Edna Thomas

Edna Thomas

You know, apart from the most obvious search engine. And possibly the second most obvious one too. In fact I’ll start again, what are the eight most popular search engines after Google and Bing?

The first list below contains the most popular search engines currently available, ordered by most to least popular in the US. The ranking is according to eBiz, it’s in order of estimated unique monthly visitors and is accurate as of August 2016.

The second list is a global overview of most popular search engines, according to Net Market Share, which is ranked in order of market share and is again accurate as of August 2016.

As opposed to our previous list of search engine alternatives to Google, this list will concentrate purely on informational searches rather than say… Gifs or copyright free images.

US

1) Google

google

Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors: 1.6 billion
Alexa Rank: 1

Why should you use it?

With 72.48% of the world’s market share of search, as a marketer you don’t really have a choice not to use it for both paid and organic reach.

As an every day user, for all of our cynicism and occasionally flippant references to The Circle, you have to admit Google is utterly indispensable in your every day life. For every interference (the constant curtailing of organic results) there are 10 triumphs… Google Maps, Gmail, the terrifying relevance of Knowledge Graph, the killing of payday loan ads, AMP

Where the heck would we all be without the… yes, I’m going to say it… search giant.

2) Bing

bing

Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors: 400 million
Alexa Rank: 22

Why should you use it?

As I said in earlier in the year in the aforementioned ‘alternatives to Google’ post, there are some great reasons to choose Bing:

  • Bing’s video search is significantly better than Google’s.
  • Bing often gives twice as many autocomplete suggestions than Google does.
  • Bing has a great linkfromdomain:[site name] feature that highlights the best ranked outgoing links from that site, helping you figure out which other sites your chosen site links to the most.

3) Yahoo

yahoo

Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors: 300 million
Alexa Rank: n/a

Why should you use it?

Well that’s all a but up in the air at the moment, as Verizon has just purchased Yahoo for $4.8 billion dollars and is planning on merging it with AoL.

Yahoo will continue to operate independently pending regulatory approval of the deal, which is expected to be completed by early 2017. After this, all of Yahoo’s news, finance and sports platforms will be added to AOL’s media assets, which include The Huffington Post and TechCrunch.

4) Ask

ask

Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors: 245 million
Alexa Rank: 31

Why should you use it?

Despite Google’s determination to be the ultimate font of all knowledge on its own SERP, Ask is still good for specific question-related searches, with results centering on Q&A related matches.

And hey, sometimes it’s nice to get help from a butler.

5) Aol Search

aol

Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors: 125 million
Alexa Rank: n/a

Why should you use it?

As mentioned above, the AOL you know and possibly love may become a different beast once Verizon Communications merges it with Yahoo.

Let’s remember simpler times…

 

6) Wow

wow

Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors: 100 million
Alexa Rank: 767

Why should you use it?

Because it works more like a news site then a search engine, which is handy if you want everything in one place. There is a strong lean towards news and celebrity based articles rather than pure Wikipedia-style information, but the handy links to related social channels and wiki pages are useful.

7) WebCrawler

webcrawler

Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors: 65 million
Alexa Rank: 674

Why should you use it?

WebCrawler has a far clearer delineation between paid search ads and organic results. It also seems to feature far more natural ’blue links’ than Google.

8) MyWebSearch

mywebsearch

Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors: 60 million
Alexa Rank: 405

Why should you use it?

Uh… don’t.

According to the Malware Wikia, MyWebSearch is a spyware and search toolbar program that allows the user to query various popular search engines and comes bundled with an exhausting suite of ‘goodies’ such as such as Smiley Central, Webfetti, Cursor Mania, My Mail Stationary, My Mail Signature, My Mail Stamps, FunBuddyIcons… the fun goes on and on.

Most damningly of all though, Malware Wikia reports that despite it not carrying any malware attributes, an independent repair lab has classified the toolbar as a nuisance because of “slowdowns in return for features that are already built into many modern web browsers.”

9) Infospace

infospace

Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors: 24 million
Alexa Rank: 2,110

Why should you use it?

You may be using it already… InfoSpace is a “provider of white label search and monetization solutions” and it also operates its own branded search sites, including the meta search engine Dogpile, as well as Zoo.com and WebCrawler (as mentioned above.)

10) Info.com

info.com

Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors: 13.5 million
Alexa Rank: 1,938

Why should you use it?

Info.com aggregates results from the indexed web AND social media channels. It monitors real-time social conversations and according to them, it delivers “newsworthy, trending, and popular results before they hit the indexed web.” These streams are classified into structured topics which provides additional context and insight.

Bonus: 11) DuckDuckGo

Honourable mention to DuckDuckGo, the new kid on the block that doesn’t store your personal information, which has managed to accrue 13 million unique monthly visitors and is currently the 11th most popular search engine in the US.

Worldwide

Here’s the marketshare worldwide for search engines…

search engine market share

1) Google – 72.48%
2) Bing – 10.39%
3) Yahoo – 7.78%
4) Baidu – 7.14%
5) Ask – 0.22%
6) AOL – 0.15%
7) Excite – 0.01%

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound and former editor of SEW

 Source: This article was published searchenginewatch.com By Christopher Ratcliff

Do you want to know the best time to send your email marketing campaigns? Your open rates could plummet if your email goes out at the wrong time, but schedule it for the perfect time and it could have a huge impact on your campaign’s effectiveness. In this post, we’ll tell you what studies show is the best time to send emails.

