Google hopes to quickly make its virtual reality platform Daydream a mass-market product. "Our intention is to operate at Android scale, meaning hundreds of millions of users," senior product manager Brahim Elbouchikhi said at a session on monetizing Daydream apps at the Google I/O developers conference. "In a couple of years, we will have hundreds of millions of users on Daydream devices." And in order to keep those users entertained, Google wants app developers to build experiences that are long, highly interactive, and devoid of "freemium" mechanics that could break users' concentration.

Daydream was first announced yesterday, and Google launched a site for virtual reality developers this morning, so they can get started before the first Daydream-ready phones start rolling out this fall. The site covers creators of games and apps for both Daydream and Cardboard, the low-end VR platform that Google currently operates. But based on messaging at I/O, the overlap between those categories could be minimal. "Cardboard apps were about fun, snackable, short experiences, largely non-interactive," said Elbouchikhi. "Daydream apps are quite the opposite. They're about immersive content, longform, highly interactive." He cited research that suggested mobile VR users favor once-a-day sessions of 30 minutes or longer, in the comfort of their home — "nobody is wearing these headsets in the street, FYI."

Google hopes to quickly make its virtual reality platform Daydream a mass-market product. "Our intention is to operate at Android scale, meaning hundreds of millions of users," senior product manager Brahim Elbouchikhi said at a session on monetizing Daydream apps at the Google I/O developers conference. "In a couple of years, we will have hundreds of millions of users on Daydream devices." And in order to keep those users entertained, Google wants app developers to build experiences that are long, highly interactive, and devoid of "freemium" mechanics that could break users' concentration.

Daydream was first announced yesterday, and Google launched a site for virtual reality developers this morning, so they can get started before the first Daydream-ready phones start rolling out this fall. The site covers creators of games and apps for both Daydream and Cardboard, the low-end VR platform that Google currently operates. But based on messaging at I/O, the overlap between those categories could be minimal. "Cardboard apps were about fun, snackable, short experiences, largely non-interactive," said Elbouchikhi. "Daydream apps are quite the opposite. They're about immersive content, longform, highly interactive." He cited research that suggested mobile VR users favor once-a-day sessions of 30 minutes or longer, in the comfort of their home — "nobody is wearing these headsets in the street, FYI."


Elbouchikhi called out some of the bad habits that VR content can slip into, like substituting novelty for real interactivity or substance. "It's easy and tempting to say 'Oh, I'm just going to drop someone somewhere amazing," he said. "That is a great experience for 30 seconds. And then as soon as you achieve presence, you say, what do I want to do?" He also cautioned against adopting some strategies that have worked outside VR, like making users stop an experience to pay for microtransactions. "You're not going to want to have free-to-play mechanics, energy mechanics, time based mechanics. it's not going to work," he said. The Play Store will support in-app purchases, but he suggested that developers use this to offer a demo version of experiences for free, then let interested players buy full access once they're inside.

In Daydream, interactivity also means using the included motion-control remote, which all developers will be required to do. Google wants to do away with the standard method of interacting with Cardboard apps: staring at an option and selecting it by waiting or clicking a button. Instead, developers should treat the remote like a laser pointer, taking advantage of its internal sensors. "If you're bringing an app over from Cardboard, just using the controller as a clicker does not count as taking advantage of the controller," said VR design team member Alex Faaborg.

The session also impressed on developers that they have a responsibility to welcome people to a new medium, both by creating high-quality work and by helping ease them into the language of VR with things like experience intensity ratings. Among other things, developers should avoid, say, promising a relaxing beach experience and then attacking users with zombies, said Faaborg. "We don't want blatant surprises."

