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Searching online has many educational benefits. For instance, one study found students who used advanced online search strategies also had higher grades at university.

But spending more time online does not guarantee better online skills. Instead, a student’s ability to successfully search online increases with guidance and explicit instruction.

Young people tend to assume they are already competent searchers. Their teachers and parents often assume this too. This assumption, and the misguided belief that searching always results in learning, means much classroom practice focuses on searching to learn, rarely on learning to search.

Many teachers don’t explictly teach students how to search online. Instead, students often teach themselves and are reluctant to ask for assistance. This does not result in students obtaining the skills they need.

 

For six years, I studied how young Australians use search engines. Both school students and home-schoolers (the nation’s fastest growing educational cohort) showed some traits of online searching that aren’t beneficial. For instance, both groups spent greater time on irrelevant websites than relevant ones and regularly quit searches before finding their desired information.

Here are three things young people should keep in mind to get the full benefits of searching online.

1. Search for more than just isolated facts

Young people should explore, synthesise and question information on the internet, rather than just locating one thing and moving on.

Search engines offer endless educational opportunities but many students typically only search for isolated facts. This means they are no better off than they were 40 years ago with a print encyclopedia.

It’s important for searchers to use different keywords and queries, multiple sites and search tabs (such as news and images).

Part of my (as yet unpublished) PhD research involved observing young people and their parents using a search engine for 20 minutes. In one (typical) observation, a home-school family type “How many endangered Sumatran Tigers are there” into Google. They enter a single website where they read a single sentence.

The parent writes this “answer” down and they begin the next (unrelated) topic – growing seeds.

The student could have learnt much more had they also searched for

  • where Sumatra is
  • why the tigers are endangered
  • how people can help them.

I searched Google using the key words “Sumatran tigers” in quotation marks instead. The returned results offered me the ability to view National Geographic footage of the tigers and to chat live with an expert from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) about them.

Clicking the “news” tab with this same query provided current media stories, including on two tigers coming to an Australian wildlife park and on the effect of palm oil on the species. Small changes to search techniques can make a big difference to the educational benefits made available online.

2. Slow down

All too often we presume search can be a fast process. The home-school families in my study spent 90 seconds or less, on average, viewing each website and searched a new topic every four minutes.

Searching so quickly can mean students don’t write effective search queries or get the information they need. They may also not have enough time to consider search results and evaluate websites for accuracy and relevance.

My research confirmed young searchers frequently click on only the most prominent links and first websites returned, possibly trying to save time. This is problematic given the commercial environment where such positions can be bought and given children tend to take the accuracy of everything online for granted.

Fast search is not always problematic. Quickly locating facts means students can spend time on more challenging educational follow-up tasks – like analysing or categorising the facts. But this is only true if they first persist until they find the right information.

3. You’re in charge of the search, not Google

Young searchers frequently rely on search tools like Google’s “Did you mean” function.

While students feel confident as searchers, my PhD research found they were more confident in Google itself. One year eight student explained: “I’m used to Google making the changes to look for me”.

Such attitudes can mean students dismiss relevant keywords by automatically agreeing with the (sometimes incorrect) auto-correct or going on irrelevant tangents unknowingly.

Teaching students to choose websites based on domain name extensions can also help ensure they are in charge, not the search engine. The easily purchasable “.com”, for example, denotes a commercial site while information on websites with a “.gov”(government) or “.edu” (education) domain name extension better assure quality information.

Search engines have great potential to provide new educational benefits, but we should be cautious of presuming this potential is actually a guarantee.

 

[Source: This article was published in theconversation.com By Misha Ketchell - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jeremy Frink]

Categorized in Internet Search

Bytedance has launched a standalone search engine app, further challenging Baidu’s dominance in China’s online search market.

Why it matters: Bytedance, which owns video-sharing apps TikTok and Douyin, is increasingly positioning itself as a direct rival to Baidu.

