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Popular search engines and browsers do a great job at finding and browsing content on the web, but can do a better job at protecting your privacy while doing so.

With your data being the digital currency of our times, websites, advertisers, browsers, and search engines track your behavior on the web to deliver tailored advertising, improve their algorithms, or improve their services.

In this guide, we list the best search engines and browsers to protect your privacy while using the web.

Privacy-focused search engines

Below are the best privacy-focused search engines that do not track your searchers or display advertisements based on your cookies or interests.

 

DuckDuckGo

The first privacy-focused search engine, and probably the most recognizable, we spotlight is DuckDuckGo.

Founded in 2008, DuckDuckGo is popular among users who are concerned about privacy online, and the privacy-friendly search engine recently said it had seen 2 billion total searches.

DDG

With DuckDuckGo, you can search for your questions and websites online anonymously.

DuckDuckGo does not compile entire profiles of user's search habits and behavior, and it also does not collect personal information.

DuckDuckGo is offered as a search engine option in all popular browsers.

In 2017, Brave added DuckDuckGo as a default search engine option when you use the browser on mobile or desktop. In Brave browser, your search results are powered by DuckDuckGo when you enter the private tabs (incognito).

Last year, Google also added DuckDuckGo to their list of search engines on Android and platforms. With iOS 14, Apple is now also allowing users to use DuckDuckGo as their preferred search engine.

Startpage

Unlike DuckDuckGo, Startpage is not crawling the internet to generate unique results, but instead, it allows users to obtain Google Search results while protecting their data.

Startpage started as a sister company of Ixquick, which was founded in 1998. In 2016, both websites were merged and Startpage owners received a significant investment from Privacy One Group last year.

This search engine also generates its income from advertising, but these ads are anonymously generated solely based on the search term you entered. Your information is not stored online or shared with other companies, such as Google.

StartPage

Startpage also comes with one interesting feature called "Annonymous View" that allows you to view links anonymously.

When you use this feature, Startpage renders the website in its container and the website won't be able to track you because it will see Startpage as the visitor.

Ecosia

The next search engine in our list is Ecosia.

Unlike any other search engines, Ecosia is a CO2-neutral search engine and it uses the revenue generated to plant trees. Ecosia's search results are provided by Bing and enhanced by the company's own algorithms.

Ecosia

Ecosia was first launched on 7 December 2009 and the company has donated most of its profits to plant trees across the world.

Ecosia says they're a privacy-friendly search engine and your searches are encrypted, which means the data is not stored permanently and sold to third-party advertisers.

List of privacy-friendly browsers:

Web browser developers have taken existing browser platforms such as Chrome and Firefox, and modified them to include more privacy-focuses features that protect your data while browsing the web.

 

Brave Browser

Brave is one of the fastest browser that is solely focused on privacy with features like private browsing, data saver, ad-free experience, bookmarks sync, tracking protections, HTTPs everywhere, and more.

Brave

Memory usage by Brave is far below Google Chrome and the browser is also available for both mobile and desktop.

You can download Brave from here.

Tor Browser

The Tor Browser is another browser that aims to protect your data, including your IP address, as you browse the web.

When browsing the web with Tor, your connections to web sites will be anonymous as your request will be routed through other computers and your real IP address is not shared. 

In addition, Tor bundles comes with the NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere extensions preinstalled, and clears your HTTP cookies on exit, to further protect your privacy.

Tor

firefox focus

Firefox Focus also comes with built-in ad blocker to improve your experience and block all trackers, including those operated by Google and Facebook.

You can download Tor browser from here.

Firefox Focus

Firefox Focus is also a great option if you use Android or iOS.

 

According to Mozilla, Firefox Focus blocks a wide range of online trackers, erases your history, passwords, cookies, and comes with a user-friendly interface.

 [Source: This article was published in bleepingcomputer.com By Mayank Parmar - Uploaded by the Association Member: Logan Hochstetler]

Categorized in Search Engine

Ever Google search for your own name? Even if you haven’t, there’s a good chance that a friend, family member or potential employer will at some point. And when they do, do you know everything that they’ll find?

Google is chock full of personal information you may not always want public. Whether it’s gathered by the search engine itself or scummy people-search websites, you have a right to know what kind of data other people can access when they look up your name. Tap or click here to see how to remove yourself from people search sites.

 

What others see about you online can mean the difference in landing a job or spending more time looking for one. If you want to take control of your reputation online, here’s why you need to start searching for yourself before others beat you to it.

Use exact phrases to find more than mentions

To get started with searching yourself on Google, it’s important to know how to search for exact phrases. This means telling Google you want to look up the words you typed exactly as you typed them — with no splitting terms or looking up one word while ignoring others.

To do this, simply search for your name (or any term) in quotation marks. As an example, look up “Kim Komando” and include quotation marks. Now, Google won’t show results for Kim Kardashian along with Komando.com.

Using exact phrases will weed out results for other people with similar names to yours. If you have a more common name, you may have to go through several pages before finding yourself.

