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The European Commission is working on a plan to give news publishers greater rights over content appearing on search engines such as Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google, which is an Action Alerts PLUS holding.

Speaking to journalists in Brussels Friday, EC spokesman Christian Wigand said the proposal is due out in the second half of September, part of a broader effort to forge a so-called Digital Single Market in the 28-country European Union.

But Wigand downplayed media reports of plans to give European news publishers the right to charge Internet platforms for showing snippets of their articles.

In particular he said the aim is to recognize the role of publishers as investors in content "and give them a stronger position when negotiating with other market players. This is absolutely not about an EU levy on search engines."

He added that the overall objective "is to make sure that Europeans can access a wide and diverse legal offer of content, and therefore [to] strengthen cultural diversity, while ensuring that authors and other rights holders are better and more fairly protected."

At least one expert thinks the plan may not necessarily hurt big players like Google and its YouTube video-sharing site, but rather smaller players seeking to establish viable alternatives.

"These little guys are the ones that content owners will have no qualms about charging for access to their content," said Matthew Jones, a London-based partner with EIP Europe law firm, via e-mail.

"They are the ones that will not be able to afford to implement technology that will allow them to filter out content that is protected by copyright," he said. "As such, these smaller players may find themselves priced out of the market."

Source : https://www.thestreet.com/story/13686465/1/copyright-reform-to-give-news-outlets-more-say-over-search-engine-content.html

Categorized in Internet Privacy

A major topic of discussion in the tech world is Artificial Intelligence, or AI as some call it. Self-learning systems have been adopted in various fields, ranging from self-driving cars to robotics. Google, the world's most popular search engine has now integrated its own machine learning system as a part of its search algorithm. Google feels that a self-learning system holds the key to handling search queries of the future with greater accuracy. Google's AI system is called RankBrain and it was launched back in October 2015. Its role was revealed to the world through an article on Bloomberg, which showed that 15% of all Google search queries were already being handled by RankBrain.

Chicago SEO Company's Antonio Tooley, an authority on digital marketing, says: "RankBrain's introduction will result in a convergence of sorts in the way Google and SEOs view great content. SEOs will now have to make a greater effort into understanding their audience's complex needs."

Any move Google usually makes has a profound impact on SEOs, bloggers, and webmasters around the world, as they aim to create content that ranks higher on Google's search results. We have seen major upgrades like Google's Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird that were rolled out a few years ago. These updates were primarily aimed at weeding out problems like duplicate content, keyword stuffing, irrelevant sites, eliminating exact-match keywords, etc. RankBrain is just another major step Google has taken towards increasing the quality of its search results.

Inner Workings of RankBrain

Before we delve into exactly how you can create and optimize your content for RankBrain, let's take a brief look at how it actually works.

RankBrain was created to handle complex search queries. Google receives about 500 million searches each day. The queries are completely new to the platform, hence it has no idea how to deliver the best results for them. Google has what it calls deep neural networks of software and hardware. This simulates the web of neurons we have in our own brain. A vast amount of data is absorbed by these neural nets, and learning takes place. This kind of approach is known as deep learning. In the past, Google's algorithms and rules were formulated by human beings; now, that has changed.

So How Does this Affect the Way You Produce Content?

You need to approach content creation in a way that's similar to how successful businesses approach problems. Successful businesses focus on solving the issues of a particular target audience by understanding their needs, and not focusing on the monetary aspect at any point, other than for feasibility purposes.

Similarly, you need to make sure you create content that is tailored to the needs of your audience. The content must be engaging, and the less you focus on what you think Google will like, the better.

Long Form Content

Try to create long content that addresses numerous issues your target audience might have. Suppose you are selling a product like tailored resumes, then you can create a resource page detailing tips for creating amazing resumes, do's and don'ts from industry professionals, etc. There are plenty of possibilities. You will also want to rank for synonymous terms like CVs, curriculum vitae, etc. Long form content will allow you to insert keywords naturally in the article. Gone are the days where you had to mention your main keywords three times per every 500 words to rank. "Rank Brain uses co-occurrence to help deliver the most relevant results to users," says Didit.com's Steve Baldwin.

The frequency with which related terms appear is also analyzed so that the content that reads naturally gets ranking preference. If you need an idea about what words Google thinks are synonyms, then you can simply analyze search results to get an answer. The search for "tips for a great resume" shows us what words Google thinks are synonyms:

google synonyms

Be Specific and Natural

Each piece of content you put out needs to be for a specific purpose. You might have noticed more social media profiles appearing higher in search results. Hence the content you create for your Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram must all be solving the needs of your audience. You need to provide ideas, tips, tricks and recommendations to engage your specific target audience. If your website is solely focused on resumes, and if you create a post on umbrellas, then it's a bad sign for Google. On the other hand, if your website creates content like graphic design resumes, and things like that, then it should help.

