It’s interesting how major Internet players will try to out buzz each other with their respective announcements. When it was announced earlier this week that Microsoft is set to launch its new search engine Kumo, now officially called Bing, we didn’t hear anything about Google’s Wave Project. And so instead of taking the limelight, Microsoft’s announcement of Bing was over shadowed by the Google Wave. Putting aside the competition issue, what exactly does Bing and Wave has to offer? [Read more…] about Microsoft Brings Bing to Web Search, as Google Creates a Wave
Search engines certainly revolutionized the web. Mobile devices, similarly, are also revolutionizing the search marketplace. Thinking this very important trend the guys from CellPhones.org created an extensive guide about mobile search. Here is why this segment matters according to them:
Mobile Search is an ever growing part of the larger search market. Last year, according to ComScore, more then 20 million people searched from a mobile device in the USA alone. That’s an increase of 68% from the year previous. This is a fraction of all cell phones in the United States, and as wireless internet speeds and smart handset penetration increase, so will the number of users using search from a Mobile device.
Check the full article if you want to know more about it. It includes tips to optimize for mobile search, how to advertise on it and so on.
Some people love Google. Others love to hate it. Regardless of where you sit, though, you can’t deny that Google represents one of the most influential companies around the world.
The folks from Geekpreneur, in fact, wrote an article titled Why We Need Google. Here is the first point that they mention:
1. They made the Web easier to use with Google Search. There were search engines before Google (I worked for one such), but Google seemed to achieve market share where others could not, and has since indexed a greater share of online content. (Now they’re trying to index offline content, too. E.g., through the controversial Google Books project, which of course irks many authors and publishers – all of whom have lost income since the spread of Internet use. Librarians, too, have expressed concern about the value of their own existence.)
Check out the full article for the other 9 points.
The tough news around Yahoo apart, the second most popular search engine is doing good on rolling out new features. Announced this week was the availability of Yahoo Glue. What Glue does is return a list of different media types for a search query based on the context such as Wikipedia links and excerpts for people and stock quotes for companies. The feature was first launched and tested in India. Google’s Universal search immediately comes to mind when looking at the interface. The glue pages are not available for all topics but the list of topics is growing.
Google also announced a new feature called SearchWiki. Its an approach made to factor in user preferences for search results, albeit in a scaled down manner. For a given list of results, users can now choose to move links up or down the rankings or even delete them. These changes will affect the ranking for the particular user only. There is also a feature to add custom notes to the results and also view notes added by other users. In the long run perhaps Google will mine all these user preferences to further enhance their search algorithms. Its interesting to see Google implement features for social input to search results.
In one of the most significant social moves from the Redmond giant, Windows Live Messenger, Hotmail and other Live services will include features that make it possible for users to maintain and share notifications across their network of online contacts. What is more interesting is that the services will support notifications from third party web applications too ( e.g. Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, iLike, Yelp, WordPress Blogs among others).
An excerpt from SearchEngineJournal:
The new Microsoft Live Service portal would bring together Windows Live Messenger which is by far one of Microsoft’s most popular web service and infused them with both new and refurbished old online services such as an upgraded Hotmail, Windows Live Group, photo gallery, toolbar, calendar and many more.
All companies with major web properties have been announcing social features to better service and retain their users. Google had announced its single profile for all services which is a step towards greater integration across its umbrella of services. Yahoo had announced its Y!OS initiative to make social data accessible across services.
But real integration means you can have access to your networks from any service. This is where the absence integration with FaceBook and MySpace for the Microsoft initiative matters. But it is hoped that those nitty gritties will be resolved in due course.
Google announced that its web crawlers are now capable of indexing textual data from images. Google’s interest in Optical Character Recognition had been evident in the past few years. Now, they are one more step closer to making all the information in the world searchable.
Google Blog aptly summarizes the new technology:
In the past, scanned documents were rarely included in search results as we couldn’t be sure of their content. We had occasional clues from references to the document– so you might get a search result with a title but no snippet highlighting your query. Today, that changes. We are now able to perform OCR on any scanned documents that we find stored in Adobe’s PDF format. This Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology lets us convert a picture (of a thousand words) into a thousand words — words that can be searched and indexed, so that these valuable documents are more easily found. This is a small but important step forward in our mission of making all the world’s information accessible and useful.
Early this year Google had made public details on a patent it had filed to read text from images and video. This also implied that text recognized from Google Map View and Street View could also eventually shop up on search results. The applications of this technology are immense. But the next progression is what will make all the difference.
Already technologies exist that index speech spoken in videos. With addition of capability to index the text in videos as well, product oriented search will become all more relevant. This might be great news for the business model driving search engines but raises several privacy issues as well.