A new method for searching the web is needed to allow IoT devices to independently and securely discover other “things” in the connected world of the future.

We are all intimately familiar with the experience of “googling” a keyword(s) on a Web browser search engine to find related websites. For example, searching for “best French restaurant” in Google or Yahoo will return a list of many websites that are related to this topic. However, this key feature of the current Web will have to be fundamentally reworked for the new types of devices that are expected to join the Web as part of the Internet of Things (IoT). I mean, just how is it going to work when your fridge needs to do a search for something - and it will before too long?

Traditional web search engines

When thinking about any technology evolution, it is useful to first understand how the current generation of technology works before we try to predict what will happen in the future. So let’s briefly review how search engines work today.

Search engines primarily utilize automated programs called Web crawlers to discover and visit every possible website in the Internet. At each visited website, the Web crawler makes a copy of the website content and records it back in a large database at the search engine. This database is then analyzed off line, and a fast lookup index is created so that a rapid search can be performed every time a human user sends a keyword search request. The result of the lookup will be a ranked list of website addresses (i.e. Uniform Resource Indicators - URIs) that corresponds to the keyword that was searched for. In the current Web all the information transferred between the Web browser, website and the search engine server uses the ubiquitous and well known HTTP protocol.

The search engine problem in IoT

The existing Pull model of information exchange where the search engines sends out web crawlers to discover webserver information will unfortunately not work for most IoT cases. There are several reasons for this.

First, many IoT devices will be battery or solar powered and thus will often be “sleeping” in a low power mode when not performing their intended function. For example, a high temperature sensor in a remote industrial application may only be physically activated when its hardware gets heated above a certain temperature. When this happens, the sensor will get activated and send an HTTP message to a central controller to report an alarm. Below this temperature the sensor will be inactive and in sleep mode. So in general this temperature sensor will not be discoverable by web crawlers sent out by a traditional search engine as it will be sleeping most of the time and will not respond.

Secondly, many IoT devices will be located in semi-closed networks that will block traditional search engine web crawlers from discovering them. For example, a fitness center may freely allow web crawlers to discover their treadmills and other exercise equipment. However, the fitness center will definitely block discovery, using a security firewall, of IoT devices like electronic door locks and video cameras for security and privacy reasons.

Emerging solutions

A key solution for the IoT search problem is currently being standardized in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Specifically, a new type of search engine called a Resource Directory (RD) is being defined. This will be a very distributed search engine, with multiple RDs expected for a given geographical area like a city. IoT devices are expected to register their web addresses (URIs) to their local RD in Push model. This will typically be done when the IoT device is first installed and powered up.

Then when a search request is sent to the RD, the RD will first do access control and other security checks to make sure that only authorized parties are allowed to discover the relevant information. For example, suppose the fridge in my house wants to discover my home electricity meter to check the current time-of-use charge rate. The fridge wants to use this information to adjust its internal temperature up or down, within a certain bound, to reduce my electricity costs. In this case, the RD that serves my neighborhood will allow my fridge to discover the electricity meter URI because it knows that they are both part of my home network and are trusted devices. However, if an IoT device from my neighbor’s house made a similar request, the neighborhood RD would return an error message as that foreign device is not authorized to make that search query.

In addition to the IETF, another important body contributing to solving the challenges of IoT web searches is the Hypercat consortium. They are developing specifications that will allow inter-exchange of data between data hubs in different domains. This will allow, for example, exchange of data between a neighborhood RD and Google’s global search engine.

A bright future

A major reason for the success of the Web over the last 20 years has been the use of search engines to organize and make a huge amount of web information easily accessible to human users. If we wish to continue this success with the billions of IoT devices that are expected to join the Web over the coming years, then we will have to keep innovating. Fortunately, with next generation solutions like the IETF’s Resource Directory concept, and the Hypercat meta-data specification under development, and very much more on the horizon, it looks like search engine evolution is definitely keeping good pace with all the other parallel innovation going on in the worlds of 5G and IoT.

Source : http://www.networkworld.com/article/3111984/internet-of-things/web-search-engines-for-iot-the-new-frontier.html

Categorized in Internet of Things

 

Google needs to strengthen more of its segments

If you have been reading my articles, then you may have noticed that I have mixed feelings about Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), the parent company of Google. On the one hand I love the stranglehold Google has on the search engine market, its sheer dominance in the mobile operating system space and, of course, the evergreen YouTube angle. But despite having some of the brightest minds in the world on its payrolls, Google is still a one-trick pony that keeps failing at nearly every other trick it tries to do.

