced that people can find the current rates by doing a search on Bing. Bing shared the news in a blog post today. It can be triggered in various ways, such as asking "one dollar in bitcoin," which yielded this answer: Yandex rolled out a similar BitCoin conversion feature in December. Like Bing, it uses pricing from the  Coindesk Bitcoin Calculator. WolframAlpha also offers Bitcoin conversion, having launched that in January. As for Google, it remains a no show. It provides conversion of a [...]


The Bing Dilemma: What To Do With The Little Search Engine That Can’t

bing in source code The challenge that Microsoft faces in the online search landscape could be a business school case study: how to capture market share from a competitor whose very brand ("Google") has become synonymous with the act of searching online. Imagine that you are the person at Microsoft responsible for Bing’s success and are tasked with moving the needle on market share. It seems to me you'd have three basic strategic options: out-feature the competition, develop the brand and go on the attack. 1. Out-Feature Differentiate from the competition by "out-featuring" Google -- i.e., adding shiny new [...]


Yandex Does What Google Can’t: Provides Bitcoin Exchange Rates

bitcoin_dollars_—_Яндекс__нашёлся_1_млн_ответов-4 How much is one US dollar in UK pounds? Google will give you a direct answer to that and many other currencies with the conversion tool that's built into its search results. But when it comes to Bitcoin, Russian-based Yandex seems to have won the honor of being first to support conversion of that currency. The new feature, which digital currency news site Coindesk spotted, only seems to work on Yandex in Russia, as opposed to Yandex.com. Entering a search like "bitcoin dollar" brings up the exchange rate and a currency calculator: Google has long had a similar feature for major world cur [...]


Top 10 Search Modifiers: Why They Matter, What They Are & How To Use Them

Search Modifiers Google is working hard to improve search, and it's doing such a great job that the general public doesn't seem to be noticing. With the inclusion of personalization, localization, customization, and with the depth of data Google knows and understands about the average user, it’s easy to overlook how much goes into making a useful (intuitive) search. Especially when you factor in how little the average person understands Google, or how Google search actually works. Yet despite Google’s improvement, or perhaps because of it, people seem to be losing their ability to perform advanced s [...]


Local Voice Search Wars And The Opportunity For Businesses

siri-google-voice Since the official inception of mobile voice search with Apple's launch of Siri in 2011, consumers, search professionals and businesses have watched for the rise of voice search in local. Despite Siri's initial inadequacies and obvious voice recognition challenges, savvy multitasking mobile consumers are finally adopting the technology to find the best nearby restaurant, an urgent care center or a plumber in a pinch. Why? It's fairly intuitive, really. Many folks search on the go and can speak faster than they can type and need both hands free in this 24/7 world. As voice search becomes mor [...]


Bing Autosuggest Adds Brands, Movies, Albums, Places, Software, Teams, Animals & More

bing-search-featured Bing announced they have expanded their search autosuggestions to add more than seven new categories. Bing added autosuggest completions for brands, movies, albums, places, software, sport teams, animal species and more. This is in addition to Bing adding people, search history, news and more over the years. The example given by Bing is searching for the word [pitbull]. With this search, you may want results for the artist (a person) or the dog (a breed). In this case, Bing will serve up thumbnails with both the person and the dog. Here is a screen shot: Antonio Gulli, Principal D [...]


Google Drops Another Search Operator: Tilde For Synonyms

google-tilde-operator-gone Google has quietly dropped another search operator, the tilde (i.e., ~) search operator. Google Operating System blog noticed the lack of support for the tilde operator over the weekend. Reportedly, Dan Russell, a Search Research Scientist at Google, confirmed Google dropped the feature. Dan said the feature was dropped to "lack of use." Dan told Alex from Google Operating System: Yes, it's been deprecated. Why? Because too few people were using it to make it worth the time, money, and energy to maintain. In truth, although I sometimes disagree with the operator changes, I happen to agr [...]


Yandex Turns Up The Dial On Personalized Search

yandex-logo-200px The Russian search engine Yandex has announced changes to how it presents personalized search results, saying that personalization is now based on what's happening within a single search session. When the company launched personalized results late last year, it was based primarily on looking at a user's search history within the previous few weeks/months. Now, the personalization happens within seconds and is based on the current search session. More than half of all searches on Yandex, however, are about something that interests the searcher at the very moment of searching and stops int [...]


