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Sure everyone knows all about the search engines like Google, Yahoo and now Microsoft's new Bing. But there are numerous other ways to find information on the Internet. Here are six great ways to search for exactly what you need on the Internet.

Search Engines

The search engines are the first place everyone heads to and they have become household names. Google has even become a verb and now people around the world are Googling for information on the Internet. Here are a list of some other search engines that might give you more interesting results:

  • Bing – Microsoft's new search engine that will give different results than Google because of the 'decision algorithm' it uses.
  • Yahoo! - Still using its own technology for the next couple years (then it will use Bing) it not only searches the web well but also all the Yahoo! Pages.
  • Lycos – One of the older and less popular Internet search engines is still alive and kicking. Allows you to search a variety of categories (web, image, video, people, shopping, etc). Includes the Retriever which is “the Web's first information fusion engine, scouring the Web for the best information on thousands of topics and pulling it together into up-to-date, easy-to-read reports"
  • Ask.com – Lets you use a more intuitive way to search by simply typing in a complete question instead of a list of keywords. Returns results based on 'ExpertRank algorithm' which determines website authority by using subject-specific popularity.

A fairly lengthy and complete list of search engines and more can be found at Wikipedia's List of Search Engines page.

Another area of search engines are the metasearch engines. These services will query multiple search engines at once and then compile the results. There are multiple levels of complexity in these sorts of metasearch engines. Dogpile and Clusty are two services that do a good job while Surfwax and Copernic offer specialized services which incorporate different feature sets to help you search more quickly.

Subject Directories

If you have a specific piece of information you are looking for and it fits neatly into a particular category this is a good place to start. These sites include libraries, academic institutions, research facilities and usually include the 'best of the best' as well as peer-reviewed publications for business and academics. Directories have even been created by both Google and Yahoo!.

The major benefit with subject directories is that you can limit the results based on the categories provided to help you better find exactly what you're looking for. Additionally, since the directories only take 'high quality' websites the information you get back should be better. About.com also utilizes this sort of categorization and many of the articles there are written by people considered experts in their particular fields.

Wikipedia's List of Web Directories

Searchable Databases

Not everything on the web is placed so that it's easy to find. There's a part of the Internet called the Invisible Web which is not indexed by search engines and therefore is more difficult to find and search. The portion of the web that is fully searchable by the standard search engines is estimated at 167 Terabytes while the Invisible Web is estimated to have 91,000 Terabytes of information. Many search engine technologies are learning to cope with all of this content and it is starting to be indexed, but much of it is still missing. So how does one tap into all that hidden information? The easiest solution is to go to the source. If you have a particular piece of information you're seeking, try finding a database that might contain it and search through there. These are generally pages that have some sort of password protected system, CAPTCHA (challenge response system) or certain types of dynamic pages.

There is no major list compiled of Invisible Web resources which is part of the problem. One major project that attempted to do this was DeepPeep while another is OAIster, which searches some 1139 contributors, created by the University of Michigan. Another trick to get into the Invisible Web is to use the keyword “database” in a standard Internet search engine.

Social Networking

Social Networking is the latest craze on the Internet and includes online communities of people who share certain interests, activities, etc. While many of them are just about connecting to other people, some can be used to glean new information from the web. Services such as StumbleUpon will give you recommendations on websites that might be of interest to you based on a set of interests and keywords. Other services like LinkedIn focus on connecting people in business but also give you a resource where you can ask for the opinions of others or to be pointed in the right direction.

Social Bookmarking

Social Bookmarking sites like RedditDelicious and Digg all allow users to bookmark or share links of interest. They all contain categories and notifications so you needn't go searching, the information can even be brought to you to save time. All three have ways for users to increase (and possibly decrease) the popularity or relevant importance of some links that are dropped into the services. Not all links bookmarked at these sites will be useful but many could be interesting, informative or something you might use later. The peer-review means that others find the links useful and help them float to the top so to be more easily found.

Real-Time Search

Another new approach to search is real-time. Want to know what people are talking about right now? That's where places like Twitter and Scoopler come in. They let you find out what the hot topics are at the very moment. To catch all there is from Twitter is a gigantic feat of endurance and speed reading. So the best way to search it is just to use the onsite search. Some people choose not to Tweet and instead head to Friendfeed to do their real-time microblogging so that has become another resource for real-time search. Collecta is another site that considers itself real-time but includes blogs, comments and more so it's not 100% real-time. Scoopler (mentioned earlier) covers Twitter, Flickr, Digg and Delicious. Twingly does microblog searching and covers Twitter, Jaiku, Identica and Bleeper. The major search engines are trying to get into the real-time search business but Twitter (the biggest player) is wanting cash for their full real-time feed (Twitter Firehose) which will be a limiting factor in access to that information for now.

Searching the vast amount of information on the Internet can be a daunting task and many times you won't find exactly what you are searching for. This list of resources is aimed at making you more productive in your web searching and offers you alternative ways to search as well as the standard keyword-based search engines. This is in no way an exhaustive list of ways to search the Internet but it does give an excellent cross-section of what is available.

Source : http://www.investintech.com/content/searchtheweb/

Categorized in Search Engine

Herndon, Virginia (PRWEB) January 11, 2017

Search Technologies, the leading IT services firm specializing in the design and implementation of enterprise search and big data analytics applications, has recently launched the Search Technologies Enterprise Search Stack (ST Search Stack) as a cost-effective, risk-free alternative to the Google Search Appliance (GSA). Earlier this year, Google announced that it would be phasing out the GSA and discontinuing support of the search solution as of March 2019.

The ST Search Stack is built on the popular open source search engine Elasticsearch, and is deployable on-premise or in the cloud. A Solr open source option is also available. Expert implementation, support and managed services are also made available with the new solution.

?We stand ready to help customers transition seamlessly to a next generation and cost effective search solution," said Kamran Khan, CEO of Search Technologies. ?As a Google Premier Partner for more than 10 years, and with over 200 GSA customers around the globe, we are well positioned to provide a replacement search solution that is robust, highly customizable and designed to drastically reduce time-to-delivery and long-term total cost of ownership," he added. 

Additional benefits of the new end-to-end solution include an end-user interface with full source code, analytics and search quality improvements, and increased scalability for big data in addition to custom data connectors and plug-ins. An online demo is currently available for users to see how Elasticsearch compares with the GSA. And, Search Technologies is offering a free one-hour consultation on GSA migration services.

