[This article is originally published in scientificamerican.com written by Michael Shermer - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Jay Harris]

Google as a window into our private thoughts

What are the weirdest questions you've ever Googled? Mine might be (for my latest book): “How many people have ever lived?” “What do people think about just before death?” and “How many bits would it take to resurrect in a virtual reality everyone who ever lived?” (It's 10 to the power of 10123.) Using Google's autocomplete and Keyword Planner tools, U.K.-based Internet company Digitaloft generated a list of what it considers 20 of the craziest searches, including “Am I pregnant?” “Are aliens real?” “Why do men have nipples?” “Is the world flat?” and “Can a man get pregnant?”

This is all very entertaining, but according to economist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, who worked at Google as a data scientist (he is now an op-ed writer for the New York Times), such searches may act as a “digital truth serum” for deeper and darker thoughts. As he explains in his book Everybody Lies (Dey Street Books, 2017), “In the pre-digital age, people hid their embarrassing thoughts from other people. In the digital age, they still hide them from other people, but not from the internet and in particular sites such as Google and PornHub, which protect their anonymity.” Employing big data research tools “allows us to finally see what people really want and really do, not what they say they want and say they do.”

People may tell pollsters that they are not racist, for example, and polling data do indicate that bigoted attitudes have been in steady decline for decades on such issues as interracial marriage, women's rights and gay marriage, indicating that conservatives today are more socially liberal than liberals were in the 1950s.

Using the Google Trends tool in analyzing the 2008 U.S. presidential election, however, Stephens-Davidowitz concluded that Barack Obama received fewer votes than expected in Democrat strongholds because of still latent racism. For example, he found that 20 percent of searches that included the N-word (hereafter, “n***”) also included the word “jokes” and that on Obama's first election night about one in 100 Google searches with “Obama” in them included “kkk” or “n***(s).”

“In some states, there were more searches for ‘[n***] president’ than ‘first black president,’” he reports—and the highest number of such searches were not predominantly from Southern Republican bastions as one might predict but included upstate New York, western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, industrial Michigan and rural Illinois. This difference between public polls and private thoughts, Stephens-Davidowitz observes, helps to explain Obama's underperformance in regions with a lot of racist searches and partially illuminates the surprise election of Donald Trump.

But before we conclude that the arc of the moral universe is slouching toward Gomorrah, a Google Trends search for “n*** jokes,” “bitch jokes” and “fag jokes” between 2004 and 2017, conducted by Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker and reported in his 2018 book Enlightenment Now, shows downward-plummeting lines of frequency of searches. “The curves,” he writes, “suggest that Americans are not just more abashed about confessing to prejudice than they used to be; they privately don't find it as amusing.”

More optimistically, these declines in prejudice may be an underestimate, given that when Google began keeping records of searches in 2004 most Googlers were urban and young, who are known to be less prejudiced and bigoted than rural and older people, who adopted the search technology years later (when the bigoted search lines were in steep decline). Stephens-Davidowitz confirms that such intolerant searches are clustered in regions with older and less educated populations and that compared with national searches, those from retirement neighborhoods are seven times as likely to include “n*** jokes” and 30 times as likely to contain “fag jokes.” Additionally, he found that someone who searches for “n***” is also likely to search for older-generation topics such as “Social Security” and “Frank Sinatra.”

What these data show is that the moral arc may not be bending toward justice as smoothly upward as we would like. But as members of the Silent Generation (born 1925–1945) and Baby Boomers (born 1946–1964) are displaced by Gen Xers (born 1965–1980) and Millennials (born 1981–1996), and as populations continue shifting from rural to urban living, and as postsecondary education levels keep climbing, such prejudices should be on the wane. And the moral sphere will expand toward greater inclusiveness.

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in business2community.com written by Graham Jones - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Joshua Simon] 

Web search is often wasting time for you. There, I have said it. Google is a master illusionist. It makes you think you are working when you are not.

The reason is simple, you can get an answer to any question within seconds. That makes it feel as though you have achieved something. Prior to Google, you may have needed to find a book, look something up in the index, locate the right page and then read it – only to find out it didn’t contain what you wanted. So, you had to choose another book. That might have needed a trip to the library. To find out one fact, it might have taken hours. Now, all it takes is seconds.