Source:  http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/19/11716154/google-daydream-android-vr-developers-guidelines

Categorized in Search Engine

We might be using the “Deep Web” every day without calling it this way or even being aware of its existence. Simply filling in a web form enables us to access the Deep Web and retrieve data from a variety of databases, some of which are free, subscription-based or have major access costs attached. Any online data used for business purposes (not necessarily the same purposes for which it has been collected) can be risky, but not knowing what data there is out there about you and your company represents a significantly higher threat. On the other hand, a thorough, Deep Web search can greatly benefit companies researching competitors, potential employees, customers and business trends.

There are various types of data that can be accessed using intermediate technical skills and a few Deep Web Figure 1 - Layers of the Webresources: information customers share about the organisation and its products, information employees share about their jobs, products they are working on and company strategy/policies. More importantly, data aggregated from publicly-available databases can reveal costly, confidential information.

In terms of resources, an initial Deep Web exploration does not imply major investment or require a team of highly skilled IT developers. Freely available tools such as DWT’s Biznar represent an excellent starting point to explore a variety of authoritative business databases for a real-time search. Other subject-specific publicly available search portals include Mednar for medical researchers or WorldWideScience.org for scientific information. This kind of exploration can be learnt and done in-house with minimum resources and can save your company many hours of online searching using traditional search engines. For on-demand searches, constant monitoring of specific databases and alerts, commercial applications such as those powered by Explorit Everywhere! can facilitate the use of a targeted Deep Web search strategy, advise on the content that needs monitoring and provide a unified access point to all the necessary data sources.

Going back to the types of data that might be made visible through Deep Web resources without its owner being aware, currently, intellectual property on the Deep Web is a matter under scrutiny. While traditional search engines might only take into account the big picture, trying to match your search terms in the title, abstract and key words; Deep Web tools can perform fully comprehensive searches. Apart from monitoring your own patents, inventions and discoveries online, this could save your company money by preventing you from becoming a litigation target after mistakenly infringing on other company’s intellectual property rights.

The ubiquitous availability of social media applications and people’s urge to share data have led to extensive concerns in terms of how much data about your company are your employees and customers disclosing. Social media enables the creation of enormous amounts of data which is not easily to search and interpret. Most of this data is stored in dynamical databases which are not indexed by traditional Surface Web search engines. This means that they are part of the Deep Web and sometimes only protected by the individual’s privacy settings. With the right Deep Web tools, anyone can monitor the details that customers share about the products, purchasing experience and the customer’s general attitude towards the organisation. More than monitoring various data sources in isolation, aggregating them can reveal new information or give a renewed meaning to the existing (most of the time, publicly-available) one. Cautiousness is advised when aggregating data that has been collected by another organisation as its processing might breach data protection regulation

On the negative side of things, sheltered by a fake username and encouraged by a number of followers, anyone can express an opinion about the organisation on social media which is going to demand a sum of resources to trace, challenge or prove wrong. More dangerously, the ease of creating and sharing content challenges the employees’ obligation to comply with the company’s non-disclosure policies, making social media sites an ideal source of data about company difficulties, new products or future strategy. Constant monitoring and awareness of these breaches can help the company reinforce policies and put in place contingency plans in order to contain the damages.

Even if you feel that traditional online research tools provide you with all the data necessary to your business activities, Deep Web datasources can no longer be ignored. The Deep Web, and its renowned subset, the Dark Web, is significantly larger compared to the Surface Web and due to its vastness, its content cannot always be monitored or regulated. Being aware of its existence and acquiring technology to monitor your presence and the data about you on it, or to monitor your competitors, might prove beneficial in a market where competitive intelligence is a critical component to success.

Source:  http://www.deepwebtech.com/2015/09/deep-web-for-enterprises-what-you-can-learn-about-competitors-and-customers-and-vice-versa/

Categorized in Deep Web

As Google increasingly incorporates direct answers and other types of featured snippets into search results pages, columnist Andrew Shotland points out that businesses may want to get smarter about marking up their pages.

