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Short Bytes: Do you know about all the things you can do using Facebook’s search engine? It’s way powerful that you think. Using a combination of different search phrases, you can search all the posts, news, places, and photos. You can even use it to shop, play games, or listen music. But, it’s a lot different that regular web search engines like Google.

Facebook’s internal search engine is one of the most underrated and under-used tools we come across every day. Also, apart from Google’s search engine, it’s one of the most powerful search tools that we have at our fingertips.

Our most Facebook search activity is limited to typing the names of friends and pages in the search box and seldom we use for other purposes. This isn’t entirely our fault. After the introduction of Graph Search in 2014, apart from becoming more popular, Facebook’s search engine has become trickier. Now, there are many option and query syntax.

What exactly can I find using Facebook search?

If you take a look at Facebook’s search prompt, it says “Search Facebook.” That’s right, this search lets you search any post you’ve seen before on Facebook, all the friends, all publicly shared items, etc.

But, to do so, often Facebook needs you to phrase your search queries using natural language. Basically, it’s very different from Google’s search engine. As you enter a phrase or friend’s name, Facebook starts showing you prompts and suggestions that are automatically generated. These suggestions are personalized, which means that they are different for all Facebook users and vary according to their past activities.

1. Use Facebook to find friends, groups, and pages, obviously

Facebook experience is all about your friends and there are many ways you can search your friends. Apart from directly searching for any user, you can sort the search results based on city, education, work, and mutual friends. Alternatively, you can also use following patterns:

  • My friends
  • My close friends
  • Friends of my friends
  • Friends of Sarah

2. Tips and trick to easily search interests, likes, photos, etc.

The new Facebook search makes it easy to find what your friends have liked. For example, you can start typing Friends who like…. and it’ll start showing top suggestions. To narrow the search results, you need to click on a filter like People, Photos, Pages, etc.

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You can use phrases like Photos of…. to look for your photos, pictures of your friends, etc. You can also search your previously liked photos and posts. Simply search Photos/posts liked by me. You can also use this search syntax to find the photos/posts liked by your friends and family. Simply replace me by my friends or some particular friend.

Facebook search also supports other keyword searches to help you find what you’re looking for. You can start searching with keywords like cake recipe Carol, Lisa wedding, etc. You can use the phrases that you remember from a particular post.

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3. Find hotels, restaurants, etc. using Facebook

Just in case you’re looking for some pizza place nearby, you can try related searches. As Facebook supports search for places, you’ll be able to search for hotels, businesses, restaurants, services, etc. You can combine phrases like liked by my friends, liked by me, etc. to get more specific results.

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4. Search videos using Facebook search

You can also search for videos on Facebook. Simply use phrases like videos, trailer, music video, etc. to get what you want. Ex. La La Land Trailer

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5. Find latest news articles on Facebook

In recent times, Facebook has emerged as one of the most common source of news for its users. You can use phrases like Links/news/posts about… or use hashtags to specify the search result:

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6. Search games and music

Facebook is also home to various games and music. You can search for games like Candy Crush, Words With Friends, etc. You can also search your favorite music artists and bands, and get updates on their latest releases and videos.

facebook-tricks-search

7. Find things on Facebook and shop

You might haven’t realized but you can do shopping on Facebook. Simply search for the thing you’re looking for and narrow down the query using the top filters. You also get the option to sort the shop results according to their price.

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8. Search your own Facebook history


Apart from using Facebook search option to find your posts and photos, you can search your activity log by visiting this URL: https://www.facebook.com/me/allactivity

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9. Find phone number on Facebook

Last but not the least, you can search for a phone number on Facebook. Simply enter your phone number (if it’s public), you can see it for yourself.

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Important: Combine the search keywords

As said above, you can combine these phrases together and add things like time, location, interests, likes, etc. to get more specific results. For ex., Photos of my friends before 2000. You should also keep in mind that Facebook’s Graph Search isn’t a typical web search engine. It’s best for searching specific content types like photos, people, posts, places, and businesses.

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It goes without saying that the search results are affected by the privacy settings. Facebook also makes sure that your privacy settings are taken care of.

Source:  https://fossbytes.com/facebook-search-engine-tips-tricks

Categorized in How to

Search engines are pretty good at finding what you’re looking for these days, but sometimes they still come up short. For those occasions there are a few little known tricks which come in handy.

So here are some tips for better googling (as it’s the most popular search engine) but many will work on other search engines too.

1. Exact phrase

 

The simplest and most effective way to search for something specific is to use quote marks around a phrase or name to search for those exact words in that exact order.

For instance, searching for Joe Bloggs will show results with both Joe and Bloggs but not necessarily placed sequentially. Searching for “Joe Bloggs” will surface only those that specifically have the name Joe Bloggs somewhere on the page.

The exact or explicit phrase search is very useful for excluding more common but less relevant results.

2. Exclude terms

If exact phrase doesn’t get you what you need, you can specifically exclude certain words using the minus symbol.

A search for “Joe Bloggs” -jeans will find results for Joe Bloggs, but it will exclude those results for the Joe Bloggs brand of jeans.

3. Either OR

Default text searches find results with all the words of the query. By using the OR term you can search for one or another term, not just all the terms. OR searches can be useful for finding things that you’re not sure which term will be used from a known list.

4. Synonym search

Sometimes it’s useful to search for a less specific term. If you’re not sure which term will be used you can use synonym search.

Searching for plumbing ~university will bring up results for plumbing from colleges as well as universities, for example.

5. Search within a site

The search engines of most websites are poor. You can search using Google instead by using the site or domain limiter.

Searching with site:theguardian.com followed by a search term, will find results from only theguardian.com. Combining with explicit search terms makes it even more powerful.

6. The power of the asterisk

Like the blank tile in Scrabble, the asterisk works as a wild card within searches. It can be used in place of a missing word or part of a word, which is useful for completing phrases, but also when you’re trying to search for a less definite article.

