Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Google Gambol

Greg Notess

Quick tips on Google Search
  • Vanishing home page links
  • Personalize, customized searches without log-in based on geolocation and search history based on IP address, can be disabled (maybe?)
  • Stars replace SearchWiki, only you will see your stars
  • Google can't count - take any number of results with a grain of salt, it's an estimate give or take 50%
  • Search suggest changes are more prominent, rough estimate numbers gone, navigational suggestions/images/answers appear in the dropdown, broadened to images/video/shopping databases
  • Search punctuation to reduce fuzzy processing (Google trying to out think you), +exact term "exact phrase", stemming of grammatical variants, synonymization, ~forces synonym searching to broaden, use|instead of or, BUT * doesn't work as truncation (never has!) but it can work as word wildcard in a phrase i.e. "let them * cake"
  • Prefixes: site: for domains or top-level domains (soon will have non-latin characters as top-level domain name, not sure how this will work for that); inurl: for locations beyond the domain; filetype: for any extension, including office 2007; link: pages that link to a designated page but it's not complete (Yahoo will give you more, Google doesn't give all to prevent spammers from revers engineering); cache: for previous version of URL's text only
  • Country limit advanced option goes beyond top-level domain (i.e. beyond .au for Australia)
  • Show Options link at top of results give all sorts of filters and options on the left including date limits (including good work they've done identifying date of the content on the page); discussions gives results for forums with posts/authors/dates and some other info depending on the forum; Timeline; Wonder Wheel; Updates/Latest for constant updates
  • Real-time scrolling of top links for twitter and other things
  • Displaying longer snippets (keyword in context extracts), especially for longer queries
  • URL displays now doing some hierarchy displays instead of displaying long URLs
  • Added information displays - a dateline on news sites/blogs/press releases, "This site may harm your computer" for questionable sites, author and date from Scholar content
  • Inline site clustering for multiple pages from the same website plus the ability to view more if there are multiple
  • Hundreds of factors are included in Google's display algorithms, and they're changed frequently to prevent spammers, faster loading pages get a small bump in ranking
  • Add &pws=0 to the end of a URL it'll turn off the customization (maybe)
  • Add &filter=0 eliminates clustering pages to display all results
  • Translate search under language tools
  • Show options: databases to access various Google databases
Forgotten Databases:
  • Universal only selects a small fraction
  • Google groups (including usenet info)
  • News can now search author: for bylines, added suggestions and ads, archive under the advanced search have expanded to include more free content as well as paid, hosing European agencies, time line display, blog search incorporated and identified
  • Blogs now has RSS results feed, hot queries and latest posts, indexing posts and not just the RSS feed to include all stuff but picks up some surrounding content as well; includes references for people that linked to a blog post
  • Scholar lost green triangles identifying free things, changed to links on the side; now also includes patents database and legal opinions and journals (but can't search patent and law together); some things are citations only without links, can exclude those; Scholar only has 3-4 employees which explains why you don't hear about what they're doing
  • Books lawsuit remains, can link directly to a book page, includes a few magazines and periodicals (bound journals = books to Google so they scanned them)
Labs is relaunched, now categorizes types of developments
  • Squared puts searches into a chart (to compete with Wolfram Alpha)
  • Public data explorer for changes over time for specific things
  • Fast flip
  • Transliteration for different alphabets
  • Browser size for web developers to preview
Google Services
  • Reader can search RSS feeds even if you never look at the feed
  • Docs can do surveys, now has Draw Together, new spreadsheet
  • Voice for phone number integration, one single phone number; can integrate with Library Help SMS messaging
  • Translation - enter URL, text, search, embed translate widget on your page
Recent Travails
  • Hot topics have 90% of the top links as spam
  • Buzz fiasco
  • Photographers suing Books
  • Search share is down (still 70% but down a tiny bit)

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