Of course, in the past, the information you needed might not have been in a book. You might have needed to speak with someone. Perhaps you could only get the information from an expert. Or, if it was about a company you needed to phone them. Many companies had an “information line” – a special number you could call to speak with someone to get details you needed about the business. All of that took time.

When things take a long time our perception of progress is slow. However, when we can do things rapidly our sense of achievement is heightened. So, when we use the web to search for things which we previously had to look up in a book, take a trip to the library, or make several phone calls, we get a sense of achieving something. It is a psychological illusion that we are working.

It is, therefore, no surprise to discover in recent research that business buyers prefer to obtain information about suppliers using the web, rather than any other tool.

b2b search

According to the study from Path Factory, almost 90% of buyers use web search as their preferred method of finding information. Only one in three people opt for the telephone. That’s no surprise, either. Research from O2, the mobile phone company, found that making phone calls was only the fifth most popular use of a smartphone. It turns out that the most popular use of a mobile phone is to browse the Internet – searching for information.

Web Search is Wasting Time

The problem with web search is that it is often wrong. Yet, most people accept the first result Google provides. For instance, search for “how many planets are there in our solar system” and the first result will tell you that there are eight planets. True, but not quite. Like many other facts, there are nuances which are not explained. Astronomers redefined what constitutes a planet and so our solar system contains eight planets and five “dwarf planets”, including Pluto (which was a planet when I grew up..!). Like many other “facts”, the first information we see on Google misses out the nuance.

Similarly, search for “duplicate content penalty” and you will find thousands of results telling you that you cannot duplicate content on your website because “Google will ban you” or “Google will downgrade your search engine ranking” or some other nonsense. And nonsense it is. Google has said so, repeatedly. Yet, many businesses trying to make their websites optimised for search engines will spend hours and hours recrafting content in order to “remove the penalty”. That’s an activity that is wasting time on work that is unnecessary, all because of search.

However, if you phoned a reliable expert on search engine optimisation you would have received the correct information about duplicating content, avoiding you hours of work. However, to make that phone call and have the conversation is slower than completing a web search and hence it feels less productive.

What this means is, if you need a new supplier you could well make a better selection if you did not use web search. Pick up the phone and speak with people who know the market, such as the contacts you make in business networking. It will feel slower doing this, but the answers you get will be more informed and less prone to the influence of an algorithm. Once you have the recommendations, then use web search to find out about the company.

Making phone calls is becoming a low priority activity. Your office phone rings less than it used to. You feel as though you are being productive because you search and find stuff online, but that is wasting time.

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in searchengineland.com written by Matt McGee - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Bridget Miller] 

Google UK recently shared a list of 52 Things to Do on a variety of Google properties (found via Phil Bradley). It’s a collection of tools and tips about using Google products and services for some everyday functions. If you’re a search power user, you probably know most of them already. But Google’s message seems to be, “Did you know you could do all this stuff on Google?”

It got us thinking about non-Google search tools that might have slipped notice altogether, or just fallen off your radar. With that in mind, here’s a list of seven search tools you may not know about … but should.

Read on to discover about how to see search suggestions from all major search engines on one page; a “cover flow” interface to see face images from Google Images; a new way to get recommendations about music, movies and more; new tools to search multiple search engines from one place; a tool for finding hot event tickets and as assist for hunting through Flickr’s many photos.

Soovle

Soovle offers a unique search interface that puts a variety of search sites on a single page. But what makes it unique is that, as you type in the search box, Soovle shows you the auto-completion phrases that each search site recommends. In addition to being original, that function could serve to help with a keyword research project. It looks like this:

Google is the default search site when you arrive, but you can use the right-arrow on your keyboard to quickly select a different site to perform your search. And there’s also a daily update on the top auto-complete terms. Each day, Soovle queries the search sites to find out what they show as the top results for each letter of the alphabet. Pretty cool stuff.

facesaerch

If you like the “cover flow” feature that Apple iTunes offers, you’ll like this new image search engine. facesaerch (yes, “a” before “e”) takes a Google image search, eliminates everything but faces, and gives the results a more modern interface. It looks like this:

It’s nothing groundbreaking overall, but one nice addition is a customizable widget that lets you embed a facesaerch widget on your blog or web page, complete with cool thumbnail scrolling and all. (For your Oprah Winfrey fan page, of course.)