About Search Technologies 
With more than 800 customers worldwide, Search Technologies is the leading trusted and independent technology services firm specializing in the design, implementation, and management of search and big data analytics applications. Our experienced consultants and unique technical assets help us deliver customized search and analytics applications that are easier to use, less expensive, more powerful, and more reliable. To learn more, visit http://www.searchtechnologies.com.

Source : http://internet.itbusinessnet.com/article/Search-Technologies-Launches-the-ST-Search-Stack----a-Replacement-Solution-for-the-Google-Search-Appliance-4768247

Categorized in Science & Tech

Following Google’s major updates in 2011 and 2012, many businesses were dismayed to find their websites were buried in the search results for their major keywords. One of my company’s current clients, for example, discovered too late that the agency they were trusting to get their website to the top of Google had used unsavory tactics, including buying links and had gotten their website blacklisted by Google so that no one could find the firm online.

By now, most businesses are aware of black hat SEO tactics and try to avoid them to keep their sites from being penalized. However, many are unaware of the very real threat of malicious tactics. Known as “negative SEO,” this unethical practice relies on using black hat tactics to purposely get a website penalized. A competitor, or someone with a grudge, can, with a little knowledge of SEO and a lot of malicious intent, destroy years of work on your website and its ability to generate revenue for your business.

Understanding Search Engines and SEO

To try to protect yourself from the threat of negative SEO, you first need to understand how search engines and search engine optimization work. Google uses a complex program called Googlebot to “crawl” billions of websites and “fetch” new and revised pages to add to Google’s index. Driven by algorithms, Googlebot visits chosen websites, fetches pages to add to the index, discovers links on pages and adds the linked pages to the ever-changing list of pages to crawl.

Google’s index includes the words Googlebot has found on web pages, as well as the words’ place on web pages, headings on the page and alternative text written for images. When someone does a Google search, Google’s programs search the index for the pages most relevant to the search term used and display them in order of relevancy. It is this calculation of relevancy that then determines a web page’s position in the search results for a given term.

Relevancy for a search term (or keyword) is based on over 200 elements, including domain characteristics, keyword placement, and frequency, the length of content, the newness of content, relevant multimedia and PageRank, a measure of quality based on inbound links. If the inbound links to a web page come from what Google considers authoritative, high-quality sites, then the page’s rank is positively impacted. If, however, they come from irrelevant or spammy websites, then the page’s rank will be negatively impacted.

Being aware of Google’s ranking factors and using that knowledge to optimize your website for search is very important to your business’s success. If people searching online for a particular product or service do not see your website on the first or possibly the second page of Google results, they will not know you exist. All of the time and money you spend developing and maintaining your site are literally wasted if people can’t find it. 

The Threat of Negative SEO 

The flip side of having a knowledgeable search engine optimizer (SEO) work to improve your site’s ranking in Google through enhancements to the website is having someone who understands how Google’s ranking factors work use his knowledge to get a competitor’s website penalized so that it doesn’t appear on the first few pages of results or is removed from the index altogether. 

Whether you view this negative SEO as unsavory sabotage or cunning competitiveness, the reality is that it can threaten your website and your livelihood. Unfortunately, you can’t do much to prevent someone from attempting to harm your website’s ranking in Google. However, you can take action to protect your website as much as possible and contain the negative impact should your website be attacked. 

Fighting Back Against Negative SEO

The first step in the fight against negative SEO is knowing what you’re looking for. First and foremost is damaging backlinks. With a little time and effort, someone wanting to destroy your website’s authority and rank in Google can, unbeknownst to you, link thousands of spammy web pages to your site. If you regularly check your website’s position in Google’s results for specific keywords, you might notice the negative effects of the links, but you need to use a backlink checker tool (available online) to identify them.

Having identified the spammy backlinks, you can take action by requesting removal. If you know for sure who is responsible, you could try the direct approach and ask them to stop what they’re doing. You could follow up on an unmet request with social media posts identifying them and their malicious intent.

This direct approach might not be feasible, so, if you have numerous harmful backlinks, you can use Google’s disavow process, ostensibly asking Google not to consider specific links when crawling and indexing your website. You can also report the backlinks to Google using their Spam Report Form.

Monitoring Your Website’s Quality

Proactive monitoring of your website’s quality will save you time and money in the long run. Regular use of backlink checker tools or a service that automatically monitors your website and sends you a report on new backlinks could help you discover negative SEO before it damages your website’s page rank in Google.

Another good practice is to monitor the speed of your website since small changes to a page can affect its speed and thereby affect its rank in search. There are numerous tools available to check page speed, including one from Google that analyzes a web page’s content and generates suggestions to improve the speed.

Finally, by all means, set up Google Webmaster Tool alerts. Google will not be able to notify if someone has started using negative SEO to harm your website, but the notifications will help you be aware of issues affecting your site, and you’ll definitely know if the Google robot can’t access your site.

Maintaining a High-Quality Website

The best protection for your website is to ensure its quality from the get-go. That means making sure your website is aligned with Google’s design, technical and quality guidelines; that it provides authoritative, valuable content that is updated regularly; and that it is mobile-friendly.

Google offers many articles and online courses to help you understand its guidelines and improve your website. However, if you’re busy running your business and don’t want to become a Google expert, there are plenty of digital marketing agencies, such as my company, Trighton Interactive, that can help you redesign your website, optimize it for search, monitor its rank in search, regularly update your content and make other improvements to increase your site’s ranking in Google.

Your website is a valuable asset, a powerful marketing tool and an effective means of communicating with prospects and current customers or clients. However, in our highly competitive digital market, your site is only valuable if people can find it and use it. Maintaining a high-quality website, engaging in vigilant monitoring and fighting spam are essential to protect your website from negative SEO and its damaging effects.

Author : Jody Resnick

Source : http://www.business.com/seo-marketing/jody-resnick-attacked-by-negative-seo/

Categorized in Search Engine

The year 2016, was a rollercoaster ride of uncertainty and surprises, with events of Brexit, and Donald Trump rise to become the President of USA, ruling the world s politics, and Samsung explosion drama sending shockwaves to the tech industry, 2016 was the year of the unthinkable.