  • Beijing-based Bytedance is expanding beyond its core businesses in news aggregation and short video into e-commerce, gaming, and search.
  • Toutiao Search, previously just the search function contained within Bytedance’s news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, is now a standalone app which yields results from the company’s short video apps Douyin and Xigua, as well as general content from around the internet.
  • China’s internet users are becoming increasingly accustomed to in-app search engines. Tencent launched a search function for its mega instant messaging app WeChat, allowing users to search for official account articles and content from the wider internet.

 

Details: Bytedance has released the Toutiao Search app on major Chinese Android app stores including Wandoujia, the Xiaomi App Store, and Huawei’s App Gallery.

  • The app is not presently available on Apple’s App Store in China.
  • The product was first released on Feb. 20, based on information from the Android app stores.
  • Users can search for items in categories such as articles, news, short videos, and pictures. Its results include mini programs that address simple user inquiries such as trash-sorting guidance and currency exchange calculations.

Context: Bytedance in August introduced the in-app search function for Jinri Toutiao. The product was not seen at the time as a direct rival to Baidu’s offering because it was not a dedicated search engine.

  • The company has been using the in-app search as a shortcut to building a Baidu rival as its apps have already amassed 1.5 billion monthly active users as of July.
  • The eight-year-old company is reported to have been taking increasing ad revenue share from China’s top tech firms including Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba.

 

 [Source: This article was published in technode.com By Wei Sheng - Uploaded by the Association Member: Daniel K. Henry]

Categorized in Search Engine

In 2008, the first privacy-focused search engine emerged on the scene - DuckDuckGo. The company was the first to bring consumers a search engine designed to protect consumer privacy as they searched online. By 2018, DuckDuckGo had 16 million searches a day, and by 2019, that number had jumped to 36 million searches.

Now, more than ten years later, privacy and search continue to evolve.

Privado is a new private search engine from  CodeFuel, which allows consumers to protect their right to online privacy. Search results are powered by Bing and driven by the consumer’s search query and not by their demographics or personal data

 

“Online privacy per se is not a new issue. But what we have seen until recently, is that a relatively narrow segment of users care enough to take action, mainly tech-savvy users, who understand how companies feed off their data,” said Tal Jacobson, General Manager of CodeFuel. “With the growing number of data breaches we hear about every other day, privacy concerns have finally made it to center stage.”

Jacobson says he strongly believes we have come very close to the privacy tipping point when people realize that this is just too much.

Tal Jacobson, General Manager, CodeFuel

“Think for a moment about the millions of parents out there, who have just heard about the accusations against TikTok secretly gathering user data and sending it to China,” added Jacobson. “Think about the Millions of users across social and search and how their data is used and abused to make more money, without their permission.”

Jacobson adds that users are waking up, and search privacy is making its way to the mainstream. “Privado enables users to realize the benefits of internet search without anxiety about their most intimate behaviors being observed and tracked.”

As consumer awareness increases around data and privacy, their actions have shifted as well. According to a data privacy and security report from RSA, 78 percent of consumers polled said they take action to limit the amount of personal information they share online.

 

[Source: This article was published in forbes.com By Jennifer Kite-Powell - Uploaded by the Association Member: Dorothy Allen]

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in digitalcommerce360.com written by Kelli Kemery - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Jeremy Frink]

Early in the shopping journey, consumers tend to use search terms like “how” and “best.” As they narrow down their choices, they often use terms like “compare” and “advantage.” When their searches include words like “apply” and “buy” they are ready to purchase.

Imagine a scenario where you can use the search text to help identify a consumer’s mindset and use this knowledge to meet the consumer where they are in their decision journey. Visualize the complicated and fluid decision journey and know that with this prediction you can offer consumers exactly what they need.

 

To understand the consumer intent by looking at the psychological motivations behind search query language and help advertisers tailor their messages to meet their consumers in their journey, Microsoft partnered with Performics and Northwestern University, the creators of the Intent Scoring Algorithm. Their Intent Scoring Algorithm is designed to identify key consumer mindsets associated with a searcher’s phase in the journey by coding every search keyword in an advertiser’s account and using this to identify the consumer’s place in the journey.