I have been noticing a lot of Google Answer Boxes showing up for queries with local intent these days. My recent post, Are You Doing Local Answers SEO? pointed out this fantastic result HomeAdvisor is getting for “replace furnace” queries:

Replace Your Damn Furnace Already

When clients get these local answer boxes, they often perform significantly better than regular #1 organic listings. In our opinion, these seem to be driven primarily by the following factors:

Domain/page authority

Text that appears to answer the query
Easy-to-understand page structures (broken up into sections that target specific queries, tables, prices and so on). Schema is not necessary here, but it helps.
For more of a deep dive on how these work, see Mark Traphagen’s excellent summary of last year’s SMX West panel on The Growth of Answers SEO.

But I am not here to talk about how great answer boxes are. I am here to talk about this result that recently popped up for “university of illinois apartments”:

Google Answer Boxes Gone Wild

At first glance, you might think this was a basic list of apartments for rent near the university. But if you look closer at the grid of data, you will see that it looks more like part of a calendar, which is pretty useless.

Many searchers may look past this and just click on the link, but this got me thinking that I really don’t want Google controlling what parts of my site get shown in the SERPs, particularly when it looks more like a Lack of Knowledge Box.

Think about if you had some unsavory user comments on the page that appeared in the answer box. Not only would this be a useless result, but it also might be damaging to your brand. The apartments result might make some searchers think ApartmentFinder is a bad site. So what went wrong here?

If you examine the ApartmentFinder URL in the answer box, you’ll notice that it doesn’t display any calendar in the UI. But if you search the code for “calendar,” you’ll see:

Calendar Code

This shows that there is some kind of calendaring app in a contact form.

As you can see from the next screen shot, the first Contact button that appears on the page is fairly close to the h1 that reads, “81 apartments for rent near the University of Illinois”:

Calendar Contact

And if you click on the Contact button, you get a pop-up form with a calendar:

Calendar Pop Up

It seems that Google is:

assuming the query deserves a more complex list of results than the standard SERP;
looking for the data closest to the strongest instance of the query text on the page (the h1); and
taking the first thing that looks like a table of data and putting it on the SERP. (I am sure it’s more complicated than that, but not too sure.)

So what can you do to avoid this?

Mark up your data with schema.org markup. This should give you the best chance of avoiding Google getting your info wrong. (On that note, the Schema.org site itself is kind of a drag to use. Try Google’s own site on Structured Data. It has all of the schema stuff you’ll need, plus some stuff that isn’t on Schema.org.)
Make sure the content you want to appear in answer boxes is closest to the on-page text that has the strongest match for the query — often the h1, but this could be a subheading, as well. If possible, make multiple subheadings that target different queries (e.g., “cheap apartments for rent,” “pet friendly apartments,” and so on) that might be the best results. For more on why this might be important, check out Dave Davies’ great take on the recent presentation from SMX West on how Google works by Google’s Paul Haahr. And while you’re at it, Rae Hoffman’s take on it is pretty great, too.
Put your content in a simple table on the page, or at least make it easy for Google to build its own. The fact that ApartmentFinder doesn’t mark any of its listings on that page with what type of listing it is makes it hard for Google to show a table of, say, one-bedroom apartments for rent at specific prices. Just adding “1BR” in text on each one-bedroom result may be enough to fix the problem.

Figuring out how to impact the answer box displays is akin to what we all went through trying to figure out how to influence what shows up for titles, descriptions and rich snippets. It can take a bit of trial and error, but when it works, it can be the answer to your SEO prayers.

Source:  http://searchengineland.com/dont-trust-google-structure-local-data-246585

Categorized in Search Engine

It is clear that search has not changed much in the past 20 years. Back in the 1990s, enterprise search first included indexing multiple, heterogeneous data sets into a single search experience, with full document-level security, using search engines and this pretty much sums up the situation today.