If you aren’t finding anything or your name is very common, use your name plus modifiers like the city or state you live in, the names of your school(s), the name of the company you work for or other details. Make note of anything that you don’t feel comfortable with others finding and either write down the web addresses or bookmark them.

A picture says a thousand words

After you’ve saved the websites you want to go over, switch over to Google’s Image Search and scan through any pictures of you. It’s much easier to look through hundreds of images quickly versus hundreds of links, and you might be surprised at the images and websites you find.

If you find an image that concerns you, you can run a reverse image search to see where it’s hosted. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Open Google Image Search and click the Camera icon in the search bar
  • Paste a link to the image or upload the image you want to search for.
  • Your results will be shown as a combination of images and relevant websites. If an exact match is found, it will populate at the top of your results.

If the image has no text on it or any identifying information, don’t worry. Your image can turn up even if it only has your face.

Where you are and where you’ve been

Next, you’ll want to run a search for your past and current email addresses and phone numbers. This helps you see which sites have access to this personal data and will also show you what others can find if they look this information up.

 

If you’ve ever signed up for a discussion board or forum with your personal email address, your post history could easily show up if someone Googles you. The same can be said for social media pages and blogs. Find and make note of any posts or content that you’d prefer to make private.

Finally, run a search for your social media account usernames. Try to remember any usernames you may have used online and look those up. For example, if you search for the username “kimkomando,” you’ll turn up Kim’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts.

If you can’t remember, try searching for your name (as an exact phrase in quotation marks) plus the social network you want to look up. This might reveal accounts that you forgot about or that are less private than you think. If your real name is visible anywhere, it probably falls into this category.

Keep track going forward

If you want to stay on top of information that pops up about you on social media (or the rest of the web), you can set up a free Google Alert for your name. It’s an easy way to keep tabs on your online reputation.

Here’s how to set up a Google Alert for your name:

  • Visit Google.com/alerts and type what you want Google to alert you about in the search bar.
  • Click Show options to change settings for frequency, sources, language and region. You can also specify how many results you want and where you want them delivered.
  • Click Create Alert to start receiving alerts on yourself or other search topics you’re interested in.

Bonus: What does Google know about me?

And last but not least, let’s take a moment to address data that Google itself keeps on you. By default, Google records every search you enter, your location (if you use Google Maps), video-watching history and searches from YouTube, and much more.

Anyone who knows your Google Account email and digs deep enough can learn plenty about your online activities. If you haven’t visited your Google Account and privacy settings in a while, now’s the time to do it.

Now that you’ve searched for yourself and taken note of content that people can see if they look you up, it’s time to take things a step further and actually remove any data that you don’t want public. Want to know how? Just follow along for part two of our guide to Google-searching yourself.

[Source: This article was published in komando.com By KOMANDO STAFF - Uploaded by the Association Member: David J. Redcliff]

Categorized in Search Engine

DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine, announced that August 2020 ended in over 2 billion total searches via its search platform.

While Google remains the most popular search engine, DuckDuckGo has gained a great deal of traction in recent months as more and more users have begun to value their privacy on the internet.

DuckDuckGo saw over 2 billion searches and 4 million app/extension installations, and the company also said that they have over 65 million active users. DuckDuckGo could shatter its old traffic record if the same growth trend continues.

 

Screenshot 5

Even though DuckDuckGo is growing rapidly, it still controls less than 2 percent of all search volume in the United States. However, DuckDuckGo's growth trend has continued throughout the year, mainly due to Google and other companies' privacy scandal.

DuckDuckGo1.jpg

On average, DuckDuckGo is getting 65 million+ searches regularly. The number is likely to be more if we add up the searches performed via DuckDuckGo's API, extensions, or apps.

DuckDuckGo search engine is based on Bing, community-developed sites such as Wikipedia, and the company has developed its own crawler to generate its index of search results.

Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo is more privacy-oriented, and they don't track what users are searching for. As a result, DuckDuckGo search results are not as up-to-date as Google or even Bing.

On the other hand, Google has championed web standards, and its search engine allegedly ignores privacy standards and tracks people across its platforms.

If you are serious about privacy, you can give DuckDuckGo a try by visiting their search homepage. You can also use DuckDuckGo by installing its extensions and apps.

[Source: This article was published in bleepingcomputer.com By Mayank Parmar - Uploaded by the Association Member: Issac Avila]

Categorized in Search Engine

Learn key insights that will help you understand how the algorithms of Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook work.

Here’s an old question that gets asked every year:

How do social media algorithms work?

But, you can often uncover strategic insights by looking at an old question like this one from a different perspective.

In fact, there’s a term for this effect.

It’s called the “parallax” view.

parallax-view.png

For example, marketers often look for influencers on the social media platforms with the greatest reach.

But, influencers evaluate these same platforms based on their opportunity to grow their audience and make more money.

