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Google’s Biggest Privacy Push: Auto-Delete Of Web, App, Location Data, Youtube Search For New Users

Search engine giant, Google has disclosed a new development, where it will let users control their privacy. Google doesn’t have much of a reputation when it comes to gathering data about people. However this does come as a great news! 

Let’s find out what changes Google is planning to make right here!

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Announces New Developments Regarding Privacy

The new developments have when announced by the CEO of Google Sundar Pichai. He said that there will be a lot of privacy improvements included in the platform that well enables users to control the data that they’re sharing. 

Previously Google had enabled users to delete this data automatically every 3 months or 18 months. As per the new development, this feature can be enabled by default for any new users. 

As we all know, Google registers all the Search history, YouTube history, location history, and voice commands made through Google Assistant on the My Activity page. 

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai said, “As we design our products, we focus on three important principles: keeping your information safe, treating it responsibly, and putting you in control. Today, we are announcing privacy improvements to help do that, including changes to our data retention practices across our core products to keep less data by default.”

How Does Google’s New Feature Work? All You Need To Know

When any Google user turns on their Location History for the first time, the auto delete option will be set to 18 months by default. Previously, this was off by default. Additionally, Web and App Activity auto delete will also default to 18 months for any new users.

In simple words, the data of your activity will be deleted after 18 months automatically and continuously, which was previously stored until you chose to delete it. 

Remember that you can turn these settings off or also change your auto-delete option whenever you want. 

However, if the Location History and Web and App Activity has already been turned on by the user that will not be changed by Google. But, the company will remind its users about the new auto delete control features via notifications and mail.

As per Pichai, when a user signs into their Google Account, they will be able to search for  “Google Privacy Checkup” and “Is my Google Account secure?” Their query will be answered by a box that will be visible only to the user which will show privacy and security settings. Additionally, these can be easily reviewed or adjusted as well.

[Source: This article was published in trak.in By Radhika Kajarekar - Uploaded by the Association Member: Corey Parker]

Categorized in Search Engine

YouTube is constantly growing. This is not only a website with funny videos, but a huge platform on which we can find everything – from clips with kittens to scientific materials and entertainment in the broad sense. With each subsequent month, Google announces new solutions that the company believes are expected to affect the convenience of using the website. This time, an internal search engine will arrive, helping to find interesting videos. Only, soon, in addition to video, it will also display search results from the traditional text search engine Google.

According to one of the Reddit users, the Android version of YouTube has started displaying search results from the traditional Google search engine in the search section. After entering a specific phrase in the search bar, under the video suggestions, the most accurate Google search result is presented along with the option to go to the full list in an external Google browser or application.

Google is combining its search engine with YouTube. This time they serve us a search engine displaying traditional results that point to external sites.

GOOGLE PREPARES TO DISPLAY ITS SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS IN YOUTUBEsearch result.jpg

This change was met with quite critical feedback from commentators. They think the company wants to litter YouTube even more with sponsored material. It is also possible to say that the first search result does not always meet the expectations, and in the case of the YouTube application users are looking primarily for video materials, not a textual answer to the query.

The only question is whether Google plans to implement this functionality on a large scale. Or whether it is only testing new solutions on a fairly narrow group of users. Would you like to see results from Google in YouTube search engine? I honestly admit that it is an unnecessary function for me. If I’m looking for something on a video site, I don’t need suggestions to get out of the YouTube app. If I wanted to look for something different, I would use the existing solutions.

I don’t see the point in displaying results from a traditional search engine. So combining videos with search results does not quite appeal to me. So I hope that these are only tests and ultimately this solution will not be introduced for everyone.

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

Categorized in Search Engine

Internet marketing and advertising is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive, especially for small to mid-level businesses. Veteran SEO expert Tony Rockliff urges business owners to utilize the power of YouTube as a promising alternative to the otherwise slow, painful and expensive build of a Google SEO campaign.

CLEARWATER, Fla.Feb. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- In 2020, according to the World Advertising and Research Center, spending on internet advertising will reach more than 50% of total global ad spend, an all-time record.(1) "A subset of internet advertising—search engine optimization (SEO) is now the major battleground in marketing today. SEO expert Tony Rockliff, founder and CEO of Tony Rockliff Productions, states as SEO "gets bigger, it gets tougher." For an increasing number of companies, especially SMBs, the smart move is to consider YouTube as an additional SEO powerhouse instead of the conventional reliance on Google. By using YouTube, business owners can combat the stiff competition for consumer attention and variating Google search algorithms.