The Truth About the Perfect Email Send Time

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could just remove all the guesswork and tell you exactly when you should send out your email marketing campaigns?

There is a ton of data from various studies trying to do just that. The problem is, some of these studies are in agreement, while others are completely contradictory. Trying to make sense of it all can be extremely difficult and frustrating, especially when the parameters used by each study are totally different!

You may be wondering, Will all these studies even help me? Or will I have to A/B test it for myself?

The reality is, yes, you will have to experiment with your send times to hone in on the exact best times for your own list. Every email list is made up of a different set of people with different habits. Therefore, your best send time may or may not be the same as another email marketer’s best send time.

However, it is extremely valuable to have an informed place to start. Why start from ground zero when others have already done a ton of testing before you?

Armed with the right information, you can get a good head-start, and then you can test and tweak your send times to further perfect them.

Let’s take a look at what the studies collectively show is the best time to send emails. There are some valuable lessons to be learned from these studies.

Then, we’ll cover exactly how you can use this information and tweak it for your own list.

What is the Best Day to Send Emails?

In a study conducted by MailChimp, an algorithm (“Send Time Optimization”) was used to gather information on the best time to send to individual email addresses in their local time zones. (The algorithm used data on subscriber’s engagement in order to determine the best times.)

Here’s what they discovered about the best day to send emails:

best day to send emails mailchimp

According to this graph, which includes all the compiled data from several billion email addresses, the best day of the week to send emails is on Thursday, but only by a small margin. There was actually very little difference between any of the weekdays, Monday through Friday.

Sending on the weekend was the least optimal day, with Sunday being the worst day to send emails.

According to Experian’s benchmark report, Monday had the highest transaction rates and revenue per email out of the weekdays, and Sunday had the highest performance out of the weekends.

However, open rates between all of the days were only 1.4% apart at most, so the day of the week really made very little difference in terms of open rates.

experian day of week report

GetResponse also did a study, and their data showed that Tuesday had the highest open rate and click through rate, as well as being the most popular day to send emails.

Weekends were the least popular days to send emails, and they also had the lowest open rates.

GetResponse email day

According to HubSpot’s report, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday had the most email opens.

Tuesday was the best day, with 20% more opens than average.

HubSpot best day

Opens diminished as the week went on, with the weekends having the lowest open rates.

HubSpot deviation from average opens

MailerMailer’s Email Marketing Metrics Report showed open rate peaking on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10.7%.

The worst days for open rates were weekends.

mailermailer open rates by day

Click rates, however, were the highest on Sunday at 2.2-2.6%, followed by Tuesday at 2.1-2.5%. The worst day for click rates was Saturday.

mailermailer click rates by day

WordStream’s data shows that Thursday is the best day to send emails with over 25% open rates on that day, versus Tuesday and Wednesdays get below 5% open rates.

According to our own data for OptinMonster email campaigns, the day of the week doesn’t make a significant difference to our open rates. However, we generally stick to Monday-Thursday for our email newsletters.

Now that we’ve seen the results of a collectively ginormous amount of data, the general consensus seems to be this…

The verdict: the best days to send are on weekdays.

However, there is no general consensus on the exact day of the week to send emails. The particular day of the week also doesn’t make a huge difference in terms of open and click rates.

Open and click rates tend to peter off toward the end of the week, with weekends being the worst days to send emails.

Surprisingly, however, Dan Zarella’s research from his book, The Science of Marketing, shows that the best days for open rates and click rates are Saturdays and Sundays!

Dan Zarella email day

This just goes to show that there are always going to be outliers: some email lists just don’t behave the way the majority do.

If you take the time to conduct your own study, you may just find that your best send day is something completely different from the average (we’ll talk more about how to do that later in this post).

When is the Best Time to Send Emails?

Back to the MailChimp study, the optimal send time peaked at 10AM in the recipients’ own time zones.

Mailchimp best hour

HubSpot’s data is largely in agreement, with the peak time for email opens being 11AM EST.

HubSpot opens by hour

The only exception is on Sundays, when the peak time for open rate is 9PM EST.

HubSpot Sunday email open times

Experian’s data showed that very late periods between 4AM and 8AM had higher results than any other time, however the volume of emails sent during this time was much lower than any other time.

Experian time of day

The highest volume (27% of emails) were sent between 4AM-8AM, and these emails also received 33% of the transactions. So Experian concluded that this would be a good time to test more mailings.

MailerMailer showed that scheduling your emails to be delivered during the early evening and early morning were the best times for open rates, with open rates peaking at 12AM.

12PM, on the other hand, was the worst time for open rates.

mailermailer open rates time

When it comes to click rates, the best time to schedule emails was between the early evening and the morning.

During the first half of the year, the highest click rates were at 12AM and the lowest click rates were at 12PM– the same as with the open rates.

During the second half of the year, however, the highest click rate was at 6PM, and the lowest was 10-11AM.

mailermailer click rates time

However, even though scheduling emails from early evening to early morning worked out to be the best, the recipients didn’t actually open emails during those times…

As a general rule, emails were more likely to be opened during normal business hours, from 8AM-5PM, with the peak time being 10AM.

mailermailer actual open times

WordStream’s data showed 8-9AM, specifically on Thursdays, had the highest open rate.