As such, Google is still highly reliant on its advertising revenues from search and partner sites, and this is what I’d like to explore in some depth.

Despite having disrupted the search game early on, the company is continually expanding the touch points surrounding its search engine. Take Chrome for example, the world’s leading browser: This is the conduit through which Google gets a lot of its search traffic.

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Another conduit is Android, the world’s most prolific operating system with over 80% global market share. The majority of non-iOS devices that are sold each year come with Android, with Chrome being the default search engine despite the Chinese attempt to promote UC browser on certain smartphone models that it makes.

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Yet another conduit is Google Maps, which has not only made our lives easier on the road, but is also dominating the GPS mapping world. It is the most-used map application by far, permeating nearly every mobile device in the world. It’s free, but you'll notice a lot of it points back to Google Search. Whether it’s a restaurant you’re looking for or information you need about a particular location, search is right there on the heels of Google Maps.

It’s clear that all of these products have one focal point, and that is Google’s search engine. As a result of that ecosystem, Google now has the wide moat possible protecting its search engine business.

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But can the same be said of its advertising business, which is their main breadwinner?

If Search is Google’s crowd-puller, then the cashier must be advertising. As the crowds spend their precious time on Google search and, through it, its partner sites, the company has the opportunity to serve them ads. The more time users spend on search, the greater the opportunity, and Google has been able to leverage this to create tens of billions of dollars in revenues each year.

 

As the world’s internet penetration increases, Google is practically in lockstep with it, pushing its own search and advertising agenda to new users in the far corners of the world. There are several countries around the world where Internet penetration is still low and, as such, there are a lot more potential users for Google to reach out to.

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Though Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has turned the heat up on Google and is vying to get as many advertising dollars as possible, the online advertising market is expected to grow at 12.7% CAGR (according to Mckinsey) for the next five years, so there is still enough room for both the companies to keep increasing their revenues.

With no credible competitor of size to challenge their mobile operating system Android or the default Chrome browser, the chances of Google search falling out of grace from mobile customers are very slim.

What Google has done is create a legal monopoly on the world’s online quest for information, hosting 1.2 trillion searches per year. Advertising revenue is merely the fruit of that tree, and Google has a pretty strong fence around that tree.

 

The one thing I can’t stand to see is Google wasting billions of dollars with no apparent method to the madness. I’m being brutal, but half the time I have no clue what Sundar Pichai is talking about on the earnings call. In stark contrast are the direct and insightful comments made by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella when quizzed by analysts at the end of the calls. At least with Microsoft you know the direction they’re taking.

With Google you can never be too sure.

Its Other Bets, for example, are so diverse that the units resemble a massive conglomerate of businesses with none of them showing significant top line income. Perhaps that’s why Alphabet is trying to bring more accountability to Other Bets - push them out of the nest and maybe they’ll learn to fly yet.

With potentially powerful lines of business sitting in their line of sight - artificial intelligence, mobile virtual reality, cloud, autonomous cars, social media, paid video streaming - it’s about time Google made a dent in at least one of them to supplement its advertising business.

Source : http://www.gurufocus.com/news/438938/how-strong-is-googles-search-business

 

Categorized in Search Engine

Annoying pop-up ads that get in the way of content are going to be the new lead balloons: Google’s planning to penalize mobile sites that use them by placing those sites lower in its rankings.

In the web vernacular, interstitials/pop-ups are now a ranking signal for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Similar to how Google in 2014 push the web into being encrypted by using HTTPS as a ranking signal, this move could be an inflection point for how mobile sites go about advertising.

Google said on its Webmaster Central blog on Tuesday that the majority of pages nowadays have text and content on the page that you can read without zooming.

But the company says it’s recently seen many examples of pages showing intrusive interstitials – as in, the content’s there on the page, and it’s available for Google to index, but you can’t see it because it’s covered up.

Users who are forced to very carefully click on the teensy-weensy “x” to get rid of the things, without accidentally clicking on the ad and opening whatever Pandora’s box that entails, don’t like these things, to say the least:


This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result.


It’s particularly problematic on mobile devices, where screens are often small.

In order to make life easier for mobile users, after 10 January 2017, Google’s going to start taking that hide-the-content tactic into account in its page rankings.

Product Manager Doantam Phan gave three examples of offending pop-ups and interstitials:

  • Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
  • Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
  • Google does not consider all interstitials to be bad news, however.
  • If used responsibly, the following techniques won’t hurt a page’s ranking:
  • Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or for age verification.
  • Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable. For example, private content such as email or unindexable content behind a paywall.
  • Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. For example, the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome use a reasonable amount of screen space.