Now, what the public were searching for on the internet could come as a surprise too, here is a list of Googles to searches in 2016:

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go, the free-to-play game become the buzzword this years, after the game that sends players hiking around cities looking for Pokemon, grabbed millions of fans and players, and it came as no surprise that it topped the list of Google searches in 2016.

IPhone 7

The biggest hit in the tech world, the iPhone 7 unveiled in September and touted as the most powerful iPhone yet, was the second-most searched term globally on Google.

Donald Trump

Unsurprising on the list, is the entry of Donald Trump, the American President-elect was always in news and more so on search thanks to his unfiltered rhetoric, had people across the globe Googling the now president of the United States.

Prince

Arguably the biggest loss to world music was the shocking death of Princes in April that sent droves of people to Google. Regarded as one of the most inventive musicians of his era, Prince popularity at par with that of Michael Jackson. He broke through the music scene in the late 1970s with Wanna Be Your Lover and soared with albums 1999 and Purple Rain.

Powerball

This may probably come as a surprise but the largest Powerball jackpot in the lotterys history was among the top global Google searches and was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. The $1.6 billion jackpot on Jan. 13, 2016 was split three ways.

Author : Ali Ahmed

Source : http://www.brecorder.com/arts-a-leisure/arts/333542-year-ender-top-internet-searches-of-2016.html

Categorized in Online Research

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Oetken ruled that internet search engines are immune from liability under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) for indexing websites with negative articles about the plaintiff, a lawyer:

Courts have interpreted the CDA to give search engines broad immunity from defamation and other related causes of action resulting from their aggregation and republication of third-party content.

Because Defendants were acting only as publishers of sites whose content caused [the plaintiff’s] alleged injury, the CDA immunizes Defendants from liability. And the CDA’s broad protection for internet publishers also protects Defendants from any obligation to remove or de-index any links.

The Court is sensitive to the deep personal harms that can result from hurtful information posted on the internet. But the CDA prevents individuals from “su[ing] the messenger.”

Author:  Steptoe & Johnson LLP - Charles A. Michael

Source:  http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=a30f694b-0333-4093-8a16-a7a849071560

Categorized in Internet Ethics

We are all well aware that Google/YouTube hold the keys to entry in the video space right now. Ranked as the #1 and #2 search engines respectively, the ability to search within the site gives YouTube a distinct advantage over its competitors. But, if for some reason, you don’t want to use Google or YouTube for your video searching needs, there are a number of other sites out there that can help you find the videos you want.

When we first compiled a similar list back in 2007, there were an incredible 27 sites that we recommended you could use to search for video content. Since then, most have disappeared, or have been acquired by, or have merged with, the 9 sites below. I encourage you to bookmark this post as I'll be updating it every now and then.

Additional Resources:

Top Video Search Engines and Video Search Sites

youtube top video search engine#1 YouTube: YouTube is still the absolute best place to search for video content. Nothing to see here, let’s move along. Except to say that there are many tips and tricks you can use to dive deeper into YouTube's search results to find the exact content you are looking for.

google top video search engine#2 Google: I might as well have just included this with YouTube since Google tends to serve YouTube results for video first and foremost. But the fact of the matter is you get distinctly different results when searching video on YouTube versus Google, so its worth using both to find the video you are looking for. Oh, and YouTube results now appearing on Google Trends so that's a handy tool to check out too.

yahoo screen top video search engine#3 Yahoo Screen: Originally called Yahoo Video, this video search engine was renamed Yahoo Screen in 2011 and works with a Yahoo account to customize options. The viewing experience is consistent across all video content, with the Yahoo menu displayed across the top of the page and video options/categories displayed along the left hand side of the page. Video is the main focus on this site, with either your video selection or a suggestion from Yahoo being prominently displayed on the page. Aside from the video categories, there is a standard search box at the top of the page to look for the right footage. Yahoo video does not allow user generated content, a feature that was removed in 2010. All user generated content was removed from the site in 2011. Yahoo has struck deals with various video producers to fill out the site, which uses its own video as the primary source for content.

bing video top video search engine#4 Bing Video: Unlink Yahoo, Bing video uses the internet at large in its searches. That leads to a very interesting search based experience that includes YouTube, Yahoo, Vimeo and just about any other video hosting site. Whether you use the search box at the top or click on a suggested category or video, the page populates with a never-ending search results page. If there is a primary video in the results, it appears as slightly larger than the rest of the videos in the results. Search results can be hovered over to get an actual playing preview of the content with audio and once a result is clicked you are taken to a video player that includes both related searches and videos to further help you in your search.

aol top video search engine#AOL Video: If you search for video using the bar at the top, the results are very similar to a traditional Web search. But if you scroll to the bottom of the page, past the top picks and featured partners, the SEARCH AOL On box provides a very powerful search tool. Much like Bing it searches many video hosting sites and displays the results. One unique thing about AOL On is that it plays the video in the AOL player, using the video from the hosting site as the source. The site also has browsing capabilities for the top picks and featured partners as well as a handful of channels that sort content based on common themes like tech or pets.

ehow top video search engine#6 eHOW: One surprising source for a video search engine is eHOW. Of course, it tends to work better when searching for a how-to type of video, but it can display some other results as well. To use the search engine simply type your search query in the box at the top of the page and on the resulting search, click on “Videos” on the left hand side of the page to see video results related to your query. One drawback to eHow is that it only shows results for videos posted on the eHow site, not the internet at large. So while it doesn’t have the same sponsored content or breadth of content as other search engines, it does a great job at searching for relevant how-to content

mefeedia top video search engine#7 MeFeedia.com: MeFeedia is a site that has persisted, despite the large number of other sites that have disappeared or been bought. If you just want to search for video content, no problem. You can type your search request into the box at the top of the page and get various results. Those results appear as a video posted by a MeFeedia channel. You can also browse on various categories with this site as well. If you want to add content to the site, you must have an account. This will allow you to add content to your channel, much like YouTube, but rather than actually hosting the video, MeFeedia uses externally sourced content, much like AOL On. Content can be added via a direct URL or imported from a YouTube, Blip.tv or Vimeo username. MeFeedia only displays content that has been added to the site but if you click on a playing video you will be taken to the original page for that video on its host site.

blinkx video search engine#8 Blinkx: Binkx is another of the old search engines that is still surviving. It has some suggested categories at the top, but much fewer than other sites. If you use the search engine, you get some high quality results. The results are primarily from YouTube, but there is a sprinkle of video content from other sites as well.

veoh video search engine#9 Veoh: Veoh works, but it’s pretty far down my list of sites. It’s essentially one of the YouTube clones that is still around and kicking. It has a video box on the front page that autoplays when you visit the site. That’s probably on my top ten list of things that will make me immediately leave a site. But if you can look past this feature, they do have an active user base that uploads content to the site. The search results only appear to be of Veoh content though, so if your favorite content creator isn’t using the site, the likelihood that you’ll find their content there is pretty low.