Our data at OptinMonster shows that our best time for opens is 11AM EST.

The verdict: most people tend to open their emails in the morning, especially on business days.

However, the data also indicates that you could improve your results by scheduling your emails to arrive in their inbox sometime before that, during the very early hours of the morning, for instance.

That way, your email is ready to be opened by not only the majority of subscribers but also by the early risers on your list.

How to Discover the Best Send Time for Your List

Now that you know what works for the majority of email marketers across multiple industries, you have a good starting point. So first, try scheduling your emails to go out in the morning on weekdays (at 10AM on Wednesdays, for example).

After you’ve gathered a significant amount of data, take a look at your open rates. A good open rate will vary depending on your industry, but the average open rate across all industries is 22.87% (click here to find the average open rate for your particular industry).

Have some room to improve your open rate? Start testing your send times.

Remember to always test one variable at a time, so make sure you are sending the exact same email with the exact same subject line when you A/B test your send times.

How do you decide what times to experiment with? You may already know more than you think…

Write down everything that you know about your subscribers and their relationship with you. What do they do for a living? What is a day in their life like? Also, what is the content of your emails, and when are your subscribers likely to be thinking about that content?

For example, someone like Ryan Robinson, who teaches people how to start their own business while continuing to work their day job, might want to send out his emails in the evening or on the weekends when his subscribers aren’t at their day job.

On the other hand, someone like Rich Page, who helps businesses optimize their website traffic, will likely get much better results by sending his emails during working hours, when his subscribers are working on their websites.

The key is to deduce when your subscribers are the most likely to engage with your brand.

Do many of your subscribers also follow you on social media? If so, that’s a perfect opportunity to see when your subscribers are active online.

To figure out when your Twitter followers are the most active, type your screen name into the Followerwonk tool.

It will spit out a result like this:

follower wonk

In this example, the graph shows that my Twitter followers are the most active at 9AM PST.

You can see when your Facebook fans are the most active with the free Facebook Fan Page Analytics tool. Enter your page name and your details, and they will send you a full report via email.

There will be a section of your report that looks like this:

top day and time facebook

Under “Top Day/Time for Engagement” you’ll see the time when your Facebook followers are the most active on your page. In this example, our Facebook fans are the most engaged on Fridays from 11AM-12PM.

These are great times to test sending out your emails!

(Note that you can also create reports like this with your competitor’s Twitter accounts and Facebook pages if their audience is really similar to yours.)

Conclusion

The bottom line is this: finding the best time to send emails to your list is really dependent on how well you know your subscribers.

Don’t experiment blindly. Do test out what’s working well for others based on the studies we covered above.

“Stalk” your subscribers and get to know their habits online as much as possible to get a feel for their schedule. A/B test those active times, and you’ll be well on your way to discovering the perfect send time for your email list.

Source: This article was published optinmonster.com By Mary Fernandez

We explain the Dark Web, how it differs from the Deep Web, and how to access the Dark Web using Tor.

The internet is a much, much bigger place than you probably realise. You know about Facebook, Google, BBC iPlayer and Amazon, but do you really know what's lurking beyond those user-friendly and respectable websites? 

This is but a tiny corner of the internet, and the Dark Web and the Deep Web loom in much shadier corners. Using Tor you can access them, but should you even want to visit the Dark Web or the Deep Web?

Let's take a tour to help you make up your mind.

What is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is a term that refers specifically to a collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers.

Almost all sites on the so-called Dark Web hide their identity using the Tor encryption tool. You may know Tor for its ability to hide your identity and activity. You can use Tor to spoof your location so it appears you're in a different country to where you're really located, making it much like using a VPN service.

When a website is run through Tor it has much the same effect.

Indeed, it multiplies the effect. To visit a site on the Dark Web that is using Tor encryption, the web user needs to be using Tor. Just as the end user's IP address is bounced through several layers of encryption to appear to be at another IP address on the Tor network, so is that of the website.

There are several layers of magnitude more secrecy than the already secret act of using Tor to visit a website on the open internet - for both parties.

Thus, sites on the Dark Web can be visited by anyone, but it is very difficult to work out who is behind the sites. And it can be dangerous if you slip up and your identity is discovered.

You can also read our in-depth guide to using Tor if you want to know more about using the web anonymously and sending messages securely. 

Why would I want to use the Dark Web?

Not all Dark Web sites use Tor. Some use similar services such as I2P, for example, the Silk Road Reloaded. But the principle remains the same. The visitor has to use the same encryption tool as the site and - crucially - know where to find the site, in order to type in the URL and visit.

Infamous examples of Dark Web sites include the Silk Road and its offspring. The Silk Road was (and maybe still is) a website for the buying and selling of recreational drugs and a lot more scary things besides. But there are also legitimate uses for the Dark Web. (Also see: Is it legal to buy drugs online?)

People operating within closed, totalitarian societies can use the Dark Web to communicate with the outside world. And given recent revelations about the US- and UK government snooping on web use, you may feel it is sensible to take your communication on to the Dark Web.

The Dark Web hit the headlines in August 2015 (and many times since) after it was reported that 10GB of data stolen from Ashley Madison, a site designed to enable bored spouses to cheat on their partners, was dumped on to the Dark Web.

