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 Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz - Contributed by Member: Barbara Larson

Data nuts, here is your chance to get your data and charts looking pretty in the Google search results snippets.

Google has announced support for datasets markup schema in the Google search results. This makes it possible for searchers to better visualize data represented on a web page directly in Google’s search results.

Google explained that “news organizations that publish data in the form of tables can add additional structured data to make the dataset parts of the page easier to identify for use in relevant Search features.” Google added, “News organizations add the structured data to their existing HTML of a page, which means that news organizations can still control how their tables are presented to readers.”

 

Here is what it looks like, with the markup version on the right:

Google’s developer site explains this is a “pilot” release of this markup. Google wrote:

Datasets are easier to find when you provide supporting information such as their name, description, creator and distribution formats are provided as structured data. Google’s approach to dataset discovery makes use of schema.org and other metadata standards that can be added to pages that describe datasets. The purpose of this markup is to improve discovery of datasets from fields such as life sciences, social sciences, machine learning, civic and government data, and more.

Around two years ago, Google first announced this as Science datasets in the search. Google is now calling them simply “Dataset” and expanding it beyond the science community to any data-driven agency.

Here are some examples of what can qualify as a dataset:

  • A table or a CSV file with some data.
  • An organized collection of tables.
  • A file in a proprietary format that contains data.
  • A collection of files that together constitute some meaningful dataset.
  • A structured object with data in some other format that you might want to
    load into a special tool for processing.
  • Images capturing data.
  • Files relating to machine learning, such as trained parameters or neural network structure definitions.
  • Anything that looks like a dataset to you.

Categorized in Search Engine

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz - Contributed by Member: Wushe Zhiyang

Google image search on desktop tests tiled image layout with titles and URLs beneath the snippets.

Google Image Search for desktop is testing a user interface and design that makes it more aligned with the mobile image search layout that launched back in March of this year. The desktop version in this test shows the tiled image layout in this white interface, it also shows the titles and URLs beneath each image search result snippet.

 

Here is a screenshot of the test, which I grabbed from a Google support forum

This brings it more in line with the mobile version of the image search results on Google. Here is a screenshot from my iPhone this morning:

Here is what the current design looks like, without the tiled design and titles and URLs:

Google is often testing new user interfaces, but it does make sense that it would align the desktop and mobile interfaces for image search.

Categorized in Search Engine

Source: This article was published searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern - Contributed by Member: William A. Woods

The rate at which Google shows its “People Also Ask” search suggestions, aka “Related Questions”, jumped by 34% this week.

According to data from Moz, Google’s Related Questions are now shown 43% of the time.

Dr. Pete Meyers@dr_pete

Big increase (+34%) in Related Questions ("People Also Ask") on Google SERPs last night. They're on a whopping 43% of all SERPs in the MozCast 10K data set. This number rises and falls, of course, but I've hand-checked and confirmed the increase--

To put that in a different perspective — one out of every two or three searches will now display “People Also Ask” suggestions.

 

Putting it yet another way — Related Questions are now the fourth most commonly displayed Google search feature out of all the features tracked by Moz.

As you can see in the image above, Related Questions are now shown almost as frequently as AdWords.

Just so we’re all on the same page, this feature is not the same as the “People Also Search For” suggestion box. Although the wording is similar, they are two distinctly different features.

 

This data strictly applies to the “People Also Ask” suggestion box, as seen in the example below.

What makes this feature unique is that each suggestion has a drop-down button that can be clicked on to reveal a search snippet.

Therein lies the opportunity for SEOs and site owners. With this feature now appearing more regularly, it gives content creators the opportunity to drive traffic by targeting related terms.

For example — instead of going after a highly competitive query with a new piece of content, you might want to consider other ways that question might be typed into Google.

A related question could be less competitive, giving you the opportunity to gain exposure by possibly appearing in the “People also ask” suggestions.

Since this feature usually appears near the top of the first page, ranking for a related questions suggestion could be highly valuable.