A search for architect* will search for architect, but also architectural, architecture, architected, architecting and any other word which starts with architect.

7. Searching between two values

Searching for something with a qualifier between two ranges is a good way of answering questions. For instance, if you’re looking for the who were the British prime ministers between 1920 and 1950 a search using british prime minister 1920.. 1950 will bring up results with dates ranging between 1920 and 1950.

That’s your search term followed by two full stops and a space.

8. Search for word in the body, title or URL of a page

Sometimes you only want to find text either within the URL, body or title of a page. Using the qualifier inurl: will search just within the url. The qualifier intext: will search within the body, while intitle: will search only within a page title.

For example, intitle:review will bring up all the articles with “review” in the page title.

9. Search for related sites

The related qualifier is useful for finding similar sites. Searching for related:theguardian.com for instance, will bring up the websites of other news organisations that Google deems the most similar to the Guardian.

10. Combine them

All these search tools can be combined to narrow down or expand searches. While some of them may be used only rarely, some such as explicit phrase searches are useful in almost all cases.

As Google and other search engines improve their understanding of the way people naturally type or say search queries, these power tools will likely become less and less useful – at least that’s the goal that search engines are working towards – but that’s certainly not the case at the moment.

Google gets in on the Star Wars fun with clutch of interactive easter eggs

Author: Samuel Gibbs

Source: https://www.theguardian.com

Categorized in Search Engine

When it comes to searching information on the web, the first thing we will think of is definitely Google. Without a doubt, Google is the best search engine giving Internet users, from students to professional researcher the most relevant results for every query. In most cases you’re happy with the results but sometimes you may not. This could be due to unclear search query you’ve typed in and the search engine don't understand what exact online content you are looking for.

To help you become a more sophisticated Google searcher, below we’ve shared 13 very useful Google tricks and techniques to refine your search. We believe they will assist you to get more relevant and accurate search results in the shortest possible time. Hope you’ll find this article beneficial.

1. Using Google.com to Get All the Latest Features

Google are available in many country-specific versions such as Google.com, Google.co.uk, Google.co.jp, Google.co.in, etc. In order to get all the search features our of this search engine, we recommend you to use Google.com as this version always get the latest feature updates and it supports all the search techniques.

When you search ‘www.google.com’ in the web browser’s address bar, it usually redirects you to the Google version of your country. However you can override it by using ‘www.google.com/ncr’ instead. The ‘ncr’ stands for ‘no country redirect’, it’ll bring you back to Google.com.

2. Keep Your Search Query Short and Simple

Less is more, always type in the most relevant and important keywords then keep them short so that the search engine can return with more results. Try to avoid searching query in long sentence as it will cause the search engine confused returning irrelevant and very limited results.

Example:
Search ‘largest country’
is better than
‘what is the largest country in the world’

keep_search_query_short_simple

3. Keep Your Keywords in the Right Order

Keywords in the query are the most important factor that determines the relevance and effectiveness of the search results. Hence it’s important to choose the keywords wisely. Try to figure out what words most authors would write to describe the content you’re searching for.

If you are searching for quotes or phrases, try to keep the order of the words accurate to get the best results.

Example:
Search ‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower’ – quoted by Steve Jobs
is better than
‘A follower and a leader distinguished by innovation’

keep_keywords_order_right

4. Get Rid of Redundant things in Your Search Query

The intelligent Google is capable to take care of the typos and other unnecessary things in your search query. Hence the following things can be ignored when typing your search query:

  • Letter cases (uppercase or lowercase)
  • Spelling
  • Punctuations (? !) and special characters (()+-)

5. Using Boolean Connectors in Your Search Term

By adding Boolean connectors in your search query, you will be able to make a more complex and focused searches.

Add plus sign ‘+’ before a word to view each word separately in the search results.
Example: seo+google+blog

Place a minus sign ‘-‘ prior a word to exclude that particular word in the search results.
Example: web design tutorials-paid
Google will return results with free web design tutorials.

Include quotation mark ‘’’’ to search consecutive words of a phrase.
Example: “search engine optimization”

Likewise you can use hyphens ‘-‘ to replace quotation marks for the same results.
Example: search-engine-optimization

Put ‘and’ between 2 words/phrases will get the results that contain both these words/phrases.
Example: iphone and galaxy note

Include ‘not’ in the search term to eliminate part of the search results.
Example: Taylor Swift not singer

Place ‘or’ between 2 words/phrases in the search query will get the results that contain either or both these words/phrases.
Example: Steve Jobs or Bill Gates

6. Using Social Search Techniques

When it comes to searching content on social networks, Google lets you look for social profiles,pages and content in a easy way as follows:-

By adding ‘+’ before a profile name allows you to search Google Plus profiles and page.

Example:
+‘profile name’
e.g. +quertime

By adding ‘#’ before a word enables you to search hashtags on Twitter, Google Plus and other social networking sites.

Example:
#‘word’
e.g. #selfie

Or you may add ‘@’ before a person’s name to search for his/her social accounts.

Example:
@‘person’s name’
e.g. @jules

7. Searching Sunrise and Sunset Times of a City

There’s an easy way to search sunrise and sunset times for a specific city.
Simply type your query in the format of ‘sunrise city-name’ to get the sunrise time of a particular place or city. To search for sunset times, just replace the word ‘sunrise’ to ‘sunset’ in the same format ‘sunset city-name’.

Example:
sunrise new york
Sunset new york

google_search_sunrise_sunset_times

8. Using Synonym Search

Google has another feature called synonym search where users can search synonyms of a specific words. All you need to do is add a tilde symbol ‘~’ before a word in the search query. The tilde operator works best when searching general terms or terms with many synonyms.

Example:
~healthy food

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9. Searching Numbers in a specific Range

If you want to search for numbers in a specific range, such as prices, measurements and dates, all you have to do is add 2 dots between the 2 numbers in your search term. Google will then search the numbers within that range and ignore other results. The 2 dot operators should be placed after the minimum number and before the maximum number as shown in the example below.

