World White Web project wants you to lend a hand in ending unintentional racism on the web

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While Google has been working hard to become a more diverse company, you don’t necessarily see much diversity in image searches. Carry out a neutral search on Google Images for terms like man, woman, face or hand, and the vast majority of search results show white people.

The World White Web project aims to change that, by the simple mechanism of asking people to share images of people of color, which boosts their search rankings in Google, increasing the racial diversity of search results …  Read more

Google rebrands Webmaster Tools as ‘Google Search Console’ to appeal to more users

SC_lockupGoogle announced today in a blog post that it is renaming its popular Google Webmaster Tools service to Google Search Console after nearly 10 years of existence. Aside from the different name, no other changes are being made to Google Search Console. Google, of course, updates the service with new features on a regular basis, though.

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Google to introduce new ‘buy now’ buttons in search results within the coming weeks

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The Wall Street Journal today reported that Google plans to launch a new “buy now” button this week. The button will be incorporated directly into its shopping search results. The report echoes a similar report from The Wall Street Journal earlier this year, in which it was reported that Google wanted to enter the online commerce and more seriously battle Amazon and eBay.

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Google reveals easy & difficult ‘Right to be forgotten’ cases, as possible compromise emerges

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The controversy over the ‘right to be forgotten‘ by Google has often seemed destined to run forever, Google arguing that it was being asked to make “difficult and debatable judgements” based on “very vague and subjective tests,” while European courts said that the company wasn’t fully complying with the law.

Google said that it was complying with court orders by removing “outdated or irrelevant” sensitive information about individuals from its European sites, while leaving the .com site untouched. European courts want Google to remove results from google.com also.

A piece in the WSJ suggests that a compromise may be reached, however, as Google revealed examples of what it described as easy and difficult cases …  Read more

You can now order takeout in the U.S. from your Google search results

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In a post on Google+ this evening, Google has announced that it is adding a new feature to its search engine that will make it incredibly easy to quickly order food on the go. Google says that starting today, if you search for a restaurant that is integrated with Seamless, Eat24, GrubHub, Delivery.com, MyPizza.com, or BeyondMenu, you will be able to order a meal directly from the search results.

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More Google searches now occur from smartphones than from desktops

Europe Antitrust Google

As you probably could have expected would happen eventually, Google this evening has revealed that more searches are now performed on mobile devices than on desktops. In a post on the Inside AdWords blog, Google wrote, “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.”

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Students should be allowed to make Google searches during exams, says UK exam board (Poll)

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The head of a British exam board has said that students should be allowed Internet access – including the ability to carry out Google searches – during exams. The head of the OCR school examinations board Mark Dawe told the BBC’s Today program that this would accurately reflect the way they would work after leaving school.

“It is more about understanding what results you’re seeing rather than keeping all of that knowledge in your head, because that’s not how the modern world works,” said Dawe.

He compared the idea to the debate about whether to have books available during a test, saying: “In reality you didn’t have too much time [to consult the book] and you had to learn it anyway.”

The Oxford, Cambridge & RSA board’s chief said that while permitting Internet access during exams would not happen in the next weeks or months, it was “inevitable” at some stage …  Read more

Opinion: What will Google’s single search result end game mean for content?

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The Knowledge Graph is a controversial—but now fundamental—part of using Google, and for most casual browsers of the web, it’s nothing but an added convenience. It already does a great job of figuring out which pieces of information are most important and accurate, and gives them to you directly within the Google search page—there’s no need to go digging through countless results to find what you want. I myself even find it useful very often, usually when I’m searching for specific facts. Something like “When was George Washington born?” is a great example.

But I’m also wary of how intelligent it has gotten in recent years, and how much more integral to the Google experience it is becoming. Not only is Google pulling content from crowd-sourced Wikipedia articles, it is now getting smart enough to pull some of the content I’ve written on this website. Knowledge Graph has been known to bring death to many pages hosting all kinds of content, with lyrics websites being the perfect example. But what happens when Knowledge Graph and its Quick Answer box are so smart that you don’t need to browse the web at all?

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Google aims to end conflicts with online newspapers with European Digital News Initiative

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Google hasn’t always enjoyed the best of relationships with news websites, publishers arguing that search results often show a large enough excerpt from the story that people don’t need to click through to the site, especially within the Google News tab. This has been especially true in Europe, where non-English publications are fighting for a much smaller potential readership.

The conflict came to a head in Spain last year, where the government passed a new law which would have required it to pay Spanish news sites for the excerpts shown in its search results, and Google responded by closing Google News in Spain. Although an unofficial compromise was found, grumblings by news sites have continued.

Google now believes its Digital News Initiative offers a three-pronged approach to tackling the “truly radical and challenging changes” being experienced in the media business within Europe …  Read more