TasteKid

TasteKid is more of a recommendation engine than a search engine. It covers movies, music, and books, offering suggestions for things you might like based on what you search for. The interface is gorgeous (albeit a bit dark/goth), and the recommendations are generally good. Search for U2, for example, and TasteKid suggests you try out INXS, R.E.M., Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, and several other artists — most of which fit what a typical U2 fan might enjoy.

There are question marks next to each recommendation. When you mouseover a question mark, TasteKid displays additional information from Wikipedia, YouTube, and Amazon about that artist (or book, movie, actor, etc.). It uses Google Gadgets to offer a widget that can be embedded into your web page or blog.

Fasteagle is a combination search tool and web directory rolled into one interface, with a little touch of feed reader built in, too. The home page gives you quick access to search a dozen different sites, from Google to Delicious to eBay to FriendFeed.

It would be nice to be able to customize those 12 options, or add more to the original 12 to make your own personal search portal. But I don’t see that option anywhere on fasteagle, which is still in beta. Meanwhile, clicking on the categories in the top menu (Tools, News, Business, etc.) leads to new sets of sub-categories in the left-side menu. Under the Tech category, for example, the left menu changes to show sub-categories such as Web World, Tech Vloggers, IT News, Computing, Apple, Google, Mobile Computing, and Web Marketing. That last sub-category includes sites like Search Engine Land, Marketing Pilgrim, Search Engine Watch, and several others. Click on any link, and the site shows up in the main fasteagle window, with the top and side menus still showing — making fasteagle almost like a feed reader that gives you quick access to hundreds of web sites in rapid succession.

FanSnap

Have you searched for event tickets lately? It's not fun, and it's not easy. FanSnap hopes to change that by providing a one-stop source for finding tickets to sporting events, theatre productions, and concerts.

FanSnap doesn’t sell tickets; it lets you find tickets being sold by brokers and others in the secondary ticket market. At the moment, I don’t see inventory from official ticket sellers such as Ticketmaster or TicketsWest. They get inventory from more than 50 ticket resellers, making it a much easier way to shop than visiting the individual web sites of that many ticket brokers. To borrow a comparison Om Malik recently made, it’s like Zillow for event tickets.

compfight

Strange name for a Flickr image search engine, but don’t let it keep you away. Compfight offers a handful of customizations that help you drill down into Flickr’s enormous pool of user-uploaded photos.

You can search the full text of a photo page (title, description, and tags), or if that’s producing too many matches, you can just search tags. You can search for photos that allow Creative Commons commercial usage. You can search for photos that are original to Flickr. You can also turn Flickr’s Safe Search on or off. And you can combine all these options in any search combination you want. And rather than Flickr’s clunky, default, 10-at-a-time search results, you get dozens of thumbnails with compfight.

Kedrix

There are plenty of meta-search engines out there, but only one that wants you to “mearch” instead of “search.” That one is Kedrix, which is trying to coin a new word based on the words “meta” and “search.” That doesn’t work for me, but the search engine does, thankfully.

The Kedrix premise is simple: It’s actually not a meta-search engine in the traditional sense. Rather than mash results from different search engines together (as Metacrawler, Dogpile, Mamma, and others do), Kedrix separates the results from the four main search engines on tabs. Google results are all under one tab, Yahoo under another, and so forth. In that sense, it’s more like a search engine comparison tool. And that makes it somewhat more valuable to SEOs (who like to compare results across different engines) than your standard meta-search engine.

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in 9to5google.com written by Abner Li - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Dorothy Allen]

Since the European Union Copyright Directive was introduced last year, Google and YouTube have been lobbying against it by enlisting creators and users. Ahead of finalized language for Article 11 and 13 this month, Google Search is testing possible responses to the “link tax.”