Author : Mark Robertson

Source : http://tubularinsights.com/video-search-sites/#cb-author-box

Categorized in Search Engine

As digital assistants like Alexa and Google Home become more popular, how can local search marketers adapt? Columnist Brian Smith shares his tips.

Traditional search has us conditioned to speak like cavemen: choppy sentences, verbs optional. But that’s all starting to change with the rise of digital assistants and conversational search.

Conversational search comes with the expectation that digital assistants will actually converse with us. Our primitive two-word queries (grunts and hand gestures included) have evolved into full-fledged, honest-to-goodness questions.

The age of digital assistants is upon us. For practitioners of local SEO, here’s everything you need to know to thrive in this new environment.

The impact of digital assistants on local search

The most common way we’ll interact with digital assistants is through voice search. The problem with voice search is that it makes having a screen optional. You can receive your answers from digital assistants without ever having to read a word of it.

This puts greater pressure on brands to have the best answer, as there is no guarantee how many results will be read.

While the absence of a screen will impact both general and local search, conversational search clearly favors local. After all, general knowledge queries will simply be answered, resulting in few opportunities to lure customers back to your site.

For example, when you ask Google Assistant a general knowledge query, it answers the question and gives a shoutout to the original source, but it doesn’t dump you on the source’s website. If you have a follow-up question, the digital assistant will run a new search and answer that question with the best source available. This may or may not come from the same source as the first question.

General search queries will not drive as much traffic as they used to. You may have written an excellent white paper that ranks well with traditional screen-based search, but a digital assistant will only pull what is needed from your paper without the user needing to visit the page. This will undoubtedly cut into profits from general search traffic and related PPC ads.

But digital assistants are less likely to disrupt local search. The very nature of local search is its local intent. If you ask about a nearby restaurant, there’s a good chance you intend to go there. Any follow-up question will also be about that location. As such, the specific location should be the source that the digital assistants pull from.

Thus, digital assistants will not erode the profitability of local search like it will with general search. If anything, digital assistants are far more likely to drive local sales, especially considering how effective chatbots have been at doing the same thing.

But there’s a catch. You must rank high enough in local search to be selected by the digital assistant. While the competition for the top organic local spots will be fierce, here are 10 steps you can take to encourage digital assistants to pick you as the right answer.

1. Optimize your location data

Getting your location data in order for all of your locations will be key. Digital assistants will still be only as good as the data that they have. That means making sure your data is always updated and correct, as well as consistent across the web.

2. Speak the language of the digital assistants

If you want the digital assistants to choose you in local search, it’s critical that you make it easy for them to gather and understand your page content. Be sure to use structured data markup(using schema.org vocabulary) on your local landing pages. If you’re not implementing schema, now is the time to do so.

3. Fill out all relevant business categories for Google My Business

You’ll need to make it easy for digital assistants to find your name, address and phone number (NAP), of course — but that’s not all. You should make your Google My Business (GMB) profile as complete as possible, filling in all the other data attributes specific to your locations. If you have outdoor seating, but you haven’t entered it into GMB, you aren’t likely to rank for those queries. Don’t handicap yourself by not getting credit for the things your business already does.

4. Focus on the broader picture

The complexity of location data will continue to expand. At the same time, digital assistants will get better at finding that information. Be sure that you’re maintaining your local search ecosystem. Keep ahead of your location data, wherever it may be found.

5. Cultivate reviews

As users rely more on reviews for verifying the quality of a business or product, so, too, will search engines. Make sure you’re monitoring reviews and addressing complaints quickly. More importantly, cultivate reviews from satisfied customers by asking them for feedback.

6. Enable API connectivity

It will be critical for brands to connect directly to digital assistants. Right now, digital assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are new enough that users don’t necessarily expect an API connection for completing transactions. But this is rapidly changing, and brands that don’t streamline these transactions will be left out in the cold.

7. Find your niche

Examine each competitive search environment on its own when looking to improve your SEO performance. Artificial intelligence is starting to delineate ranking factors among markets. After all, a quality retail website is likely to look different from that of a quality restaurant. Stay niche.

8. Target long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are going to be crucial for PPC and the future of local search. Improve the targeting accuracy of your bids by choosing the best answers that have local intent and the highest probability of conversion. Remember, conversational search is moving us beyond the parlance of cavemen. Take advantage of it by targeting keywords that incorporate natural speech patterns.

9. Be willing to experiment

As I stated in a previous article, once you have the basics down, SEO is mostly trial and error to drive improvements. Be a data scientist and try new experiments. Always strive for improvements.

10. Write in a conversational tone

Digital assistants often read your answers out loud. Make sure your website copy sounds natural — that means it is written for humans first, not search engines. Always read your copy aloud before publishing.

Final thoughts

Local search will continue to transform as digital assistants and conversational search becomes mainstream. However, if you apply the above steps, you should thrive in this new era of SEO.

Source : http://searchengineland.com/

Auhtor : 

Categorized in Search Engine

This is impossible! In this 21st century and digital age, you want to erase yourself from the internet. That means you want to return to the Stone Age? Well, nobody wants to return to life without the World Wide Web. But, some people will like the feeling whereby you don’t just have to Google their names and everything about them appears online in seconds.


You don’t receive calls from people to ask about your profile. There is no mystery or is anything hidden. If you want that feeling back or you just want to temporarily get off the grid, Jumia Travel shares ways you can pull this off.  However, think this through before you become an internet ghost.

Deactivate your social media accounts

Deactivate all your social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. This is the easiest means through which your profile pop up online in search engines. If you decide to change your mind, you can reactivate your account as some of them give you a window period to return

Remove personal information from websites

If you have your personal information on different forums and websites, you should reach out to them to remove your profile from their websites or better still, you take it down yourself.