Recent studies that show 74% of consumers frustrated with site content that is not relevant to them.

Search is personal

Today as the search continues to become increasingly pervasive, it is also becoming increasingly personal. In 2012, Pew Research conducted a study to understand people’s views on privacy. At that time, only 28% of the people said they would be OK with targeted ads or search engines keeping track of their searches to deliver better results. Five years later, a similar study was conducted to see how the perspectives have changed. The result—78% of people now say they are OK with personalized ads or search results. That is verified by comparing with other recent studies that show 74% of consumers frustrated with site content that is not relevant to them.

Bing Network research shows that 56% of consumers will purchase a brand again if that brand provides them with a personalized experience. And that number grows among younger consumers: About 66% of 25-34-year-olds will repurchase if they are provided with a personalized experience. As technology changes the manner consumers think about their purchases, it also changes the expectations of their experiences. Almost 65% of consumers report that they seek out brands that bring them joy and 51% are more engaged with brands that they have an emotional connection with.

Search is predictive

At the center of these predictive services are personal digital assistants like Cortana. Today, these digital assistants leverage the data they collect and aggregate through search, mail, maps, calendars and more. They try to predict what consumers want based on their behavioral patterns. They can tell you when to leave for an appointment given traffic conditions or remind you that you made a commitment to a colleague—without you set a reminder. They might even suggest to you gift ideas for an upcoming anniversary.

 

This predictive nature of search confirms that search is a behavioral insights machine that uncovers hidden consumer intent. Consumers are constantly signaling their intentions, and only those who know how to listen can pick up on those cues. Brands that uncover consumer intentions and motivations behind digital interactions can unlock the code of relevancy and personalization.

Uncovering intent through the language

The Intent Scoring Algorithm by Performics and Northwestern University uncovered that consumers’ mindsets shift as they approach or move away from goals like buying. Early in the journey, the consumers have an abstract, more exploratory mindset. As consumers move closer to a goal, their thinking becomes more concrete. They look for the price or location of purchase.  The algorithm found that advertisers could use language—the text in the search itself—to reveal and match the consumer mindset and intent, meeting the consumers where they are instead of where we want them to be.

When the consumer mindset is matched to the advertising text, consumers are more likely to click on the ad to explore the content. Consumers who used search terms like “how” and “best”—which are abstract—are more likely to click on an ad written using abstract language, than they are to click on an ad with concrete language. In addition to conducting abstract searches, consumers were more likely to click on educational content offered by third-party sites than brand or retail content.

Once shoppers have more clarity on what they are looking for, their search terms get slightly more concrete, like “best” or “top”, but they are still exploring.  When they use cues like “compare”, “pros”, “cons”, advantage”, they actually start comparing and evaluating themselves between different options and brands. This is the moment when they want to see specific benefits, reviews, and ratings.

Finally, when they are closest to action their thinking becomes more concrete. They turn to issues like price or location for purchase and use terms like “apply” and “buy”. This is when they need ease and efficiency the most.

Search at every stage of the journey

Today, search ads are still very focused on consumers that are ready to transact. Advertisers focus money and attention on the end of the journey, just before a consumer is ready to purchase. However, consumers turn to search at every point in their journey. And It takes both – search engine and the advertisers—working together to create a strong search experience for consumers.

Bing is the search engine owned and operated by Microsoft Corp.

Categorized in Search Engine

Source: This article was published esl.fis.edu - Contributed by Member: Bridget Miller

The internet is a wonderful resource. It has all the information that students are likely to need about every topic they are studying. Internet research can be a very effective (and enjoyable) way of finding the information that you need. However, it is also very easy to spend a lot of time searching on the web and still not find what you are looking for. If you follow the 'rules' below, you can be sure to avoid wasting too much of your precious time.

Rule 1 - Be sure you know exactly what information you have to find.

The more exactly you know what you are looking for, the easier it will be to find it.

