Google Alerts redesigned with modern look and alert suggestions

Google Alerts

Google Alerts quietly received a redesign overnight, gaining a brand new user interface that closer aligns with the appearance of other Google web services. In addition to a streamlined user interface, the service is also more automated now and offers alert suggestions for your name and email address, popular tech companies, athletes, celebrities, countries, places, industries and more.  Read more

Google rolling out live event alerts in search results for YouTube and Hangouts

Google Live Events Search

Google has began rolling out an experimental feature on its search engine that makes it easier to find live events on YouTube or Hangouts on Air. A live event will begin showing up in search results up to 3 hours before it starts, providing users with a link that takes them to the event page to watch. A card-like box appears at the top of Google when searching for the name or author of live events.  Read more

Yelp is convinced that Google is manipulating search results to promote its own products

Yelp

TechCrunch has obtained leaked documents from within Yelp that accuse Google of manipulating search results to promote Google+ content over Yelp content. The report alleges that Google is boosting its own products on its search engine in the United States, but not in Europe where it is being slammed with antitrust complaints from European Union regulators. Read more

Some links suppressed under Google’s ‘right to be forgotten’ initiative start reappearing in search results

google1

Earlier today members of the press started noticing that certain news articles were being removed from Google’s search results due to the company’s recent move to allow takedown requests following a UK court’s ruling that its citizens have the “right to be forgotten.” As various news sources played off the situation by re-running stories (and putting their subjects back in the limelight), Google has responded by restoring many of the missing links.

It’s possible the removals were unintentional anyway. Regarding the criteria for removal, the company originally stated:

When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information—for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.

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‘Right to be forgotten’ by Google back-firing hilariously as media run stories on the censorship

Google sets up data removal webform

Well-known figures taking advantage of Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling, in which Google and other search engines are required to remove links to sensitive information deemed ‘out-dated or irrelevant’, are not quite getting the results they hoped for. Google is choosing to notify the media when links to stories are removed, and the British media is responding by running stories on the censorship – putting the subjects of the removed links back in the news once more …  Read more

First search results removed as Google acts on ‘Right to be forgotten’ requests

wsj

The WSJ is reporting that Google has begun removing search results following a European court decision that individuals have a right to require Google to remove links to information which is “outdated or irrelevant.”

Following the ruling – known as the ‘right to be forgotten’ – Google created a webpage application and announced that each would be evaluated by hand on a case-by-case basis, balancing the right to privacy against legitimate public interest. The company now says that it has begun acting on these requests …  Read more

Step-by-step instructions now appear in Google’s Knowledge Graph

Google, over the past year, has gradually been ramping up the features of which its Knowledge Graph is capable . For those unfamiliar, the Knowledge Graph is the box that appears in search results, either at the top or on the right, with information about your search query. Over the past few days, Google has gradually started integrating step-by-step directions into the Knowledge.

To try this feature out, simply type in a “how-to” search into Google and the steps will appear at the top of the search results page. As you can see in the images above, Google will sometime present you with the materials need to perform your task, while in other instances it will give you step-by-step directions. For shorter tasks, all of the steps will be listed in the Knowledge Graph, while tasks with longer processes require you to click through to the publisher’s website.

Google pulls in the steps from a variety sources. Publishers would obviously prefer that readers have to click through to see all of the steps, but Google doesn’t seem to care. Try it out for yourself now.

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Google debuts new ‘right to be forgotten’ page in Europe, lets users request removal from search results

google

Following a ruling by a European court that users have the “right to be forgotten” online, Google has launched a new web page that allows some users seeking a bit of privacy to have certain links removed from the company’s search results. The Mountain View search giant says it has already gotten thousands of takedown requests—and that’s before the form was even public (via Re/code).

The system isn’t automated, and Google says it will need to consider each request on a case-by-case basis to decide whether a certain link should be removed or left intact in the interest of public information. If that sounds a bit inefficient, that might be because it is. An introductory statement on the page calls it “an initial effort” which will undoubtedly be improved on over time:

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‘Right to be forgotten’ ruling in Europe won’t apply to Google in U.S. say commentators

google

A ruling by Europe’s top court that individuals have a right to require Google to remove sensitive information from search results is unlikely to apply in the USA, according to a number of commentators quoted in an Associated Press piece.

But across the Atlantic, the idea that users should be able to edit Google search results in the name of privacy is being slammed as weird and difficult to enforce at best and a crackdown on free speech at worst …

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Low-quality content aggregators are the big losers in Google’s Panda update

google panda

Earlier this week, Google rolled out Panda 4.0 and Pay Day 2.0. These updates to the search algorithm were touted as being designed to further reduce the ranking of low-quality and spammy content. According to analysis by Searchmetrics, Panda and Pay Day did just this, with websites that offer undifferentiated content suffering in terms of overall ranking.

However, Panda did not just punish websites: various major websites actually increased their rank in Google Search as a result of the change in algorithm. From the study: Read more

Google’s latest updates to its search algorithm continue the crusade against spam, low-quality content

google panda

Google has made two notable changes to its search algorithm in the past 24 hours, both of which continue Google’s crusade to keep its search results relevant. The 4.0 release of the Google Panda algorithm is intended to make it more difficult for websites with poor quality to rank highly in search results (via SearchEngineLand).

Payday Loan Algorithm 2.0 was also released yesterday, and it targets “very spammy queries,” and is unrelated to Panda’s rollout: Read more