 

This explains why The State of Influencer Marketing 2020: Benchmark Report found that the top five social media platforms for influencer marketing are:

  • Instagram (82%).
  • YouTube (41%).
  • TikTok (23%).
  • Twitter (23%).
  • Facebook (5%).

This list made me wonder why marketers focus on the reach of their campaign’s outputs, but influencers are focused on the growth of their program’s outcomes.

Influencers want to learn how the Instagram and YouTube algorithms work, because they want their videos discovered by more people.

And influencers are interested in learning how the TikTok and Twitter algorithms work, because they are thinking about creating content for those platforms.

Facebook’s algorithm, however, doesn’t seem quite as important to today’s influencers – unless Facebook represents a significant opportunity for them to make more money.

There are a lot of strategic insights that marketers can glean from looking at how social media algorithms work from an influencer’s point of view.

How the Instagram Algorithm Works

Back in 2016, Instagram stopped using a reverse-chronological feed.

Since then, the posts in each user’s feed on the platform has been ordered according to the Instagram algorithm’s ranking signals.

According to the Instagram Help Center:

“Instagram’s technology uses different ways, or signals, to determine the order of posts in your feed. These signals are used to help determine how your feed is ordered, and may include:

  • “Likelihood you’ll be interested in the content.
  • “Date the post was shared.
  • “Previous interactions with the person posting.”

This has a profound impact on influencers – as well as the marketers who are trying to identify the right influencers, find the right engagement tactics, and measure the performance of their programs.

Relevance

The first key signal is relevance, not reach.

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Why?

Because Instagram users are more likely to be interested in an influencer’s content if it is relevant – if it’s about what interests them.

In other words, if you’re interested in football (a.k.a., soccer), then the likelihood that you’ll be interested in content by Nabaa Al Dabbagh, aka “I Speak Football Only,” is high.

But, far too many marketers are looking for celebrities and mega-influencers who have lots of Instagram followers (a.k.a., reach), instead of looking for macro-, mid-tier, micro-, or nano-influencers who are creating relevant content that their target audience is more likely to find interesting.

i-speak-football-only.png

Recency

The second key signal is recency, or how recently a post has been shared.

This gives an advantage to influencers like Marwan Parham Al Awadhi, a.k.a., “DJ Bliss,” who post frequently.

dj-bliss.png

Unfortunately, far too many marketers are engaging influencers to create a single post during a campaign instead of building a long-term relationship with brand advocates who will generate a series of posts that recommend their brand on an ongoing basis.

Resonance

The third key signal is resonance.

In other words, how engaging are an influencer’s posts?

Do they prompt interactions such as comments, likes, reshares, and views with the influencer’s audience?

And, unfortunately, way too many marketers assume that an influencer’s post that mentions their brand has increased their brand awareness, using bogus metrics like Earned Media Value (EMV).

If they’d read, Why International Search Marketers Should Care About Brand Measurement, then they’d realize there are a variety of legitimate ways to measure the impact of an influencer marketing campaign on:

  • Brand awareness.
  • Brand frequency.
  • Brand familiarity.
  • Brand favorability.
  • Brand emotions.
  • Purchase consideration.
  • Brand preference.
  • Brand demand.

Using this parallax view, it’s easy to see that too many marketers mistakenly think influencer marketing is just like display advertising.

They’re buying posts from influencers the same way they would buy ads from publishers.

So, marketers who only look at an influencer’s reach shouldn’t be shocked, shocked to discover that some influencers are using bad practices such as fake followers, bots, and fraud to inflate their numbers.

If you use a one-dimensional view of an influencer’s influence, then you reap what you sow.

How Does the YouTube Algorithm Work?

Now, I’ve already written several articles on how the YouTube algorithm works, including:

But, these articles were written for marketers, not influencers.

So, what can we learn from looking at YouTube’s algorithm from an influencer’s point of view?

Well, according to YouTube Help:

“The goals of YouTube’s search and discovery system are twofold: to help viewers find the videos they want to watch, and to maximize long-term viewer engagement and satisfaction.”

So, YouTube influencers need to start by creating great content on discoverable topics.

Why?

Well, YouTube is one of the most-used search engines in the world.

People visit the site looking for videos about all sorts of subjects.

These viewers may not necessarily be looking for a specific influencer’s video, but they’ll discover it if it ranks well in YouTube search results or suggested videos.

Learn how to use Google Trends to find out what your audiences is looking for on YouTube.

The default results in Google Trends show “web search” interest in a search term or a topic.

But, if you click on the “web search” tab, the drop-down menu will show you that one of your other options is “YouTube search” interest.

YouTube influencers can then use what they see to inform their content strategies.

For example, you might learn that there was 31% more YouTube search interest worldwide in the topic, beauty, than in the topic, fashion.

fashion-vs-beauty.png

Or you might discover that there was 18 times more YouTube search interest worldwide in the sport, drifting, than in the sport, motorsport.

motorsport-vs-drifting.png

YouTube’s algorithm can’t watch your videos, so you need to optimize your metadata, including your titles, tags, and descriptions.