Rule 2 - Use multiple-word searches.

This is related to Rule 1. Let's say you have to find out about Shackleton's third journey to Antarctica. Do not just type in Shackleton. Type Shackleton third journey Antarctica. You will get fewer results, but you can be confident that these will be relevant to the information you need.

 

Rule 3 - Enclose phrases in quotation marks.

Suppose you had to find out which was the world's most dangerous animal. Typing the most dangerous animal in Google returns almost 100 million hits. If you enclose the phrase in quotation marks in "the most dangerous animal", you get just over 600,000. This is still a huge number, but you can be more sure the results will be relevant.

Rule 4 - Use the minus sign to filter unwanted results.

Imagine you are searching for information about the Hilton hotel organization. If you just type in Hilton, you will get a huge number of pages with information about Paris Hilton, a famous Hollywood star. If, however, you type in Hilton -Paris, the search results will not include any pages about the actress.

In Google, the Advanced Search will help you use this (Boolean) logic correctly; or you can read their help page.You could also ask your teacher or librarian to show you.

Rule 5 - Learn how to skim the search hits for webpages worth opening.

If you have used good keywords/keyword groups and correct Boolean logic, you should have a not-too-long list of links that contain the information you are looking for. These links come with one or two lines of information about the webpage they lead to. If you read this information with some care, you can avoid clicking on irrelevant pages. It is very time-wasting to wait a minute or so for a page to load, only to find that it is useless to your needs.

Rule 6 - Be sure to evaluate the reliability of the information you find.

Anyone can put information on the internet. Not all of the information is correct or up-to-date. If you find a webpage that has unusual colors/fonts or contains many spelling mistakes, you should be very careful about trusting the information it contains. See if there are details about the author somewhere on the website, or ask your teacher/librarian to advise.

 

Rule 7 - Research in your own language.

Much of the information on the web that is in English will be very hard for ESL students. An excellent idea is to research in your own language. You can then read the corresponding information in English with a far better chance of understanding it.

Rule 8 - Remember: you don't always need to use the internet.

School libraries are full of books and other resources containing most of the information you need. If you use a library book, you can usually be sure of its reliability (although it may not be up-to-date). Libraries have access to excellent reference resources such as the Encyclopedia Britannica or ProQuest magazine database. It is often best to start research in the library and to use a web search engine only if the library does not have what you are looking for.

Review the reference resources in the Frankfurt International Upper School Library

Rule 9 - Filter your results according to their reading level.

You can ask Google to show you only the pages that are written at a basic (or intermediate, or advanced) level of difficulty. [Watch this video to learn how to do this.]

Rule 10 - Remember: finding the right information is only the beginning.

Once you have found the information you are looking for, you will need to do something with it. Often you will make notes on it before putting it into a piece of writing of your own. In this case, be sure to keep the URLs (web addresses) and titles of the web pages. [More on taking notes.]

Rule 11 = Rule 1: Be sure you know exactly what information you have to find ..

    .. and what you have to do with it once you have found it.a

 

Categorized in Online Research

OKLAHOMA - Historians are calling it a win for transparency in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health ensuring Oklahomans have easy access to a treasure trove of old vital records, including birth and death certificates, often used to track your family history.

Genealogist Mike Birdsong was filling in some holes in his family tree a few years ago, searching for a birth certificate for his grandmother, Annie Birdsong.

Mike paid for an OSDH search for the document, but the vital records department turned up nothing.

 

"My grandmother was born in 1899, before birth records," Mike said.

He paid $15 and some change for the search and then waited for results that never came.

Now, thanks to a new online tool, the state is offering online confirmation for free.

For Mike, he thought that meant he could now confirm Annie did not have a birth certificate on file.

But, to his surprise, he searched for her record and found confirmation.

"I looked online and found she filed for a delayed birth certificate in 1935," Mike said. "Now, I'm able to get her birth certificate as part of my family history."

Turns out, the online search was more accurate than the human search done years ago.