Text Versus Video Content

According to a research study from Common Sense Media, more than twice as many young people watch videos every day as did four years ago, while the average time spent watching videos—primarily on YouTube—has roughly doubled, to an hour a day.(3) Video's popularity has exploded, while text takes a back seat. It is increasingly obvious in the industry that text-based content is saturated, and that if a company isn't willing to give it at least one year and invest considerable amounts, they shouldn't spend much time on traditional Google based SEO. (2)

The combination of the video-centricity of today's consumers coupled with the increasing expense and difficulty of attracting attention via text-based Google listings, Rockliff suggests, is what identifies YouTube an increasingly robust platform for video-savvy marketers.

How Businesses Can Adapt to YouTube

To capitalize on this opportunity, Rockliff urges marketers to research YouTube to qualify exactly what video content is needed, and which of this content will get the most responses from its viewers, or potential clients. He organizes the four major stages of YouTube optimization:

  • 1. Find out what is being searched for on YouTube in your area or niche that you can compete for.
  • 2. Create video content that answers what is being searched for, and also provides what YouTube is searching for, i.e. views per video, average time spent watching, engagement per video, and number of subscribers gained per video.
  • 3. Publish your videos properly and in an optimized manner.
  • 4. Promote your videos according to how and when YouTube wants to see them promoted.

Rockliff has been in search engine optimization since 1998 and online marketing since 1995. His online community membership site has grown to 1.3 million members and was receiving 1.5 billion hits per year before he sold it in 2002. Over the years, Rockliff has seen profound changes in both opportunity and approach of YouTube as a marketing strategy, and right now, YouTube represents a great prospect to get noticed and build a brand loyal following. This is especially useful for organizations that do not have an extensive marketing budget. "The key is to understand what you're selling and optimize all four major stages," Rockliff states.

Tony Rockliff will be speaking at the Podfest 2020 Multimedia Expo, March 6th-8th, at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida. For more information, please see http://podfestexpo.com/speakers/

About Tony Rockliff Productions:

Tony Rockliff Productions was founded in 1995 by digital pioneer and trailblazer, Tony Rockliff. His video marketing company is based out of Clearwater, Florida, and brings over fifty years of audio/video marketing experience to the business. Remaining to be a top disruptor of the video marketing and media industry throughout his career, his world-renowned success is a product of his passion for storytelling through the art of video. Tony Rockliff Productions specializes in video and audio creation, producing music and videos, YouTube optimization, and building out-of-the-ordinary websites. Currently, Tony Rockliff Productions focuses on organic YouTube video marketing, a profitable niche of the industry that is host to 1.9 billion logged-in users per month. You can visit him here https://tonyrockliff.com/

  • 1. Handley, Lucy, "Global ad spend has slowed but 2020 looks set to be a bumper year," CNBC, October 24, 2019, cnbc.com/2019/10/24/global-ad-spend-has-slowed-but-2020-looks-set-to-be-a-bumper-year.html.
  • 2. Patel, Neil, "Everything I Taught You About SEO Was Wrong," neilpatel.com/blog.
  • 3. Siegel, Rachel, "Tweens, teens, and screens: The average time kids spend watching online videos has doubled in 4 years," Washington Post, October 29, 2019, washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/10/29/survey-average-time-young-people-spend-watching-videos-mostly-youtube-has-doubled-since/.

[Source: This article was published in finance.yahoo.com - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jasper Solander]

Categorized in Search Engine

As a business, you want to continuously be reaching out to new customers to expand your customer base. While getting found online is ideal, it is becoming increasingly difficult as search engines process over 3.5 billion searches every day. The good news is that if you are having trouble finding new customers through search engines, there are several other ways to gain new customers online.

Get Listed

One of the easiest ways to grow your online presence is to take advantage of the reputable online directories that exist online. Most directories and listings will remain for some time and all you have to do is submit your information once. The best part about directories and lists is that your business is listed where customers are looking.