Use Deseat.me

If you want to clean up your existence online, this is the website to visit. You only need an email and a password. Any account related to that email will be removed. By the way, it must be a Google email

Use Google Remove URL Tool

Google is the biggest search engine in the world. If you want to remove your profile or there is information you don’t like in the search results, you can use the Google remove URL tool to suspend the results for 90 days. You can also permanently delete depending on what you want

Account Killer

This is another software that aggregates links to the account deactivation page of different websites. This simplifies the process of deactivating your accounts. It categorises websites into blacklist and white lists. For blacklisted websites, you cannot erase your account and vice versa. You can also decide to make your account anonymous.

Source : http://www.vanguardngr.com/

Categorized in Online Research

Here’s what you don’t want to do late on a Sunday night. You do not want to type seven letters into Google. That’s all I did. I typed: “a-r-e”. And then “j-e-w-s”. Since 2008, Google has attempted to predict what question you might be asking and offers you a choice. And this is what it did. It offered me a choice of potential questions it thought I might want to ask: “are jews a race?”, “are jews white?”, “are jews christians?”, and finally, “are jews evil?”

Are Jews evil? It’s not a question I’ve ever thought of asking. I hadn’t gone looking for it. But there it was. I press enter. A page of results appears. This was Google’s question. And this was Google’s answer: Jews are evil. Because there, on my screen, was the proof: an entire page of results, nine out of 10 of which “confirm” this. The top result, from a site called Listovative, has the headline: “Top 10 Major Reasons Why People Hate Jews.” I click on it: “Jews today have taken over marketing, militia, medicinal, technological, media, industrial, cinema challenges etc and continue to face the worlds [sic] envy through unexplained success stories given their inglorious past and vermin like repression all over Europe.”

Google is search. It’s the verb, to Google. It’s what we all do, all the time, whenever we want to know anything. We Google it. The site handles at least 63,000 searches a second, 5.5bn a day. Its mission as a company, the one-line overview that has informed the company since its foundation and is still the banner headline on its corporate website today, is to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. It strives to give you the best, most relevant results. And in this instance the third-best, most relevant result to the search query “are Jews… ” is a link to an article from stormfront.org, a neo-Nazi website. The fifth is a YouTube video: “Why the Jews are Evil. Why we are against them.”

The sixth is from Yahoo Answers: “Why are Jews so evil?” The seventh result is: “Jews are demonic souls from a different world.” And the 10th is from jesus-is-saviour.com: “Judaism is Satanic!”

There’s one result in the 10 that offers a different point of view. It’s a link to a rather dense, scholarly book review from thetabletmag.com, a Jewish magazine, with the unfortunately misleading headline: “Why Literally Everybody In the World Hates Jews.”

I feel like I’ve fallen down a wormhole, entered some parallel universe where black is white, and good is bad. Though later, I think that perhaps what I’ve actually done is scraped the topsoil off the surface of 2016 and found one of the underground springs that has been quietly nurturing it. It’s been there all the time, of course. Just a few keystrokes away… on our laptops, our tablets, our phones. This isn’t a secret Nazi cell lurking in the shadows. It’s hiding in plain sight.

Are women… Google’s search results.

 Are women… Google’s search results.

Stories about fake news on Facebook have dominated certain sections of the press for weeks following the American presidential election, but arguably this is even more powerful, more insidious. Frank Pasquale, professor of law at the University of Maryland, and one of the leading academic figures calling for tech companies to be more open and transparent, calls the results “very profound, very troubling”.

He came across a similar instance in 2006 when, “If you typed ‘Jew’ in Google, the first result was jewwatch.org. It was ‘look out for these awful Jews who are ruining your life’. And the Anti-Defamation League went after them and so they put an asterisk next to it which said: ‘These search results may be disturbing but this is an automated process.’ But what you’re showing – and I’m very glad you are documenting it and screenshotting it – is that despite the fact they have vastly researched this problem, it has gotten vastly worse.”

And ordering of search results does influence people, says Martin Moore, director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at King’s College, London, who has written at length on the impact of the big tech companies on our civic and political spheres. “There’s large-scale, statistically significant research into the impact of search results on political views. And the way in which you see the results and the types of results you see on the page necessarily has an impact on your perspective.” Fake news, he says, has simply “revealed a much bigger problem. These companies are so powerful and so committed to disruption. They thought they were disrupting politics but in a positive way. They hadn’t thought about the downsides. These tools offer remarkable empowerment, but there’s a dark side to it. It enables people to do very cynical, damaging things.”

Google is knowledge. It’s where you go to find things out. And evil Jews are just the start of it. There are also evil women. I didn’t go looking for them either. This is what I type: “a-r-e w-o-m-e-n”. And Google offers me just two choices, the first of which is: “Are women evil?” I press return. Yes, they are. Every one of the 10 results “confirms” that they are, including the top one, from a site called sheddingoftheego.com, which is boxed out and highlighted: “Every woman has some degree of prostitute in her. Every woman has a little evil in her… Women don’t love men, they love what they can do for them. It is within reason to say women feel attraction but they cannot love men.”

Next I type: “a-r-e m-u-s-l-i-m-s”. And Google suggests I should ask: “Are Muslims bad?” And here’s what I find out: yes, they are. That’s what the top result says and six of the others. Without typing anything else, simply putting the cursor in the search box, Google offers me two new searches and I go for the first, “Islam is bad for society”. In the next list of suggestions, I’m offered: “Islam must be destroyed.”

This is the equivalent of going into a library and asking a librarian about Judaism and being handed 10 books of hate

Danny Sullivan

Jews are evil. Muslims need to be eradicated. And Hitler? Do you want to know about Hitler? Let’s Google it. “Was Hitler bad?” I type. And here’s Google’s top result: “10 Reasons Why Hitler Was One Of The Good Guys” I click on the link: “He never wanted to kill any Jews”; “he cared about conditions for Jews in the work camps”; “he implemented social and cultural reform.” Eight out of the other 10 search results agree: Hitler really wasn’t that bad.