 

"Culture and history is just so valuable to our community, because we are such a diverse state," said Kelly Baker, OSDH Registrar of Vital Records.

A quick peak inside the vital records vault reveals eight million issuable records.

With such volumes maintained by the State Health Department, you can understand why sometimes record's like Annie's fell through the cracks and why many people don't even try - because of the hassle.

"In order to have access to the records search, people would have to apply, and we would have to do the search for them and they really wouldn't know if there was a record," Baker said.

Now, you can search online for death certificates more than 50 years old and birth certificates more than 125 years old.

Those documents are open record in Oklahoma.

Their existence can now easily be confirmed online.

To view the document or request a copy, the customary $15 fee remains.

Historians and genealogists are thrilled the state has unlocked the first hurdle in every search.

The vital records site just launched.

CLICK: OK2Explore to search the OSDH vital record database.

The site officially went live during the monthly meeting of the Oklahoma Genealogical Society meeting.

Source: This article was published kfor.com By ALI MEYER

Categorized in Search Engine

There has never been anything like the search engine called Google.

You can type in the most random term and something, most likely a photo, will pop up to explain what it means – which is nice.

Except if it’s any one of these 11 things. The hint is in the headline – we already told you they were terrible so be warned.

1. Elephantiasis

My Lord!!!

It’s an infection that most Nigerians think affects only the feet but actually can strike any part of the body.

2. Skin conditions

Huh?

You don’t even have to specify which one.

3. De-gloving

Oh dear

Remember when Hakeem Kae Kazim‘s character was chopping people’s arms off in Blood Diamond?

That’s all.

4. Lemon Party

OMG

 

It is NOT about Beyonce‘s Lemonade.

5. Two girls and one cup

Yuck!

This clip is old, yet still terrible enough to tramautise anyone stupid enough to search for it.

6. R Bud Dwyer

Ehwooh!

Most Nigerians will want their politicians to do what this American lawmaker did, not just on live television.

7. Child porn

What’s even your problem?

Do we need to say how disturbed anyone who does this is? You belong to jail forever. And hell fire after that.

8. Krokodil

How you’ll feel if you are stubborn enough to search it up

 

No, it’s not a misspelling of ‘crocodile’.

10. Bedbugs on your mattress

The sight of this search will agonise the rest of your existence

*insert crying emojis here*

10. Calculus Bridge

Horrible, horrible idea

Don’t feel bad if you played truant in your math class; this is not an algebra quiz.

11. Death Clock

Who sent me work ooo

This will simply tell you the day you will die. Who wants to know that?

Author : Jide Taiwo

Source : http://thenet.ng/2017/03/11-terrible-things-that-you-should-never-ever-search-online/

Categorized in Search Engine

FlipHTML5 is specially developed digital magazine software that not only enables people to read the digital publications, but it also let them develop many interactive contents. It is vital to note that this free digital magazine software download comes with an excellent range of features that helps people create the best multimedia contents as well as share them online.

FlipHTML5 allows users to read, follow and download all kinds of flipbooks which are hosted on the server of FlipHTML5. In addition to that, users can manage each and every book in their FlipHTML5 by using the flipbook app as well. The free and interactive magazine publishing platform brings user an excellent opportunity to develop an outstanding personal homepage on it, making it simple for individuals to know about them and find their digital publications.

 

Apart from that, it also allows users to collect all their digital publications automatically in an attractive bookcase that can be embedded into their website in a straightforward manner. Therefore, users get the capability to develop lots of bookcases as per their desire. When the readers love the embedded publications, they will immediately subscribe to the publications of the users and get the fresh updates automatically.

Plus, FlipHTML5 brings users a fantastic chance to share their digital publications easily on the most popular social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Google and much more. It is incredibly simpler to distribute all kinds of digital flipbook to lots of people. Many users think that the SEO just applied to blogs or websites. But in fact, the content of flipbook can also be listed by the search engines without facing any difficulties.