Claim Existing Listings

Many sites, including Google, already have listings for your business. Make sure that you claim these listings. This means making sure all information included in the profile is accurate and up-to-date. This way when customers come across your profile they are getting the information they need to contact you.

Look For New Opportunities

Another option is to look for new opportunities. Actively seek out directories or listings that are in your niche. For instance, you may find a directory for wedding photographers in Boston and request to be added to the directory.

Another option is to keep an eye out for any writers looking for products or businesses to include in lists. Working with a site like HelpAReporter.com can help you connect with journalists and get your product featured in publications, reaching potential customers.

Online Advertising

Online advertising is another way to reach new customers. You want to get your advertisements in front of prospective customers and convert views into leads and sales. This means working with major advertising companies including Google, Facebook, and YouTube. Using these online advertising platforms can help you build brand awareness and provide reminders to curious buyers.

YouTube Ads

While YouTube is owned by Google, its ads hold a place of their own. There are some creative practices for YouTube video ads— TrueView in-stream ads (can be skipped), discovery ads (come up in search results), and bumper ads (cannot be skipped). With these ads, you have a captive audience that you want to engage in the first few seconds of video. If you can do this successfully you can quickly build brand awareness, as well as leads and sales.

Google Ads

With Google Ads, you can opt for either display ads (with a picture) or search network ads (top sponsored search results). Surprisingly, if implemented correctly, search network ads can yield high conversion rates.

This means users that click on these links are often ready to spend. By choosing search network ads, you can secure some of the top positions for keywords related to your products and services. In turn, your company can realize significant ROI.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are slightly different in that they are on a social platform, often when consumers are not actively looking to buy. More often than not, Facebook Ads are designed like other stories in the newsfeed, all to drive clicks. This means that your landing page is as important as your ad is in converting to leads and sales. However, sidebar display ads and carousel ads are available (and effective) on Facebook too.

Meet Customers Where They Are

While digital advertising costs money, there are other ways to find new customers online that only cost time. This often entails meeting customers where they already are online. This can be as simple as going to the sites that your customers already use and engaging with them as your brand or company.

However, it is important to note that to do this successfully, you actually have to post engaging content. Simply dropping your link or only promoting your product will not yield positive results.

Common places where you can do this is on Quora, forums like Reddit, and industry and related niche blogs. By posting content that is relatable and engaging you establish yourself as an expert in the field. This means customers will take you more seriously when you recommend a product or service that you offer if it is directly related to the topic at hand and could be beneficial for the user you are responding to. Again, it’s important to not simply drop links if you want to be seen as an expert in your industry.

Your Own Content

Creating your own content for prospective customers is another great way to get found online. You want the content to be engaging and helpful for customers. This could mean answering common questions in your industry, discussing popular topics in your niche, etc. There are several ways that you can create content that adds value to prospective customers.

Write a Blog

Writing a blog on your company website can help new customers find you, especially if you search engine optimization techniques when writing each article. This will help your brand get found for a wide variety of keywords. It also helps establish you as an authority in the field and develops trust with your reader.

In addition to writing your own blog, you can also opt to write guest blogs for other sites to further establish yourself as an expert in the field and to help get your name in front of a larger audience.

Email Newsletters

Start collecting emails from both existing and potential customers. This allows you to reach out to them directly. Create newsletters that provide them valuable information that can help them with problems they may be facing.

For example, if you are a lawn care agency you could focus your email newsletters on tips for raking leaves, reminders to clean their gutters, etc. Again, don’t always focus on pushing products, but instead, focus on providing potential customers with value.

Social Media Presence

There are approximately 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, spanning across several generations. Moreover, users spend an average of 3 hours on social media every day. Therefore, chances are that by maintaining a social media presence you’ll be able to reach your target market.

Use your social media to tell the story of your brand and how your brand can be the solution to the problem they are facing. Gain a following by posting content that is relatable and memorable. This will help you build brand awareness and will also help you start to develop a relationship with your potential customers.

Creativity is Key

Most of the world is online. While search engines are wildly popular for finding things, there are many different ways to reach your target market online. The key is, however, that you create content that provides value to your potential customers so that they begin to trust you enough to convert into sales.