Example: 

iphone $400..$600
smart tv 40..60 inches

10. Searching Specific File Type

Another handy operator you can use is ‘filetype’ where you can tell Google to search for a specific file type and skip other types of files. All you have to do is type your search query in the format of filetype:‘specific format of file’ followed by other words.

Example:
filetype:pdf graphic design

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11. Using Trigger Words to search certain types of search results

You may consider including some trigger words in your search term to get certain types of search results.

Examples:
How to – ‘how to build a website’
Images – ‘Steve Jobs images’
Videos – ‘National geographic videos’

12. Using Combined Search Operators Techniques

Google doesn’t restrict you from using more than 1 search operator. Hence you can use a few search techniques in a single search query in order to get a more filtered and focused results. We recommend you should not use more than 3 search operators in your complex search query.

Example:
site:quertime.com web design OR graphic design
filetype:jpg “web design” tutorials

 

13. Using Google Advanced Search Techniques

If you still unable to find the information you want, try out Google advanced search for a more detailed search. In this search form, you can better search web pages with specific words. Additionally you can narrow the results by selecting the language, region, file type, type of usage right, etc. you want.

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Author: Jules, Quertime Editorial

Source:  http://www.quertime.com

Categorized in Search Techniques

Google search is hands down the most popular search engine on the internet. The engine was launched on September 15, 1997. Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is currently the leading search engine worldwide with a market share of 61.9 percent in July. Last month, Google boasted a total 9.9 billion searches.

Even though Google is the biggest search engine in the world, not everybody exploits its full potential. Some tricks will allow users to optimize the results. Here are a few tricks to use Google like a pro.

Quotation Marks: Using quotation marks is pretty useful to find specific quotes. Google will find the exact phrase you typed between the quotes without changing the order or adding more words.

Using Filetype. To find a specific document, or information in a particular format, Filetype is a lifesaver. To use this trick you only need to type ‘Filetype:’ followed by the format. i.e Car Filetype:ppt. File types include ‘.pdf’ for PDF files, ‘.wav.’ and ‘.mp3’ for sounds recorded in specific formats, ‘.ppt for Powerpoint presentations’.

Minus sign. Sometimes some unwanted information will keep popping up on searches. The minus sign will exclude the word typed just after it. The only exception is words that use a hyphen.

Weather and Forecast. Google is the easiest way to find weather information online. Type ‘weather’ followed by the name of a city. Google will give you details on the location’s weather before the first search result.

Flight Status. Simply typing the airline name and its airplane name will show the flight information, status and an estimated time of arrival.

Calculator and Tip Calculator. Google built a calculator and a tip calculator on its engine. Instead of using a calculator you can type your expression in the search bar and it will give you the answer. As for the tip calculator, just type tip calculator in the search bar and it will display a calculator with an adjustable bill, tip %, and the number of people splitting the bill.

Timer. Google also features a built-in timer. Just enter the amount of time followed by the word ‘Timer’ and Google will display a timer.

Sunrise and Sunset. Simply typing the words sunrise or sunset followed by a location will display the estimated time of sunrise or sunset in the area.

Game Scores. To find out the result during a matchday of any sport just type the name of the team in the search bar. The engine will display the result of the team’s match as the first result.

Source : http://theusbport.com/10-tip-and-tricks-for-google-searching-like-a-boss/14712

Categorized in Research Methods

Google's John Mueller covered lots and lots of myths this past Friday in the Google Hangout on Google+. He said at the 34:37 minute mark that having short articles won't give you a Google penalty. He also said that even some long articles can be confusing for users. He said that short articles can be great and long articles can be great - it is about your users, not search engines.

The question posed was:

My SEO agency told me that the longer the article I write, the more engaged the user should be or the Google will penalize me for this. I fear writing longer articles with lots of rich media inside because of this, is my SEO agency correct or not?

Back in 2012, Google said short articles can rank well and then again in 2014 said short articles are not low quality. John said in 2016:

So I really wouldn't focus so much on the length of your article but rather making sure that you're actually providing something useful and compelling for the user. And sometimes that means a short article is fine, sometimes that means a long article with lots of information is fine.

So that's something that you essentially need to work out between you and your users.
From our point of view we don't have an algorithm that council words on your page and says, oh everything until a hundred words is bad everything between 200 and 500 is fine and over 500 needs to have five pictures. We don't look at it like that.

We try to look at the pages overall and make sure that this is really a compelling and relevant search results to users. And if that's the case then that's perfectly fine. If that's long or short or lots of images or not, that's essentially up to you.

Sometimes I think long articles can be a bit long winding and my might lose people along the way. But sometimes it's really important to have a long article with all of the detailed information there. That's really something that maybe it's worth double checking with your user is doing some a/b testing with them. Maybe getting their feedback in other ways are like sometimes you can put like the stars on the page do you have a review that or use maybe Google consumer surveys to get a quick kind of a sample of how your users are reacting to that content. But that's really something between you and your users and not between you and and Google search engine from that point of view.

I specifically did the Google Consumer Surveys approach when I was hit by the Panda 4.1 update, which I recovered from on Panda 4.2. I even published my results for all to see over here and it showed, people, my readers, like my short content.

So it really isn't about how short, tall, long or detailed you are. As long as the content satisfies the user, Google should be satisfied too.

Sources:  https://www.seroundtable.com/google-short-articles-penalty-22363.html

Categorized in Search Engine

Google is increasing the number of queries that receive a Google Quick Answer box. The number of results that had an answer box went from just over 20% in December 2014 to more than 30% in May 2016.*Brands that wish to maintain a strong digital presence need to make sure their website is well represented within these rich answers.

Answer boxes provide users with scannable, easy-to-digest answers at the top of the search results so that users can find the information they seek without having to click off to another website.These answer boxes are pulled from high-ranking websites that Google trusts to provide users with the correct response. They appear most frequently in response to question queries, such as those beginning with ‘what is’ or ‘how to’.