Hackers stole the data and threatened to upload it to the web if the site did not close down, and they eventually acted on that threat. Now the spouses of Ashley Madison users have received blackmail letters demanding they pay $2500 in Bitcoin or have the infidelity exposed.

In March 2015 the UK government launched a dedicated cybercrime unit to tackle the Dark Web, with a particular focus on cracking down on serious crime rings and child pornography. The National Crime Agency (NCA) and UK intelligence outfit GCHQ are together creating the Joint Operations Cell (JOC).

What is the Deep Web?

Although all of these terms tend to be used interchangeably, they don't refer to exactly the same thing. An element of nuance is required. The 'Deep Web' refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find.

Thus the 'Deep Web' includes the 'Dark Web', but also includes all user databases, webmail pages, registration-required web forums, and pages behind paywalls. There are huge numbers of such pages, and most exist for mundane reasons.

We have a 'staging' version of all of our websites that is blocked from being indexed by search engines, so we can check stories before we set them live. Thus for every page publicly available on this website (and there are literally millions), there is another on the Deep Web.

The content management system into which I am typing this article is on the Deep Web. So that is another page for every page that is on the live site. Meanwhile our work intranet is hidden from search engines, and requires a password. It has been live for nearly 20 years, so there are plenty of pages there.

Use an online bank account? The password-protected bits are on the Deep Web. And when you consider how many pages just one Gmail account will create, you understand the sheer size of the Deep Web.

This scale is why newspapers and mainstream news outlets regularly trot out scare stories about '90 percent of the internet' consisting of the Dark Web. They are confusing the generally dodgy Dark Web with the much bigger and generally more benign Deep Web.

What is the Dark Internet?

Confusingly, 'Dark Internet' is also a term sometimes used to describe further examples of networks, databases or even websites that cannot be reached over the internet. In this case either for technical reasons, or because the properties contain niche information that few people will want, or in some cases because the data is private.

A basic rule of thumb is that while the phrases 'Dark Web' or 'Deep Web' are typically used by tabloid newspapers to refer to dangerous secret online worlds, the 'Dark Internet' is a boring place where scientists store raw data for research.

How to access the Dark Web

Technically, this is not a difficult process. You simply need to install and use Tor. Go to www.torproject.org and download the Tor Browser Bundle, which contains all the required tools. Run the downloaded file, choose an extraction location, then open the folder and click Start Tor Browser. That's it.

The Vidalia Control Panel will automatically handle the randomised network setup and, when Tor is ready, the browser will open; just close it again to disconnect from the network.

Depending on what you intend to do on the Dark Web, some users recommend placing tape over your laptop's webcam to prevent prying eyes watching you. A tinfoil hat is also an option. If you're reading this to find out about torrent files, check out our separate guide on how to use torrent sites in the UK.

The difficult thing is knowing where to look on the Dark Web. There, reader, we leave you to your own devices and wish you good luck and safe surfing. And a warning before you go any further. Once you get into the Dark Web, you *will* be able to access those sites to which the tabloids refer. This means that you could be a click away from sites selling drugs and guns, and - frankly - even worse things.

Aggregation sites such as Reddit offer lists of links, as do several Wikis, including http://thehiddenwiki.org/  - a list that offers access to some very bad places. Have a quick look by all means, but please don't take our linking to it as an endorsement. It really isn't.

Also, Dark Web sites do go down from time to time, due to their dark nature. But if you want good customer service, stay out of the dark!

And do heed our warning: this article is intended as a guide to what is the Dark Web - not an endorsement or encouragement for you to start behaving in illegal or immoral behavior.

Source: This article was published techadvisor.co.uk By Matt Egan

Internet research is something that is undervalued and unappreciated by most journalists in the mainstream media, but online research tools now offer Internet-savvy journalists with the ability to conduct powerful research on the internet.

Usually, those who frown upon the quality of Internet research are “old school” journalists who long for the days when you had to walk down to the local library in order to conduct “proper” research on the background of a particular topic.

However, times have changed drastically, and today the overwhelming reach and power of the Internet is giving both journalistic researchers and scientific researchers a run for their money.  Today, almost anyone can become an armchair researcher – quickly becoming a so-called “expert” on any topic.  However, writers with a true journalistic flair can write and publish stories more quickly and with far more detail than their newspaper journalist counterparts of even just ten years ago.

Finding Powerful Internet Research Tools

There are countless research tools for online writers who are interested in digging for information about any topic.  But three very useful tools in particular come from Cogitum LC, a company that offers three useful free tools that can help you collect and organize information as you’re scouring the Internet for data.  These three tools are:

  • Co-Citer – Records quoted text, its title and URL, and the date you collected it.
  • Co-Tracker 2.0 – Captures an image, its URL and the URL it links to, and the date you captured it.
  • FotoTagger – A image editing tool that lets you point out and note details about photographs.

Each of these three tools have unique features that are very useful to researchers, especially those who are working on research for market, educational or scientific papers that require proper citations of all sources.

Cogitum Co-Citer

In order to provide an example of the power of this software, I’m going to use niche industry research on the real estate market that I’m currently working on for a client.  In this example, I’ve found information about real estate demographics.  At Realestatejournal.com, I found a great Wall Street Journal news blurb entitled “Foreclosure Rate Outpaces Bank Sales.”  The data in this article is very useful.  To cite a section of such an online article, you just highlight the text you want to cite (in Internet Explorer) and then right-click and select “Grab Selected Text.”  Co-Citer will open and allow you to add a comment for the citation as well.

