Google is hosting a small media event in San Francisco this morning. It’s not clear what Google plans to focus on during this event, but the last time the company hosted a similar meeting, it announced Google Instant. The only thing we know about today’s event is that Google Fellow Amit Singhal will be among…
Google, Bing and Yahoo today launched a new initiative that will introduce a common vocabulary for adding additional market and structured data to search engine listings. Schema.org, as this new markup is called, allows website owners to give search engines better ways to understand the content on their sites. With schema.org, you can, for example, ensure that a search engine knows that something on your site is a recipe, a movie review with a rating, a listing for a local business or that a specific page is about a product. In total, the schema.org hierarchy knows of a few hundred different content types that can be described through its vocabulary.
Google today launched it’s +1 button for third-party sites. Until now, these buttons were only available on Google’s own search results page, but now, website owners will be able to integrate +1 into their own sites as well. Among today’s launch partners are major tech blogs like TechCrunch and Mashable, as well as Best Buy, The Washington Post, Reuters and Bloomberg. The question, though, is if users will actually want to press these buttons.
Google just announced an interesting update to its news aggregator Google News. The service now defaults to displaying stories in a one-column layout and puts a stronger emphasis on personalization (with an expanded personalized top stories section at the top of the page). Other new features on the site include more multimedia elements when you…
Google just announced an update to its automcomplete feature, which speeds up the search process by showing predicted searches while you type. Until now, Google mostly based its predictions by looking at the most popular searches. The problem with this, Google points out, is that the majority of search queries have never been typed in before and hence didn’t show any predictions. Now, however, Google is expanding this feature by “improving the predictive powers of autocomplete” for these seldom used queries as well by just looking at the last part of the query.
If you use Google’s mobile website for Gmail on your iOS or Android smartphone, Google just launched an update that will make your life a bit easier. You can now undo a number of actions in mobile Gmail, including whenever you archive, move and delete a message or conversation, or when you add a label to an email.
Google just launched it’s +1 button this morning, which allows its users to like sites and ads right on the search results page and which will soon also come to a site near you in the form of a Facebook-like “-1” button. Quite a few pundits are already proclaiming this as a Facebook competitor, but I have my doubts. For now, the benefits of clicking the +1 button simply aren’t there for users to bother clicking on them
Yahoo just launched some interesting updates to its search product. Even though Yahoo’s search backend is now powered by Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo remains in charge of how it presents this data. The new Yahoo Search somewhat resembles Google Instant, but is actually, in some way, a cleverer solution that brings together Bing’s “Bing boxes” and Google Instant.
A few weeks ago, Google introduced a Chrome plugin that allowed you to block sites you didn’t want to see in your results pages. Now, the search giant is taking this concept a step further and allows anybody to block sites right from the search results page. There is a slight twist to this, though. The link to the block feature will only appear after you have visited a site. So if you want to block a site that you deem to be offensive or of low quality, you first have to visit it before you can block it.
If you search for “air jordans under $100” on Google today, you will get a nice list of ten blue links. If you search on Google’s shopping site, you will get quite a few results with prices around $250. On Bing, however, you also get 10 blue links, but more importantly, you also get a link to Bing Shopping where you will find a list of shoes for under $100 – just like you wanted.
Starting today, Bing Shopping will be able understand natural language queries like the one used in the example above. This works on Bing Mobile, as well as through voice search.
All the major search engines are now working on integrating signals from your own personal network on sites like Facebook and Twitter to enhance their search results. Google launched its latest initiative last week and today Bing is launching the next step in its program to bring more “liked results” to its results pages. Whenever one of you friends has liked a page that appears in your search results on Microsoft’s search engine, this fact is now highlighted on Bing and your friends’ profile pictures will appear underneath the link.
Starting today, Google will integrate Social Search deeper into its main search results and will highlight whenever your friends shared this link on Twitter or Buzz. Even more importantly, Google will use these signals from your friends to personalize your search results if appropriate. If your friend shared a story about Google’s new Social Search feature on Google Reader, for example, this link will climb up in Google’s search results.
For a while now, one of the most persistent memes in the tech world is that Google is suffering from a major spam problem and that the quality of its search results have suffered greatly from this. Google today took its critics head-on in a post on its official blog. According to Google’s Matt Cutts…
Somehow I completely missed the fact that those new blue “shared by” links on Google News results that appeared on my main search results pages a few days were new. Given the pace of the search giant’s development cycle, I have to admit that I’m sometimes actually rather confused about what’s new and what’s been around for a while on Google.