This free digital magazine software grants users to access different statistics such as publications read, homepage visits and more. Moreover, it helps users to know more useful details regarding their readers and make everyone happy. These are the most exceptional and amazing features of FlipHTML5 that attracts lots of users towards it and cheer them to use this free software for their digital publishing requirements.

It is a smart and fast way to develop interactive digital magazines easily for various platforms and share them online. For more details, please go to FlipHTML5 homepage.

About FlipHTML5

FlipHTML5 Software Co. Ltd. is a world leading provider of digital publishing software. For many years, They have focused on the research and development of outstanding range of e-publishing software for users around the world. Furthermore, they offer customized solutions for publishers in different industries.

Source : http://www.prunderground.com/fliphtml5-free-digital-magazine-software-download-online-for-2017/0085511/

Categorized in Online Research

Elasticsearch is an open source distributed full text search engine built on top of Apache Lucene. We recently connected with Gaurav Gupta, VP of Products for Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch to chat about how search is being used to significantly boost both user adoption and improve the bottom line.

He also shared with us what he believes are the three biggest trends in app development and how developers can take advantage.

 ADM: Can you explain how Elasticsearch is used in mobile app development?

Gupta: It helps to start from why Elasticsearch was created in the first place. In 2004, Shay Banon, CTO and Co-Founder of Elastic, began working on a project that become Elasticsearch at a time when AWS didn’t exist, mobile apps were in their infancy, few had even heard the “Big Data” phrase, and search was designed to make money (lots of it) from keywords, not as a tool for developers. What started as a ‘seemingly’ simple problem -- to build a recipe application for his wife attending Cordon Bleu cooking school -- uncovered the many intricate details and challenges behind  modern search. For example, how do you collect data from multiple sources? How do you combine both unstructured and structured data? How do you retrieve data in real-time across hundreds to thousands to millions of variables? How do you store and index the results and use the information to constantly refine those results? Shay saw the need to build a next-gen search engine with all the features we expect today—distributed computing, hybrid cloud support, ease of adoption, scalable, and designed with standard APIs on REST/JSON.

Quickly, because of the virility of open source, Shay learned that Elasticsearch could be used for more than “search”. After being downloaded more than 75 million times since 2012, Elasticsearch has become a de facto element in almost any type of application across multiple use cases for mission critical security systems, logging platforms, analytics, and more.

 

As the company behind the Elasticsearch project, Elastic today provides a set of open source products called the Elastic Stack -- Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats, and Logstash -- and commercial extensions called X-Pack for security, monitoring, alerting, reporting, and graphing. The Elastic Stack plays a key role in many popular mobile apps and sites we interact with on a daily basis from Dell, eBay, eTrade, Goldman Sachs, Groupon, Guardian, HotelTonight, Mozilla, MSN.com, The New York Times, Spotify, Uber, Verizon, Yelp, Wikipedia, and much more.

ADM: What are some of its common use cases for mobile app developers?

Gupta: Developers use Elasticsearch when they need to integrate real-time data, search, and analytics into their mobile apps.

 

A common mobile use case is to utilize Elasticsearch in mobile apps so they can react in real-time to user actions, create a more personalized user experience and lead to greater engagement and more effective monetization. Beyond search, another use case is using the Elastic Stack for logging and analytics, using Beats and Logstash to ship data into Elasticsearch and Kibana to visualize and analyze log data in real-time.

ADM: What are some examples of mobile apps that utilize Elasticsearch?

Gupta: Yelp's search and recommendation engine is powered by Elasticsearch to help 23 million monthly mobile app and 69 million monthly mobile web users find just what they want.

The New York Times put all 15 million of its articles published over the last 160 years into Elasticsearch, allowing readers to quickly access relevant information from any device and to see recommendations for other related content.

 

BlaBlaCar uses Elasticsearch to help 20 million members find ride shares in less than 200ms with its mobile app. Elasticsearch matches drivers and passengers based on any dimension (car type, amenities, favorite drivers, number of passengers, etc.) leading to more rides and revenues.