Categorized in Search Engine

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz - Contributed by Member: Deborah Tannen

Forget that blue Google search results interface for the local panel -- here is a new fresh look

Google is now rolling out a new look for the local panel in the mobile search results. The new look goes from the blue interface with text buttons to a white interface with rounded buttons. Here is the new look you might be able to see now when you search for a local business on your smartphone:


Here is what this looked like the other day, in the blue interface:

 


Google has been testing this new interface on and off since January of this year.

If you do not see the new interface now, it might require a bit more time for it to fully roll out.

We have emailed Google for a comment and will update this story when we receive one.

Categorized in Search Engine

Source: This article was published itweb.co.za - Contributed by Member: Anthony Frank

The kids of today are comfortable in the digital space. They use digital diaries and textbooks at school, communicate via instant messaging, and play games on mobile devices.

However, as much as the Internet is an incredible resource, access to it can be dangerous for children, and parents who want their child to spend time online safely and productively, need to understand the basic concepts of digital security and the associated threats and be able to explain them to their children.

With this in mind, Kaspersky Lab compiles an annual report, based on statistics received from its solutions and modules with child protection features, which examines the online activities of children around the world.

 

Video content

According to the report, globally, video content made up 17% of Internet searches. Although many videos watched as a result of these searches may be harmless, it is still possible for children to accidentally end up watching videos that contain harmful or inappropriate content.

The report presents search results on the ten most-popular languages for the last six months. The data shows that the 'video and audio' category, which covers requests related to any video content, streaming services, video bloggers, series, and movies, are the most regularly 'Googled', and make up 17% of the total requests.

Second and third places go to translation (14%) and communication (10%) Web sites respectively. Gaming Websites sit in fourth place, generating only 9% of the total search requests.

Harnessing smart wearables to spy on owners

Kaspersky Lab has also noted a clear language difference for search requests. "For example, video and music Web sites are typically searched for in English, which can be explained by the fact that the majority of movies, TV series and musical groups have English names. Spanish-speaking kids carry out more requests for translation sites, while communication services are mostly searched for in Russian."

Chinese-speaking children look for education services, while French kids are more interested in sport and games Web sites. German children dominate in the "shopping" category, Japanese kids search for Anime, and the highest number of search requests for pornography are in Arabic.

 

Anna Larkina, the Web-content analysis expert at Kaspersky Lab, says children around the world have varying interests and online behaviors, but what links them all is their need to be protected online from potentially harmful content.

"Children looking for animated content could accidentally open a porn video. Or they could start searching for innocent videos and unintentionally end up on Web sites containing violent content, both of which could have a long-term impact on their impressionable and vulnerable minds," she says.

A local view

In addition to analyzing searches, the report also delves into the types of Web sites children visit, or attempt to visit, which contain potentially harmful content that falls under one of the 14 pre-set categories, which cover Internet communication sites, adult content, narcotics, computer games, gambling and many others.

The data revealed that in South Africa, communication sites (such as social media, messengers, or e-mails) were the most popular (69%) of pages visited.

However, the percentage for this category is dropping each year, as mobile devices play an increasingly bigger role in children's online activities.

The second most popular category of Web sites visited in SA is 'software, audio, and video', accounting for 17%. Websites with this content have become significantly more popular since last year when it was only the fifth most popular category globally at 6%.

Others in the top four are electronic commerce (4.2%) and alcohol, tobacco, and Web sites about narcotics (3.9%), which is a new addition compared to this time last year.

Education

Irrespective of what children are doing online, it is important for parents not to leave their children's digital activities unattended, says Larkina.

"While it is important to trust your children and educate them about how to behave safely online, even your good advice cannot protect them from something unexpectedly showing up on the screen. That's why advanced security solutions are key to ensuring children have positive online experiences, rather than harmful ones," she concludes.

Categorized in Internet Privacy

 Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz - Contributed by Member: Carol R. Venuti

Time spent increasing meta descriptions for the longer Google search results snippets may have been wasted.