As they become increasingly significant on SERPs, companies who are not optimized to receive Quick Answers have a good chance of falling behind and losing ground to others in their industry.

How do Google Quick Answers impact brands?

When Quick Answers first appeared, many site owners became nervous about the potential implications for site traffic. With the answer to many queries appearing right at the top of the page, users would theoretically lose their motivation to click through to the websites.

Some sites found this to be true. Wikipedia, for example, saw a drop in traffic that many attributed to the growth of Quick Answers. This is likely because the domain specializes in providing people with the type of rapid response that many can now receive right on the SERP.

However many business websites started to see tremendously positive results.

It is important to remember that Quick Answers are not just taken from results in position 1 on the SERP. The can come from any result on the page, although the majority come from the top 5 results.This means however that sites ranked in position 3 or 4 can receive an answer box and suddenly be front and centre on the page, without even earning the top ranking spot. This draws the user’s attention to this result and can have a very positive impact on site success.

Adobe, for example, benefited from a 17% incremental lift on topics on which it has secured the Quick Answer box. The results contributed to millions of additional visitors to Adobe.com.Kirill Kronrod at Adobe reported that within the sub-set of 2,000 How-To phrases, 60% produced Quick Answers, contributing to 84% share of voice with Quick Answer boxes for the main site and 98% including supporting sites.

Quick Answers help Google improve the user experience, and your brand needs to optimize to remain relevant.

The ABCs of succeeding with Google Quick Answers

quick answers

A) Understand the four key factors that matter for Quick Answers

Although there is no concrete formula that brands have to meet before they will receive a Quick Answer, there are a few commonalities that sites which earn the answer box tend to have.

Sites have over 1,000 referring domains
Pages rank in the top 5
Pages are less than 2,000 words
Pages have strong user engagement
All of these factors demonstrate to Google that you have a site appreciated by users and that offers value to readers. These factors show that you offer an authoritative resource, making you appealing to Google.

B) Find the best opportunities to explore

It is important to find opportunities where you have a reasonable chance of gaining an answer box.Since only one site can have it at a time, you need to have the domain authority and response needed to make your page stand out. SEO software can be an enormous asset in this quest.

You can research which keywords have high traffic and which ones already have Quick Answers. If the keyword already has a Quick Answer, you will need to investigate the page to see if you can outperform it.

If it does not, then you can see if an answer box would be the optimal display for the user. Make sure that the pages you select to optimize for the Quick Answers will lend themselves easily to you fulfilling the four key factors.

C) Optimize your site for the answer box

On-page optimization: you will need to follow on-page optimization best practices to improve the ranking of your site. These will include using your target keyword in titles and headings, linking to other pages in your site, and making your page more engaging with images and other rich media.

Remember that Google wants to be able to pull the answer quickly from your text, so include the answer to the target question in the first paragraph and use lists and bullets – which are appealing both for users and search engines – where possible.

Off-page optimization: you want to focus on cultivating backlinks, so look for opportunities to write guest posts to bring links to your site. It is also important to develop a thorough content distribution system that will attract attention to your content.

When people are exposed to your content and it provides them with value, they become more likely to share it with others and link back to it themselves. For off-page optimization, you also want to submit pages to Google Search Console to maximize visibility.

Technical optimization: use schema markup to increase visibility for your site. Schema was developed as means of providing search engines with an optimal look at your site. It will help the search engines quickly interpret your material, which will aid Google in its quest to quickly pull answers from websites.

Of course, your pages should also be optimized for mobile, since not being mobile-friendly can hurt sites in the SERPs and hinder the user experience. Also include your page in your XML sitemap to ensure that Google can easily find and interpret the material.

Google Quick Answers offer users an improved user experience, making them popular with the search engine. To remain relevant for customers, you need to follow these ABCs and ensure your site is optimized to provide the answer box for the key terms that are important for your business. For more information, check out our Quick Answers pdf guide.

Source:  https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/07/05/the-abc-of-google-quick-answers/

Categorized in Search Engine

Google is your portal to everything out there on the World Wide Web...but also your portal to more and more of your personal stuff, from the location of your phone to the location of your Amazon delivery. If you’re signed into the Google search page, and you use other Google services, here are nine search tricks worth knowing.

It probably goes without saying but just in case: only you can see these results. Nobody else can Google your next hotel trip. How well they work is going to depend on how plugged in you are to other tools like Gmail, but they’re useful shortcuts from the Google homepage or the Chrome address bar.

“I’ve lost my phone”

The newest one in our list, which is essentially an easier way to get to Android Device Manager. Google “I’ve lost my phone” to see the last known location of all the phones linked to your Google account. You can call and lock your phone as well as locate it, and it works with both Android and iOS devices.

“Contact <name>”

Get at your Google Contacts straight from the Google search page with this trick, simply adding the name of one of your friends or family members after the “contact” keyword. If there’s more than one match found, you’ll see a list of options—click on any of the results to initiate an audio call over Hangouts.

“My deliveries”

Next, a series of personal searches that tap into the information Google has from your Gmail account. Use “my deliveries” (or “packages” or “purchases”) to see recent orders stashed in your inbox—click on any of the entries shown on screen and you can see prices together with any available tracking details.

“My flights”

For a while now Gmail has done a very good job of spotting travel plans hidden among your email messages (it’s basically what Inbox is built on) and if you Google “my flights” you can see past and future trips through the air. Expand any entry in the list to see flight numbers, times, and other salient details.

“My hotels”

The “my hotels” search works just like the flights one, with Google tapping into your inbox to bring up all the hotel reservations you’ve made. Again, click on any entry in the list to see the details—you can jump straight to the relevant email in Gmail, get directions to the hotel, and see older reservations too.

“My shows”

Run a search for “my shows” and you see all of your upcoming plays, gigs and other events that you might have a confirmation for somewhere in your Gmail account. Google does a decent job of pulling out the right details for you. Use “my reservations” to see both hotels and shows in the same list together.