Unfortunately, most marketers don’t use this approach to find the search terms and topics on YouTube that are relevant for their brand and then identify the influencers who are creating content that ranks well for these keywords and phrases.

Now, getting your YouTube video content discovered is only half the battle.

 

Influencers also need to build long watch-time sessions for their content by organizing and featuring content on their channel, including using series playlists.

As YouTube Help explains:

“A series playlist allows you to mark your playlist as an official set of videos that should be viewed together. Adding videos to a series playlist allows other videos in the playlist to be featured and recommended when someone is viewing a video in the series. YouTube may use this info to modify how the videos are presented or discovered.”

Fortunately, one of the guest speakers for NMA’s program was Mark Wiens, one of the most famous food vloggers in the world.

His YouTube channel has more than 1.4 billion views and almost 6.7 million subscribers.

Here are examples of the playlists that he had created, including Thai food and travel guides.

mark wien

Now, marketers could also look over the playlists on the YouTube channels of influencers when they’re evaluating which ones are “right” for a campaign.

However, I strongly suspect that this only happens once in a blue moon.

 

How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work?

The TikTok Newsroom posted How TikTok recommends videos #ForYou just before I was scheduled to talk about this topic.

Hey, sometimes you get lucky.

tiktok.png

Here’s what I learned:

“When you open TikTok and land in your For You feed, you’re presented with a stream of videos curated to your interests, making it easy to find content and creators you love. This feed is powered by a recommendation system that delivers content to each user that is likely to be of interest to that particular user.”

 

 

So, how does this platform’s recommendation system work?

According to TikTok:

“Recommendations are based on a number of factors, including things like:

  • “User interactions such as the videos you like or share, accounts you follow, comments you post, and content you create.
  • “Video information, which might include details like captions, sounds, and hashtags.
  • “Device and account settings like your language preference, country setting, and device type. These factors are included to make sure the system is optimized for performance, but they receive lower weight in the recommendation system relative to other data points we measure since users don’t actively express these as preferences.”

The TikTok Newsroom adds:

“All these factors are processed by our recommendation system and weighted based on their value to a user. A strong indicator of interest, such as whether a user finishes watching a longer video from beginning to end, would receive greater weight than a weak indicator, such as whether the video’s viewer and creator are both in the same country. Videos are then ranked to determine the likelihood of a user’s interest in a piece of content, and delivered to each unique For You feed.”

TikTok cautions:

“While a video is likely to receive more views if posted by an account that has more followers, by virtue of that account having built up a larger follower base, neither follower count nor whether the account has had previous high-performing videos are direct factors in the recommendation system.”

It’s worth noting that Oracle has won the bid to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations after ByteDance rejected a bid by Walmart and Microsoft.

Meanwhile, YouTube released YouTube Shorts, a TikTok-like feature, while Facebook recently launched Instagram Reels, which is basically a TikTok knock-off.

So, it appears that some very big players are convinced that TikTok represents a significant opportunity to make more money, or a competitive threat to the growth of their own social media platforms.

I wish that I could add more, but I’m a stranger here myself.

How Does Twitter’s Algorithm Work?

When Twitter was launched back in 2006, it had a simple timeline structure and tweets were displayed in reverse chronological order from the people you followed.

 

 

But, like other social media, Twitter started using an algorithm to show users posts that different factors indicate they’ll like.

The biggest recent change to Twitter’s algorithm took place in 2017.

According to a Twitter blog post by Nicolas Koumchatzky and Anton Andryeyev:

“Right after gathering all Tweets, each is scored by a relevance model. The model’s score predicts how interesting and engaging a Tweet would be specifically to you. A set of highest-scoring Tweets is then shown at the top of your timeline, with the remainder shown directly below.”

Their post added:

“Depending on the number of candidate Tweets we have available for you and the amount of time since your last visit, we may choose to also show you a dedicated “In case you missed it” module. This modules meant to contain only a small handful of the very most relevant Tweets ordered by their relevance score, whereas the ranked timeline contains relevant Tweets ordered by time. The intent is to let you see the best Tweets at a glance first before delving into the lengthier time-ordered sections.”

How Does Facebook’s Algorithm Work?

The biggest recent change to Facebook’s algorithm took place in January 2018.

In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg announced:

“I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

He added:

“The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

That same day, Adam Mosseri, who was then the head of News Feed, also wrote a Facebbok post that said:

“Today we use signals like how many people react to, comment on or share posts to determine how high they appear in News Feed. With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to – whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.”

He added:

“Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”

So, it isn’t surprising that influencers got the memo.

Which explains why so few believe Facebook represents a significant opportunity to make more money.

Ironically, it’s unclear that marketers got the memo.

Far too many are still cranking out Facebook posts and videos despite the fact that few people are reacting to, commenting on, or sharing them.