A survey conducted by SearchYourCloud, a search and security company, revealed that a third of respondents spend between five and 25 minutes searching every time they want to find a document, while only one in five searches is correct the first time. The search for corporate information is eating into workplace productivity. Only 20 per cent of respondents reported first time successful searches. Other key findings from the survey include that it takes workers up to eight searches to find the right document and information, according to 80 per cent of respondents.

Verity began offering search in the late 1980s until it was acquired by Autonomy in 2006. Previously, Verity provided unified results from multiple, simultaneous searches from the desktop to the enterprise. While Verity took a semantic approach to search, Autonomy took a statistical approach to understand statistical relationships between terms. In 2011, HP acquired Autonomy to bolster its search and analytics business. Also in 2011, Oracle, which launched Oracle Secure Search in 2006, acquired Endeca. In order to improve SharePoint search capabilities, Microsoft acquired FAST Search and Development.

While it may seem like the search industry grew in this time period with these new companies emerging, it is actually the opposite. Rather, Autonomy and Microsoft came along and made search more about consultancy and less about usability or actual results. It took what was a vital part of the search world and combined services to enhance it for general enterprise, not make it easier to search your information.

Nevertheless, in the past five years, the demand for a secure search that delivers results quickly has grown, in part, due to Big Data, mobility and cloud services. Big Data encompasses the massive amounts of data that is stored in databases, spreadsheets, emails, reports, etc. and generally needs to be searched separately. With mobile and cloud services, users and their devices are more dispersed with important files stored on numerous devices, on-premises and in the cloud. The problem is made even worse because most data is collected into large repositories, which are slower and more complicated to search, which results in companies’ having a big “pile” of data, whether in a database, series of Excels or as stored photos, emails and other files, that are unusable and consequently reduce productivity.

With the advent of federated search, the ability to search across multiple repositories has improved. Moreover, with federated de-duplicated results, users do not receive thousands of irrelevant documents or emails. Users can simultaneously search across applications. It is best to take a non-repository processing approach and keep the existing data silos separate. A large repository can be kludgy with inherent security risks and to combine multiple silos may create problems in reconciling different processing power and security levels.

To find needed information, an enterprise search tool must deliver the exact results in a timely manner and not a boatload of assorted data that does not deliver the data the person actually needs. Unlike a Google search that finds what is considered to be most relevant based on visits and cookies and the more results the better, enterprise search should deliver information that is relevant to only that task at hand – payroll, results, competitive information, etc. – be it in Excel, SharePoint or HANA database.

Furthermore, because this type of information is typically private data, the delivered results need to be available to only those who need access while not allowing those who wish to use the information without permission. Consequently, it is important to determine which question you are asking the data to answer. Rapid response is also key, which is another reason that search needs to find the data so you can quickly act on it. Whether it is to solve a client issue, approve overtime and/or commissions, present information to the board of directors, or improve the sales process, it’s critical to have instant access to accurate search results to keep enterprise productivity.

The good news is that search is evolving, albeit slowly. Developers of enterprise search are now coming to realise that it must:

Bring needed answers and/or files and not merely a list of results.
Learn from analytics and past searches.
Be able to search seamlessly across multiple repositories.

Deliver results blindingly fast

While search has not improved much in the past 20 years, there are new federated searches that can securely find the right document at the right time. These new types of search also add security to protect privacy of files as they traverse networks.

Things are looking up in the search world, so stay tuned on the journey.

Source: http://www.itproportal.com/2016/02/28/the-search-continues-history-of-searchs-unsatisfactory-progress/

Categorized in Research Methods

Social media sites and privacy are somewhat inherently at odds. After all, the point of social media is to share your life with the world; the very opposite of maintaining your privacy. Still, there is a difference between sharing parts of your life and all of it. Thus, a number of legal lines have been drawn in the sand regarding privacy on social media sites.


While the sharing of social media may help us to feel closer with friends and family, even if they are far away, social media can create a number of problems, too. While pictures from a drunken night out with friends or soaking up sun in a skimpy bikini on the beach might be totally fine to share with your friends, you may not want employers or coworkers finding them. Similarly, you almost certainly do not want the world knowing your passwords or private messages with other people.