3 Tools To Conduct Better Research On The Internet cociter1

The nice thing about the Co-Citer is that you don’t have to keep multiple windows or documents open, trying to keep track of the URL or the quote.  Every time you find useful data, you can simply right click, add a comment to describe why you find the quote useful, and then move on.  Using this application alone has cut down my own research time by at least 25%, and I don’t lose citations anymore.

Cogitum Image Co-Tracker

Another valuable research tool from Cogitum is the image “Co-Tracker,” which essentially does the same thing as the Co-Citer, but it does it for images.  Whenever you’re utilizing images from the internet where the image creator provides images for free, as long as the source is cited – this tool makes it simple to do so by keeping track of the source of all of those photos for you.

Once you’ve installed the application, it’s installed as an IE add-on.  So when you find a photo you want to use, simply right click and select “Grab Image.”

3 Tools To Conduct Better Research On The Internet coimage11

As shown above, Co-Tracker automatically saves the file on your hard drive, and it includes three editable lines which you can use to attach any information you want to the stored image.  Once you’re finished collecting images from around the internet, the Image Co-Tracker provides you with an entire catalog of images stored under whatever categories you create for them.

3 Tools To Conduct Better Research On The Internet coimage2

This makes it easy to create a large database of images that you can reuse again and again, without worrying about losing track of the source of those images.

Cogitum FotoTagger

FotoTagger is another IE add-on that you can use to automatically capture online images and then add tags to them.  On IE, just right click and select “Grab to Fototagger.”  You can also open up the Fototagger application and just open any image you like.

The cool thing about this application is that within less than a minute, you can completely fill a photo with detailed tags.  This is useful when you need to point out specific details about an object, or provide someone with detailed directions.

3 Tools To Conduct Better Research On The Internet coimage21

Fototagger also has features that allow you to automatically post the tagged image to your blog, or export it to Flickr.  You can also export to HTML or send it in an email.

I use Fototagger mainly as a quick method to mock-up detailed images as part of a research report, but with the “balloon” tag feature, you could create funny images from family photos or create a detailed “how-to” update on your blog, complete with tagged images outlining each step.

Conclusion

Conducting research on the Internet often involves hundreds of educational websites, online news archives, and countless other valuable resources.  When you find a valuable bit of information within those volumes, it can be a very tedious chore to try to keep track of those citations.  With these Cogitum tools, you can track and manage both text and images as you’re surfing quickly through resources, drastically cutting down on the time it takes you to get your work finished.

Do you conduct a lot of online research for school or for work?  What free tools do you use to keep track of sources?  Share your own online research experiences in the comments section below.

Source: This article was published makeuseof.com By Ryan Dube

Thursday, 15 March 2018 11:34

What is search operator?

search operator

A search operator (sometimes referred to as a search parameter) is a character or string of characters used in a search engine query to narrow the focus of the search.

In mathematics and computer science, operators are characters or sequences of characters that represent an action or cause an action to be performed. Boolean operators are commonly used in search. AND, for example, indicates that Web pages in the results must contain both the word or phrase preceding it and the word (or phrase) following it. NOT indicates that pages in search results should not contain the word or phrase after it. OR indicates that the pages in search results should include any of the terms on either side in the query rather than pages that contain both or all terms.

Other search operators are usually placed directly in front of a query word or phrase, with no intervening space. Multiple operators can be combined in a query to further narrow the focus of a search.

Here are a few examples of advanced Google search operators:

  • site: followed (without a space) by a website or domain returns files located there.
  • filetype: followed by a file extension returns files of the specified type, such as DOC, PDF, XLS and INI. Multiple file types can be searched for simultaneously by separating extensions with “|”.
  • inurl: followed by a particular string returns results with that sequence of characters in the URL.
  • intext: followed by the searcher’s chosen word or phrase returns files with the string anywhere in the text.

Search operators can be combined in a search query to fine-tune a search. A complex search engine query is sometimes referred to as a Google dork query, is sometimes used to find information that is not purposefully made available by a site owner. The practice, also known as Google hacking, is often recommended as a way to discover site vulnerabilities that need attention. 

In this video, Andreas Johansson demonstrates how to use Google search operators:

 

Source: This article was published whatis.techtarget.com By Margaret Rouse

Cyberstalking is now more common than physical harassment, according to the researchers at Bedford University in England. Imbalanced individuals who obsess over others now have dozens of convenient online means by which to follow and attack their prey. Using email, sexting, Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and other social hubs, cyberstalkers can track someone's personal life quite easily. Cyberstalking is a sad and disturbing part of modern society, and things will only get worse before they get better.

What Is the Definition of Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is a very serious form of online harassment. At one level, cyberstalking is much like cyberbullying, as it involves the sending of repeated annoying and unwelcome messages. But cyberstalking goes far beyond cyberbullying in terms of motivations and tactics. Cyberstalking involves a disturbed obsession with the target, and a perverse desire to control that target in some way, even by attacking the target's family members. Cyberstalkers do not wish to just torment someone for an adolescent power rush... stalkers want to force the target into some kind of submission, and are willing to involve other targets to achieve that disturbed result.