Or, as I wrote in Two Social Media Vanity Metrics You Need to Stop Tracking, marketers should stop tracking Facebook Page Likes and Followers because “you’re lucky if .0035% of your Fans and Followers even sees your post or tweet these days.”

new-media-academy.jpg

The Takeaway

These are just some of the strategic insights that marketers can discover by looking at how social media algorithms work from an influencer’s point of view.

If you’re a marketer, then I suggest you move most of the people and budget that you’ve dedicated to creating branded content on Facebook into influencer marketing on Instagram and YouTube.

As for TikTok and Twitter, wait until after the dust settles later this year.

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Greg Jarboe - Uploaded by the Association Member: Corey Parker]

Categorized in Social

Google accounts for nearly 96% of the market share of serps globally, in line with Statista. They’re adopted by far, Bing (2.7%) and Yahoo! (1.14%). Though they’re complicated serps, a few of their strategies are related to people who Archie started utilizing 30 years in the past, which is taken into account the primary search engine on the Web. It was developed even earlier than the World Broad Internet existed and was supposed to find information saved on FTP (file switch protocol) servers.

“Archie’s principal distinction with different serps like Google or Yahoo! is that it was not an online search engine. It was a search engine for FTP servers, that’s, servers the place there have been information ”, explains Fernando Suárez, president of the Council of Official Colleges of Computer Engineering (CCII). Its creation was some of the excellent advances within the subject of computing in 2020. That is the way it considers it the School of Computer Engineering of the University of Oviedo, which explains that earlier than 1990 customers may solely entry the net utilizing the FTP protocols: “This made searching extraordinarily difficult as we perceive it at the moment, since to entry a website you needed to know the server on which it was positioned ”.

 

Due to this fact, in line with Suárez recollects, till then it was “virtually unimaginable” to find a file if one didn’t know precisely the place it was. Archie, which allowed information to be discovered by identify, was used primarily “in universities and academia.” The fundamental operation was just like that of the various search engines which might be used at the moment, however not an identical: “It’s not in regards to the titles of FTP information, however in regards to the world Broad Internet. Now the various search engines undergo all of the webs in quest of content material, not solely in search of the identify of the web page ”.

Behind this search engine, was Alan Emtage. He’s a founding member of the Web Society, is a part of the Internet Hall of Fame and is a associate in a New York-based internet improvement firm known as Mediapolis. Again then, about 30 years in the past, I used to be a younger man from Barbados finding out Laptop Science on the McGill University in Montreal (Canada). Whereas finding out, he created Archie, whose identify derives from the phrase archive. It consisted of a set of packages that searched the repositories of software program of the Web and created a sort of index of the obtainable software program. That’s, a database through which the identify of a file might be positioned.

Emtage wasn’t the one particular person engaged on an Web search engine within the late Eighties, however Archie was the primary to be publicly distributed, in line with McGill College. And it laid the inspiration for future seekers. “Archie developed the rules on which these serps work, that are principally going out, retrieving data, indexing it and permitting folks to go looking,” explains Emtage within the Web of the College.

Suárez says that entry to the Web at the moment was very restricted. However, amongst those that may entry, it signifies that it was widespread to make use of Archie. He himself used it when he was finding out Laptop Engineering at college to seek out information with data on the right way to apply for internships or work. “It was attainable to do international searches however all you discovered was textual content, there weren’t the graphical environments that we’ve got at the moment and lots of instances you downloaded paperwork that weren’t what you needed,” he provides.

The altruistic web

On the time, in line with the engineer, Archie was “an ideal revolution.” “One thing nearly science fiction. Looking for documentation virtually on a common stage was like magic, “he says. However later “it stopped making sense when the net appeared and there started to be different kinds of serps.” Each the Web and serps have modified since then. Emtage is anxious about privateness points and the rise in customized searches with which corporations try to interpret what a person may need. “Google can take away complete elements of the search area that it might suppose you do not need to see, however [esas partes] They may comprise beneficial data that you just won’t be able to acquire now. And they’ll do it with out your data ”, explains the creator of Archie.

However there are some points of the Web and serps that you just do like, and a few of them nonetheless stay. Emtage, in a speech he gave in 2017 Upon becoming a member of the Web Corridor of Fame, he underscored that a part of the spirit of altruism that was outstanding 30 years in the past nonetheless exists. “The Web as we all know it at the moment wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the truth that most of the organizations and individuals who labored on it at the moment freely allowed the fruit of their work to be distributed without spending a dime,” he mentioned. And he careworn that at the moment there may be nonetheless a lot of the Web that runs on open supply software program to which programmers and engineers from everywhere in the world freely contribute.

As well as, he recalled a dialog about 30 years in the past with engineer Vinton Cerf, thought of one of many fathers of the Web: “He jokingly mentioned to me: Why do not you patent the strategies you might be utilizing in Archie for the search engine? We thought of it fastidiously and got here to the conclusion that if we did, we’d prohibit folks’s capability to make use of what we had created and increase it. “

 

[Source: This article was published in pledgetimes.com By Bhavi Mandalia - Uploaded by the Association Member: David J. Redcliff]

Categorized in Search Engine

Apple made a significant update to its web crawler Applebot, fueling speculation that the tech giant wants to swoop in and grab search market share from rival Google with its own web-based search engine. Let’s dig in a little bit deeper to find out how this strategic move will benefit the Cupertino-based tech behemoth. 

