The EU reportedly wants Google to separate search from the rest of its business

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Google’s ongoing battle with the European Union may have just taken a nasty turn. A new draft motion from the European Parliament is looking to separate the outfit’s search business from the rest of its operations. This comes after years of accusations against the company claiming that it exercises adverse practices, showcasing its own products while burying its competition.

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Here’s a detailed overview of what Google knows about you

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Google’s collection of user information is often used as propaganda, but there’s no denying that the company monitors its subscribers closely. Do you regularly use products like Gmail, Maps, Chrome, Android, YouTube, and search? If so, there’s a good chance that Google has a detailed log of your habits assigned to your user profile. Don’t believe us? Check out this list of links to see what type of information Google has about you.

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Twitter wants some Google love again three years after breaking up

Twitter Logo

Twitter’s chief financial officer Anthony Noto at its Twitter Analyst Day today reassured analysts that the social network has room for growth in the future, with one of the strategies being to generate more search engine optimization traffic from Google. The strategy is somewhat ironic, given that Twitter had one of the best SEO partnerships with Google until the deal fell apart around three years ago. Read more

Google app for Android updated with app-specific voice search API

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Version 3.5 of the Google for Android application includes a new API that developers can take advantage of to activate “Ok Google” functionality within their own apps. According to the Android developer blog, software makers can add a few lines of code to their app to enable users to search it using a global voice command.

Once the feature has been integrated into an app (Talon, for example), users will be able to say things like “Ok Google, search for 9to5google in Talon” to trigger a search for that term within Talon.

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Google Drive for Android gets improved search, better sharing & enhanced PDF viewer

Google Drive

Google has updated Drive for Android with a Material Design facelift and three new features in improved search, better sharing and an enhanced PDF viewer that make it easier for users to find, view and share through the app. The update will be rolling out on the Play Store for Android devices over the next several days.

The new search bar in Drive is easier and more predictive at finding content by updating results as each letter is typed into the field. Meanwhile, the app has improved sharing functionality that allows for users to write a custom comment on shared files so that all collaborators know why they sent it. Read more

Google updates search platform to decrease visibility of pirated media

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Google recently rolled out an update for its web search algorithm that makes it harder for people to find pirated media through torrent sites like Pirate Bay and Isohunt. This new software push comes soon after News Corp. chief executive Robert Thomson issued a letter blasting the search giant, referring to it as a “platform for piracy” and requesting that the EU enforce stricter policies against the company.

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German publishing syndicate now allowing Google to display news excerpts in search results (update)

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As a result of an ongoing legal battle, Google recently changed the way it displays search results for news stories from select European publishers. A syndicate known as VG Media is claiming that Google’s search engine is letting people bypass their sites’ paywalls, and is demanding compensation for lost revenue. In an effort to smooth things over, Google removed text previews and thumbnail images from its search results for select publishers involved in this claim, but it appears that VG Media has had a change of heart.

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Google officially removes authorship from search results

Google Personal Search

Google has officially announced the end of authorship, a feature within search that gave users an idea of who exactly wrote the content behind the link before clicking it. Paired with a headshot, the name of the content creator was for a very long time shown alongside the number of Google+ circles he or she was in as well as a link to read more content by that author. But as of today—while headshots have been gone for a while—this feature is completely finished and links in search are back to being a bit more uniform.

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A look back at 10 of Google’s biggest search milestones since 2004

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What a difference a decade makes. Google’s head of search Amit Singhal recently reflected on the search giant’s last ten years, starting with its IPO, where Larry Page and Sergey Brin shared their vision with the rest of the world. In an open letter, Page and Brin boldly informed would-be shareholders that Google was not a conventional company and that their intentions were for it to never become one.

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Google starts giving search preference to HTTPS encrypted websites

Google Personal Search

Google says it has been testing changes to its search algorithms that will give secure, encrypted websites — as shown by HTTPS in their URL — ranking preference over those that do not. Google as a company prioritizes security, and as more and more webmasters are adopting HTTPS, the company hopes that this change will push more webmasters to do the same.

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Hong Kong court finds Google liable for defamation via auto-complete suggestions

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Things are getting interesting for Google on the legal front. Not long after the ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling and the messy fallout from that, a Hong Kong court has ruled that the company is responsible for auto-complete suggestions where they could be said to defame.

MyBroadband (via The Loop) reports:

A Hong Kong court has ruled that a local tycoon can sue Google Inc for defamation because searches for his name on Google suggest adding the word ‘triad’, Hong Kong’s notorious organized crime groups.

Searches in both English and Chinese for Albert Yeung Sau-shing, the founder and chairman of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Emperor Group, will automatically suggest phrases related to organized crime using Google’s ‘autocomplete’ function.

On Tuesday, the High Court of Hong Kong dismissed Google’s argument that it was not responsible for the autocomplete suggestions related to Yeung and that the court did not have personal jurisdiction over the U.S. search giant … 

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