What Exactly Does Cyberstalking Look Like?

Cyberstalkers like to use email, Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, text messaging, and sexting as their primary tools. They sometimes use online dating services, discussion forums, and mobile phone devices to stalk their prey. If the stalker is a sophisticated user, he/she will use many of these means in combination.

Cyberstalkers commonly have four objectives:
  1. locate,
  2. surveil,
  3. emotionally harass,
  4. and criminally manipulate their prey.
In some cases, the cyberstalker will prey on their target's family, friends, and coworkers to attack their target.

Examples of Cyberstalking:

Who Are These Cyberstalkers?

Cyberstalkers come from all walks of life, and are often driven by disturbed emotions of inadequacy. Cyberstalkers can also be motivated by revenge over a feeling of being wronged, or by an anger due to unrequited love . Whichever their motivation, cyberstalkers want to control their prey, using means of direct intimidation or indirect manipulation.

Cyberstalkers can be:
  • an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend,
  • an ex-spouse,
  • someone you went to high school with,
  • a person you dated in real life,
  • a person you dated through an online service,
  • a coworker or supervisor,
  • a stranger whom you ride the train with every day,
  • a stranger who found your writing online,
  • someone you randomly friended on Facebook.
Cyberstalkers are regular people with very irregular psychological problems. The truly frightening part is that cyberstalkers can be random: you do not need to know the person to become their target. Some cyberstalkers will just choose random targets online.

The Good News for Online Love:

According to Bedford University's ECHO research, stalkers on online dating sites are still very rare (i.e. less than 4% of stalker victims). So if you are looking for love online, the risk is still quite low for you getting yourself a cyberstalker.

The Bad News:

Bedford University identified that many cyberstalking victims in their research were actually stalked by complete strangers. This means: cyberstalking can be random. Cyberstalking is now a small risk that every online user takes just by participating in the World Wide Web. While the great majority of you reading this article will never have a cyberstalker, one or two of you might have some random disturbed individual who discovers you online and decides to obsess over you.

What Can I Do When I Have a Cyberstalker?

There are various means by which you can assertively and legally defend yourself against cyberstalking. Starting with low-key responses, like an assertive email, is the best place to begin. If the situation appears to be escalating, contact law enforcement. While it most cyberstalkers never make physical contact with a victim, they will sometimes try things like swatting to get attention. 

 Source: This article was published lifehacker.com By Paul Gil

When you search, do you find exactly what you’re looking for the first time?

Have you ever used advanced search filters to find everything the engine knows about a specific subject or website, efficiently?

If not, it’s time to raise your search skills. Search like a robot ninja with search engine operators.

Advanced Search Engine Operators

Digital and search marketing professionals (aka ninjas) routinely use search operators to filter results from the search engine (aka robots). Search ninja skills are useful for wrangling the robot when:

  • Researching a site you’re optimizing.
  • Locating something specific online.
  • And investigating the competitive field.

What are search operators? A prefix or addition to a query in Google, Bing or Yahoo that limits the results set. One common example: You can put quotation marks around your query to find results with the exactphrase. We use exact match search to find sites that are duplicating our clients’ content, for example.

I use the site: search operator daily to limit results to a specified domain. It helps me find articles published on this site on a topic I’m writing about so I can strategically link internally, or to locate the URL of the exact post I need to answer someone’s question.

Each search engine has its own set of advanced search operators. Here’s the official documentation from today’s three major engines, Yahoo, Bing and Google.

In the table below you’ll find the search engine operators that we routinely use in SEO research.

(It’s not an all-inclusive list, so if you’re really looking to up your ninja robot search skills, explore those links above to learn about search operators like stocks:, which serves up stock information for ticker symbols.)

When you get comfortable with a few of these commands, you can find what you’re looking for faster. Below the table we explain how we use the advanced operators in our own SEO ninja research to plumb the depths of the search engines’ bots.

GoogleBingYahooResult
cache: Shows the version of the web page from the search engine’s cache.
related: Finds web pages that are similar to the specified web page.
info: Presents some information that Google has about a web page, including similar pages, the cached version of the page, and sites linking to the page.
define: define: or definition: define: or definition: Provides a definition of a keyword. You must insert a space between the colon and the query in order for this operator to work in Yahoo and Bing.
site: site: site: Finds pages only within a particular domain and all its subdomains.
allintitle: Finds pages that include all query words as part of the indexed title tag.
intitle: intitle: intitle: Finds pages that include a specific keyword as part of the indexed title tag. You must include a space between the colon and the query for the operator to work in Bing.
allinurl: Finds a specific URL in the search engine’s index. You must include http:// in the URL you enter.
inurl: Finds pages that include a specific keyword as part of their indexed URLs.
link: Presents a selection of pages that link to the specified page.
meta: Finds pages that contain the specific keyword in the meta tags.
+ Requires that the word following the plus sign is in the results. An example use is [cats +musical] where there is no space between the plus sign and the keyword that is required in the results.
Removes results that contain the word following the minus sign. This search operator is added on to the keyword or phrase being searched for. It should follow the search query. For example, the query [cats -musical] will give you results about cats without the word musical on the page.
“search term” “search term” “search term” Finds instances of the exact phrase within the quotation marks everywhere it appears within the search engine’s index. Substitute [search term] in the search operator with the exact phrase you’re searching for.