“My bills”

You probably don’t want to be reminded about upcoming bills you’ve got to pay or about any money going out of your bank account, but just in case... “my bills” will find it for you, provided that there’s some kind of record in your Gmail account. If you want any financial assistance, that’s a separate Google search.

“My events”

A quick way of setting everything that’s coming up in your Google Calendar. You can also run queries like “when’s my next appointment?” or “what am I doing next week?” to get personal answers from Calendar. Click on an entry to see dates, times, descriptions and a list of the guests signed up to attend.

“My photos”

Hello, Google Photos! Google can bring up a response to “my photos” and “my videos” provided you’re using its in-house photo storage service. You can even get creative: try “my photos of me” or “my photos of cats” and see what kind of a results you get. It’s all very slick and straightforward.

Source:  http://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/9-secret-google-search-tricks-1781341511

Categorized in Search Engine

Despite the tremendous technological innovation we’ve witnessed over the past two decades (smartphones, cloud computing, social networks), search interfaces and their underlying mechanics have remained fairly stagnant. The familiar portals of the early naughts are largely what we see today: empty text boxes, user-typed queries and blue-link responses that point users to web pages or documents.

We think of search as being a “state-of-the-art” product — an index that can provide answers on anything. But think about it. Isn’t it strange that some people are “good” at Googling, as if it’s a skill? If this were a human-to-human interaction and I asked my “smart” friend a question, I wouldn’t have to be “good” at asking questions to get the information I needed. She’s smart, she can infer what I’m saying, regardless of how I phrase it. If I’m ambiguous, she’ll ask for clarification. If my question is too broad, she’ll ask for more details. If I am too precise and she doesn’t know, she’ll inform me that she doesn’t know.

Why search isn’t working

Despite years of aggressive investment, search technology still fails to solve meaningful, tangible problems in the world today. This is largely due to:

No authority. When the Internet started, the digerati were the ones writing and sharing content. There were lots of answers to lots of questions, and we trusted the answers. Now, everyone writes and games the system, and the Internet is full of spam and trolling. Authority is becoming harder to obtain, and we’re left not only trying to decipher the information we’re reading but also wondering if the source we’re retrieving it from is credible.

Ultimately, you have no idea if the answer you’re getting is right or wrong. Google has made progress fighting spam, but the cold war between spammers and search is bound to continue until a paradigm shift occurs.

Higher expectations. People are becoming more data literate and expecting data and facts to back up their queries. Now more than ever, everyone is asking an increasing number of complex questions. In the past, people searched for the best ski resorts. Now, they want to know which ski resort has the optimal balance of vertical drop, skiable acres, and total snowfall. They have more precise questions; they want more precise answers.

Interfaces are shrinking. Perhaps mobile interfaces were once little desktop interfaces, but the paradigm continues to shift away from traditional GUIs. There is no space. We’re seeing an uptick in the popularity of voice interfaces. The traditional search experience with a bunch of blue links that open pages of articles and ads does not shine in a mobile world.

With the advent of the Information Age, people are increasingly digitally literate and have higher expectations of technology’s ability to answer their most complex questions — especially when they’re on the go. They’re not going to tolerate a slow experience, an ad that interrupts their workflow, or a system that fails to answer their questions.

Tomorrow’s search: more authority, precision, adaptability
Do we know what the future of search and information retrieval looks like? Not exactly, but we know it has to include:

Authority:  An evolved level of editorial oversight and curation of content, which will provide more authority.

Precision:  A precise understanding of what the user is asking, and being able to give them exactly what they need in a digestible and consumable format.

Adaptability:  An acknowledgement that society has evolved to consume different types of media beyond text — including data, videos, and visualizations — and being able to provide the user with the right format at the right time.

We’ve created a world where information is free and readily available for anyone who has a question. Incentives like advertising and online reputation are in place, encouraging people to share their wisdom. However, information in this system is created in fragments, requiring little to no production process. Communities like Stack Overflow and Quora are full of people willing to provide their “expertise,” but that doesn’t always align with the trust factor.

Additionally, continuing to have myriads of tiny websites with tiny edits from a million sources is not sustainable and will not suffice for creating an experience that gives people answers to unique, long tail questions, nor is it scalable or fresh. In order to build the next generation of search, we need to do more than just index other people’s content.

Knowledge graphs will power the new search

Google Maps is a great example of what the future of search should look like — augmented public data, powered by a knowledge graph. Google has thousands of employees on staff constantly correcting errors, machine-learning clusters interpreting addresses, cars driving through streets to get ground-level data, satellites taking photos, and millions of phones constantly sending updates. With this infrastructure, Google is able to maintain a real-time representation of the world and answer geospatial queries that have never been asked.

As humans continue to ask more complex questions, the future of search is going to need to adopt a similar model for every single knowledge vertical. This will be impossible if there isn’t a level of complexity and infrastructure built into the process. This same level of complexity and process needs to be applied to all data domains in the future. Google has started to provide more structured results in its search product, but it’s still lacking a lot of information. Given search was built on the foundation of crawling others’ content, where will this data come from? Will Google change its approach and become a content creator?

Google is actively investing in a knowledge graph, and it is not the only one. Microsoft, IBM Watson, Apple, Yahoo, and many others (yes, including Graphiq, the company I work at) are working on developing a knowledge graph of their own. A knowledge graph allows people to ask questions in a precise manner and instantly get an answer — even if nobody has asked the question before. The future of search has to be sufficiently broad in scope, precise in information, and instantaneous in delivering results.

Google’s dilemma

Despite being the strong and obvious player to lead search into the next century, Google will have to confront one of the biggest challenges any successful technology firm has to overcome — the Innovator’s Dilemma. It evolved in a desktop world, when it made sense for search engines to show content and ads side-by-side. But today’s world is not a desktop world. And when you make 90% of your revenue from advertising, how do you pivot? How about when mobile advertising is not working as well as we had hoped? How do advertisers display an ad on your Apple Watch? What do you do when there’s no clear answer as to how a voice interface (i.e. Siri) will ever generate revenue from advertising?