Queries are becoming natural and complex at the same time. Human interaction with Google is more conversational. People tend to make use of long search queries like "Where can I find the perfect resume for a photography job?" The growth of voice search has contributed to this. If you create natural and human content, then it's much easier for RankBrain to synthesize exactly what you are getting at.

A cool idea would be to start your article with a query that you think it is suited for. For example, before you talk about the advantages of protein supplements, your article's introduction can contain something like "If you have just hit the gym recently and are not seeing the gains you expected, you must be wondering if protein supplements really do work." This is a great way to grab your audience's attention.

To Conclude

The role AI plays in our life is set to increase, and it is up to us to use it to our advantage. John Giannandra who now oversees Google's search engine activities says that "by building learning systems, we don't have to write these rules anymore. Increasingly, we're discovering that if we can learn things rather than writing code, we can scale these things much better."

Deep learning might play a much bigger role in the future for bloggers, webmasters and SEOs alike. Hence, it is probably best to focus on producing content that delivers the maximum value to our audience.

Source : http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/Editorial/Industry-Insights/Keeping-Up-with-Google-How-AI-Will-Shape-Future-Content-113028.htm 

Categorized in Search Engine

It’s no secret that battery life on smartphones these days are not the best. Most will consider it mostly a hardware issue, seeing companies trading battery size for aesthetic design. But that’s not the entire reason, with a large part being attributed to the software used on our phones.

In the XDA Virtual Office, many of us writers will often find the biggest culprit behind our battery woes are attributed to certain processes running rampant. Namely, Google services.

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There are currently many ways to provide longer battery life cycles, methods such as: battery banks, battery cases, processor clocking, etc. A usual solution is to disable apps not being used, or apps that are taking up a lot of system utilities. What I wanted to do was disable all of Google’s apps and services on my device, to see if it might give my battery a shot at living longer. Instead of just using a debloater tool, or the stock settings disabler, I chose to go the extra mile, and install Android without any Google Apps, or any Google services.

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Since my daily driver doesn’t have an unlockable bootloader (thanks Verizon), I decided to look into the old phones drawer, and chose one of my favorite devices to use. The Motorola Moto X 2014 was the device I had selected for this experiment. For a period of four days, I used the Moto X with CyanogenMod 13 installed, sans any Gapps packages. For comparison, I factory reset the device after the four days was up, installed the same CM 13 zip, and this time installed the Stock Gapps package from the Open Gapps repository.


While using each ROM as a daily driver for four days, I depended on them for many of my usual services. Being that I depend on Google Services on a daily basis, going about this experiment proved rather difficult. Below is a list of the Google Apps I used the most, as well as a list of all the alternatives I used.

appss

 

There are many alternative app stores and repositories on the internet, from the Amazon App Store, F-Droid, XDA Labs, APK Mirror, and plenty of others. To get my apps for this test, I stuck with two store/repositories that I was familiar with using, XDA Labs and APK Mirror.

Going without Google Services on a Google-based platform is no small feat. There was a noticeable lack of functionality across the operating system from day to day. While some services have a browser interface, a couple will only try and direct you to the Play Store… Or the browser site of the Play Store. With Hangouts being one of those without a mobile interface, I was left unable to communicate with a few colleagues and friends.

Speaking of communication errors, Hangouts wasn’t the only service I had trouble with. I may not be a fan of the app, but Snapchat was a complete no go without Gapps. The app requires Play Services to log in, and unfortunately I was left unable to communicate with my friends on two separate services.

Fortunately, my second communication service for my business colleagues was partially functioning. I was able to send and receive messages on Slack, but notifications would not work, as they relied on Google Cloud Messaging. Quite a few other apps had the same issue, meaning I only ever received notifications for calls, texts, and emails.

Trying to substitute google with Cortana was… just not something I subjectively enjoyed. Microsoft’s searching service is welcome competition and is continuing to get better, but it is not enough to compete with the original search engine. The only useful functionality I found with the Cortana app over the mobile page from Google was the option to have a voice search shortcut on my homescreen, which comes in handy more often.