Until recently, there has been very little to protect those who either intentionally or accidentally share too much on social media. Prior to 2013, lawmakers were more concerned with gaining access to information on social media than protecting it from others. On the other hand, other nations around the world recognized the potential risks of social media much earlier than in the US and began acting laws to protect privacy much sooner. Still today, in the United States, only certain classes of information enjoy any sort of protection under federal law. They generally relate to things like financial transactions, health care records, and information about kids under the age of 13. Nearly everything else still remains fair game, provided it is obtained through legally acceptable means (i.e., not by virtue of a hacking attack, fraud, or other illegal activity).


Traditionally, two bodies have acted to protect the rights of those online: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general. However, throughout the development and rise of popularity of social media sites, these bodies have only acted to protect published privacy policies. If the site either claimed not to collect certain information, or merely omitted it from disclosures, the site itself might be subject to prosecution, but generally those third parties gaining access to that information legally were not. However, social media sites with vague privacy policies that did not clearly disclose which information it gathered and whether it sold that information, or sites that disclosed their practices of gathering and selling information (even if the disclosure was hard to find) were generally not subject to any sort of enforcement action.


Recently, though, the FTC has changed its philosophy on these matters, using its powers to enforce privacy policies on social media sites to force many social media sites into both monetary settlements and long-term consent order permitting the FTC to exercise greater control over the site’s policies.


States have had somewhat different experiences with social media laws. Attorneys general have had mixed results trying to enforce privacy policies, and even less success when trying to strong arm social media sites into offering tighter protections of user information. More than 45 jurisdictions around the US have some sort of data breach notice law requiring companies to disclose intentional or accidental disclosures of information. While these laws would generally encompass social media sites, as well, they are often excluded by special provisions because they are specifically designed to allow the users to share personal information with the larger public. Thus, many state laws are largely ineffectual when it comes to protecting one’s privacy rights under social media sites.


As social media sites grow in popularity and become increasingly central to the lives of Americans who use them, privacy intrusions have similarly grown increasingly common. Unfortunately, as is often the case with new technologies, the laws relating to those technologies lag years if not decades behind the developments themselves. States, with smaller legislatures and more agile means of enacting laws, are leading the way in creating new regulations, but many of these may suffer under the scrutiny of judicial review (particularly if they contradict existing federal laws). Additional legal changes will likely take place in the coming months and years, but true privacy on social media is likely not going to occur in the near future.


In the meantime, the best way to avoid privacy concerns through social media sites is to avoid using them. Of course, that is rather like suggesting that the best way to avoid a wiretap is to not speak on the phone, so odds are good that you will continue using social media and accepting the risk of somewhat eroded privacy. However, if you do feel that you have experienced a breach of your privacy in violation of a site’s privacy policy, consider speaking with your state’s attorney general or reporting the situation to the FTC. You may also want to consult with an attorney. You can find a lawyer experienced in internet privacy laws by visiting HG.org’s attorney search feature.


Source:  https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=36795


Categorized in Internet Privacy

China's top Internet search company has been ordered to change the way it displays results after an investigation into the death of a student who relied on its services to look for cancer treatments.China's cyberspace regulator ruled Monday that Baidu's search results are not clearly labeled, lack objectivity and heavily favor advertisers.


The Internet giant has until May 31 to change its search algorithm to ensure that results are based on credibility, and limit the size of advertisements to 30% of a results page. The company must also clean up its medical services ads and remove offers from unauthorized providers.


Baidu (BIDU, Tech30) drew the attention of investigators after it was mentioned in a widely shared online post written in February by Wei Zexi, who was suffering a rare form of cancer.
Wei recounted that in a desperate move to save him, his parents had borrowed money and sought an experimental treatment at a military hospital in Beijing based on Baidu search results.