 [Source: This article was published in customerthink.com By Margarita Hakobyan - Uploaded by the Association Member: Grace Irwin]

Categorized in Search Engine

[Source: This article was Published in tamebay.com By Sasha Fedorenko - Uploaded by the Association Member: Issac Avila]

What social media can not do is to deliver the next day or same day and that is where Amazon excels. All young consumers want everything now, so fast shipping becomes a major factor where a person shops. This is why Amazon will continue to dominate.

It is true. Not myself but my partner and her friends not even gen z but 20s early 30s have pretty much been brought up by social media. She gets so many of her ideas from insta, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Wedding cake, singer, flowers, invitations, bridesmaid dresses even my groomsmen gifts have all come from social media for a wedding next month. We’re even picked our seats on our flight for the honeymoon because of a video someone put on youtube, saved us a few hundred quid on pointless upgrades.
You can add links to most social sites to websites or marketplaces.

Direct checkout is going to be the big game changer. Amazon will still dominate on price and be the place for big box shifters and penny chasing, but social will become so much more important for smaller traders.

Categorized in Social

Source: This article was published martechadvisor.com - Contributed by Member: Martin Grossner

Video has become an integral part of the overall content marketing mix – a significant chunk of people’s online activities involve consumption of videos.  51% of marketers swear by video to justify the ROI on content marketing activities - and YouTube gets more than 500 million hours of daily watch time. Facebook is not falling behind with 100 million hours of the same. And these numbers will only increase in the coming time.

On the other hand, ample amount of opportunities brings the problem of saturation. How do you stand out from the clutter and the competition in the eyes of your viewers and the search engines? In this article, we will go over 5 techniques (Or hacks, if you will!) that will attract more viewers for your videos.

(Note: For our convenience, we’ll mostly use YouTube for all the examples. The tactics mentioned in this article will be applicable for most video hosting platforms and streaming websites.)

1. Video Keyword Search

First, let’s go over the most fundamental aspect of any content creation activity - keyword research. Before you move to create videos, generate a list of keywords and keyword phrases that you would like to rank for.

To start with, the YouTube Suggest feature will show you what people are searching for in YouTube. For instance, if you type in Digital Marketing 2018 in the search box, YouTube will present the relevant searches with that keyword phrases, and you can generate more ideas with the suggestions.

Another way to get keyword ideas is to look for keywords used in videos with a higher video count. In the screenshot below, barring the video with 150k views, you can see that videos with the keyword phrase Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 have received a good amount of views.

2. Optimize Video Metadata

To help people find your content, optimize your video content before it goes live. Here is how you can do that:

Title: Include the focus keyword in the video title along with the problem it solves. It should be engaging and should incite people to click on the video.

In the screenshot below, the video has to Maximize Your Productivity as the focus keyword and tells how batching your tasks can help solve the problem it talks about. Note, that the language is simple yet impactful.

Description: Use the focus keyword as early as you can in the description to tell the YouTube algorithm what the video is about (Source). 200+ words descriptions help YouTube and Google both in understanding more about your video. You can ask viewers to subscribe to your channel or direct them to your website and so on. Avoid stuffing keywords in the description box to avoid getting penalized by YouTube.

Tip: If your video runs longer (usually 8+ minutes), add timestamps in your description to help your viewers navigate through the video. Here’s how Gary Vaynerchuk does it.

Upload video transcript: Now, this will certainly help you outsmart your competition. Whenever you are uploading a video, upload the video transcript along with it, because search engine bots crawl closed captions included in the video. YouTube does automatic captioning, but try not to use it because you are at the mercy of the speech recognition technology which sometimes is not accurate.

Video Thumbnail: Although thumbnails don’t influence the SEO factors directly, an eye-catching thumbnail will certainly attract more viewers leading to enhanced SEO.

Make sure your thumbnail attracts eyeballs and tells viewers what the video is about. Here’s an example:

3. Create Playlists to Increase Your Watch Time

Watch time measures the amount of time people spend in watching your videos. It’s an important metric, because YouTube rewards videos that keep viewers engaged on YouTube. To optimize your watch time, create playlists on specific topics that would keep the viewers hooked for a longer time. Also, while working on playlists, make sure the name of the playlist is keyword-rich to reap the SEO benefits.