A few days later, I talk to Danny Sullivan, the founding editor of SearchEngineLand.com. He’s been recommended to me by several academics as one of the most knowledgeable experts on search. Am I just being naive, I ask him? Should I have known this was out there? “No, you’re not being naive,” he says. “This is awful. It’s horrible. It’s the equivalent of going into a library and asking a librarian about Judaism and being handed 10 books of hate. Google is doing a horrible, horrible job of delivering answers here. It can and should do better.”

He’s surprised too. “I thought they stopped offering autocomplete suggestions for religions in 2011.” And then he types “are women” into his own computer. “Good lord! That answer at the top. It’s a featured result. It’s called a “direct answer”. This is supposed to be indisputable. It’s Google’s highest endorsement.” That every women has some degree of prostitute in her? “Yes. This is Google’s algorithm going terribly wrong.”

I contacted Google about its seemingly malfunctioning autocomplete suggestions and received the following response: “Our search results are a reflection of the content across the web. This means that sometimes unpleasant portrayals of sensitive subject matter online can affect what search results appear for a given query. These results don’t reflect Google’s own opinions or beliefs – as a company, we strongly value a diversity of perspectives, ideas and cultures.”

Google isn’t just a search engine, of course. Search was the foundation of the company but that was just the beginning. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, now has the greatest concentration of artificial intelligence experts in the world. It is expanding into healthcare, transportation, energy. It’s able to attract the world’s top computer scientists, physicists and engineers. It’s bought hundreds of start-ups, including Calico, whose stated mission is to “cure death” and DeepMind, which aims to “solve intelligence”.

And 20 years ago it didn’t even exist. When Tony Blair became prime minister, it wasn’t possible to Google him: the search engine had yet to be invented. The company was only founded in 1998 and Facebook didn’t appear until 2004. Google’s founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are still only 43. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook is 32. Everything they’ve done, the world they’ve remade, has been done in the blink of an eye.

But it seems the implications about the power and reach of these companies is only now seeping into the public consciousness. I ask Rebecca MacKinnon, director of the Ranking Digital Rights project at the New America Foundation, whether it was the recent furore over fake news that woke people up to the danger of ceding our rights as citizens to corporations. “It’s kind of weird right now,” she says, “because people are finally saying, ‘Gee, Facebook and Google really have a lot of power’ like it’s this big revelation. And it’s like, ‘D’oh.’”

MacKinnon has a particular expertise in how authoritarian governments adapt to the internet and bend it to their purposes. “China and Russia are a cautionary tale for us. I think what happens is that it goes back and forth. So during the Arab spring, it seemed like the good guys were further ahead. And now it seems like the bad guys are. Pro-democracy activists are using the internet more than ever but at the same time, the adversary has gotten so much more skilled.”

Last week Jonathan Albright, an assistant professor of communications at Elon University in North Carolina, published the first detailed research on how rightwing websites had spread their message. “I took a list of these fake news sites that was circulating, I had an initial list of 306 of them and I used a tool – like the one Google uses – to scrape them for links and then I mapped them. So I looked at where the links went – into YouTube and Facebook, and between each other, millions of them… and I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

“They have created a web that is bleeding through on to our web. This isn’t a conspiracy. There isn’t one person who’s created this. It’s a vast system of hundreds of different sites that are using all the same tricks that all websites use. They’re sending out thousands of links to other sites and together this has created a vast satellite system of rightwing news and propaganda that has completely surrounded the mainstream media system.

He found 23,000 pages and 1.3m hyperlinks. “And Facebook is just the amplification device. When you look at it in 3D, it actually looks like a virus. And Facebook was just one of the hosts for the virus that helps it spread faster. You can see the New York Times in there and the Washington Post and then you can see how there’s a vast, vast network surrounding them. The best way of describing it is as an ecosystem. This really goes way beyond individual sites or individual stories. What this map shows is the distribution network and you can see that it’s surrounding and actually choking the mainstream news ecosystem.”

Like a cancer? “Like an organism that is growing and getting stronger all the time.”

Charlie Beckett, a professor in the school of media and communications at LSE, tells me: “We’ve been arguing for some time now that plurality of news media is good. Diversity is good. Critiquing the mainstream media is good. But now… it’s gone wildly out of control. What Jonathan Albright’s research has shown is that this isn’t a byproduct of the internet. And it’s not even being done for commercial reasons. It’s motivated by ideology, by people who are quite deliberately trying to destabilise the internet.”

One of Jonathan Albright’s diagrams showing how the traditional news media has been ‘surrounded’ by rightwing sites.

 A spatial map of the rightwing fake news ecosystem. Jonathan Albright, assistant professor of communications at Elon University, North Carolina, “scraped” 300 fake news sites (the dark shapes on this map) to reveal the 1.3m hyperlinks that connect them together and link them into the mainstream news ecosystem. Here, Albright shows it is a “vast satellite system of rightwing news and propaganda that has completely surrounded the mainstream media system”. Photograph: Jonathan Albright

Albright’s map also provides a clue to understanding the Google search results I found. What these rightwing news sites have done, he explains, is what most commercial websites try to do. They try to find the tricks that will move them up Google’s PageRank system. They try and “game” the algorithm. And what his map shows is how well they’re doing that.

That’s what my searches are showing too. That the right has colonised the digital space around these subjects – Muslims, women, Jews, the Holocaust, black people – far more effectively than the liberal left.

“It’s an information war,” says Albright. “That’s what I keep coming back to.”

But it’s where it goes from here that’s truly frightening. I ask him how it can be stopped. “I don’t know. I’m not sure it can be. It’s a network. It’s far more powerful than any one actor.”

So, it’s almost got a life of its own? “Yes, and it’s learning. Every day, it’s getting stronger.”

The more people who search for information about Jews, the more people will see links to hate sites, and the more they click on those links (very few people click on to the second page of results) the more traffic the sites will get, the more links they will accrue and the more authoritative they will appear. This is an entirely circular knowledge economy that has only one outcome: an amplification of the message. Jews are evil. Women are evil. Islam must be destroyed. Hitler was one of the good guys.