Article 11 requires search engines and online news aggregators — like Google Search and News, respectively — to pay licensing fees when displaying article snippets or summaries. The end goal is for online tech giants to sign commercial licenses to help publishers adapt online and provide a source of revenue.

Google discussed possible ramifications in December if Article 11 was not altered. Google News could be shut down in Europe, while fewer news articles would appear in Search results. This could be a determinate to news sites, especially smaller ones, that rely on Search to get traffic.

The company is already testing the impact of Article 11 on Search. Screenshots from Search Engine Land show a “latest news” query completely devoid of context. The Top Stories carousel would not feature images or headlines, while the 10 blue links would not include any summary or description when linking to news sites. What’s left is the name of the domain and the URL for users to click on.

 

This A/B test is possibly already live for users in continental Europe. Most of the stories in the top carousel lack cover images, while others just use generic graphics. Additionally, links from European publications lack any description, just the full, un-abbreviated page title, and domain.

Google told Search Engine Land that it is currently conducting experiments “to understand what the impact of the proposed EU Copyright Directive would be to our users and publisher partners.” This particular outcome might occur if Google does not sign any licensing agreements with publishers.

Meanwhile, if licenses are signed, Google would be “in the position of picking winners and losers” by having to select what deals it wants to make. Presumably, the company would select the most popular at the expense of smaller sites. In December, the company’s head of news pointed out that “it’s unlikely any business will be able to license every single news publisher.”

Effectively, companies like Google will be put in the position of picking winners and losers. Online services, some of which generate no revenue (for instance, Google News) would have to make choices about which publishers they’d do deals with. Presently, more than 80,000 news publishers around the world can show up in Google News, but Article 11 would sharply reduce that number. And this is not just about Google, it’s unlikely any business will be able to license every single news publisher in the European Union, especially given the very broad definition being proposed.

Google will make a decision on its products and approach after the final language of the Copyright Directive is released.

Dylan contributed to this article

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in cpomagazine.com written by  - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Robert Hensonw]

In an age where the Internet is simply an indispensable part of life, the use of a search engine is possibly at the foundation of the user experience. This is a world where near instantaneous access to information is not simply a ‘nice to have’ for researchers and writers, it is at the bedrock of our modern consumer society. Is the way in which we find takeout food, restaurants, household furnishings, fashion – and yes even friends and lovers. In short, without search engines, the machine that powers our modern world begins to falter.

We are increasingly reliant on search engines – but it may be instructive to understand just how much data Google is now handling. Within Google’s range of products, there are seven with at least one billion users. In its privacy policy, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) outlines its broad and far-reaching data collection. The amount of data the company stores is simply staggering. Google holds an estimated 15 exabytes of data, or the capacity of around 30 million personal computers.1

However, it is worth noting that Google is not alone in the search engine space. There are other players such as Microsoft’s Big. Yahoo Search and Baidu. All of them are mining data. However, there can only be that one ‘Gorilla in the Sandpit’ – and that is undoubtedly Google. To explore just how search engines may infringe on our rights to privacy Google gives us a yardstick to what they would characterize as ‘best practice’.

Nothing in life is free … Including search engines

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware that the old maxim of ‘nothing in life is free’ is even more applicable than when it was penned. In fact, there is an associated saying ‘if something is free you are getting exactly what you pay for.’

Herein lies the problem with the use of search engines. They offer an essential service – but that service is certainly not free of cost. That cost is a certain level of intrusion into our lives in the form of search engine companies like Google gathering data about our online habits and using that data to fine-tune marketing efforts (often by selling that data to third parties for their use).

But that is only the outcome of using a search engine. For many consumers and consumer advocate groups, the real problem lies deeper than that. It revolves around awareness and permission. Are search engine companies free to gather and use our data without explicit permission- can we opt out of such an arrangement?

The answer is both yes and no. Reading search engine company user agreements it becomes clear that we (at least historically) we have been empowering companies like Google to use the data that they gather in almost any way that they see fit. But lately, we have seen a huge effort by search engine companies to make sure that consumers are aware that they can limit the amount of data that is gathered. That was not always the case – user agreements are almost never perused with great care. Most people are not freelance attorneys and are defeated by the legalese and intricacies of most user agreements and outlines of a privacy policy.