"Baidu, I didn't know how evil it is and how it ranks medical information based on a bidding process," he wrote. "We thought: Baidu, a top-ranked hospital ... everything must be legitimate."
After a failed treatment, Wei died less than two months later at the age of 22.



As word of his story spread, scathing attacks on Baidu multiplied, first across Chinese social networks and then in traditional media. Fury was directed in particular at the company's alleged advertising practices for medical services.
Baidu said Monday that it would comply with the cyberspace regulator's ruling. Working under the supervision of investigators, the company said it has reviewed all medical service and product providers and removed some 126 million promotional messages from its site.

"The tragic death of Zexi has caused a huge social impact and also deeply touched Baidu," the company's top search executive, Xiang Hailong, said in a statement. "It has prompted all of us to re-examine our responsibility as a search engine company."

A separate investigation into the hospital conducted by health authorities and the military found it had misled the public by illegally outsourcing services and publishing fake medical ads.



But many Chinese Internet users have expressed anger that Baidu's search results allegedly blurred the line between a paid advertisement for the experimental treatment and more helpful information for Wei and his family.
Long frustrated by their government's blocking of Google (GOOGL, Tech30) services, Chinese Internet users have portrayed Baidu as an unscrupulous business that thrived only because of China's extensive censorship system known as the Great Firewall.Wei made a subtle point on access to Google in his post.


"A Chinese student in the United States helped me Google relevant information and contacted many hospitals there," he wrote after his treatment failed. "Only then did we find out that American hospitals had long stopped using the technology (used in the treatment) due to poor results in clinical trials."

Some analysts say that Baidu -- an Internet giant worth more than $60 billion -- makes for an easier public target than a complex web of murky entities in the Chinese healthcare sector.
But they also note that Baidu has been linked to similar controversies in the past and that it has many advertisers from the medical industry.

"Ad sales from China's medical service industry account for a big part of Baidu's total ad revenues," said Hong Bo, a prominent independent IT industry commentator. "I think it would be very difficult for them to give up on this huge amount of income."

Baidu doesn't disclose ad revenues by sector, but has said that health care was one of its "top revenue verticals" last year. Shares in the company have lost more than 10% over the past five trading sessions.


Source:  http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/09/technology/baidu-china-student-death-investigation/index.html




Categorized in Search Engine

Yahoo CEO Search Heats Up:


All Things D says Yahoo has narrowed down its CEO search to four or five big names, including Google business lead Nikesh Arora, former Microsoft executives Brian McAndrews and Hulu CEO Jason Kilar. While Kilar would be absolutely perfect (he’s smart, likeable, dynamic, and as we’ve seen from his memos to his network partners, he’s not afraid to shake up old thinking), it’s hard to imagine him leaving Hulu to run Yahoo. Hulu may be a tough place to work given its joint venture nature, it’s far more functional than Yahoo. While we’ve rallied for a while that outgoing CEO Carol Bartz should be replaced with a media executive (since Yahoo should operate as  a media company) among the other more realistic candidates, McAndrews makes the most sense. His background — he was the head of aQuantive and was an ABC exec for a decade — brings just the right blend of agency thinking, media-business savvy tech prowess, that Yahoo needs.


McAndrews surely understands that Yahoo isn’t going to become a search technology or engineering hotbed anytime soon, and shouldn’t try.


The AOL Agonistes:


AOL is having one tough time. CEO Tim Armstrong’s turnaround strategy has more than its fair share of doubters. Add in an activist fund that’s taking aim at AOL’s direction. According to Starboard, which owns about 4.5 percent of AOL, the company’s crown jewel of media assets collectively loses $500 million a year. Starboard believes the market is valuing AOL’s media business effectively at zero. That’s stunning, if true. AOL isn’t perfect, but it’s still a large, respected player in the ad world. The idea that it’s fallen that far is amazing.


