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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

Google nailed e-mail with the 2004 introduction of Gmail. Now it’s the No. 1 form of electronic correspondence in the United States.

But as traditional e-mail falls out of favour with a growing sliver of the population, Google has struggled to release newer messaging tools that resonate widely.

Now Google is trying again with a new video chat application called Duo. The app works with mobile devices running Google’s Android operating system and Apple Inc.’s iOS. It runs on Wi-Fi and cellular networks, automatically switching between different types and speeds of connection and adjusting video quality.

Duo uses phone numbers, rather than a Google account, making it easier to call friends, family and other people already stored on smartphone contact lists. The company’s existing video calling and messaging app, Hangouts, requires a Google account. That limited adoption, especially in emerging markets. Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp and Messenger, Skype – now owned by Microsoft Corp. – and Apple’s FaceTime used phone numbers to grow faster.

A confusing array of communication options has held Google back. It has two e-mail services – Gmail, which is the top e-mail service in the United States based on unique visitors, according to ComScore, and Inbox; three text offerings, Hangouts, Messenger and the upcoming Allo; and now two video chat services, Duo and Hangouts (which offers texting and video calls).

This scattershot approach, and Google’s late start, is becoming more costly for the Alphabet Inc. division as messaging evolves from a simple way to communicate quickly into one of the next big technology platforms supporting digital commerce, advertising and new services powered by artificial-intelligence.

“Google missed it because of the requirement that you needed a Google ID to communicate with others,” said Ankit Jain, a former Googler and executive at SimilarWeb Inc., which measures website and mobile app usage.

Hangouts ranked 84th among Android apps in the United States in July, based on installs and usage, according to SimilarWeb. That lagged behind Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Nick Fox, a 13-year Google veteran, was tasked by Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai 18 months ago with fixing the sprawl. Soon after, his new team formulated a strategy and started building Duo and Allo.

“Google sees communication as this essential human need, whether that’s through text, a picture, calling someone or doing a video call.” Mr. Fox said in a recent interview.

This insight is a decade old and has guided Facebook’s strategy since its creation in 2004. Asian companies, such as Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat and Line, have grown into tech powerhouses by connecting people through communication apps and offering related services on top of their networks. Skype, founded in 2003, became a leading video chat app on a similar foundation.

So how is Mr. Fox going to catch up? Job number one is clearing up the bloated smorgasbord of Google communications services.

Hangouts will be a workplace service, offering group video conferencing mostly via desktop computers and office laptops, Fox said. It will be integrated more with Google’s work software, such as Docs, Sheets and Slides, which will be easier to share.

Duo is a mobile app and only allows one-to-one video calling, limiting it as a consumer offering. Allo, a messaging service coming out later this year, will also target consumers, Fox said. Google’s Messenger is a basic text system, part of a group of services provided to wireless carriers that work closely with Android.

The second tactic: Bringing what Mr. Fox says is better technology to the new services to catch up with rivals.

Duo constantly performs “bandwidth estimation” to understand how much video can be delivered. If Wi-Fi weakens, it switches to a phone’s cellular network. If a cellular signal drops as low as 2G, Duo will automatically cut video and maintain audio.

Allo will use Google’s expertise in AI to automatically understand texts and provide useful suggestions. Google will also let third-party developers create chatbots that will interact with Allo users through messages. That’s already being tried by other companies such as Facebook and Microsoft, but Google has been working hard on AI for about a decade, so it may be more advanced.

“First build a great product,” Mr. Fox said, repeating a common Google mantra. “Once you get people to love it, they will share it with friends and co-workers and it grows.”

Google was late in other technology and caught up, Fox noted. Gmail started in 2004, more than six years after Yahoo Mail, but Google’s offer of mountains of free storage won over hundreds of millions of users. Google’s Chrome emerged in 2008 – over a decade after Microsoft’s Internet Explorer – and is now the most popular web browser partly because of speed and frequent updates.

Better technology may not be enough to catch up, Mr. Jain said. WhatsApp and Snapchat offered something useful enough to persuade many people to switch away from their existing communication service where all their friends already were.

Duo’s promise of video calling for everyone on Android and iOS is something that Hangouts already offers, but that didn’t move the needle enough, he noted.

“It’s worth another shot, but having better tech can’t be the only thing,” Mr. Jain said.