How to Use Advanced Search Operators for Marketing Research

Here is how we use the search commands above for SEO research. In the example queries below, the searched phrase is in square brackets.

The cache: command (example query: [cache:https://www.bruceclay.com]) shows you a search engine’s cached version of a page. This is how the search engine actually sees your page. Cache shows what page content the search engine considers relevant to retrieve, making this Google search operator a valuable SEO diagnostic tool.

The related: operator (example query: [related:https://www.bruceclay.com]) gives you a glimpse of competitor content. You’ll see a small selection of what Google considers to be similar content, which you can analyze against SEO metrics — including word count, keyword use, meta data and inbound links — so that you can make your page equal to and then better than its competition.

Using the info: command in Google (example query: [info:https://www.bruceclay.com]) will result in links to a collection of these advanced search operators. It’s a one-stop shop to access the cache:, related:, link:, site:, and quotation mark exact match results.

In cases where you’re using a search engine as a dictionary, you can remove ambiguity and irrelevant search results and get straight to the definition with the define: operator (example query: [define:Boolean]).

Use the site: command (example query: [site:bruceclay.com]  to see how many web pages from a domain and its subdomains the search engine has indexed. Combine the site: operator with a keyword following the domain and you’ll see all pages on that site that are relevant for your search phrase. For example, [site:bruceclay.com 301 redirect] finds all the pages on this site with indexed content about 301 redirects.

With the search operators allintitle: and intitle: (example query: [allintitle: SEO keyword research]) you find who is your competition using your keywords in title tags. Similarly, the commands allinurl: and inurl:let you identify the competition using keywords in URLs.

The Google advanced search operator link: (example query: [link:https://www.bruceclay.com]) shows you the number of pages linking to a URL, whether your client’s or your competitors’ sites. You might devise new linking opportunities from this insight.

The Bing search operator meta: (example query: [meta: personal injury lawyer]) lets you view the pages in Bing’s index with your keywords in the meta description and meta keywords tags, helping you to identify your competition.

In Yahoo, you can use the + sign before a keyword to make sure that a word is in the results. It’s a tool to refine results when a query might otherwise be ambiguous. For example, the query [cats +musical] will help filter out results about cats the animal.

Another refinement tool, the  sign before a keyword will remove results with that word. Again, it’s a tool to help refine results when a query might otherwise be ambiguous. If you’re looking for info about cats the animal, but there’s a showing of Cats the musical in your town, you can search [cats -musical] to remove results about the theater production.

Include a phrase in quotes (example query: [“Here is how we use the search commands above for SEO research”] to find that exact phrase within the search engine’s index. One reason you might search for an exact string of text is to check for duplicate content that may be causing your content to be filtered out of results (i.e., how many pages does Google have in its index containing that exact phrase). Another reason you might search for an exact phrase is to see if the search engine has indexed a page that contains that phrase.

Source: This article was published bruceclay.com By Virginia Nussey

Research is essential to determine if your business idea has a chance of being successful. In the process of business research, all types of data are gathered in order to better define the startup’s focus and to determine what products and services that customers really want. Business researchers utilize a variety of research methods to gather relevant data so that business enterprises can make educated decisions.

Established businesses also use research to determine whether they can succeed in a new geographic region, assess competitors or select a marketing approach for a product.

For a new company, research can help entrepreneurs see to accurately gauge consumer demand and see how the competition is performing. Research can also benefit the business that is currently in operation as it can be an ongoing effort to spot new trends or to gauge departmental performance.

Utilizing a variety of research methods can give the startup or the established business a well-rounded look at their endeavors. Here are some types of business research techniques utilized by corporations.

1. Data collection

Entrepreneurs that are interested in a certain business endeavor are well served when they start off researching their idea through secondary data such as government and trade association data about the industry and market sector that they wish to enter.

Prospective business researchers can benefit from research skills. The USC MMLIS program focused on generating the evolutions needed to bring information sciences into the modern age can be a stepping for you if you want to make business research a career. You will be equipped to find data regarding industry sectors, trends, and direct competitors’ performance.

2. Surveys

A survey can be one of the more inexpensive research options, especially if it is done online. Succinct surveys that are more likely to be completed can be launched for free on a survey website that can be linked to your own website or social media post.

Telephone surveys can possibly be more in depth, but only if the person agrees to be questioned on the phone. Mailed surveys still have a niche, especially if they are targeted to a very specific group, but cost more to launch and administrate.

3. Interviews and focus groups

Interviews and focus groups take much more time to administer but offer a much deeper look at consumer preferences and behaviors. Both individual interviews and focus groups are made up persons from the target audience of the company and offer the interviewer the chance to clarify answers with follow up questions. While offering a larger sample in less time than interviews, focus groups can be more subject to bias from participants or facilitators.

4. Website

In addition to placing an online survey on your website, you can also put traffic data from your website to good use to spot trends in page views and keyword use. Analysis of who is visiting your site can make you aware of consumer demographics that you have not yet focused on. There are also research website resources that can help you keep an eye on what the competition is doing.

5. Case studies

A case study is one of the most time-intensive research propositions but can yield a depth of information about your prospective product that you cannot get otherwise. In a case study, a member of the target audience for the product is given a product sample and asked to use it at home for a period of time.