The internet echo chamber satiates our appetite for pleasant lies and reassuring falsehoods and has become the defining challenge of the 21st century

And the constellation of websites that Albright found – a sort of shadow internet – has another function. More than just spreading rightwing ideology, they are being used to track and monitor and influence anyone who comes across their content. “I scraped the trackers on these sites and I was absolutely dumbfounded. Every time someone likes one of these posts on Facebook or visits one of these websites, the scripts are then following you around the web. And this enables data-mining and influencing companies like Cambridge Analytica to precisely target individuals, to follow them around the web, and to send them highly personalised political messages. This is a propaganda machine. It’s targeting people individually to recruit them to an idea. It’s a level of social engineering that I’ve never seen before. They’re capturing people and then keeping them on an emotional leash and never letting them go.”

Cambridge Analytica, an American-owned company based in London, was employed by both the Vote Leave campaign and the Trump campaign. Dominic Cummings, the campaign director of Vote Leave, has made few public announcements since the Brexit referendum but he did say this: “If you want to make big improvements in communication, my advice is – hire physicists.”

Steve Bannon, founder of Breitbart News and the newly appointed chief strategist to Trump, is on Cambridge Analytica’s board and it has emerged that the company is in talks to undertake political messaging work for the Trump administration. It claims to have built psychological profiles using 5,000 separate pieces of data on 220 million American voters. It knows their quirks and nuances and daily habits and can target them individually.

“They were using 40-50,000 different variants of ad every day that were continuously measuring responses and then adapting and evolving based on that response,” says Martin Moore of Kings College. Because they have so much data on individuals and they use such phenomenally powerful distribution networks, they allow campaigns to bypass a lot of existing laws.

“It’s all done completely opaquely and they can spend as much money as they like on particular locations because you can focus on a five-mile radius or even a single demographic. Fake news is important but it’s only one part of it. These companies have found a way of transgressing 150 years of legislation that we’ve developed to make elections fair and open.”

Did such micro-targeted propaganda – currently legal – swing the Brexit vote? We have no way of knowing. Did the same methods used by Cambridge Analytica help Trump to victory? Again, we have no way of knowing. This is all happening in complete darkness. We have no way of knowing how our personal data is being mined and used to influence us. We don’t realise that the Facebook page we are looking at, the Google page, the ads that we are seeing, the search results we are using, are all being personalised to us. We don’t see it because we have nothing to compare it to. And it is not being monitored or recorded. It is not being regulated. We are inside a machine and we simply have no way of seeing the controls. Most of the time, we don’t even realise that there are controls.

Rebecca MacKinnon says that most of us consider the internet to be like “the air that we breathe and the water that we drink”. It surrounds us. We use it. And we don’t question it. “But this is not a natural landscape. Programmers and executives and editors and designers, they make this landscape. They are human beings and they all make choices.”

But we don’t know what choices they are making. Neither Google or Facebook make their algorithms public. Why did my Google search return nine out of 10 search results that claim Jews are evil? We don’t know and we have no way of knowing. Their systems are what Frank Pasquale describes as “black boxes”. He calls Google and Facebook “a terrifying duopoly of power” and has been leading a growing movement of academics who are calling for “algorithmic accountability”. “We need to have regular audits of these systems,” he says. “We need people in these companies to be accountable. In the US, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, every company has to have a spokesman you can reach. And this is what needs to happen. They need to respond to complaints about hate speech, about bias.”

Is bias built into the system? Does it affect the kind of results that I was seeing? “There’s all sorts of bias about what counts as a legitimate source of information and how that’s weighted. There’s enormous commercial bias. And when you look at the personnel, they are young, white and perhaps Asian, but not black or Hispanic and they are overwhelmingly men. The worldview of young wealthy white men informs all these judgments.”

Later, I speak to Robert Epstein, a research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioural Research and Technology, and the author of the study that Martin Moore told me about (and that Google has publicly criticised), showing how search-rank results affect voting patterns. On the other end of the phone, he repeats one of the searches I did. He types “do blacks…” into Google.

“Look at that. I haven’t even hit a button and it’s automatically populated the page with answers to the query: ‘Do blacks commit more crimes?’ And look, I could have been going to ask all sorts of questions. ‘Do blacks excel at sports’, or anything. And it’s only given me two choices and these aren’t simply search-based or the most searched terms right now. Google used to use that but now they use an algorithm that looks at other things. Now, let me look at Bing and Yahoo. I’m on Yahoo and I have 10 suggestions, not one of which is ‘Do black people commit more crime?’

“And people don’t question this. Google isn’t just offering a suggestion. This is a negative suggestion and we know that negative suggestions depending on lots of things can draw between five and 15 more clicks. And this all programmed. And it could be programmed differently.”

What Epstein’s work has shown is that the contents of a page of search results can influence people’s views and opinions. The type and order of search rankings was shown to influence voters in India in double-blind trials. There were similar results relating to the search suggestions you are offered.

“The general public are completely in the dark about very fundamental issues regarding online search and influence. We are talking about the most powerful mind-control machine ever invented in the history of the human race. And people don’t even notice it.”

Damien Tambini, an associate professor at the London School of Economics, who focuses on media regulation, says that we lack any sort of framework to deal with the potential impact of these companies on the democratic process. “We have structures that deal with powerful media corporations. We have competition laws. But these companies are not being held responsible. There are no powers to get Google or Facebook to disclose anything. There’s an editorial function to Google and Facebook but it’s being done by sophisticated algorithms. They say it’s machines not editors. But that’s simply a mechanised editorial function.”

And the companies, says John Naughton, the Observer columnist and a senior research fellow at Cambridge University, are terrified of acquiring editorial responsibilities they don’t want. “Though they can and regularly do tweak the results in all sorts of ways.”

Certainly the results about Google on Google don’t seem entirely neutral. Google “Is Google racist?” and the featured result – the Google answer boxed out at the top of the page – is quite clear: no. It is not.

Google and Facebook are thinking long term. They have the resources, money and ambition to do whatever they want

John Naughton

But the enormity and complexity of having two global companies of a kind we have never seen before influencing so many areas of our lives is such, says Naughton, that “we don’t even have the mental apparatus to even know what the problems are”.

And this is especially true of the future. Google and Facebook are at the forefront of AI. They are going to own the future. And the rest of us can barely start to frame the sorts of questions we ought to be asking. “Politicians don’t think long term. And corporations don’t think long term because they’re focused on the next quarterly results and that’s what makes Google and Facebook interesting and different. They are absolutely thinking long term. They have the resources, the money, and the ambition to do whatever they want.