Source : http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/knock-knock-google-duo-video-call-is-here/article31426625/

Categorized in Science & Tech

It’s almost impossible to see any meaningful search engine optimization (SEO) results without spending some time building and honing your inbound link profile.Of the two main deciding factors for site rankings (relevance and authority), one (authority) is largely dependent on the quantity and quality of links pointing to a given page or domain.

As most people know, Google’s undergone some major overhauls in the past decade, changing its SERP layout, offering advanced voice-search functionality and significantly revising its ranking processes. But even though its evaluation of link quality has changed, links have been the main point of authority determination for most of Google’s existence.

Why is Google so dependent on link metrics for its ranking calculations, and how much longer will links be so important?

The concept of PageRank

To understand the motivation here, we have to look back at the first iteration of PageRank, the signature algorithm of Google Search named after co-founder Larry Page. It uses the presence and quality of links pointing to a site to determine how to gauge a site’s authoritativeness.

Let’s say there are 10 sites, labeled A through J. Every site links to site A, and most sites link to site B, but the other sites don’t have any links pointing to them. In this simple model, site A would be far likelier to rank for a relevant query than any other site, with site B as a runner-up.

links-site-a-site-b

But let’s say there are two more sites that enter the fray, sites K and L. Site L is linked to from sites C, D and E, which don’t have much authority, but site K is linked to from site A, which has lots of authority. Even though site K has fewer links, the higher authority link matters more — and might propel site K to a similar position as site A or B.

link-authority-chart

The big flaw

PageRank was designed to be a natural way to gauge authority based on what neutral third parties think of various sites; over time, in a closed system, the most authoritative and trustworthy sites would rise to the top.

The big flaw is that this isn’t a closed system; as soon as webmasters learned about PageRank, they began cooking up schemes to manipulate their own site authority, such as creating link wheels and developing software that could automatically acquire links on hundreds or thousands of unsuspecting websites at the push of a button. This undermined Google’s intentions and forced them to develop a series of checks and balances.

Increasing phases of sophistication

Over the years, Google has cracked down hard on such rank manipulators, first punishing the most egregious offenders by blacklisting or penalizing anyone participating in a known link scheme. From there, they moved on to more subtle developments that simply refined the processes Google used to evaluate link-based authority in the first place.

One of the most significant developments was Google Penguin, which overhauled the quality standards Google set for links. Using more advanced judgments, Google could now determine whether a link appeared “natural” or “manipulative,” forcing link-building tactics to shift while not really overhauling the fundamental idea behind PageRank.

Other indications of authority

Of course, links aren’t the only factor responsible for determining a domain or page’s overall authority. Google also takes the quality of on-site content into consideration, thanks in part to the sophisticated Panda update that rewards sites with “high-quality” (well-researched, articulate, valuable) content.

The functionality of your site, including its mobile-friendliness and the availability of content to different devices and browsers, can also affect your rankings. But it’s all these factors together that determine your authority, and links are still a big part of the overall mix.

Modern link building and the state of the web

Today, link building must prioritize the perception of “naturalness” and value to the users encountering those links. That’s why link building largely exists in two forms: link attraction andmanual link building.

Link attraction is the process of creating and promoting valuable content in the hope that readers will naturally link to it on their own, while manual link building is the process of placing links on high-authority sources. Even though marketers are, by definition, manipulating their rankings whenever they do anything known to improve their rankings, there are still checks and balances in place that keep these tactics in line with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Link attraction tactics won’t attract any links unless the content is worthy of those links, and manual link-building tactics won’t result in any links unless the content is good enough to pass a third-party editorial review.

The only sustainable, ongoing manual link-building strategy I recommend is guest blogging, the process by which marketers develop relationships with editors of external publications, pitch stories to them, and then submit those stories in the hope of having them published. Once published, these stories achieve myriad benefits for the marketer, along with (usually) a link.

Could something (such as social signals) replace links?

Link significance and PageRank have been the foundation for Google’s evaluation of authority for most of Google’s existence, so the big question is: could anything ever replace these evaluation metrics?

More user-centric factors could be a hypothetical replacement, such as traffic numbers or engagement rates, but user behavior is too variable and may be a poor indication of true authority. It also eliminates the relative authority of each action that’s currently present in link evaluation (i.e., some users wouldn’t be more authoritative than others).