With each paradigm shift, the walls protecting incumbents will weaken, creating a window of opportunity for new players. Mobile has already put a lot of evolutionary pressure on search, and the imminent transition to conversational interfaces (voice and messaging) will push even harder. In many ways, Google is the best positioned to reign in this new world. It has the data and engineering expertise to do so. But it’s this very fact that puts Google in the middle of the Innovator’s Dilemma. If it disrupt the market, it will hurt its own bottom line the most. If a less qualified actor takes action, Google will innovate less, but its cash cow will live longer.

The big contenders

So who are the contenders to take over the billionaire business of information retrieval?

As predicted, Apple’s Tim Cook announced at WWDC this week that the company will be opening Siri to developers. But he didn’t stop there. Apple is aggressively investing in conversational interfaces and creating a whole new ecosystem, which includes opening iMessage to developers. A few killer apps could carve away market share from search engines: sport scores/stats, news, restaurant reviews. Will Apple’s new APIs be powerful enough to create the right opportunities? How quickly (if ever) will iPhone users embrace this new paradigm? How long will it take to develop critical mass with conversational apps?

Facebook didn’t impress with its first release of M, its intelligent assistant. But CEO Mark Zuckerberg is quickly developing his AI superpowers. Messenger and WhatsApp are the biggest chat platforms in the world. Smartphone users spend a LOT of time on Facebook-owned apps, likely more than on native iOS apps, such as iMessenger. With the shift from stand-alone apps to conversational apps, Facebook might have an upper hand over Apple.

Amazon is an interesting player right now. The company gets its revenue from retail, so it theoretically could provide free answers 24 hours a day, as long as there is an occasional purchase. Whereas, 90% of Google’s revenue stream is ads. With Amazon’s release of Alexa, you could argue the company might be the future of search. It’s not disrupting its own business model, it’s enhancing it. By getting people conditioned to talking to Alexa, they’re getting people used to talking to Amazon. What will this lead to? More purchases. They’re in a position to care less about ads; it’s all about the purchase.

Who will make this future a reality? Google has done a great job with maps but is struggling in disrupting itself with general search. Bing has done some interesting work in structured search, but nothing revolutionary over Google. Siri had an early shot, but Apple delayed further investments for years. Facebook had some good initiative, but we have yet to see something concrete. IBM Watson on the enterprise side, or the academic Wolfram Alpha could have a good hand, but we have yet to see traction. And then there are the smaller newcomers such as Graphiq, ViV, and Hound. The race to own the future of search has started, and one of the biggest businesses in history is up for grabs.

One thing is certain: Whoever wins will have to build the largest data library in the universe.

Source:  http://venturebeat.com/2016/06/18/the-big-search-upgrade-and-how-amazon-could-beat-google-at-its-own-game/

Categorized in Search Engine

 

Two months ago Google began testing the color of its ‘Ad’ tag in Google AdWords ads — changing it from yellow to green. What was spoken of as being just a test at the time appears to have been a success, as Google is rolling out the green ‘ad’ tag label to all countries on all devices.

It’s interesting to note that during the time Google was testing the green ad tag color it was also testing the color of its organic links. For a period of time in May, users reported seeing black links in their Google search results instead of blue.

 

By the company’s own admission it is always testing the look and feel of it’s search results pages and we have seen several examples of that this year. Another test that is currently ongoing is a new minimalist look for search results that users have reported seeing from time to time.

 

Why The Change?

After following some of the chatter about this news, I couldn’t help but stop to think about this question raised by Brad Longman:

 

 

Brad Longman @BradDLongman
Green Ads rolling out, Better for the user or just an attempt to make Ad's look like organic listings? #adwords #seo
1:21 AM - 16 Jun 2016

 

According to Google, the change was made because of positive feedback from users and advertisers.

Could it be that ads that look less like ads are getting clicked on more? That’s one theory as to why advertisers are liking it more. As to why users like it more, well it could be that a matching green color is more aesthetically pleasing than the contrasting yellow ad tag.

If you’re not seeing the green ad tags yet, you soon will as they’re said to be rolling out to everyone.

Source:  https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-ad-tag-color-changed-green-color-url/166181/

 

 

 

 

 

Categorized in Search Engine

Perhaps the most embarrassing aspect of filing for bankruptcy is the well-meaning condolence note from a friend. “I’m so sorry,” more than one has written. That sympathy is often followed by fear for what Facebook director Peter Thiel’s revenge campaign—a billionaire secretly funding lawsuits against publishers, editors, and writers for stories that disrespected him and his friends—means for the functioning of a critical press.

To those who have offered support, thank you. However, Gawker will be just fine, both in business and in spirit.

Here is the good news:

The future of the business is secured by a provisional sale agreement with Ziff Davis, and by our filing on Friday for Chapter 11 protection. The legal battle, separated from the ongoing business, moves onto the next round. The spirit that animates Gawker remains strong. The free press is vigorous. And the power of a shadowy billionaire looks much less alarming now that it has emerged blinking into the spotlight.

The Future of the Business

Gawker Media’s audience comes for the stories, and the default response of our writers when faced with a crisis is to write more. A thank you to them, and to all the readers who dropped by our sites on Friday, when news of the sale broke, to chat with our editors. Your participation is what makes Gawker’s sites communities as much as digital media brands. To the six million people around the world who each weekday come to Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Deadspin, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Jezebel, and Gawker: As long as you keep reading, we’ll keep informing and engaging you around the issues you’re passionate about.

Around here, save for the kegs of beer that arrived early on Friday, it’s business as usual. Writers are writing, the tech folks are keeping the pages loading, the ad sales team is selling, the e-commerce scouts are finding you the best deals of the day. We appreciate the support that agencies and advertisers have already shown, whether it is motivated by Gawker’s enduring audience appeal or the principle at stake.