Besides the signal that a site is using interstitials, Google relies on “hundreds of signals” to come up with search result rankings, it reminds us.

That means that sites that have great, relevant content will still likely appear at the top of search results, and they likely won’t feel much pressure to remove such ads.

But taking these types of user-annoying techniques into account could mean the difference when it comes to two sites that appear roughly equal in ranking.

Google has been increasingly working to direct users not just to the best sites, but to those that don’t irk them.

Two years ago, it started to label sites as mobile-friendly, so that users could find pages where they didn’t have to zoom to read text and content.

Since then, Google says 85% of all pages that come up in search results meet the criteria and display the mobile-friendly label.

That label’s actually going away: it is, after all, another piece of flotsam cluttering up our tiny screens.

Google’s algorithms will continue to take into account whether a site is mobile-friendly, but it won’t be labeling sites as such.

It will, however, continue to provide the mobile usability report in Search Console and the mobile-friendly test to help webmasters evaluate the effect of the mobile-friendly signal on their pages, it said.

Source : https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2016/08/25/google-to-rate-down-sites-with-aggravating-pop-up-ads/

Categorized in Search Engine

Google has announced that it will begin cracking down on “intrusive interstitials” on January 10, 2017, because this type of ad “can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.”

Google will be potentially penalizing — i.e., lowering the rankings — of these web pages. Google said “pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

Google explained which types of interstitials are going to be problematic, including:

  • Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
  • Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.

Here is a diagram from Google to convey the above points:

google-mobile-interstitials-penalty-bad

Google listed three types of interstitials that “would not be affected by the new signal” if “used responsibly.” Those types are:

  • Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or for age verification.
  • Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable. For example, this would include private content such as email or unindexable content that is behind a paywall.
  • Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. For example, the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space.

Here is a diagram from Google to convey the above points:

google-mobile-interstitials-penalty-good

In November 2015, Google launched app install interstitial penalty. Google is doing away with that version and somewhat rolling in that penalty with this new interstitial penalty. Google wrote:

We previously explored a signal that checked for interstitials that ask a user to install a mobile app. As we continued our development efforts, we saw the need to broaden our focus to interstitials more generally. Accordingly, to avoid duplication in our signals, we’ve removed the check for app-install interstitials from the mobile-friendly test and have incorporated it into this new signal in Search.

Search Engine Land will stay on top of this rollout when it happens next year.

Source : http://www.huewire.com/technologies/google-warns-it-will-crack-down-on-intrusive-interstitials-in-january-search-engine-land/207291/

Categorized in Search Engine

What is the Google RankBrain algorithm update all about & how does it work? How does this machine learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) affect SEO? In my previous article on facts and myths of Artificial Intelligence, I wrote about Strong AI and Super AI. I said that they may take time before they arrive; that it’s just a matter of time before someone cracks how to make a machine think like humans. I also said corporates would be glad to fund such projects if they promise better profits. For one, Google now has a “brain” that works well and it is called Google RankBrain. It may not be able to think yet but who knows the future! What surprised me was a comment from a Google executive saying they can’t understand what Google RankBrain AI is doing.

What is Google RankBrain AI

AI stands for Artificial Intelligence, and I will be using the acronym here to keep it easy. Before proceeding to the part where we will talk about Google not being able to understand what its own creation is doing, this section introducesBrainRank AI Search to readers who don’t know about search engine algorithms.

Search Engines like Google depend on hundreds of factors to bring the best possible results to anything you enter in the search box. Earlier they were dumb and focused just on keywords. But the keywords could also be dumb. For example, people can search for “explain top of the food chain”. This can easily confuse a search engine into assuming that maybe the person searching is asking something about food chains like restaurants so give him a list of top restaurants in the area

But the person is actually searching for the name of which, the top carnivore. The food chain starts with single cell animals, goes on to herbs, then herbivorous animals, carnivorous animals, humans and ends with a predator on the top.

Google and other search engines store plenty of information on their servers so that they can provide you with the results you want. For that, they check out many factors. So far, no artificial intelligence was involved. Among the hundreds of factors, it was ‘items in bold’, ‘headings’, ‘subheadings’, ‘repetition of a word or phrase’ and many such things.

If the person who is searching on Google, types in irrelevant things into the search box, the results were always garbage. The first principle of machines is if you feed garbage to machines, they’ll give out the garbage. You may search GIGO(garbage in, garbage out) for examples of this principle.