Peripheral factors like content quality and site performance could also grow in their significance to overtake links as a primary indicator. The challenge here is determining algorithmically whether content is high-quality or not without using links as a factor in that calculation.

Four years agoMatt Cutts squelched that notion, stating at SMX Advanced 2012, “I wouldn’t write the epitaph for links just yet.” Years later, in a Google Webmaster Video from February 2014, a user asked if there was a version of Google that excludes backlinks as a ranking factor. Cutts responded:

We have run experiments like that internally, and the quality looks much, much worse. It turns out backlinks, even though there’s some noise and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part, are still a really, really big win in terms of quality of our search results. So we’ve played around with the idea of turning off backlink relevance, and at least for now, backlink relevance still really helps in terms of making sure that we return the best, most relevant, most topical set of search results.

The safe bet is that links aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They’re too integrated as a part of the web and too important to Google’s current ranking algorithm to be the basis of a major overhaul. They may evolve over the next several years, but if so, it’ll certainly be gradual, so keep link building as a central component of your SEO and content marketing strategy.

Source : http://searchengineland.com/links-still-core-authority-signal-googles-algorithm-255452

Categorized in Search Engine

Later this year, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will release macOS Sierra, the next version of its Mac operating system. Sierra will bring a number of notable improvements to Apple's PCs, including support for Apple Pay and deeper integration with iOS devices.

It also brings Siri, Apple's digital personal assistant. Siri made her debut back in 2011, but it's taken Apple a full five years to bring her to the Mac. Nevertheless, her introduction could dramatically improve the productivity of Mac users, and give them a new way to interact with their machines. It could also pose a threat to Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google.

Siri comes to the desktop

Once they've installed Sierra, Mac users will be able to call on Siri by speaking to their machines. It's a bit of a shift from the familiar mouse and keyboard, but impressions have been generally favorable. Wired's David Pierce described the process of using Siri on the Mac as "almost natural" and "definitely useful." Ultimately, he concluded that Siri may be better on the Mac than she is on the iPhone.

In addition to her standard functionality, Mac Siri can conduct special Mac-related tasks, like searching local files or changing settings. iPhone users often find Siri most useful when they aren't actually using their phones at all -- Apple has trumpeted Siri's hands-free features as a key selling point in recent years. But on the Mac, she offers the prospect of improved multi-tasking. A Mac owner can use Siri to change a setting, play a song, or find a file without leaving their current application.

The inclusion of Siri probably won't help Apple sell that many more Macs, as competing machines running Windows 10 have something similar. Still, it does enhance Apple's offerings and ensures that the company is keeping pace with its rivals.

Cortana has helped Bing capture share

Perhaps more interesting is what Siri could do to the search market. Beyond finding files and changing settings, Siri can be used to scour the web. Since 2013, she's relied on Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing to do so. Unless you specifically request Google, simple commands such as "find me chicken recipes" will result in Siri conducting a Bing search. Last December, research firm Kantar found that Siri relied on Bing frequently. Analyzing the behavior of 3,000 different Siri users, Kantar found that Bing powered 63% of the searches Siri conducted.

Microsoft's share of the U.S. search market has been rising in recent quarters. In July, 2015, Bing captured 20.4% of the U.S. desktop search market, according to comScore. Google's share was more than three times higher, at 64%. But over the last year, the gap has closed a bit. In June, comScore reported Bing's market share at 21.8%. Meanwhile, Google stood at 63.8%.

That shift has been driven by Windows 10 -- last quarter, over 40% of Microsoft's search revenue came from Windows 10 devices. Like macOS Sierra, Windows 10 includes a digital personal assistant: Cortana, which, unsurprisingly, is also powered by Bing. Cortana is integrated directly into the Windows 10 taskbar, and on many PCs can be summoned with a quick voice command. To date, Windows 10 users have asked Cortana more than 8 billion questions, and 100 million Windows 10 users rely on her each month.

Siri's addition to the Mac could have a similar effect. There are fewer Mac users than Windows users, obviously, but Siri could shift some search queries to Bing in the months ahead.

If Bing's share of the search market continues to rise, Microsoft may have Apple to thank.

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Source : http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/08/11/apples-mac-is-now-a-threat-to-google.aspx

Categorized in Science & Tech

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