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The info search operator is the latest Google search feature to have changed, possibly for the worse.

Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that they have changed the way the info command, a search operator that gives you more details about a site is displayed in search.

Previously, the info operator would give searchers the snippet plus additional links to find more operators that show links to the site, the Google cache link, similar sites to that site and more. But that whole section has been removed, and now Google is showing just the snippet.

Here is the before shot from a couple of years ago:


 Now what I see is only the snippet:


Google told us this is the new changed behavior for the command.

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

Categorized in Search Engine

We already know the iPhone will change significantly in 2017, but now a new report has shed light on another radical alteration - and it comes from one of Apple AAPL -0.59%’s largest manufacturing partners…

In short: the iPhone 8 will not look like any previous iPhone because it will not be the same shape as any previous iPhone.

Categorized in Others

With over 1.5 million apps available on the app store alone, it can be confusing to determine which ones you should download and which ones you should ignore. There’s just too much noise out there today.

Not only are there more apps than we can fathom, but there’s only so much time and mindspace we have to consume all of them. This is why it’s increasingly important to filter out the apps and websites that will have the biggest impact in our lives, with the least amount of effort.

This post is dedicated to delivering that value. Here are 17 apps and websites that can change your life.

1. Headspace

Need a peace of mind? Facing stress or anxiety? Or maybe there’s just not enough time of the day to smell the roses.

Headspace may be the answer for you busy bees. With only 10 minutes of your time, this app will guide you through a simple, yet powerful, meditation practice that is guaranteed to help you smile more, sleep better, and love better.

Don’t have 10 minutes?

You may need this more than you think. As the popular Zen proverb goes, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”

hero-get-headspace_1

2. Codeacademy

Coding has become so in demand these days that understanding the basics of coding — such as HTML, CSS, or Javascript — is as standard as knowing how to use Microsoft Powerpoint.

Lucky for us, there are great websites like Codeacademy that are 100% free and are able to guide you through each step of the way — even if you start from scratch. They include practical projects that you can build to apply what you’ve learned, and give you immediate feedback to correct your mistakes. Talk about immersion!

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3. Rype

Have you heard of Netflix? Well, think of this as Netflix for language lessons.

Rype offers unlimited one-on-one lessons (in Spanish only right now), live online classes, and premium video lessons, for a simple membership fee.

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If you’ve ever wanted to learn Spanish (I’m looking at those of you who live in hispanic-dominant cities) to take your career to the next level, build a deeper relationship with friends or family, or for travel purposes, this is your opportunity.

Booking a lesson takes less than 15 seconds, and lack of time will never be an excuse for you again. Take a look.

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If you want to dip your feet into the pool, Rype also offers free live Spanish classes that you can attend. Check out the upcoming live classes.

4. Uber

This app probably needs no introduction.

Despite some sketchy and questionable lawsuits that Uber has been through, you can’t question the convenience and value that this app provides. Whether it’s providing a side hustle for struggling artists and entrepreneurs, or saving us all a major hassle of calling a cab, Uber is a game changer.

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5. F.lux

If you’re like me, then you probably spend a majority of your day staring at a screen, whether it’s your desktop, tablet, or mobile. Eye strain is one of the most common problems we face, and F.lux has solved this issue.

This free widget adjusts the lighting of your screen, depending on the time you set in the preferences, so you’re no longer staring at a flashlight pointing towards your face. Say goodbye to tired-looking eyes!

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6. Spritz

When Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were asked what superpower would they want to have, in two different interviews, they both said the ability to read faster. While superpowers may not exist, Spritz can be the next best thing.

This app scans the web page you’re on and displays single words to you in a speed of your choosing. It takes some time to get used to, as our eyes are accustomed to scanning a page from left to right, but with a little bit of patience, you may have just discovered your first superpower! Test it out for yourself!

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7. TED

TED, which stands for Technology, Education, and Design, requires no introduction. This global event attracts some of the finest leaders across the world, from Tony Robbins, to Bill Gates, to North Korean refugees. Real people, heartfelt stories, and eye-opening insights are shared on stage.

The best part is that you don’t need to pay $5,000 for a ticket to watch these talks — they’re all available for you to see online for free.

bill-gates-ted-talk_41131

8. Scribd

Speaking of knowledge, if TED sparked your attention, then Scribd will be another popular choice.

Similar to Rype, Scribd is the Netflix for Ebooks. With a simple monthly payment, you can get read as many books as you would like in their library, where they have hundreds of thousands of books available.

scribd

9. CreativeLIVE

Want to learn from the best for free? CreativeLIVE is your answer.