The Problem with Social TV:


Marketers are talking up the potential of social TV, aided by the growth of apps such as IntoNow, Shazam, and GetGlue. But one glaring issue is being overlooked, and that’s the emergence of time-shifted and on-demand viewing. Most of those apps are designed to be used as a show airs, but its unclear what value they can add to both consumers and content creators as users continue consume less live TV content.


Swedish Show and Tell:


It sounds like the fantasy of a geek who lives primarily in a pixelated universe: being placed in charge of the Twitter account of an entire country. Those super-hip Swedes at curatorsofsweden.com give one random Swedish citizen a chance to Tweet in the name of all Swedes for a week through the @sweden Twitter address in a social engagement project that has been called “an insane breach of branding principles.” Breach, yes, insane no. Sweden, like most brands, retailers and smart marketers know that you don’t really need an 80-person big data firm to connect with your audience. You can connect, using common-sense, right where they are, in social. Sweden is using the much-lauded Voluntaire agency which states that “no one is waiting for an advertising campaign” and “companies no longer have the power to control their brands.” For Voluntaire, and the @sweden campaign, branding has become about real-time interactions, not just target audiences derived from algorithms of varied quality. The big data industry, with all of its pomp and circumstance, ought to take a few cues from Sweden and focus on creating crowdsourced innovations, not just audience segments for banner ads.


Source:  http://digiday.com/publishers/yahoo-ceo-search-narrows/

Categorized in Search Engine


Getty Images on Wednesday filed a competition law complaint against Google with the European Commission.

The company last year filed an "interested third party" submission in support of the EC's investigation into Google's anticompetitive business practices.


Getty's complaint, in essence, is that Google Images creates galleries of high-res copyrighted content, and that providing easy access to them dissuades consumers from going to the source to view or license those images. That damages Getty's image licensing business.


"Google's behavior is adversely affecting the lives and livelihoods of visual artists around the world, impacting their ability to fund the creation of future works," said Getty General Counsel Yoko Miyashita.

Getty also complained about Google giving preference to its own image search over its rivals' search tools.



Encourages Piracy


Online search is "an essential tool for the discovery of images," and Google Images dominates the market, Miyashita told TechNewsWorld. The Google Images format "promotes right-click piracy by making high-res imagery easily available" without the need to get a license or permission from the source.

"By cutting off user traffic to competing websites like Getty Images and reserving that traffic exclusively for its own benefit, Google creates captive, image-rich environments, and is able to maintain and reinforce its dominance in both image search and its general search services," Miyashita argued.


Fair Use or Not?


"Google's rationale for image search, in general, is that displaying the image is necessary for the user to assess how well the image corresponds to their search," noted Matthew Sag, a professor at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.


That practice "has been litigated at least twice in the United States in relation to thumbnail images and has easily passed the test of fair use," he told TechNewsWorld.


Getty's complaint "is directed more specifically to the creation of high-resolution galleries," and Google could make a similar argument that consumers need to see the image in high-res to properly evaluate it, but "this argument is not nearly so compelling," Sag said.


What Getty Wants


Getty Images wants to encourage the EC, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and other government bodies "to implement competition law-based sanctions against Google," Miyashita said.


The goal is to ensure that Google "ceases its anticompetitive practices and that when displaying images, it does so in a format that simply directs users to the most relevant source website in a way that doesn't prejudice image owners for Google's benefit," he explained. That means one click to source.


Further, Getty Images "would like to see Google taking steps to discourage copyright infringement," added Miyashita.

However, Google "is under no obligation to design its information services in a way that drives traffic to a particular website, or external websites in general," Loyola's Sag pointed out.


Getty's Chances of Success


The type of claim Getty is making "failed in the United States in Perfect 10 v. Google," noted Ben Depoorter, Sunderland Chair at UC Hastings College of the Law.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Google's framing and hyperlinking as part of an image search engine constituted fair use because it was highly transformative.