There may be other bidders before the sale is finalized, but if Ziff Davis is the ultimate acquirer, Gizmodo and the other Gawker brands will become part of one of the most profitable, revenue-balanced and well-managed of digital media groups. Ziff Davis, which owns the video game destination IGN, earned $92 million on revenue of $225 million in the last 12 months. The media operation, if combined, will have the biggest audience in two growing media categories, technology and video games, with a strong presence in lifestyle, too. Ziff Davis anticipates expansion in video, commerce and on social platforms.

I have long encouraged Gawker writers to be honest about the motives behind what they write, so I will be honest about mine: We believe a sale now will maximize value for all stakeholders, and it is important to that end that potential buyers, current employees, and advertisers understand that the business continues to operate as usual. The media market is consolidating, and there is significant interest in Gawker Media as the last sizable digital property that has not yet been folded into an established conglomerate. While most of the proceeds from other digital media deals have gone to financial investors, at Gawker Media Group, the founders and employees own the bulk of the equity in the company.

Yes, Peter Thiel’s covert legal vendetta has undoubtedly depressed Gawker Media Group’s valuation. His onslaught, prompted by items about Thiel and his friends on Gawker’s Valleywag, has been financially draining. Whoever buys us, it will not be for the sort of headline price that Henry Blodget or Arianna Huffington received when selling Business Insider to Axel Springer and Huffington Post to AOL. ​So be it.

Wherever it ends up, the purchase price will also reflect the editorial choices we have made. Nobody goes into the news business, certainly not the convention-breaking news we and our readers love, simply to get rich. Better to risk, to win some and lose some, than pursue the path of least offense—at least if you’re a journalist. We have always put editorial credibility ahead of short-term commercial considerations, resulting in what we have internally called the “Gawker Tax” on our advertising revenue.

That tax has generally been worth paying; it is a choice we made. It is because Gawker’s stories are transparently more honest and more real that we could grow without outside capital or bought traffic. It is why, overall, our sites have held audience levels in the face of well-funded competition and the shift to social platforms. And it is the reason we can present such an upscale and engaged audience to advertisers.

The proposition that journalism should be an honest conversation between writers and readers has permitted us to build a solid, even enviable, business: an award-winning native advertising studio; a commerce operation which will drive nearly $200 million in sales this year for partners; and the best news discussion system on the web. Without exceptional legal and professional fees related to the Thiel campaign, the business is profitable.

We have drawn and developed prodigious talent: Gizmodo editor-in-chief Katie Drummond, who came from Bloomberg and has invigorated the tech site’s coverage of Silicon Valley; the creative writers in our advertising department; sellers such as Michael Orell and Daniel Morgan who care about editorial quality as much as any writer; dedicated managers like executive managing editor Lacey Donohue and vice president of product Lauren Bertolini; the coders in our Budapest and New York offices; and a crack legal team (we have needed it) led by our president and general counsel Heather Dietrick, to pick a few people out of many at random.

Though our company is inevitably best known for Gawker’s most provocative stories, the other six brands—Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Deadspin, Jezebel, Kotaku, and Jalopnik—represent the bulk of the audience and the revenue. They and all the exceptional people who make them happen will thrive under new ownership, with management oversight and financial underpinning from a larger company. As Wired put it: “They’ve got great niche audiences. They’ve got domain expertise. Their brands are easy to understand, which makes them easy to pitch to advertisers. Someone’s going to take those assets and make money.”

The Legal Balance of Power

In some countries, in a dispute between a magnate and an irritating writer, there would have been bullets in heads by now.

“The muzzle grows tighter,” writes the Economist. Freethinking Bangladeshi bloggers, many of them gay, are being dispatched with machete blows to the neck. The newly elected president of the Philippines has said that rights of free expression should not protect a bad journalist from assassination. Donald Trump, who kept a writer in court for five years after he dared write that the real estate billionaire was not as rich as he claimed, is a few percentage points away from the presidency.

But this is the United States, and Trump is not yet in power. We remain confident that justice will be done in the Hulk Hogan case.

March’s state court verdict was an outlier. Judges in federal court and the Florida appeals court have repeatedly determined the Hogan story was newsworthy because it joined a conversation about his sex life that the wrestling star had already begun. Most legal experts expect the $140 million judgment, which even plaintiffs’ lawyers ascribe to a runaway jury, to be corrected by a higher court. As a result, there ought to be little lasting effect on the balance between privacy and the free press.

There are two other active cases against Gawker in which we are being sued by Charles Harder, the attorney underwritten by Thiel. One is from a Los Angeles journalist who came to us with a story about Tinder that evidently didn’t turn out as she’d hoped. In the other complaint, a Massachusetts entrepreneur who claims he invented email—about a decade after email was invented—says he should not have been called a fraud.

Neither has merit.

U.S. law does still protect free speech more than any other country’s. If there is a threat, it is in the extent to which that law is increasingly a battleground of moneyed interests. As Gordon Crovitz argues in the Wall Street Journal, tort reform should be a cause for the progressive media, not just conservative business owners. Florida last year finally put in place provisions for unsuccessful plaintiffs to bear the costs of lawsuits designed to suppress public participation. Some would support a revival of champerty, the old English prohibition on aristocrats backing and influencing third-party lawsuits. At the very least, there should be public disclosure over who is funding cases in public courts that use public resources.

But reforms or no, the basic fact remains: if somebody raises a topic, you have the right to join in. Gawker Media Group has taken full advantage of that right.

The Spirit of Gawker.com

Some have raised doubts about the long-term future of Gawker.com, the site which has drawn the most fire over the years, because of its insolent tone, love of juicy gossip, and tendency to unearth skeletons. It would rather make an enemy or alienate a source than lose a story. The site has published an impressive list of scoops; it has also made many enemies, at least two of whom have combined in Peter Thiel’s cabal.

Do not fear—or gloat—too quickly.