Google has confirmed that only about five months after increasing the search results snippets, it has now decreased the length of these snippets. Danny Sullivan of Google wrote, “Our search snippets are now shorter on average than in recent weeks.” He added that they are now “… slightly longer than before a change we made last December.”

Google told Search Engine Land in December that writing meta descriptions don’t change with longer search snippets, telling webmasters back then that there is “no need for publishers to suddenly expand their meta description tags.”

 

Sullivan said, “There is no fixed length for snippets. Length varies based on what our systems deem to be most useful. He added Google will not state a new maximum length for the snippets because the snippets are generated dynamically.

RankRanger’s tracker tool puts the new average length of the description snippet field on the desktop at around 160 characters, down from around 300+ characters

… while mobile characters for the search results snippets are now down to an average of 130 characters:


Here is Danny Sullivan’s confirmation:

tweet
If you went ahead and already lengthened your meta descriptions, should you go back and shorten them now? Google’s advice is to not focus too much on these, as many of the snippets Google chooses are dynamic anyway and not pulled from your meta descriptions. In fact, a recent study conducted by Yoast showed most of the snippets Google shows are not from the meta description, but rather they are from the content on your web pages.
Categorized in Search Engine

Use Facebook Advanced Search to Find All Kinds of Things

A search for people who like cats on Facebook

Facebook advanced search is more a concept than a function. The world's largest social network had a standalone advanced search feature in the early days of its history but released a new service called Graph Search in early 2013 that essentially replaces the older advanced search features with a powerful new search engine.

To do an advanced search on Facebook, it's best to sign up for the graph search feature if you haven't already activated it and start learning how it works.

Our "Facebook Search Guide - Intro to Graph Search" provides an overview of how it works and the types of content you can look for and find with the so-called Graph Search. This article provides screenshots and explanations of more advanced query types and refinement options.

Reviewing the Basics

To start searching, remember you can just click on the Facebook logo or your name in the upper left corner and type any query. You can search for people, places and things matching all kinds of different traits or criteria, including geography, dates and clicks on the "like" button.

 

Two general filters you likely will use are "friends" and "like," since those refer to friend connections and use of the "like" button throughout Facebook.

Also remember, it's smart to pay attention to the phrasing suggestions Facebook presents in a drop-down list whenever you start typing a query. OK, that's it for basics, ready to move on?

Query Phrasing Examples

Let's start with a general query not restricted to friends. You might type, "people who live in Chicago, Illinois and are single and like cats."

When I did this, the query turned up more than 1,000 people who matched the search, so Facebook presented two suggested phrasings that sought clarification on whether I meant "cats" as an animal or "cats" as a business. Those suggestions are shown in the image above.

When I specified the "animal" type of cats, Facebook presented a list of matching users, with a vertical stack of profile photos of people who live in Chicago and have clicked the like button on cat photos.

Facebook also asked if I wanted to see people who had liked "Cats & Dogs," the movie. And if I clicked the "see more" button, it offered "West Chicago" as a refinement option.

Click the "NEXT" button below to see the list of additional filters that Facebook typically shows for people searches like this one.

Facebook people search filter

Advanced Search Filters for Chicago Cat Lovers

Running an advanced Facebook search like "people who live in Chicago, Illinois and are single and like cats" can produce so many results that you'll have to refine the query if you want to see any meaningful results.

The image above shows the typical people search filter box that is available on the results page for any query involving people. I've found that using this box is the best way to narrow a Facebook people search.

 

As you can see, the box allows you to refine Facebook people search results by gender, employer, hometown, employer and so forth.

Each of those filters has additional sub-categories you can choose. For example, under "friends," you can select one of these:

  • My close friends
  • My friends
  • Friends of my friends
  • Not my friends
  • Friends of Joe SixPack (substitute any friend of yours for Joe)

Okay, let's look at a totally different example, this one involving Paula Deen and restaurants. It will allow us to explore the "places" bucket of content and the "like" button.

Click "NEXT" for a new example.