However, the real problem is that although the gathering of data and the leveraging of that data for profit may represent a betrayal of the relationship between consumer and search engine company there is a larger issue at stake, beyond even the right to privacy – and this is data security.

Google has a far from the perfect record as regards security – but it is better than many other tech companies. However, mistakes do happen. In 2009, there was a bug in Google docs that potentially leaked 0.05% of all documents stored in the service. Taken as a percentage this does not seem like a terribly large number, but 05% of 1 billion users is still 500,000 people. Google has no room for error when it comes to data protection.

Another fact worth noting is that Google’s Chrome browser is a potential nightmare when it comes to privacy issues. All user activity within that browser can then be linked to a Google account. If Google controls your browser, your search engine, and has tracking scripts on the sites you visit (which they more often than not do, they hold the power to track you from multiple angles. That is something that is making Internet users increasingly uncomfortable.

Fair trade of service for data

It may seem that consumers should automatically feel extremely uncomfortable about search engines making use of the data that they gather from a user search. However, as uncomfortable as it may seem to some consumers are entering into a commercial relationship with a search engine provider. To return to a previous argument ‘there are no free lunches’. Search engines cost money to maintain. Their increasingly powerful algorithms are the result of many man hours (and processing power) which all cost huge amounts of money. In return for access to vast amounts of information, we are asked to tolerate the search engine companies use our data. In most instances, this will have a minimum impact on the utilitarian value of a search engine. Is this not a tradeoff that we should be willing to tolerate?

However, there is a darker side to search engine companies harvesting and using data that they have gleaned from consumer activity. Take for instance the relationship between government agencies and search engine companies. Although the National Security Agency in the United States has refused to confirm (or deny) that there is any relationship between Google and itself there are civil rights advocates who are becoming increasingly vocal about the possible relationship.

As far back as 2011, the Electronic Privacy Information Center submitted a Freedom of Information Act request regarding NSA records about the 2010 cyber-attack on Google users in China. The request was denied – the NSA said that disclosing the information would put the US Government’s information systems at risk.

Just how comfortable should we be that the relationship between a company like Google and the NSA sees that government agency acting as a de facto guardian of its practices and potential weaknesses when it comes to data protection – and by extension privacy?

It’s complicated

The search for a middle ground between the rights of the individual to privacy and the bedrock of data protection vs the commercial relationship between themselves and search engine companies is fraught with complexities. What is becoming increasingly clear is that a new paradigm must be explored. One that will protect the commercial interests of companies that offer an invaluable service and the rights of the individual. Whether that relationship will be defined in a court of law or by legislation remains to be seen.

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in searchenginejournal.com written by Matt Southern - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Jasper Solander]

Google has been spotted testing a feature that teaches searchers how to pronounce words.

When searching for a phrase like “how to pronounce compunction,” Google may return a box at the top of the page with a ‘learn to pronounce’ button.

Tapping on the button lets users hear the word being pronounced and watch a visualization of lip movements.

Users can also hear a slowed down version, and switch between American and British accents.

New Google Search Feature Teaches People How to Pronounce Words

The screenshot above was shared in a Reddit thread just a few days ago.

Only one person who replied to the thread said they were able to replicate it.

I am not able to replicate the feature either, but this is the second time I’ve heard about it being tested.

Earlier this month, Android Police reported seeing the new ‘learn to pronounce’ box but acknowledges it’s not showing up for everyone.

Google has offered a basic form of word pronunciations in search results for some time now.

What makes this feature different is that it’s more instructional in nature, which arguably makes it more useful.

Again, this is just a test, but it appears that more people are seeing it lately.

Give it a try next time you encounter a word you’re not familiar with.

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in searchenginejournal.com written by Matt Southern - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Edna Thomas]

Google has released its annual list of top searches around the world, including overall searches and searches in various categories.

Top queries reflect everyday questions, as well as the people and events that made headlines in 2018.

Certain events led to people searching for how to improve their everyday lives, Google notes.