Apple is planning to dip its toes into the search engine market. Coywolf’s report hints that “there are several signs that Apple may be doing just that.” Speculations have also been triggered by recent updates to improve Siri and Spotlight search results, which indicate that Apple is doubling down on search. 

 

Apple’s Ambitious Project: A Search Engine

Since 2015, the Cupertino tech giant has been hard at work to blunt Google’s dominance in search. First came the web crawler Applebot —  used in products like Siri and Spotlight Suggestions, Apple confirmed. Applebot is pegged as a springboard that will enable Apple to rapidly expand its search.  Evidently, in July this year, Apple updated its Applebot support page, and since then, several developers have noticed more frequent Applebot crawls on their site. Michael James Field, a digital marketing consultant, tweeted about massive spikes in crawls.  

Then, in 2018, Goldman Sachs analysts estimated that Google paid Apple $9.5 billion in traffic acquisition costs (TAC) to be the default search engine on iOS devices. This accounted for 23% of Apple’s service group’s total revenue. In 2019, Google paid Apple $1.5 billion to remain the default iOS search option in the U.K alone. 

This massive deal has come under the radar of the U.K. regulators. Upon reviewing the agreement, The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority observed that this arrangement stifled competition in the search engine market populated with Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo. 

 

The report stated, “Given the impact of pre installations and defaults on mobile devices and Apple’s significant market share, it is our view that Apple’s existing arrangements with Google create a significant barrier to entry and expansion for rivals affecting competition between search engines on mobiles.”

Apple is also busy building an engineering team to drive search engine operations, the jobs page reveals.  

Search Engine: A Big Boost to Apple’s Business

If Apple launches its search engine, it might just diminish Google’s stranglehold in the search engine market and eat into its ad revenue, which amounted to $134.81 billion in 2019.  Jon Henshaw, founder and managing editor of Coywolf says, “A search engine from Apple will likely look and function slightly different from modern search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. That’s because Apple historically likes to do things differently, and their search engine will serve a different purpose than showing ads and data mining. an Apple search engine will likely function as a highly personalized data hub. It will be similar to Google Assistant on Android, but different since it (initially) won’t have ads, will be completely private, and have significantly deeper integrations with the OS.”

In August 2020, Apple introduced the AI/ML residency program to gather niche experts to build AI products and experiences. With this program, Apple aims to leverage AI and ML expertise to strengthen its search engine platform and beef up AI-driven search results based on users’ email, messages, photos, contacts, and events.

Apple search engine will be a big boost for iOS developers who could promote their apps in the search engine, adding value to Apple’s digital ad revenue. And if Apple does launch its own universal search engine, it would be more personalized, privacy-focused, and feature deeper integrations with the OS. 

 

[Source: This article was published in toolbox.com By Priya Jha - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jennifer Levin]

Categorized in News & Politics

Apple plans to introduce its own search engine, to compete with Google. There are a number of indicators suggesting that the Cupertino-based tech giant company may be planning for its own search engine.

Every year Google spends billions of dollars to maintain as the default search engine for all Apple devices such as the iPhone, MacBooks, and the iPad on its Safari browser. This means the search results would be collected from Google while you check on the web Safari. Although users may adjust the search settings by default.

It seems, though, that this arrangement will come to an end, as Apple plans to develop its own web-based search engine to compete with Google. according to marketing insights by Coywolf,  Extending the searches for Siri and Spotlight searches in iOS 14 beta, increase crawling from AppleBot’s and substantial changes to About AppleBot support reveal that Apple is soon ready to introduce.

 

Apple Might Be Working On its Own Search Engine to Take on Google

In the UK, Apple was forced by the regulator to remove Google as the default search engine for Safari. Coywolf has claimed government constraints and a controversial relationship with Google provide the technology giant with a chance to introduce it’s own. In addition, because Apple is still the world’s leading company, even the billions of dollars Google pays, but Apple does not want them.oneplus-n-1.jpg

There are many indicators to confirm a switch –from search engineer job ads to its spotlight search bypassing Google search using iOS 14 beta, according to an online report. All of these factors tend to believe that the giant tech will eventually develop its own search engine. Yet not sure but maybe the search engine of Apple will look and function quite differently than current engines because the company prefers to do things differently in the past. The company has a great deal to gain by developing its own search engine.

A number of website developers have seen Apple’s apple Bot activity in its website logs. In general, Applebot is a web crawler, which means that it scans the web to determine how search results would be ranked. This depends on a number of factors such as relevance and user involvement. The latest action of Applebot thus constitutes a major indication of Apple’s intentions to enter the search engine market.