To tackle such situations, Google kept on making changes to its search algorithms and then secretly included BrainRank into it somewhere in 2015. It kept it a secret until recently. An event was held in March, and that is when they acknowledged that their engineers do not know how the thing works. It does send out wrong signals. 

RankBrain is part of Google’s Hummingbird search algorithm, and is said to be the third-most important signal – the first probably being the quality of back-links. It will soon change the way SEO works.

Here is what Google RankBrain AI search algorithm does according to what I could grasp from my research. Instead of focusing on each search initiated, it focusses on the entire search session. Normally, to get proper results and to narrow down, many researchers use synonyms and words related to what they are searching. Like in the above example, one may use “topmost consumer in the food chain” and “what’s the highest level of food chain called”. He or she may use more keywords depending upon what the person wants to know.

So as the searches progress in the session, from the first search to nth search, Google RankBrain AI will start presenting more and more relevant pages to the researcher. This may include pages that do not even include the keyword but provides more related information about the same.

What does Google RankBrain work

Google RankBrain AI

Here comes the problem. The creators of the RankBrain AI themselves do not understand how it works. Since it is limited to search, it is not a scary situation. But imagine creating a similar thing in a domain that is related to weapons? What are the odds against a machine growing mature enough to take its own stand against the creators? What if we create AI-based robots for the army, mass produce them and some things go wrong to make them turn against their own generals? It doesn’t look right. The chances are 50:50 – a good amount of risk.

In an event called SMX, Google’s Paul Haahr, who goes by the handle @haahr on Twitter told many interesting things about the algorithm and acknowledged that Google engineers who work on RankBrain don’t know how it works. Either Haahr was not willing to share information or the creators really don’t know much about their creation.

If later is the case, it should ring some alarm bells. Already many scholars have raised their fears on AI and the fast growing research in the domain. They petitioned governments to stop funding projects leading to strong and super AI.

Google RankBrain AI is just the beginning!

Source : http://www.thewindowsclub.com/google-rankbrain 

Categorized in Search Engine

Search engines are the backbone of everyday internet use, but are you aware of the hidden tips and tricks available to improve your search? Here are some pointers that'll save you Googling 'how to Google'.
How to be a Google Power User

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source : http://www.visualistan.com/2016/08/how-to-be-google-power-user-infographic.html

Categorized in Search Engine

Apple is getting picked on by two of its biggest competitors.

Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFTTech30) used some of Apple (AAPLTech30)'s well-known user pain points to promote their own services in two separate TV and YouTube ads this month.

On Tuesday, Microsoft went after Apple by pitting its new Surface Pro 4 tablet and Cortana smart assistant against the iPad Pro and Siri.

Microsoft's new ad shows the iPad and Siri throwing a party for "getting a keyboard."

"I'm a computer now, like you," Siri says to Cortana.

"So you have more power, like an Intel Core processor?" Cortana responds.

"Like I said, I just got a keyboard," says Siri.

makes Cortana list out several other features of the Surface Pro 4, which leads Siri to concede, "Maybe this party wasn't such a good idea."

Microsoft and Apple have a history of going after each other through marketing campaigns: For years, Apple ran a series of anti-PC commercials starring Justin Long and John Hodgman. And this year, Microsoft has been pushing its "PCs can do more than Macs" message in commercials.

Source : http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/17/technology/apple-ads-google-microsoft/index.html 

Categorized in Search Engine

More than 30 major technology companies are joining the U.S. government to crack down on automated, prerecorded telephone calls that regulators have labelled a “scourge.”

AT&T Inc, Google parent Alphabet Inc, Apple Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Comcast Corp are among the members of the “Robocall Strike Force,” which will work with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The group was holding its first meeting with the FCC on Friday.

The strike force will report to the commission by Oct. 19 on “concrete plans to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions,” said AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson, who is chairing the group.

The group hopes to put in place Caller ID verification standards that would help block calls from spoofed phone numbers and to consider a “Do Not Originate” list that would block spoofers from impersonating specific phone numbers from governments, banks or others.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in July urged major companies to take new action to block robocalls, which often come from telemarketers or scam artists.

“This scourge must stop,” Wheeler said on Friday, calling robocalls the No. 1 complaint from consumers.

Wheeler has said robocalls continue “due in large part to industry inaction.”

“The bad guys are beating the good guys with technology,” Wheeler said.

Stephenson emphasized “the breadth and complexity” of the robocall problem.

“This is going to require more than individual company initiatives and one-off blocking apps,” Stephenson said. “Robocallers are a formidable adversary, notoriously hard to stop.”

The FCC does not require phone providers to offer robocall blocking and filtering but has strongly encouraged providers to offer those services at no charge to consumers.