Facebook restaurant search

OK, let's try an advanced Facebook search involving restaurants. Say you're a Paula Deen fan and you start typing a query that says something general: "restaurants liked by people who like Paula Deen..."

Facebook may ask you to be more precise, since there are so many restaurants liked by Paula Deen fans.

It may suggest you look at Savannah, Georgia restaurants, in Deen territory. It also will likely offer suggestions for types of restaurant queries that it can handle, as shown in the image above. It may rank them by popularity, such as Asian, American, Mexican and so forth.

If you typed a more general phrase, leaving out a connector such as "by," and simply said "restaurants like friends Paula Deen," it would offer more precise versions of that query, such as restaurants...

  • liked by my friends who like Paula Deen (public figure)
  • liked by friends OF Paula Deen (person)
  • Cafes liked by my friends who like Paula Deen

You get the idea.

Next, let's explore more general searches for based on geography, religion and political views. click "Next" below to see examples.

Facebook Graph search makes it easy to do a search by city, because one powerful search parameter for people on the social network involves geography.

You can find Facebook friends by city using either the city where they currently live or their hometown. Both are examples of structured data Facebook stores about users, making it easy to search.

You can also do a Facebook search by city for people you don't know, and based on the privacy settings of each individual, see a list of people living in particular cities who use Facebook that you are not friends with.

 

I started with a general search on "People who live in Los Angeles, California" and it helpfully told me: "Your results include people who've lived in Los Angeles, California at any time. you may want to limit your search to Current Los Angeles, California residents." As I phrased the question different ways, it also asked if I wanted people who live IN L.A. or people who live NEAR L.A.

The "see more" button prompted me to check for "my friends" who live in L.A. I clicked that option, and it spit out a list of my 14 friends who happen to currently live in or near Los Angeles, along with a list below that of friends of friends who live there.

Advanced Facebook People Search Filters

The filter box for refining "people search results" even further is accessible through a small rectangular tab or label on the right, usually overlaid on the visual search results. What the label says varies with the type of search; in this case it said "14 Friends" since that's how many matches I had. But it usually has three tiny stacked, horizontal bars. When you click on that little label, the filter box opens up with many more options for narrowing(or broadening) your search.

The people filter offers all kinds of basic and advanced refinements. They are classified under headings such as "Relationships & Family, Work and Education, Likes and Interest, Photos and Videos," and so forth.

Sort People by Political or Religious Views?

These filters are very granular, and some are potentially controversial. They allow you, for example, to sort people by their age range, religious views (Buddhist? Catholic? Christian? Hindu? Jewish? Muslim? Protestant), and political views (Conservative? Democrat? Green? Liberal? Libertarian? Republican?) You can even specify what languages they speak. Some filters get into highly personal areas and, therefore, have privacy implications that worry many people.

The image above, for example, shows the religious views options in the search filter box. It's similar to the political views box.

The political views filter, along with the ability to search on who "liked" Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, allowed me to easily sort my friends into those favoring the Democratic or Republican party, at least around the time of the 2012 election. That was a new thing for me--I'd never seen anything like that before--a bunch of profile pictures of my friends sorted by political views.

Extend Your Search in Other Ways

In my L.A. people search, the "extend this search" area at the bottom of the filter box suggested that I might want to expand my search to see "photos of these people," or "these people's friends," or "places where they've worked."

A remarkable variety of search options, indeed. Click "Next" to see more search examples, this time involving apps and who uses them.

Finding Facebook Photos Lots of Friends Like or Commented On

Facebook photo search filters

One of my favorite Facebook searches is quite simple: "Photos I have liked."

Despite all the time I've spent on Facebook, I've actually clicked the "Like" button on just under 100 pictures. They obviously moved me, so it was fun going back and looking at them all again.

The "refine this search" button allowed me to also change my query easily to see all the photos that my friends have liked (provided their privacy settings allowed that.) That, of course, turned up the volume on the results, producing more than 1,000 photos.

