Search May 1

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 …  expand full story


Search April 30

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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Search April 28

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 …  expand full story

Search April 22


Search April 21

Search April 20

Google is set to debut a reworked version of its search result ranking system tomorrow, Fortune reported today. The new rankings will place websites with mobile-friendly designs ahead of those that work best on desktop machines in search results.

The decision to make this change was prompted by the fact that over 60% of Google’s search traffic now comes from mobile devices, the company said. The modification was first announced in a post on Google’s Webmaster Central blog earlier this year.

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