For example, the passing of iconic celebrities resulted in an influx of searches for “how to be a good role model.”

Similarly, when first responders rescued a team of soccer players from a cave in Thailand, searches for “scuba diving lessons near me” increased by 110%.

Here’s are some highlights of top worldwide searches, and the top US searches in 2018.

Top Overall Searches – Global

  1. World Cup
  2. Avicii
  3. Mac Miller
  4. Stan Lee
  5. Black Panther

Top Overall Searches – US

  1. World Cup
  2. Hurricane Florence
  3. Mac Miller
  4. Kate Spade
  5. Anthony Bourdain

Top ‘How To’ Searches – US

  1. How to vote
  2. How to register to vote
  3. How to play Mega Millions
  4. How to buy Ripple
  5. How to turn off automatic updates
  6. How to get the old Snapchat back
  7. How to play Powerball
  8. How to buy Bitcoin
  9. How to screen record
  10. How to get Boogie Down emote

Top ‘What is’ Searches – US

  1. What is Bitcoin
  2. What is racketeering
  3. What is DACA
  4. What is a government shutdown
  5. What is Good Friday
  6. What is Prince Harry’s last name
  7. What is Fortnite
  8. What is a duck boat
  9. What is a Yanny Laurel
  10. What is a nationalist

Top GIF Searches – US

  1. Fortnite GIF
  2. Default Dance GIF
  3. Dilly Dilly GIF
  4. Orange Justice GIF
  5. Black Panther GIF
  6. Cat Curling GIF
  7. Ugandan Knuckles GIF
  8. Draymond Green GIF
  9. Cardi B GIF
  10. Floss Dance GIF

Top News Searches – Global

  1. World Cup
  2. Hurricane Florence
  3. Mega Millions Result
  4. Royal Wedding
  5. Election Results

Top News Searches – US

  1. World Cup
  2. Hurricane Florence
  3. Mega Millions
  4. Election Results
  5. Hurricane Michael

Top People Searches – Global

  1. Meghan Markle
  2. Demi Lovato
  3. Sylvester Stallone
  4. Logan Paul
  5. Khloé Kardashian

Top People Searches – US

  1. Demi Lovato
  2. Meghan Markle
  3. Brett Kavanaugh
  4. Logan Paul
  5. Khloé Kardashian

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in techradar.com written by Anthony Spadafora - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Deborah Tannen]

Anonymous View protects users' privacy with every web search

In an effort to further protect its users online, privacy search engine Startpage.com has launched a new “Anonymous View” feature.

The new feature protects users against tracking by serving as an anonymous buffer between websites and end users.

Most users are aware of Google Chrome and other browsers' 'incognito mode' which prevents your browsing history as well as cookies from being stored. However, incognito mode gives users a false sense of privacy since it does not actually protect users from websites that track, save and sell their web behaviour.

Anonymous View on the other hand, actually does. When a user clicks on an Anonymous View link, Startpage.com goes to the website, loads the page and displays it for them. Though instead of seeing the user, the webpage sees Startpage as the visitor while the user remains invisible.

Protecting users' privacy

A free Anonymous View link is available to the right of every search result on Startpage.com which makes it incredibly easy for users to visit websites while protecting their privacy.

The company's CEO Robert Beens provided further insight on this new feature in a statement, saying:

"With this innovation, we make it easier for consumers to keep personal data more private than ever before. Anonymous View is easy to use and unique for any search engine," said Startpage.com CEO Robert Beens. “Unlike the incognito mode in your browser, Anonymous View really protects you. It combines searching in privacy with viewing in privacy.

“We will continue to offer the world's best search results without the tracking and profiling,” Beens promised. “We are proud of our new features together with our new design and faster results. We will continue to develop new online tools that help people take back their privacy.”

  • Take your online privacy to the next level with our top picks for the best VPN

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in searchenginejournal.com written by Brandon Stapper - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Jeremy Frink]

Google has dominated the search engine market for most of its 20-year existence. Today, most SEO efforts mainly revolve around the popular search engine.

Google holds a massive 92.74 percent search engine market share worldwide, according to StatCounter, as of October.