The strike force brings together carriers, device makers, operating system developers, network designers and the government.

“We have to come out of this with a comprehensive play book for all of us to go execute,” Stephenson said. “We have calls that are perfectly legal, but unwanted, like telemarketers and public opinion surveyors. At the other end of the spectrum, we have millions of calls that are blatantly illegal.”

Stephenson said technical experts representing the companies have had “preliminary conversations about short– and longer-term initiatives.”

Other companies taking part include Blackberry Ltd, British Telecommunications Plc, Charter Communications Inc, Frontier Communications, LG Electronics Inc, Microsoft Corp, Nokia Corp, Qualcomm Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Sirius XM Holdings Inc, T-Mobile US Inc and U.S. Cellular Corp.

Source  : http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/us-business/att-apple-google-to-work-on-robocall-crackdown/article31463869/

Categorized in Science & Tech

One of the biggest, scary enigmas in digital marketing is Google’s algorithm used to rank search engine results. It’s a Da Vinci’s Code of sorts that leaves many of us scratching our heads. But alas, Google has finally announced its top three factors used in the search rankings process. Among their newest additions is RankBrain, and we’re about to examine why.

The 3rd Most Important SEO Signal

Bloomberg.com broke the story that RankBrain now serves as one of Google’s primary signals (a factor that goes into Google’s algorithm to sort out its search rankings). According to the company, it is the 3rd most important SEO signal behind inbound linking and webpage content. The difference? It is a machine-learning, artificial intelligence system that systematically processes search queries for better rankings placement. In other words, it can decipher what users are trying to type into a search even if not initially apparent.

Decipher Difficult Search Queries

So if you’re typing in, “consumers at the top of the food chain,” RankBrain will understand that you’re looking for something related to the animal kingdom. You know, instead of a “consumer of goods.” This difference is important as it can greatly affect search engine placement by filtering out the confusion.

A Move To AI

While it still remains crucial to build backlinks for your site (as we mentioned before, linking remains one of the top two Google signals), it’s apparent that the company’s move to AI is going to alleviate the burden of many websites looking to rise above the pack. RankBrain aims to sort together previously unresolvable queries, potentially generating you more impressions. The technology also helps alleviate the strain placed upon Google employees in Mountain View, CA responsible for manually reviewing brand new queries. They used to have to deal with the 15 percent of queries each day that their systems had never seen before. By removing the human factor, efficiency should greatly improve.

Beating Out Top Google Engineers

Thus far, RankBrain is outsmarting the human beings it seeks to replace. In a side-by-side test with real life Google search engineers, the employees guessed which pages would rank at the top of each search 70 percent of the time. Sound impressive? Well, not compared to the 80 percent success rate of RankBrain.

Hummingbird Still Rules

After Google made the announcement that they had added this new element to their search algorithm, people were in a frenzy thinking Google had replaced ALL other signals with RankBrain. Just to be clear, RankBrain is merely a part of the larger Hummingbird algorithm. This overall algorithm contains hundreds of signals that are constantly being altered. As we stated above, RankBrain still sits behind the two signals that a) require publishers to build backlinks to their site, and b) forces publishers to create quality content that drives user engagement.

RankBrain Is A Sign Of The Future

Creating a smarter algorithm, and eradicating human error, is always a part of Google’s search engine strategy, and RankBrain is a massive step in that direction. But while it’s important to learn as much as you can about these new signals added to Google’s algorithm, it’s also critical to master the two basic (and essential) other elements – link building and content marketing and SEO strategy. Because if a website lacks engaging content and proper linking, its pages will fall so low in the search rankings that even RankBrain won’t be able to help.

Source : http://www.business2community.com/seo/role-rankbrain-googles-algorithm-01626392#wupTwpfjFpJjFpZi.97 

Categorized in Search Engine

In addition to launching a hub for the Olympics, Google Trends has released new tools for viewing and exporting search data. 

Last week, Google Trends announced a refresh to its site, in addition to the launch of a new hub for Olympic trends.

According to a Google spokesperson, the Google Trends refresh came with a few new tools, including the ability to compare search trends by geographic location and view historical data by day.

Google-trends-data-by-day-800x386

Google Trends has also added search term filtering, a new mobile embed option for graphs, and an export-to-excel feature — both of which can be found by clicking the menu in the right-hand corner of a trends graph.

Google-Trends-mobile-export-800x406

Source : http://searchengineland.com/google-trends-refresh-includes-geographic-comparisons-export-excel-feature-256519 

Categorized in Search Engine

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