A recent report by MacRumors supports this observation and indicates that Applebot has recently been even more involved than normal. Jon Henshaw, Coywolf’s founder, is one of the developers who has been noticing Applebot a lot in his website logs.

 [Source: This article was published in phoneworld.com.pk By Sehrish Kayani - Uploaded by the Association Member: Deborah Tannen]

Categorized in News & Politics

Learn how to find the images you're after, more quickly and efficiently, using these advanced search capabilities in Google Images.

Searching for images on Google is a simple process.

Many of us can quickly find a picture of something we are searching for by performing a basic Google image search.

Google populates the results, sometimes with ads in the first row, with rows and rows of images and then links back to their respective websites.

This is the standard image search functionality that most of us are used to seeing when we’re looking for a photo on Google.

 

It is an extremely common search result format, that clearly layouts and categorizes various types of image results.

food-processor-1-5eb9bc4527760.png

However, many of us often forget or underutilize Google’s advanced image search feature, which can help us all perform more refined image searches.

Below are a few methods to use advanced image search on Google to find images that you’re after, more quickly and efficiently.

Advanced Search Filters

By navigating to images.google.com, you can start to perform your standard image search.

The basic search bar appears for you to enter your query.

However, many do not know that by clicking “tools”, you can then see a few different advanced filters to help specify what you are looking for even further.

google-image-search-for-dogs-.jpg

You can filter image results in the following ways:

Image Size

Here you can choose from large, medium, small, or an icon.

This can help to quickly locate an image based on the specific size you are after.

Whether it be a larger “hero” image or a smaller thumbnail, this feature can make it a speedier process to specify sizes.

Image Color

You have the option of black and white, transparent, or a specific color such as blue, red, yellow, etc.

This can help to easily narrow down an image search to pick up on any certain tones or colors you’re after.

Say you are writing a blog post on beach vacations, and want some images with light blue water, you can quickly find those using this filter.

Image Usage Rights

Labeled for reuse with modification, labeled for reuse, labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification, labeled for non-commercial reuse.

This is helpful in order to easily identify what photos are up for reuse and which ones are not.

Image Type

Options include clip art, line drawing, and GIF.

This can help to easily locate images based on animation or illustration type.

Time

Options include the past 24 hours, past week, past month, past year.

This can help to pin down more recent photos that may be more relevant, dependent on the topic you are after.

Google Advanced Image Search

Now, by navigating to Google’s Advanced Image Search, you will find that this tool uses all of the filters listed above, and then some.

If you still cannot find a specific image that you are after with the basic filters, this is a great tool to try.

google-advanced-image-search-5eba883ed387c.png

This Exact Word or Phrase

This option lets you find images after inputting multiple keywords, to narrow down and specify your search further.

This is very similar to using quotes when searching for something online.

Aspect Ratio

This feature allows you to search specifically for certain image aspect ratios.

So, if you wanted to see an image that should be wide, tall, panoramic, etc., you can find those images here.

Region

This feature allows you to see which photos are public in a specific part of the world.

 

This makes it easy to pin down photos from places you plan to visit, etc.

Site or Domain

Like a Google site search, use this advanced image search option to limit the results to photos from a particular website URL.

SafeSearch

Enable or disable SafeSearch to block inappropriate content.

File Type

If you are after specific file types, you can pick which image file format Google should look for (e.g., JPGPNGSVG).

Reverse Image Search

By going to google.com and then selecting “images” in the top right corner, you are brought to Google’s reverse image search.

Now, when you select the camera icon, you can then search for other images by uploading an image.

You can either place an image URL or upload your own specific image.

google-reverse-image-search-5eba87f0684f1.png

This is useful for a few different reasons.

Refine & Narrow Your Search

A reverse image search can help you find images that fit a granular set of search criteria, saving you time scrolling through hundreds of images to locate what you’re after.

It helps to refine and narrow your search, creating a better overall user experience.

 

Pinpoint Image Sources

Say you had saved an image of something when you were searching – for instance, an in-end table that you had been interested in.

You saved the image to your computer, however, cannot remember what website you had pulled it from.

Performing a reverse image search can help you to quickly pinpoint the source.

This can save you a lot of time and hassle, for various types of search results.

end-table-image-search-5eba888806439.png

Integrate Advanced Image Search

There are billions of image searches happening every day.

Yet, many don’t know the full functionality and capabilities that Google offers for performing more robust image searches.

Utilizing these capabilities can help you save a significant amount of time, especially when searching for a specific image, or certain parameters that an image needs to meet.

The next time you’re looking for a specific image, take advantage of advanced filters and reverse image search to help you pinpoint what you’re after.\

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Natalie Hoben - Uploaded by the Association Member: Dorothy Allen]

Categorized in Search Engine

Some users still get Edge crashes with Google as the default search engine – a workaround is to switch to Bing.

Microsoft has now offered an explanation for the bug that caused Chromium-based Edge to crash when Google was set as the default search engine – but didn't crash if Microsoft's much less popular Bing was set instead. 