 

Having to rely on the browser for services I couldn’t access otherwise was a bit frustrating. Being used to having YouTube Red, leaving the YouTube site would stop the audio. This was causing me to become irritated more and more often. As a big music fan, I like to listen to and discover all types of music on my phone. While CM’s baked in music app works, the lack of a streaming service caused me to have to resort to alternative, older methods of discovering music.

Using the phone for about a week both with and without Gapps concluded with interesting results. As you can see from the screen captures below, the average screen on time and total battery time on the No Gapps runs was no longer than that of the Gapps runs. However, do notice the steeper slopes in the (slightly shorter) asleep times.

Screenshot 5

These results are not what I expected going into the experiment. Looking at the battery graphs, you can tell that the runs with Gapps yielded more device wake ups, as expected. This is evident by the Gapps runs not only having more active indication on the bars below the graph. The Gapps graphs all have a much more gradual slope associated with them, whereas the No Gapps graphs seemed to level off a lot more often. But screen-on drain was about the same, with the main difference seen in idle drain as expected.

In terms of performance, there was a negligible difference. Apps certainly crashed more often on the Gapps run, with the main culprit being Hangouts (as usual). Running benchmarks on each run seemed redundant, given I was using the same exact processor and CPU and these processes amount to a negligible hit on the processor.

 

All in all, this experiment was fun. Despite the lack of functionality, it was interesting to challenge myself to work around such large limitations. So that brings us to our main inquiry, is it worth it to live sans Google Apps and Services to save a little on battery? To me, the short answer is no. While the battery life was consistent, it was not particularly longer in any way. It might be useful to live Sans Gapps if you are looking to limit yourself from using your phone on a vacation or something, but not much else. If I had to sum up the lack of functionality, I would say the experience is reminiscent of the feature phone days before the smartphone boom.

Source : http://www.xda-developers.com/comparing-battery-life-with-and-without-google-services-a-week-of-minimal-idle-drain/

Categorized in Science & Tech

 

We may first see them on the runway, but the trends that truly stick with us all live in one place: our Google search bar. It's where we ask our deepest, darkest fashion questions — "Are cropped flares really a thing?," "Does anyone actually like baby bags?" — and hope to find answers.

Last year, the search engine finally recognized the power that lies in its records, introducing a fashion report that documents which trends are in and out, according to search volume. In 2015, we saw the popularity of one-shoulder and peplum dresses fall, making way for tulle skirts and jogger pants. (This was the year of athleisure, after all.) For 2016, Google's calling out items we've already seen pop up in our closets — and those we could already sense falling to the back shelves. 

This time around, the company expanded the scope of its research to include the U.S. and the U.K., looking into the top searched-for apparel categories between May 2014 and May 2016. In a somewhat surprising turn, some early-aughts trends appear to be on the way out, even though the '90s are very much in the zeitgeist right now (the two are close cousins, after all, and had been trending together). Google observed a steady decline in interest in drop-crotch pants, see-through clothes, acid-wash jeans, and babydoll dresses. It predicts asymmetrical skirts and waist trainers will experience a similar drop (despite constant Kardashian endorsement) over the next few years — something to maybe keep in mind during your next closet purge.

The search engine grouped its findings into three main stories: military-inspired (think bomber jackets and biker pants), free-spirited (in line with the easy-going nature of off-the-shoulder tops), and ready-to-go (think one-pieces and rompers). Then, there are the specifics: Google identified a set of trends it calls "rising stars," which have seen a spike in interest over the past few months but might not have staying power. These include off-the-shoulder topsbodysuits, and bralettes. The lace-up top was also highlighted in this category for the U.S. market; for the U.K., it was the co-ord. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the "falling stars" — pieces that have enjoyed their moment and are now losing steam when it comes to Google searches. (Suede skirts, we're looking at you.)

Google does point to certain categories it considers "safe bets" — both because they've seen more user interest and because they have seasonal potential to come back. In 2016, biker pants (skinny-fit trousers with ribbed and moto elements) and ripped jeans are looking to be a pretty solid choice, if you trust American and British Google users. The search engine also predicts bomber jackets, coatigans (a coat/cardigan hybrid), and shirt dresses will become even more ubiquitous as the year rolls on. (It's no surprise, then, that these trends are already featured prominently in Zara's fall '16 offering.) 

The report, which you can read in full here, details the rise of each trend and corresponding item down to the color, fabric, and pattern that's proven to be most popular. Here's to going about your fall shopping in the most informed way, ever.

Source : http://www.refinery29.com/2016/08/121264/fall-clothing-trends-bomber-jackets-2016

 

Categorized in Future Trends

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

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