While Google is truly a force to be reckoned with, some view its dominance in the internet search space as problematic.

The company, with its large network of Internet-related services and products, owns a vast wealth of information on its users and we don’t exactly know all the ways they are using it.

Privacy concerns are among the top reasons why some people prefer using other search engines instead of Google.

We wanted to know which Google search alternative is favored by marketers, so we asked our Twitter community.

What Is Your Favorite Google Search Alternative?

Here are the results from this #SEJSurveySays poll question.

According to SEJ’s Twitter audience:

  • 36 percent chose DuckDuckGo as their favorite Google search alternative.
  • 32 percent said their top pick is Twitter.
  • 30 percent their favorite alternative search engine is Bing.
  • 2 percent favor Yandex as a Google search alternative.

What is your favorite Google search alternative

read more...

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in blog.hubspot.com written by Dharmesh Shah - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Rebecca Jenkins]

If you’re like me, you probably use Google many times a day. But chances are unless you're a technology geek, you probably still use Google in its simplest form.

If your current use of Google is limited to typing in a few words and changing your query until you find what you’re looking for, I am here to tell you that there’s a better way -- and it’s not hard to learn.

On the other hand, even if you are a technology geek and can use Google like the best of them already, I still suggest you bookmark this article of Google advanced search tips. Then, you’ll then have the tips on hand when you're ready to pull your hair out in frustration watching a neophyte repeatedly type in basic queries in a desperate attempt to find something.

The following Google advanced search tips are based on my own experience and things that I actually find useful. I’ve kept the descriptions of the search tips intentionally terse, as you’re likely to grasp most of these simply by looking at the example from Google anyway.

Here's an overview of some of the most useful Google search tricks. You'll be an expert Google searcher in no time.

31 Google Advanced Search Tips

1. Explicit Phrase

Let's say you're searching on Google for content about inbound marketing. Instead of just typing inbound marketing into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase. To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes.

Example Search: "inbound marketing"

2. Exclude Words

Let's say you want to search for content about inbound marketing, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising. To do this, simply use the - sign in front of the word you want to exclude.

Example Search: inbound marketing -advertising

3. This OR That

By default, when you conduct a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search. If you're looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator. (Note: The OR has to be capitalized).

Example Search: inbound marketing OR advertising

4. Words in the Text

If you want to find a webpage where all the terms you're searching for appear in the text of that page (but not necessarily beside each other), type in allintext:followed immediately by words or phrases.

Example Search: allintext:vermont ski house lake

5. Words in the Text + Title, URL etc.

If you want to find a webpage where one term appears in the text of that page and another term appears elsewhere on the page, like the title or URL, then type in that first term followed by intext: followed immediately by the other term.

Example Search: neil diamond intext:red sox

6. Words in the Title

Want to find a webpage with certain words contained in the title (but not necessarily beside each other)? Type in allintitle: followed immediately by words or phrases.

Example Search: allintitle:wine club

7. Words in the TItle + Text, URL, etc.

Want to find a webpage where one term appears in the title of that page and another term appears elsewhere on the page, like in the text or the URL? Type in that first term followed by intitle: immediately followed by the other term.

Example Search: flu shot intitle:advice

8. Words in the URL

If you want to find pages with your search query mentioned in the URL, type allinurl: immediately followed by your search query.

Example Search: allinurl:hubspot blog

9. How to Search Within a Website

Often, you want to search a specific website for content that matches a certain phrase. Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the site:somesite.commodifier. (Read this blog post to learn how to do this in more detail.)

Example Search: site:www.smallbusinesshub.com "inbound marketing"

10. Related Search

If you want to find new websites with similar content to a website you already know of, use the related:somesite.com modifier.

Example Search: related:visual.ly

related-google-search.png

11. A Page That Links to Another Page

Let's say you want to search for every website that cites a BuzzFeed article on their website. To do this, use the link: command, immediately followed by the name of a page. Google will give you all pages that link to BuzzFeed's official website. The more specific the URL is, the fewer, more pointed results you'll get.

Example Search: link:buzzfeed

12. Similar Words and Synonyms

Let’s say you want to include a word in your search, but also want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms. To do this, use the ~ in front of the word.