The crashes were happening when users typed in the address bar. The conditions for the crash made it appear to some that there was a skirmish playing out between Google and Microsoft on the new Edge, which ships with Bing as the default search engine and strips out many Google features that are in Chrome. 

At the time, Microsoft didn't explain the cause of the crashes and why it only impacted Edge with Google as the default. However, after fixing the bug it did advise users to "revert your browser settings that you may have changed" to avoid the crashes. 

 

As spotted by Techdows, the Microsoft Edge team has now explained in a Reddit post that its "friends at Google" helped discover the cause of the crashes and even rolled back a recent change in Google search to mitigate the issue on Edge. 

"Our engineers found that an unrecognized token in the search suggestions JSON was causing the Edge browser to crash when typing in the address bar with Google set as the default search engine," explains MSFTMissy, a community manager for Edge. 

"We reached out to our friends at Google to see if they knew of a change that could've affected this. After investigating, they rolled back a recent update to Google's search service to help mitigate the crash on Edge.

"Thanks to the swift action on their team, we confirmed the issue was mitigated in Edge around 7:30pm Pacific. To insure we were not blocking the deployment of their changes, we had also rolled out a fix to our Stable channel."

The Microsoft Edge team is now recommending that Edge users update to version 84.0.522.52, which contains updates that address the bug. It's also rolling out these changes to Edge on the Beta and Dev channels. 

However, in a subsequent update, MSFTMissy noted that some users were still experiencing the same crashes despite being on the latest version of Edge. 

One of three workarounds is to "change your search engine back to Bing, temporarily".

Other workarounds include turning off Search Suggestions in edge://settings/search, to use Edge in InPrivate, or to sign out of the browser.

[Source: This article was published in zdnet.com By Liam Tung - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jasper Solander]

Categorized in Search Engine

Google, the company that’s making money from ads tailored to your preferences, will finally be more transparent about how ads work. Google, the company that has been involved in various privacy scandals that revealed the novel ways it was tracking your online activity or your location to improve its ads, will tell you exactly how ad tech works. And it’s all happening in Google Chrome, the world’s most popular web browser. It’s not exactly coming from the goodness of its heart. Google still wants to make money off of your anonymized data, and I often explained that the data-for-free-apps trade-off does make plenty of sense for several of Google’s class-leading apps. But competing browsers that offer the user analytics about online ads and trackers, as well as ad blockers that threaten Google’s bottom line, forced Google to rethink its ad-related policies. In recent years, Google announced and implemented several measures meant to allow it to police the bad ads that ruin the internet-browsing experience, and the latest move further complements those efforts.

 

However, the Ads Transparency Spotlight (ATS) comes as a Chrome add-on that you’d have to install from the Chrome Web Store rather than becoming a built-in feature of the browser.

The new ATS add-on was built around an API called the “Ad Disclosure Schema” that allows advertisers to disclose how their ads work. However, ATS will pull information from Google’s ads initially, per ZDNet. Google hopes that other advertisers will expose a similar API/schema for their own system.

The ATS add-on will show you the following information:

  • Detailed information about the ads on the web page, including how many ads are on the page.
  • A list of ad providers responsible for serving the ads on the page. These companies serve ads or provide the ad technology to help ads appear on this page.
  • The reasons why ads are shown on a page. A combination of several factors that decide which ad will be shown on a page:

– Your demographics: May include age, gender, and other information (provided by you or inferred).
– Marketing Campaign: A visit to the advertiser’s website added you to a marketing campaign.
– Your location: General: Broad location, such as country or city.
– Your interests: Topics related to websites you have visited or interests you provided.
– Context: Topics shown to anyone who visits this page.
– Other information: All other reasons.
– Your location: Specific: Your specific location.

Google will also list companies in the ad tech business that deal with social media buttons, web analytics, or tracking scripts. Google will offer links to the privacy policy of each of these countries, where you’ll be able to see what data they collect about you.

chrome-extensions-ads-transparency-spotlight.jpg

Screenshot shows Google’s new Ads Transparency Spotlight for Chrome. Image source: Google

The ATS add-on will not let you take any action against any of the companies, ads, or trackers found on the page. It just presents the information in a neatly arranged format. Should you not like something that you see, you’ll either have to change browsers and/or install programs that can block trackers and ads.

Google did build its own ad blocker in Chrome, a program meant to police the ads that misbehave, and announced that ads would no longer be able to consume resources and drain battery life. Google also announced a new Privacy Sandbox last year that’s meant to add a further layer of anonymity to the data that advertisers collect. Finally, Google last week announced a new Trust Token API tech intended to replace third-party cookies in the future, so the functionality of some websites doesn’t break once the cookies are gone.

Check out the Ads Transparency Spotlight at this linkAnd here is the manual for it.

 

[Source: This article was published in bgr.com By Chris Smith- Uploaded by the Association Member: David J. Redcliff]

Categorized in Internet Privacy
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