ADM: What are the key benefits of using search in the context of mobile app development?

Gupta: Speed. Getting to market and or into production as fast as possible is one of the biggest benefits. Depending on the use case, mobile apps will help drive new revenues or cost savings, and more and more their rollouts have visibility at the highest levels.

Innovation. Developers should be focused on developing showstopping or value-added features that drive new and expanded usage of mobile apps, not building and maintaining custom plugins and features

 

Scale to Millions, Billions of Documents. Consider the Wikipedia app. Although its ~5 million docs is not a large number relatively speaking, they cannot all be loaded on a mobile device. You have to rely on servers that expose a limited subset of the data more intelligently, and you have to give them the right subset quickly. Hierarchical navigation, like you use on your desktop, just doesn't work once you have millions or billions of items and thousands of levels of hierarchy. Search allows you to expand the accessible set of items quickly. Moreover, high-quality full-text search, good result-ranking (people often only look at the top 6-10 results of their search), and speedy results (so people don't sit around waiting) are especially important.

Scale to Millions of Users. Good mobile search is scalable both vertically and horizontally so lots of users can hit your search at the same time. It's fast not just with one active user searching, but with hundreds or thousands of concurrent searches.

ADM: How can adding search into the mobile app experience help drive monetization strategies, user adoption and personalization?

Gupta: Users today expect everything to be searchable instantly from a single search box. Great search used to be a differentiator. Now it’s essential. We think search has to do something more to drive real engagement that can unlock new revenue and user adoption opportunities.

Home Depot is doing some interesting things in this area. The company wants its search to understand the different relationships across more than a million products online to trigger cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. It provides suggestions of comparables and alternatives, automatically determining complementary products and limiting choice to reduce returns. It alerts the user of potential issues to avoid, e.g. “If you buy different brands of roofing shingles, you may void the 30-year warranty.” And it provides real-time updates of availability from your local store -- down to the aisle and bin -- or whether products are only available online.

ADM: Context has been one of the key areas of innovation with mobile apps. How can developers improve the context in their search results?

Gupta: The combination of context-rich search, including personalization, geolocation, filters and more, is natural and a must-have for so many mobile app developers. The same goes for any other data that can drive the optimal consumer user experience or monetization strategies, e.g. recommendations, ads, etc.

Gaurav Gupta

Gaurav Gupta is Vice President of Product
Management at Elastic

For example, context is vital if you're someone like HotelTonight. We want to think of search terms as being signals that provide color to a user’s intentions, so we can bias the results, filter them or both. In terms of geolocation, you don't want to try to offer a hotel in Boston to a user who is in San Francisco, unless you know the person is explicitly looking for it. In terms of personalization, you don't want to push the most expensive items in your inventory to a user who is looking for "low end" and "cheap".

ADM: What kinds of innovations suld mobile app developers look forward to seeing in search in the future?

Gupta: We see three big trends taking place in this area.

- First, one is the growing importance of “geo-aware” capability, especially in context of the search that's being performed. For instance, if I search for "suspension bridge" while standing next to the Golden Gate Bridge, my app could (or arguably should) use my geolocation context to influence results and bubble a result relating to the Golden Gate Bridge higher. Some apps like Uber and Yelp are built so much around this concept that you could argue a significant portion of their business model is dependent on it.

However, many apps haven't even started being geo-aware or are significantly underutilizing this information. We see geo-context-aware search being a really important element in mobile app development in the future. That puts pressure on search developers to have a system that easily incorporates geo information in the search and result ranking efficiently -- without engaging a separate geo database that may be out of sync. This is something Elastic has been spending a lot of time on, including geo in results and enabling the developer to bias results by distance from a geo point. We also have added the ability to even index complex shapes (think delivery zones, states, city borders, cellphone signal zones, etc) so you could answer mobile-important questions directly using a single search solution like "is the mobile user currently in my delivery zone?" or "is my trip going to leave me where I won't have cell coverage?" if you had this data available in your app.