Gawker.com was established in the early internet years as a thought-provoking alternative to a stodgy mainstream press, which so often skipped over precisely the most interesting aspect of a story—the version that journalists tell each other over a drink. The site has been a manifestation of the journalist’s rebellious id, the impulse to question the authorized version of the news, to puncture hype and mock hypocrisy.

The flagship news site’s incredible run of provocative journalism has revealed vile trolls on Reddit, crack-smoking mayors in Canada, Tom Cruise’s role in Scientology, the personal pain of unemployment, long-forgotten sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby, Hillary Clinton’s emerging email scandal, and the ways the elite pass privilege down to their children, and their friends’ children. Here is a longer description of What Gawker Media Does. I hope that deep down, most other journalists would agree with Peter Kafka of Recode that the Gawker network has, stories about sex tapes notwithstanding, been “overwhelmingly a force for good.”

Where there is power, there will be gossip and criticism. The people require it. Bryan Goldberg of Bustle, himself a frequent subject of ridicule on the site, says Gawker.com is as indestructible as a New York cockroach. The brand is more famous than ever; if it does not fit an acquirer’s portfolio, Gawker.com will find an investor with a tolerance for controversy. I will happily contribute.

The Digital Press

The same independent and inquisitive spirit that animates Gawker is alive in the rest of the press. As Jonathan Mahler acknowledged in the New York Times, Gawker’s foundation has done more than any other “to loosen up the mainstream media.”

Over time, as bloggers and reporters have intermingled, the spontaneity of internet publishing has given a new energy to publications like the Times, and Gawker in turn has gladly embraced more of the practices and values of the newspaper press. Our writers and editor have adopted a formal editorial code. Gawker’s investigative reporters, under John Cook, who is now executive editor, have used FOIA requests to reveal how Hillary Clinton’s press minder manipulates journalists and twists arms, among many other exclusive stories.

Meanwhile, Gawker alumni are employed at almost every smart news organization, including New York Magazine, the New Yorker, New York Times, Vox, Wired and Business Insider. (Here is New Yorker staff writer Adrian Chen recalling Gawker as “a great place to become a journalist.”) Two of the three new David Carr Fellows at the Times got their starts at Gawker. Slate now requires a triple disclosure just to write about the company.

As odd as it may seem under the circumstances, it is heartening to witness just how extensive and uncowed the recent coverage of Peter Thiel’s secret financing of lawsuits against Gawker has been. Witness Wired’s over-the-top praise for the sensitive billionaire, the Taiwanese animators’ depiction of the him as an insecure supervillain, or the Economist’s jibe that he risks evolving from youthful genius to aging crank, his pursuit of immortality notwithstanding.

The recent spasm of disbelief and outrage over the revelation that his lawyer is now pursuing us over a much-lauded story about Trump’s hair—“a perfect example of the kind of chilling effect Gawker critics don’t seem to have taken into account when championing Hogan and Thiel’s victories,” the Verge writes—goes to show how Thiel’s strategy might have backfired. The next aggrieved billionaire may think twice before following his template.

We have a free and vigorous press to credit for uncovering the real motives of Gawker’s opponents. The purpose of Hulk Hogan’s initial lawsuit, to stop a racist rant becoming public, is now known, thanks in large part to media companies who asked the appeals court to remedy the trial court’s overly broad sealing of documents in the case. That Thiel’s role is also now public is thanks to a mixture of gossip, speculation, and reporting—the classic iterative process by which journalists, Gawker’s especially, winkle out a story.

Billionaire Power

None of this is to gloss over the enormous concentration of power among the emerging oligarchy. Silicon Valley industrialists are ruthlessly controlling of their public image, as Nick Bilton writes in Vanity Fair. “The system here has been molded to effectively prevent reporters from asking tough questions. It’s a game of access, and if you don’t play it carefully, you may pay sorely.” The Wall Street Journal’s John Carreyrou had to withstand months of legal threats to dispel the mystique surrounding Theranos, a fallen Valley unicorn.

Mother Jones has drawn attention to the campaign by another billionaire, Frank VanderSloot, who sought to drain them financially through litigation. Thiel has shown how easily an aggrieved billionaire can hide behind fronts, dark money and special purpose vehicles. These cases have illuminated the concentration of privilege and money in American life, and the power exercised behind the scenes without any public accountability.

The history of democracy—a form of governance that Thiel views as incompatible with liberty—can be viewed as a long-running street battle between the moneyed elite and the more populist institutions, like the press, that seek to keep them in check. The battle lines shift up and back, but the insistent presence of public debate and criticism have always served as a bulwark against rampaging power. Now, those age-old tensions are playing out on the internet. The rules of engagement will need to once again be rewritten. I hope the clash between Gawker and Thiel will produce at least as much light as it has heat.

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo notes calls from the extremely rich to “not only be able to use their money without limit to shape the political process but to do so anonymously to avoid being ‘intimidated’ or ‘vilified.’” That the debate is happening at all is progress. If Gawker had to give up its independence for it to begin in earnest, at least the upstarts who come behind us will have a clearer understanding of the playing field, and the stakes.

If you take a long view, the system is working as it should. The courts will apply the law. The real story is coming out. It always does. All sides are facing criticism and examining themselves. And a debate about the limits of the free press, and the limits of unaccountable power, is taking place.

Peter Thiel will be, by the time the magazine profiles come out and the TV scripts turn into episodes, one of the classic characters of the Silicon Age. This is the ultimate Gawker story, a collision between power, celebrity, and the word. Only this time we are participants as well as observers.

We will each be caricatured, for sure; but we will also have plenty of opportunity to express our more provocative ideas. This is how a free society is supposed to work. A newly laid-back Jezebel has adopted an informal catchphrase, “It’s Fine.” To those who have written in with concern for our people, our business, and our mission, I have a similar response. It’s fine.

Source:  http://gawker.com/here-is-the-good-news-1781980613

Categorized in Search Engine
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