Google Glass Diary, Part 4: Local Search & Navigation

google-glass-local-search-featured Remember that first Google Glass video? It was published a little more than a year ago and gave the world its first glimpse at what Google had in mind for Glass. Even though Google described it as "an early concept video," you can clearly see that local search and navigation was a key aspect of Google's concept. The first two minutes of the 2:30 video practically center on local stuff: search, information, businesses and navigation. And, that's smart because since Glass is a mobile device, local search and navigation is bound to be an even more common use case than the more traditional G [...]


Google Glass Diary, Part 3: How Search Works On Google Glass

google-glass-featured There are seven voice commands built into this first "Explorers" edition of Google Glass. Two of those six are search-related: "google..." and "get directions to...." The others are "take a photo," "record a video," "send a message to," "make a call to" and "start a Hangout with." There's also the predictive search aspect of Google Now, where the device automatically shows me the kind of information Google thinks I'm looking for. So, the chances are pretty strong that a good amount of Google Glass activity is going to involve searching. Or "googling" as Glass suggests. Yep. Even though G [...]


Google Drops “Translated Foreign Pages” Search Option Due To Lack Of Use

google-translate Google has quietly dropped the "Translated Foreign Pages" search filter from the Google search options menu. Google tells us the option was removed due to lack of use, but they say they are still committed to making the Web available to as many people, in as many languages, as possible. The translated foreign pages search option enabled searchers to restrict the search results to specific languages only. So, if you want to search for something in English and then show results for that search result in French, you could have used this search option for that. Dan Russell, Google's Search R [...]


The Dark Side Of The Internet: A Search Engine That Finds Unsecured Routers, Servers & A Whole Lot More

Developed by John Matherly, Shodan is a search engine designed to help users find certain pieces of software, determine which applications are most popular, identify anonymous FTP servers, or investigate new vulnerabilities and what hosts they could infect. It also serves as a window into millions of unsecured online connections. According to an article on CNN Money, Shodan runs nonstop, collecting data from approximately 500 million connected devices and services each month. Through a simple search on Shodan, a user can identify a number of systems that either have no security measures in [...]


The Full March Madness Bracket Shows In Google Search Results

I suspect that most college basketball fans will be following the NCAA College Basketball Tournament on TV and via their favorite bracket contest website, but they could follow it via a simple Google search, too, if they want. As Google's Dan Vanderkam shared this afternoon on Twitter, certain college hoops-related searches are now showing the entire NCAA tournament brackets. You can see it via searches like [march madness], [ncaa bracket] and even just [bracket]. By default, it shows eight games from round one this week ... err, "round two" by the NCAA's weird current system ... [...]


Yandex Launches Experimental “Wonder” Voice Social Search App For The US

Yandex logo 2 Yandex, the company behind the leading search engine in Russia with a presence in Turkey, has taken a radically different direction to its search activities by launching a voice social search app called "Wonder" on  Apple's iOS platform for the US market. Described by the company as "experimental," the app responds to users' spoken queries and displays results from that user's social connections in a horizontal format which Yandex believes may be the best way to display social search for the future. One key aspect of the app is the historical nature of the data queried. "Wonder" is not [...]


Foursquare Responds To Facebook Nearby By Tapping Facebook’s Friend Graph

foursquare-icon Foursquare has made a quick response to Monday's announcement of Facebook Nearby, with its own announcement today that Foursquare Explore is cranking up its personalization. The irony? It's going to use Foursquare activity from a user's Facebook friends to improve the recommendations in Explore. Think of it as Foursquare judo: It's using Facebook data to battle against Facebook itself. Touché! Here's Foursquare's explanation of how it's using Facebook to turn up the personalization dial: When your Facebook friends do public things on Foursquare, like write a tip, like a place, or ta [...]


Bing Expands Its Snapshot To Include People & Landmarks

bing-logo-200 There's no escaping it: It looks and acts a lot like Google's Knowledge Graph. But Bing calls it "Snapshot" -- that middle column in between its main search results and the social sidebar on the far right. And today, Snapshot expands to begin showing facts and related information for both people and landmarks. So, on a search for famous artist Pablo Picasso, the middle column shows his image and a few facts about his life, along with related search links to get information about his family, artwork and more. Here's a look: The small print at the bottom of the Snapshot results for [...]


Examining Real World Uses Of Rich Snippets & Markup

Semantic markup is becoming more and more popular in conjunction with large scale SEO. Adding rich snippets to send rich signals to alert search engines as to the relevancy of your content − whatever vertical they may appear in − is not only a wise move, but an SEO best practice. Included below is an illustrative guide highlighting currently available Chrome extensions, which you can leverage to both test on-site markup as well as expose any information regarding your competitors. An example is illustrated below, and what follows is a guide to getting the information.   Installi [...]


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