“They want to digitise every book in the world: they do it. They want to build a self-driving car: they do it. The fact that people are reading about these fake news stories and realising that this could have an effect on politics and elections, it’s like, ‘Which planet have you been living on?’ For Christ’s sake, this is obvious.”

“The internet is among the few things that humans have built that they don’t understand.” It is “the largest experiment involving anarchy in history. Hundreds of millions of people are, each minute, creating and consuming an untold amount of digital content in an online world that is not truly bound by terrestrial laws.” The internet as a lawless anarchic state? A massive human experiment with no checks and balances and untold potential consequences? What kind of digital doom-mongerer would say such a thing? Step forward, Eric Schmidt – Google’s chairman. They are the first lines of the book, The New Digital Age, that he wrote with Jared Cohen.

We don’t understand it. It is not bound by terrestrial laws. And it’s in the hands of two massive, all-powerful corporations. It’s their experiment, not ours. The technology that was supposed to set us free may well have helped Trump to power, or covertly helped swing votes for Brexit. It has created a vast network of propaganda that has encroached like a cancer across the entire internet. This is a technology that has enabled the likes of Cambridge Analytica to create political messages uniquely tailored to you. They understand your emotional responses and how to trigger them. They know your likes, dislikes, where you live, what you eat, what makes you laugh, what makes you cry.

And what next? Rebecca MacKinnon’s research has shown how authoritarian regimes reshape the internet for their own purposes. Is that what’s going to happen with Silicon Valley and Trump? As Martin Moore points out, the president-elect claimed that Apple chief executive Tim Cook called to congratulate him soon after his election victory. “And there will undoubtedly be be pressure on them to collaborate,” says Moore.

Journalism is failing in the face of such change and is only going to fail further. New platforms have put a bomb under the financial model – advertising – resources are shrinking, traffic is increasingly dependent on them, and publishers have no access, no insight at all, into what these platforms are doing in their headquarters, their labs. And now they are moving beyond the digital world into the physical. The next frontiers are healthcare, transportation, energy. And just as Google is a near-monopoly for search, its ambition to own and control the physical infrastructure of our lives is what’s coming next. It already owns our data and with it our identity. What will it mean when it moves into all the other areas of our lives?

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg: still only 32 years of age.

 Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg: still only 32 years of age. Photograph: Mariana Bazo/Reuters

“At the moment, there’s a distance when you Google ‘Jews are’ and get ‘Jews are evil’,” says Julia Powles, a researcher at Cambridge on technology and law. “But when you move into the physical realm, and these concepts become part of the tools being deployed when you navigate around your city or influence how people are employed, I think that has really pernicious consequences.”

Powles is shortly to publish a paper looking at DeepMind’s relationship with the NHS. “A year ago, 2 million Londoners’ NHS health records were handed over to DeepMind. And there was complete silence from politicians, from regulators, from anyone in a position of power. This is a company without any healthcare experience being given unprecedented access into the NHS and it took seven months to even know that they had the data. And that took investigative journalism to find it out.”

The headline was that DeepMind was going to work with the NHS to develop an app that would provide early warning for sufferers of kidney disease. And it is, but DeepMind’s ambitions – “to solve intelligence” – goes way beyond that. The entire history of 2 million NHS patients is, for artificial intelligence researchers, a treasure trove. And, their entry into the NHS – providing useful services in exchange for our personal data – is another massive step in their power and influence in every part of our lives.

Because the stage beyond search is prediction. Google wants to know what you want before you know yourself. “That’s the next stage,” says Martin Moore. “We talk about the omniscience of these tech giants, but that omniscience takes a huge step forward again if they are able to predict. And that’s where they want to go. To predict diseases in health. It’s really, really problematic.”

For the nearly 20 years that Google has been in existence, our view of the company has been inflected by the youth and liberal outlook of its founders. Ditto Facebook, whose mission, Zuckberg said, was not to be “a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission to make the world more open and connected.”

The more we argue with them, the more they know about us. It all feeds into a circular system

Jonathan Albright

It would be interesting to know how he thinks that’s working out. Donald Trump is connecting through exactly the same technology platforms that supposedly helped fuel the Arab spring; connecting to racists and xenophobes. And Facebook and Google are amplifying and spreading that message. And us too – the mainstream media. Our outrage is just another node on Jonathan Albright’s data map.

“The more we argue with them, the more they know about us,” he says. “It all feeds into a circular system. What we’re seeing here is new era of network propaganda.”

We are all points on that map. And our complicity, our credulity, being consumers not concerned citizens, is an essential part of that process. And what happens next is down to us. “I would say that everybody has been really naive and we need to reset ourselves to a much more cynical place and proceed on that basis,” is Rebecca MacKinnon’s advice. “There is no doubt that where we are now is a very bad place. But it’s we as a society who have jointly created this problem. And if we want to get to a better place, when it comes to having an information ecosystem that serves human rights and democracy instead of destroying it, we have to share responsibility for that.”

Are Jews evil? How do you want that question answered? This is our internet. Not Google’s. Not Facebook’s. Not rightwing propagandists. And we’re the only ones who can reclaim it.

Source : https://www.theguardian.com

Author : Carole Cadwalladr

Categorized in Search Engine

Almost everyone is now technologically surrounded while most of us can’t imagine a tech-free life.

How do you feel if you had no internet presence at all and you are not existent in the digital world…?

Well, you can erase all your internet existence with just a click.

Wille Dahlbo and Linus Unnebäck, two developers from Sweden, have created Deseat.me – a page which allows you to wipe your entire web presence clean.

internet-3

All you have to do is log in with a Google account, and the programme scans for any apps or services you’ve created accounts for.

It then puts them all in a handy list, like so:

internet-2

“Privacy and data security is something we regard as extremely important,” explain the team behind the site.

“In fact, it’s our number one focus from beginning to end. That’s why we built it to run on your computer. So basically the only thing you’re telling us is what accounts you want to delete. Thats it, and since we use Google’s OAuth protocol we don’t have access to any of your login information.”

internet-4

The site will only delete the information linked to a certain email address – and, at the moment, it only works with Gmail. So if you’ve used Yahoo, Hotmail or another email service to sign up to things, you’re not going to be able to wipe that.

Author:  Web Desk

Source:  http://arynews.tv/

Categorized in Search Engine

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