4. User Engagement

If people are liking, leaving comments, sharing your videos or subscribing to your channel, YouTube uses it as a signal that your videos are engaging. Here are 2 simple tips to increase user engagement in your videos.

a. Ask viewers to like, comment and share your videos - and to subscribe to your channel. Ask specific questions so they can easily answer them in the comments section.

b. Ensure to leave reply to the comments on your videos – select a specific time to answer all the comments. Replying to comments makes your viewers feel good and engage more with your videos leading to even increased watch time.

5. Schema Markup

Schema.org is an initiative between Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Yandex to create a structured data markup schema. Implementing Schema markup will help videos stand out in standard search results. If you are not sure whether you should go for it or not, here is Matt Cutts himself affirming the significance of it.

You need to provide the description, thumbnail URL, upload date, and duration. Google has detailed out everything here regarding schema markups for videos.

6. Submit a Video Sitemap

Video sitemaps provide search engine bots with the placement and the metadata of the videos on your website. While the bots can crawl the content themselves, submitting the video sitemap speeds up the process.  The video sitemap should contain metadata like title, description, play page URL, thumbnail URL and the raw video file URL.

 If you have already started with video marketing and feel a little lost when it comes to getting more views, these hacks will set you in the right direction. How do you plan to implement these tactics? Let us know in the comments below!

Categorized in Search Engine

We all have the concept that Google is the best and topmost search engine ever. Well, this is true as hell, it is and it is going to be the best in the coming time.But there are also other useful search engines, I will tell you the top 10 best search engines on the internet. If you are a blog writer or an article writer then the SEO optimization and relevant things are crucial for you. There is a large number of other search engines which are used by people nowadays.

Google is effective and no doubt topmost search engine but there are some problems:-

  • The traffic on Google is high, but there are a great competition and race among the users.
  • Google is not the all you have with regard to the search engine’s list.
  • Other search engines are beneficial equally for the users and rank the keywords in the same way.

Why Should you have Knowledge of the Google substitutes?

We are well by the fact that Google has started many new themes and things and have unique features and trade-marks. It is impossible for other search engines or websites to get similar features. Google has the highest organic traffic only due to this specialty.

Google recently has introduced the “Google Knowledge Graph” these things has spread the problem and fury in the other web experts and owners. It seems like Google wants to satisfy the users completely and with one click they can get the all related information within no time.

I will describe this by the example:

To show the answers of other webmasters, Google graph interferes and let it down.

Top 10 Best Search Engines on the Internet 2018

Before describing this, I have to tell you that there are many other search engines which are serving their users daily and get them the best answers quickly.

Here is the list of foremost Search engines:

1.   Google

This is the leading, trending, foremost and indeed nonpareil search engine ever. World over 70 percent of the users used to it. They do not like any other search engine to use.

It has the up-to-date facts and characteristics and all the users get their desired results within no time. It has many other trade-marks like Stock markets, Sport, Images, Calendar, Calculator, and much more which make it the topmost a the best engine of the time.

2. Youtube

You will be surprised to know that it is the 2nd most used search engine of the current time. It has more searches then the sum of all the searches of the Bing, Yahoo, and AOL.

According to a survey, there are total 3 billion searches are made per month. This is the huge traffic than other search engines. Now we can say that the contents which are visual and captive contents attract the users. If you want to initiate the blogging of some content, then I suggest you make a youtube channel. It will be beneficial to you and will drive traffic to your channel and content.

3. Bing

Among the community of the search engines which has attracted the people all over the world. In this community, Bing has a great share and this is the basically most important thing ever.

Bing’s homepage is up-to-date every day with the current situations and trending affairs of the world. It also gives the many and comprehensive answers or replies to the people’s questions and searches like sportings, conversions, and many more things.

4. Yahoo

You can say that Yahoo was a topmost search engine in the past years. Then Google took its place and it is currently also a top list search engine. One of the best features of Yahoo is its homepage or the home screen which looks like or seems to be a complete news updater. It updates the users with the everyday news, native happenings, regional happenings, national happenings, and international happenings. This is the best thing that fascinates the people.

The other important trade-mark of the Yahoo is its Yahoo answers section, the portion which gives the answers to the people quickly.