Used for consumables as well as durable goods, case studies include surveys, interviews, and observations of the person using the product. The goal of a case study is a total assessment of the product that is complete as possible.

Whether you are planning a startup or thinking of starting a new product line in your already established business, research is a necessity in order to navigate the marketplace’s opportunities and obstacles.

Understanding the strengths and unique insights to be gained from a variety of research techniques will help you make better decisions and increase your chances of success in the marketplace.

Source: This article was published alltopstartups.com By Thomas Oppong

Learn more about how Google’s featured work, the variations and some of the challenges Google faces with these snippets.

Google has published one of the most comprehensive explanations yet of their featured snippets in a post on the search blog. Featured snippets, in short, are the quick direct answers you see at the top of the Google search results page that appear in response to some search queries.

In this blog post, Google explains what featured snippets are, the various user interfaces and treatments you can get from these featured snippets and how they interact with the desktop, mobile and voice search results. Google says featured snippets are important for mobile search and with voice-activated digital assistants. Google said, “in these cases, the traditional ’10 blue links’ format doesn’t work as well, making featured snippets an especially useful format.”

Google added that they will “continue to show regular listings in response to searches along with featured snippets.” That is “because featured snippets aren’t meant as a sole source of information…. …they’re part of an overall set of results we provide, giving people information from a wide range of sources,” Google added.

Here are some of the screenshots of normally featured snippets that Google may show to searchers on desktop or mobile:

In addition, those suggested video clips, which jump directly into a video result, are also a form of featured snippets. Google said they “recently launched” this experience, but it has been live for at least the past several months:

Those who use Google Assistant or Google Home devices can access their full search results later, when they get to their mobile phone, within the Google Home app.

In the post, Google explains that their featured snippets are not perfect — acknowledging cases of inaccurate or insensitive information, people trying to vandalize the results and spam issues. Google admits they have more work to do and will continue to improve these results over time. As evidence, Google points to their voice quality raters guidelines and those efforts to improve the quality of those results.

Google shared how they may explore showing more featured snippet results to offer more diversity, in the form of adding a “more results” link under a featured snippet:

Or featured snippet tags, to refine the query:

Or showing more options to your question with multiple featured snippet boxes right away in the search results:

“There are often legitimate diverse perspectives offered by publishers, and we want to provide users visibility and access into those perspectives from multiple sources,” said Matthew Gray, a Google software engineer.

We’ve covered time and time again how featured snippets sometimes get it wrong.

Google asks that you submit feedback using the “Feedback” link found within the featured snippets so that the company can continue to make improvements over time.

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz

Google says it will soon alter its Search tool to provide "diverse perspectives" where appropriate.

The change will affect the boxed text that often appears at the top of results pages - known as a Snippet - which contains a response sourced from a third-party site.

At present, Google provides only a single box but it will sometimes show multiple Snippets in the future.

The change could help Google tackle claims it sometimes spreads lies.

But one expert warned the move introduced fresh risks of its own.

Snippet
Image captionSnippets provide a quick response to queries but are sometimes based on opinion rather than fact

Google introduced Snippets into its search results in 2014, placing the boxed text below paid listings but above other links.

The idea is to provide information that users want without them having to click through to another page.

Google acknowledged at the time that "fact quality" would vary depending on the request.

But it has been accused of providing "shockingly bad" information in some cases, including Snippets that suggested:

  • women were evil
  • the food additive monosodium glutamate caused brain damage
  • anti-fascist campaigners held an overly simplistic view of the world

Google offered a less controversial example of a problem, in a blog detailing its new approach.

It said that when users asked if reptiles made "good pets" they were given several reasons why the answer was yes, but if they asked if the animals made "bad pets" they were given contradictory advice.

Google Snippet
Image captionGoogle's current system can deliver contradictory advice

It said this happened because its system was designed to favor content that aligned with the posed question, and suggested that offering different viewpoints would, therefore, be a better option.

"There are often legitimate diverse perspectives offered by publishers, and we want to provide users visibility and access into that perspective from multiple sources," wrote Matthew Gray, Google's Snippets chief.

But one company-watcher has doubts.

"Both Google and Facebook are trying to address claims that they played a part in disseminating misinformation," said Joseph Evans, the digital media analyst at the consultancy Enders Analysis.

"Google is addressing one of its most controversial products in this context.

"But it still looks like a refusal of responsibility to say that, 'Sometimes we're wrong, but we can solve the problem by offering multiple viewpoints.'"

He added Google now faced the challenge of when to present more than one point of view, as it was nearly always possible to find a source that contradicted conventional wisdom but not always wise to present it.

Voice search

One consequence of the update is that publishers will face having their unsponsored links pushed further down the Search results page.

But part of the reason the issue is pressing for the US company is the fact its Google Assistant virtual helper relies on Snippets to provide voice-based replies.

Unlike on the web, links to other material are not presented - meaning a potential source of balance is lost.

Media captionWATCH: Google Home's odd answer

This became apparent in March 2017, when BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones's Google Home smart speaker told him former US President Barack Obama "might be in bed with the Chinese" and plotting a coup.

"People were taken aback by Google saying this out loud," Mr. Evans said.

"Voice makes Snippets more influential.

"But we don't know how the change will play out: will users be given multiple responses or be asked if they want to know more after the first?"

 Source: This article was published bbc.com By Leo Kelion

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