This one-of-a-kind business model provides free live classes online that you can tune into, and if you want the full recording, you can purchase it for a one-time fee.

CreativeLIVE has attracted world-class entrepreneurs, Pulitzer Prize winners, and New York Times Bestselling authors to teach topics like photography, business, marketing, and more.

scott-robert-on-creative-live-1

10. Two Foods

As the saying goes, “we are what we eat.” Every day we make dozens of decisions on what we eat, and therefore what we become. We can decide to save money and eat healthier by waiting an additional 30 minutes to cook at home, or we can pass by the nearest McDonalds.

While some choices are easy when it comes to determining what’s healthier, some are hard. This is where Two Foods comes in.

This simple website allows you to type in the two different food you are debating, and they provide you with the nutritional information for each dish.

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11. Wunderlist

It seems that as the day goes by, the bigger our to-do list seems to get. Sometimes we don’t have the time to write it down or organize it into different categories.

Wunderlist solves this problem. This free app allows you to create multiple to-do lists and categorize your different to-do’s. For example, I have one for my business, my personal, my upcoming book, my goals, and more.

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12. Memrise

Memorizing things can be hard. Memrise provides an easy solution to make memorizing things fun through gamification.

For example, if you’re learning a new language, learning the most common words is key to picking up the language fast. You can use Memrise to quickly run through the words you want to learn and retain them through memorization techniques.

This can also apply to anything you want to remember, whether it’s the periodic table, parts of the human body, or countries.

13. Mint.com

One of the biggest tasks we tend to procrastinate on is our personal finances. Who’s with me?

Mint aims to solve this procrastination. By integrating our bank accounts into this website, it analyzes our spending, income, and budget in one place for us to see.

You can also set personal budgets for different categories — rent, travel, food, entertainment — and make sure you don’t go over it by tracking it all on Mint. My personal favorite is to be able to see all my spending for the month in a visual pie chart.

MintTrends

14. Kiva

So often, we think that we need to be amass large quantities of wealth before we give back. This couldn’t be further than the truth.

Most of us can spare a $25 loan to an entrepreneur who is making a difference across the world. And here’s the thing, it’s not a donation that you don’t get back, it’s a loan!

As described on Kiva’s website, here’s how it works:

  1. Choose a borrower
  2. Make a loan
  3. Get repaid
  4. Repeat!

kiva II large

15. Quora

Ever had a crazy question that you were curious to know the answer to?

Chances are, you can find the question and answer on Quora. Unlike most Q & A forums, Quora has managed to attract the best of the best, giving you real answers from real people.

For example, if you want to know what it’s like to work at Facebook, someone from Facebook can give you a direct answer. No BS, no fluff.

Quora has additional uses that go beyond than beating your curiousity. Entrepreneurs can use it to acquire potential customers, and anyone can use it to build an audience. What you do with the website is up to you!

quora-home-and-notifications-iphone-screenshots

16. Investopedia

Ask an average person on the street and they can tell you more about what’s happening with the Kardashians than they can tell you about their personal finances or what’s happening in the global markets.

Investopedia is the “Webster Dictionary for Investors.” Now you don’t need to be a stock investor to gain benefit from Investopedia. It can useful for general learning about finance, understanding how the markets work, and discovering how you can make or save more money at the end of the day.

investopedia

17. Epicurious

This is the last app on our list, and perhaps the “sexiest” one. Ask someone in the streets on the top 10 skills they look for in a partner, and most will answer “the ability to cook.”

Epicurious helps you become sexier with simple yet diverse recipe ideas on healthy dishes and meals you can cook from your own kitchen. Give it a go!

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Hopefully you’ve discovered something new on this list that you didn’t know before.

If you’ve gotten some value from this, please share this with your friends or family! It could change their lives.

Source:  lifehack.org

Categorized in Science & Tech

It had been a while since SEOs were abuzz with a possible Google update, but a big one hit just before Labor Day weekend, according to chatter amongst webmasters.

In fact, website owners may be looking at two separate updates since many site owners reported seeing big fluctuations in their organic and local search visibility.

Here are 6 things we know so far:

1. It’s Hot Out There

The update appears to have happened on or around September 1, the Thursday before Labor Day Weekend, according to Mozcast.com. If you are not familiar with Mozcast, it is a weather report detailing turbulence in Google’s algorithm on a day to day basis. The hotter and stormier a day is, the greater the change in Google’s rankings. And on September 1, the temperature was 108, and the weather was stormy. In fact, it was the hottest, stormiest day on Mozcast over at least the past 30 days.Moz Forecast September 1

2. Core Search + Local

The updates, according to data posted by webmasters at several online forums, like this, and reported by Search Engine Land appears to affect Google’s Core Search algorithm and also changes to the local search 3-pack.