 

Facebook's search results counter seems to stop at 1,000; when your results exceed that amount, it won't tell you how many more there are, just that there are more than 1,000. At least, that's what happened in all my trials.

You can do a lot of more specific photo searches similar to the example shown above, in which I searched for photos my friends took at zoos and aquariums. The background imagery shows photos that matched my query, and the filter box popped up on the right after I clicked the little horizontal bars previously mentioned.

I had fun playing around with this one using the filter box (shown on the right), especially using the "commented on" and "liked" filters to see which of my friends had commented and what they said.

(More examples of photo searches are available in our Introduction to Facebook Searching. Also, see our basic Facebook Photos Guide for general info on using pictures on the social network.)

Click "Next" below to see ways you can search for Facebook apps used by your friends.

Facebook Apps Your Friends Use

Facebook apps friends

Another interesting Facebook search you can run is "Apps my friends use."

Facebook's advanced search will spit out a list of apps with their icons in order of popularity with your friends, or which ones are most used by your pals.

Beneath the name of each app, it will list the names of a few friends who use it, along with the total number of your friends who use it.

Beneath the names of your pal, it will show a couple of other links allowing you to run additional, related searches. They are outlined in red in the image above.

Clicking "People" will produce a list of a bunch more people who use that app, not necessarily limited to your friends. This one is kind of creepy, but if you have not restricted the privacy settings for your use of this particular app, you could show up in the search results to anyone running a search like this.

Clicking "similar" is less creepy and more useful; it will show a list of other apps similar to that one.

Also fun is using Graph Search to find Facebook apps friends use. Facebook app search is a powerful capability of the new search engine. Here are a few specific queries Facebook may suggest relating to apps if you type apps and friends into the search bar, besides the most obvious one, "apps my friends use":

  • Apps my friends use that I use
  • Apps used by my friends who joined X (where X is a group you belong to)
  • Sports apps my friends use
  • Books apps my friends use
  • Apps my friends who live nearby use
  • Movies apps my friends use

As always, the suggested searches likely will vary based on your personal connections, likes, and interests on Facebook.

That's it for this tutorial. Now go explore the blue search bar. Have fun, and try not to get too creeped out.

 Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Leslie Walker

Categorized in Search Engine

The fake news problem is anything but fake. It has flooded all social media platforms and remains an issue that many still believe shaped the results of the 2016 American election. Well, turns out that Microsoft’s Bing also had a fake news problem. One YouTube channel gamed the Microsoft Search engine and flooded it with hoaxes and fake news videos (via The Verge.)

The problem at heart in the situation happened to be with the Bing autofill feature. For example, when a user clicks on the News section of Bing, the search bar can be auto-filled with a “Top Stories” suggestion. After clicking through, the same “top stories” query will then follow the user and autofill through other sections of the search engine, including Maps, Images, and more importantly, videos.

 

It is the videos section where “Top Stories” goes a bit rogue and linked users to fake news videos from the “Top Stories Today” YouTube channel. According to The Verge, examples of fake videos from the channel included “Breaking: Germany demands immediate prosecution of Obama” and “Russian is about to take out Obama permanently.” These videos reportedly racked up 83.6 million views, and are obviously aimed to promote Donald Trump and criticize Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The fake news videos in Bing (Image via The Verge)

Microsoft has since removed this YouTube channel from the search results, and at the time of writing, we were unable to find these videos via a “Top Stories” query in Bing Videos. Instead, we were linked to videos to the USA Today YouTube channel, a much more reliable source.  Searches for “Top News today,” though, still linked us to fake news videos. Microsoft provided the following statement about this issue:

“As soon as we become aware of this type of content, we take action to remove it from news search results, which we are doing in this case.”

Bing previously received a Fact Check label feature to help users identify fake news, but the label only applied to web searches and not videos. Safe to say that Microsoft may have learned a lesson in this instance. Do you think that Bing needs more fact checking features? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 Source: This article was published onmsft.com By ARIF BACCHUS

Categorized in Search Engine

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

Categorized in Search Engine

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

Categorized in Search Engine
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