However, in Getty's case, "the context is different," Depoorter told TechNewsWorld, "because of the antitrust angle and the fact that EU countries do not have a similar broad and flexible fair use exception to copyright law."

Google Images "is part of Google's continued effort to provide the most attractive search engine in the world," Depoorter remarked. Image thumbnails on Google "direct you to other websites," and the higher-res versions "seek to improve the display of the results."


Google "will claim that they're in the business of directing traffic to the sites, not replacing them," he suggested.

While the design of Google Image search "would make a poor antitrust case in the U.S.," said Sag, "it might go further in the EU, because they take a broader view of abuse of dominance."


Source:  http://www.technewsworld.com/story/83438.html



Categorized in Search Engine

Flash's death has been slow and painful, and now Google is planning to deal it another blow. Google has detailed plans to start blocking most Flash content with Chrome, with the change targeted toward the end of this year.


Under its current vision, nearly every website would have Flash content blocked by default. Visitors would still be able to enable Flash content on a site-by-site basis, but they would have to specifically choose to do so. Chrome would display a prompt offering to enable Flash; if chosen, Chrome would remember to run Flash on that site for all future visits.



Only 10 sites would have Flash enabled by default — the "top 10 domains using Flash," to avoid annoying people with too many prompts. Those include YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitch, and Amazon. But they'll only have a one year exemption. After that, it sounds like they'll have Flash blocked by default, just like everyone else.


Of course, this change still doesn't fully remove Flash from Chrome. It's still in there and still able to be widely run, so long as people keep giving it permission. Even so, disabling it by default still offers protections against unwanted and potentially malicious content. And it encourages web developers to make the switch to HTML5, so that people aren't discouraged from leaving their site.


To further encourage that change, Chrome won't simply be blocking Flash — it'll be pretending like Flash isn't even installed. So if a website has a backup HTML5 player, people using Chrome will see that, rather than a prompt to enable Flash.

Specifics of Google's plan could still change. But the proposal notes that "the tone and spirit should remain fairly consistent," even if details are altered here and there.




Google began enabling Flash blocking on a very limited scale a year ago, when it started "intelligently" pausing unnecessary content as a way to preserve battery life. That's the default setting right now; this plan pushing things much further.


If you're interested, you can already enable the settings that Google is planning to switch over to. Buried inside of Chrome's preferences page (under privacy and then content settings), you can find an option called "let me choose when to run plugin content." It'll block all Flash content until you right click on it and choose to have it enabled.


Even Adobe doesn't think people should use Flash any longer, so there likely won't be a huge amount of pushback on Chrome's changes. Flash is a menace on battery life and is continually found to have serious security flaws, so its eventual disappearance will be celebrated at every step.


Source:  http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/15/11679394/chrome-to-block-flash-later-2016




Categorized in Search Engine

Spotted on mobile, the carousel features individual cards that link to separate landing pages.


Just when things were starting to feel a little stale in mobile search after the big desktop shakeup with the removal of right rail ads, Google is testing a new look for sitelinks on mobile.


Meh, a sitelinks test, you say? But this one is actually an interesting new use for cards in paid search ads. Conrad O’Connell posted screen shots of the new test on Serptests.com on a search for “ocean isle beach rentals.” I was able to replicate this once before losing it after looking for other examples, which I was not able to find. I was also not able to replicate on desktop, so it’s possible this is just a mobile test. The sitelink cards appear in a swipeable carousel below the ad copy in this Airbnb ad.




card sitelinks test google adwords serptests.com




We’re calling these sitelinks because they link to pages on the Airbnb site, but they may end up being called something else. The structure shown in the Airbnb ad above looks like the card info might be pulling from a feed. You’ll notice the larger font pricing in these cards makes them particularly prominent. We’ve reached out to Google and will update here if we learn more.


Source:  http://searchengineland.com/google-testing-carousel-sitelink-cards-search-ads-249471


Categorized in Search Engine
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