5. Ask.com

Its genuine name is Ask Jeeves, and the leading site still now in the USA. It has a share of 3 percent in the search engine market. Many people still use it for searching purposes. But the thing that takes it down is its low-quality replies service which becomes unable to satisfy the users.

6. Baidu

We think that Google is the leading search engine in the world but you are wrong here in China most of the people use this search engine. This has the market share of 70 percent in the search engine community. It is at no. 4 rank in the Alexa and No. 1 site in China.

According to a research report, it is at the no. 2 among the total net search engine ad revenue and has a revenue of 7.18 Billion.

7. Aol

This is the trending search platform in the USA and has a market share of 0.15 percent in the whole market community.

8. Yandex

It is the search engine like the Baidu but it I the Russian based search engine. It is the leading search engine in Russia and many regions of Europe. It contributes to the 55-65 percent in the Russian market search engine community.

9. DuckDuckGo

It is something more clean interface than that of Google. One more precious thing about it that it does not interfere with your browsing histories or the activities. If you are searching for this search engine you have no need to get onto another search engine.

10. WayBack Machine

This is not only a search engine but also a history search engine. This allows you to find anything in the past on the internet. It has the collection of more than 480 billion pages or sections.

This is the best site for the SEO person. It can help them a lot.

 

Categorized in Search Engine

I love YouTube. I use it for inspiration or to kill an idle hour (which I normally don’t have). I love the variety of user-generated content: different styles, topics and perspectives. I love it that YouTube is huge.

But with the resource being enormous comes one issue: it is almost impossible to search it efficiently. And there are no official guides on how to search YouTube to actually find something.

However, not many people know how flexible YouTube’s search function actually is.

About 2 years ago (maybe more) Google started operating YouTube search — if you haven’t noticed Google Video Search and YouTube search have even identical (advanced) search options. And with Google coming into play, there turns out to be some really tricky and smart ways to search YouTube using Google search operators.

The Issue

YouTube (like Google Video Search) has some handy sorting options that allow you to find videos by:

  • Relevancy (based on your search query);
  • Upload date (to find most recent videos);
  • View count (to find the most viewed videos);
  • Rating (to find the highest rated videos).

I love using the latter two options to look through the most popular YouTube videos on any topic.

The only issue is that when you sort by anything other than relevancy, the results are likely to be highly irrelevant.

Let’s compare:

youtube search

Sorting makes results absolutely off-topic. Luckily, we do have an option to sort YouTube search results while still getting relevant results: YouTube advanced search operators.

YouTube Advanced Search Operators

I don’t think the search operators I am listing here are anywhere to be found in YouTube’s documentation. All that is listed on the official “Advanced YouTube search” page is the set of the usual search options you see below the search field:

You can filter results by:

  • Type of results, such as Videos, Channels, or Playlists
  • Subject category
  • Video length
  • Video quality
  • Features, such as Closed captions, Partner videos, or Rentals

However, as we have seen above, filtering and sorting seldom triggers relevant results.

To bypass this issue, you need to use advanced operators which were inherited from Google search and are really very helpful:

1. Use quotes to force the exact match

This operator may come particularly in handy when you are sure which exact key phrases you want to be included into the search results, for example, the name of a movie or a music clip.

youtube video search

2. Use plus (+) sign to force a word in the results

If one of your words gets dropped out from search results, this operator may save a lot of your time. Similarly, you can use the minus (-) sign to force YouTube search to exclude any irrelevant but persistent words from the search results.

youtube video search

3. Force any word to appear in the video title with help of INTITLE: operator

This trick turns out to be very useful if you, for example, keep getting irrelevant results (video pages that only mention your search term in comments or loosely in description).

youtube search tips

Any more YouTube search tricks to force relevant results even when using sorting options?

Source: This article was published makeuseof.com By Ann Smarty

Categorized in Search Engine

How Top Stories Today gamed the system

Over the course of the last several years, every major social platform has been plagued by fake news. Now Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, has a fake news problem of its own.

Because of how the search engine’s autofill feature works, people who visit Bing looking for news videos may be redirected to a flood of fake news videos, all generated by a single source. You can see how it works for yourself: click on the “News” tab from Bing’s homepage. The page autofills the search bar with “Top stories.” Now travel to any other search tab, including “Maps” or “Images” and you’ll see that the search bar retains the “Top stories” query. Autofilling “Top stories” into the search bar appears to be an innocuous design decision — until you hit the “Video” tab.