- Second, mobile devices are taking on more and more sensors. We used to think about mobile as laptops and cellphones. Now we have tablets and more exotic wearable devices which have mixed inputs, all of which contribute to the search context. There's a lot of research going on to try to get computers and search to understand multimedia inputs like cameras and microphones. More immediately, we have "exotic" inputs like GPS/speed, heart rate, and temperature light sensors that are tied to our devices either directly or through wireless syncing like bluetooth. All of that data can be taken into consideration with something that might be considered a "search" today, and that creates both opportunities and challenges. The advantages are potentially massive. For example, if my device knows that it's hot outside and that I'm sweating when I search for "coffee," maybe it should bias results toward nearby places known for their cold brew, iced coffees and air conditioning. The obvious challenge is making sure the right information is properly secured and available only to the people you want. As a result, security will play a greater role than has ever existed in even the most locked down of search systems in the past.

 

- Third, mobile devices are taking on more and more form factors. These new form factors are things like smartwatches and activity trackers with tiny screens or screens that are completely absent and running on minimal hardware. The minimal hardware underscores what we said earlier: if you can't store all of Wikipedia on your smartphone, you're definitely not going to fit it on your smartwatch. Being able to offload that workload out of the device is really important. Which, in turn, creates a need for good API design in the search layer so that developers can access the result sets in the language of their choosing in the way of their choosing. Small or nonexistent screens require really good ranking algorithms. The expected result needs to be first or second so the user can take action right away.

Author:  Richard Harris

Source:  https://appdevelopermagazine.com

Categorized in Online Research

German researchers are working with search engines to create software that can detect the emotional status of users. The ultimate goal of the project is to more effectively identify users who are at risk of suicide.

The software will detect high-risk users and automatically provide information on where to find help.

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich said that search engine queries not only reveal a lot about the user’s interests and predilections, they also contain information relating to their mood or state of health.

In response to recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO), search engines like Google are already responding to search queries containing terms which imply that the user might be contemplating suicide by specifically drawing attention to counseling and other suicide prevention services.

“The Internet is playing an increasingly significant role in suicide prevention,” said Dr. Florian Arendt of LMU’s Department of Communication Science and Media Research (IfKW).

Indeed, several studies indicate that suicidal persons can be deterred from taking their lives when reminded of available help resources.

In collaboration with his colleague Dr. Sebastian Scherr at the IfKW, Arendt has carried out a study on how the algorithms that search engines use to parse queries might be modified so as to ensure that they more effectively target remedial information to those at risk.

The findings of the study recently appeared in the journal Health Communication.

 

In an earlier study, Arendt and Scherr showed that only 25 percent of the queries classified by Google as potentially suicide-related lead to the presentation of the Google “suicide prevention result” as recommended by the WHO.

“In other words, search engines are not optimally using their potential to help those who are at risk,” Scherr said. In their latest paper, the two researchers develop an approach which seeks to make better use of the context in which potentially suicide-related search terms appear.

Epidemiological studies repeatedly have shown that suicidal behavior is strongly influenced by environmental factors. This is reflected, for example, by the fact that suicide numbers peak at particular times; for example, on certain family holidays as well as on particular weekdays.

Taking the word “poisoning” as a representative “suicide-related” search term, Arendt and Scherr analyzed temporal patterns of its use in queries submitted to Google. Strikingly, they found that the fraction of queries containing the term peaked exactly on days on which the actual incidence of suicide was particularly high.

“This suggests that, on these peak days at least, the thresholds for the dispatch of information related to suicide prevention should be reset,” said Scherr.

The authors go on to propose that the corresponding algorithms should be regularly updated in response to new research findings, in order to take objective factors that increase the risk of suicide more effectively into account.

By modifying their settings accordingly, Google and other search engines could make an even greater contribution to suicide prevention, the researchers conclude.

“In this context, providers of search engines have a specific social responsibility,” said Arendt.

Source : psychcentral.com

Categorized in Online Research

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