3. Quality Content is Important

Google’s core web search algorithm, aka Hummingbird, includes a ton of different elements, so pinpointing what aspect of the algorithm has been updated. However, if it is part of core search, you can bet the focus is on quality content and a solid site architecture.

4. RankBrain Could Be Involved

Also, about a year ago, Google announced their rollout of RankBrain, a component of the algorithm that uses “RankBrain” an artificial intelligence system that uses machine learning to process search results and provide more relevant results to users. There is widespread speculation that Google’s latest suspected update involves Rankbrain. More on that later.

RankBrain Diagram

5. Not Penguin

Google loosely confirmed that there was an update, but that it did not involve the Penguin algorithm – the system Google uses to evaluate a website’s links, both internally and from third party sources.Sidenote: Google announced on September 7th that they are working on the Penguin launch announcement. It’s been roughly one year and ten months since the last Penguin update in October 2014.

6. Spam Clean-Up

Most of the impact on local search results appears to have affected spammy results. Google Maps, historically, has been plagued by spam. A niche that had exploited Google Maps was the locksmith industry, with many site owners creating fictitious listings in an effort to generate phone calls and web traffic for more website searches in a geographic area without having physical locations.

There were a ton of complaints about these types of practices, but Google had been slow in cleaning up the data. The two images below show the difference for a “locksmith” related search near Times Square. The image on the left was from 2009 (image courtesy of blumenthals.com), when this type of spam was widespread. The image on the right is for what is currently in Google Maps.

Google Maps location spam

The Impact on You

The impact on you will be largely unnoticeable right now. Organic traffic and rankings for our own clients was reviewed on September 5 & 6, the Tuesday and Wednesday following the update. No changes, significant or otherwise, have been seen.

However, what makes this update, and many other Google updates so difficult to analyze is that they usually roll out an update just prior to a weekend. Additionally, because it takes time – sometimes weeks to months – for a rollout to complete, the full effects are not immediately known. Rest assured, however, that we will continue to monitor our clients traffic and rankings and react accordingly if and when the need arises.

So, What About RankBrain?

If this update to the core search algorithm did involve RankBrain, then Google could be placing more emphasis on search results that have poor user engagement and experience metrics. Low time on site, high bounce rates and poor click-through rates are all signals that often convey that the search query used or suggested by Big G did not match the search intent.

Think about this: 

Rank Brain is sophisticated enough to learn what people are looking for when they don’t search specifically for what they are looking for. It can do this because it has so much data, and it is confident it can effectively provide the answer the searcher is looking for, even if they don’t use the correct question. And if it is truly learning, then the quality of the results should be improving over time.

An example of this is a query would be: “who won the 1994 World Series?” The correct answer is that there was NO World Series in 1994, due to an ongoing strike by the Major League Baseball Players Association. Google is confident in the answer to this, so they provide the answer right in search results. Varying the keyword slightly (“who lost 1994 World Series”, “was there a 1994 world series”) results essentially the same search results.

Who won the 1994 world series?

Perhaps with this most recent update, Google has determined that they can rely on RankBrain more, and the most recent changes in search results are a reflection of that. Changes in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are difficult to attribute to any one element, so time, and hopefully an update from Google will tell.

What We’re Watching For

Over the next few weeks, we will be looking for drops in organic traffic across our clients’ sites that can be attributed to drops in organic and local search visibility.

If an organic drop is seen, you must determine if those affected pages are properly optimized and if there is enough variation in the keywords the page is targeting. Also, focus on improving the quality of content for those underperforming pages. Plan on looking at those engagement and experience metrics that Google may be evaluating to determine if a page does not match the searcher’s intent.

If a drop in local search results is seen, it will be important to audit all name, address, phone (NAP) citations for glaring discrepancies. Any issues for those locations affected by the update should be improved. Additionally, if a site has created local pages, those pages should be analyzed from a quality perspective as thin or over-optimized pages likely will not perform well.

Finally, in a few weeks, as this update has matured, expect more site owners and marketers to share their perspective; this information could inform ongoing strategy. One thing is fairly certain, Google will continue their focus on displaying organic results they believe are the best quality and satisfy user intent.

Source : http://www.verticalmeasures.com/

Categorized in Science & Tech

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