There, you’ll see a wall of videos including “Breaking: Germany demands immediate prosecution of Obama”; “The Royal wedding in jeopardy,” and “Russian is about to take out Obama permanently.” Many of the videos promote moves made by President Donald Trump, and offer criticism of former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Collectively, the videos have earned 83.6 million views.

And every video comes from one YouTube account: Top Stories Today, an account which appears to have been designed to game Bing’s design. The channel is devoted to promoting false and sensationalized news videos narrated by synthesized voices, which often speak in a kind of gibberish. “We report the genuine news and circumstances occurring the world over,” reads the account’s “about” page on YouTube. “Genuine Reports that the predominant press doesn’t need you to think about! We are your #ONE source for the most vital world event and stories happening every day!”

In content and in tone, Top Stories Today’s videos are reminiscent of the hoaxes that spread virally on Facebook and other platforms during the 2016 election.

“As soon as we become aware of this type of content, we take action to remove it from news search results, which we are doing in this case,” a Microsoft spokeswoman said in a statement. A message sent to Top Stories Today was not returned.

Source: This article was published theverge.com By Casey Newton

Categorized in Search Engine

There is plenty of fake news circulating on the internet today. The vast majority falls into the category of “Nobody capable of reading could actually be dumb enough to think this is true,” and yet the stories are liked, shared, and promoted by millions who inexplicably believe them. Of course, it doesn’t help when the fake news stories are being offered up by what you might otherwise assume to be a credible source of information—like from Microsoft’s Bing.

If you visit the Bing website, it defaults to a beautiful picture of the day with a white Bing search box in the middle. Across the top are links for News, Maps, Videos and Images. If you click on News, it automatically populates the search field with “top stories”. If you then click the other links, the “top stories” term remains, and the results that appear are related to the search “top stories.”

A YouTube channel dedicated to propagating ludicrous fake news figured out how to exploit this design flaw and game the Microsoft Bing page into displaying their stories—almost exclusively. The name of the YouTube channel is “Top Stories Today,” so it automatically ranks higher in a search for “top stories” because it’s right in the name.

The titles of most of the videos make it obvious that they’re blatantly false. If that wasn’t enough, though, the source should also be a tip-off. Any tinfoil hat wearing nutjob who thinks the Earth is flat, or Infowars is legitimate news can cobble together a YouTube video to convey whatever hallucinogenic, fever-inspired conspiracy theory they wish.

I was reluctant, but I took one for the team and clicked on a link. The narrator's voice sounds computer-generated—like if you mixed Sean Hannity and Max Headroom—so that too should be a hint that this news is a few apples short of a bushel. The “story” I clicked breathlessly “enlightened” me about what an awesome job actor James Woods did spewing verifiably false things about former President Barack Obama on Twitter.

The danger here is that someone who doesn’t know any better, and—for whatever reason—can’t pick up on all the clues, will see these videos displayed among videos from MSN and USA Today, and actually believe them. The tricky part about a decent fake news story is that it contains just enough truth or plausible content to suck you in, so by the end, you’re at least thinking, “Huh. Maybe?” Then, those people will go on Facebook and post them to share the shocking news with their friends and family and spark heated partisan debates.

For what it’s worth, this only seems to happen if the first link you click on from the Bing website is News. If you click Videos, Maps or Images first, the search field is not automatically populated with “top stories”, and even if you subsequently visit the News link it doesn’t populate with “top stories” or remain persistent when you go to the other links.

Hopefully, Microsoft is now aware of this flaw and will take steps to do something about it. That is just the tip of the iceberg, though. There’s a lot more than search engines, social media sites, and legitimate news sources need to do to counter the rising tide of fake news and restore some sanity online.

Update: Microsoft did, in fact, take immediate action to remove the YouTube fake news links from the Videos feed on Bing as quickly as possible once it was notified. the behavior of automatically populating the search criteria with "Top Stories" when you click on News first still occurs, but the fake news YouTube videos have been stripped from the results.

Source: This article was published forbes.com By Tony Bradley

Categorized in News & Politics
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