Example Search: "inbound marketing" ~professional

13. Word Definitions

If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the define: command. You can listen to the word's pronunciation by pressing the megaphone icon.

Search Example: define:plethora

google-word-definitions.png

14. Missing Words

Ever forgotten a word or two from a specific phrase, song lyric, movie quote, or something else? You can use an asterisk* as a wildcard, which can help you find the missing word in a phrase.

Example Search: much * about nothing

15. News in a Specific Location

If you're looking for news related to a specific location, you can use the location: command to search Google News for stories coming from that location.

Search Example: star wars location:london

16. Specific Document Types

If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier filetype:. For example, you might want to find only PowerPoint presentations related to inbound marketing.

Example Search: "inbound marketing" filetype:ppt

17. Translations

Want to translate a simple word or phrase from one language to another? No need to go to a translation website. Just search translate [word] to [language].

Example Search: translate krankenwagen to english

18. Phone Listing

Let’s say someone calls you on your mobile number, and you don’t know who it is. If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature.

Example Search: phonebook:617-555-1212

(Note: The number in this example doesn't work. You’ll have to use a real number to get any results.)

19. Area Code Lookup

If all you need to do is to look up the area code for a phone number, just enter the three-digit area code and Google will tell you where it’s from.

Example Search: 617

20. Zip Code Lookup

If you need to look up the zip code for an address, simply search for the rest of the address, including town or city name and state, province, or country. It'll return results with an area code (if applicable),

Example Search: 25 First St., Cambridge, MA

21. Numeric Ranges

This is a rarely used but highly useful tip. Let’s say you want to find results that contain any of a range of numbers. You can do this by using the X..Y modifier (in case this is hard to read, what’s between the X and Y are two periods). This type of search is useful for years (as shown below), prices, or anywhere where you want to provide a series of numbers.

Example Search: president 1940..1950

22. Stock (Ticker Symbol)

Just enter a valid ticker symbol as your search term, and Google will give you the current financials and a quick thumbnail chart for the stock.

Example Search: GOOG

23. Calculator

The next time you need to do a quick calculation, instead of bringing up the Calculator applet, you can just type your expression into Google.

Search Example: 48512 * 1.02

24. Tip Calculator

Along with a normal calculator, Google has a built-in tip calculator. Just search tip calculator and you can adjust the bill, tip %, and number of people splitting it.

Search Example: tip calculator

google-tip-calculator.png

25. Timer

Don't have a timer handy? Google has you covered. Just type in an amount of time + the word "timer," and the countdown will begin automatically

Search Example:

google-timer.png

Search Example: 20 min timer

26. Stopwatch

Search "stopwatch" and it'll bring up a stopwatch for you to start when you're ready.

Search Example: stopwatch

27. Weather

Next time you're looking for quick weather stats or a forecast for a certain area, search for weather followed by a location. Google will give you both before the first search results.

Search Example: weather Cambridge ma

weather-google-search.png

28. Sunrise & Sunset Times

If you're curious when the sun will rise and set that day at a specific location, do a simple Google search with the word sunrise or sunset along with the location name.

Search Example: sunrise acadia

29. Flight Statuses

If you type in the airline and airplane number into Google, it will tell you the flight information, status, and other helpful information.

Search Example: BA 181

google-flight-status.png

30. Sports Scores & Schedules

Want to know the latest sports scores and future schedules of your favorite teams or match-ups? Search a single team name or two team names and Google will use Google Sports to spit out scores and schedules before the first search results.

Search Example: manchester united

31. Comparing Food

Believe it or not, if you're ever curious how two types of (fairly generic) foods compare with one another, you can do a quick Google search to see how they differ in calories, fat, protein, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, and other nutrients.

Categorized in Search Engine

airs logo

Association of Internet Research Specialists is the world's leading community for the Internet Research Specialist and provide a Unified Platform that delivers, Education, Training and Certification for Online Research.

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.

Follow Us on Social Media

Book Your Seat for Webinar GET FREE REGISTRATION FOR MEMBERS ONLY      Register Now