Search Stories December 29, 2016

Google adds tappable search suggestions to recipe searches on mobile

Update 2/2/17: More than a month after we told you about this, Google has made this new feature official on its blog.

It seems like Google is always playing with its search interface both on desktop and mobile, and today one eagle-eyed Alex Chitu spotted another addition on mobile: search suggestions when searching for recipes. The feature lets you refine searches for a food you might want to make…

Search Stories December 14, 2016

yearinsearch2016

As 2016 comes to a close, many are taking the opportunity to look back at the year passed and all the events, announcements, people, and more that have made it great, or not so great. In 2016’s “Year in search,” Google has released a brief video montage of the year’s top events, and also several lists ranking the top searches for the year. Let’s take a look.

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Search Stories December 13, 2016

Google rolling out support for reserving fitness and wellness classes right from search results

As we head into 2017, people are starting to form their New Year’s resolutions and Google today is rolling out a new feature to make it easier for its users to stick to their fitness-released goals. In a blog post, Google detailed a new Reserve with Google feature that will allow users to easily book fitness and wellness classes right from Google.

Search Stories November 8, 2016

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Google has never really been shy about getting its users to participate in the democratic process. But this election cycle, the Mountain View seems to have kicked it up a notch. We’ve found banners and reminders placed throughout all of its services, from YouTube to Google Maps to Google Now. Check out our gallery below of all the different places Google might be pestering you…

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Search Stories October 14, 2016

q-100

Google has for some time prioritized mobile-friendly sites in search results, but it will soon be taking an even bigger step. Search Engine Land reports a keynote address by a Google exec advising that the company will be creating a completely separate mobile index, which will take priority over the original desktop one.

Google is going to create a separate mobile index within months, one that will be the main or “primary” index that the search engine uses to respond to queries. A separate desktop index will be maintained, one that will not be as up-to-date as the mobile index.

The plan reflects the fact that the majority of search traffic now comes from mobile devices, but the presentation raised as many questions as it answered, notes the site …

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Search Stories September 28, 2016

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump today blamed Google for making bad news about his opponent harder to find via Search. Speaking during a rally in Waukesha, Trump remarked that “Google search engine was suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton.”

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Search Stories August 22, 2016

Apparently you can find nearby businesses by searching ‘**’ on Google

Google is seemingly testing a new feature in search: the ability to quickly find locations nearby with a search query. It doesn’t appear to be working for everyone, but apparently when some search for “**” (don’t forget to drop the quotation marks), users get a list business that are physically near to you…

Search Stories June 28, 2016

lyrics

If you’ve ever Googled for song lyrics, you know what a messy experience it can be – half the sites proving to be just links to other sites, others looking really sketchy. For those in the US, though, things should be much simpler. Google has licensed lyrics from LyricFind, which in turn licenses them from labels, so that a search for a song title with ‘lyrics’ on the end should generate an immediate link.

Of course, Google is arriving rather late to the party …

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Search Stories June 24, 2016

google-trends

Google Trends tells the story of the result of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Trending searches include a 500% spike in ‘buy gold,’ a doubling in searches on getting an Irish passport and some people apparently wondering what just happened …

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Search Stories June 20, 2016

symptom-search

From sport results to maps, Google Search now shows a lot more than just 10 blue links. Especially useful on mobile, Knowledge Graph aims to show relevant information without requiring users to click through a webpage. In an update rolling out over the next few days, Google will now surface possible medical conditions when you search for symptoms.

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Search Stories June 16, 2016

Google thanks ultra-polite grandmother who thought search-engine was a person

Some stories just make you grin. The BBC reports that Google has thanked a British grandmother who conducted the politest ever search after thinking that the answers were provided by a person.

Search Stories June 7, 2016

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Accelerated Mobile Pages launched in Google Search with support for ads earlier this year, and now the AMP team has shared a blog post detailing the future of ads on the platform. In the blog post, the AMP team explains that it has four central principles when it comes to ads:

  • Faster is better
  • ‘Beautiful’ matters
  • Security is a must
  • We’re better together

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Search Stories June 4, 2016

Web MDBack at 2014’s I/O, Google unveiled a new all-encompassing design language called Material Design, aimed at drastically reshaping the look of everything Google.

While its first implementations were seen — understandably — on Android, it took a little longer for the transition to take place on the web; we are now seeing Chrome being reworked under Material’s principles, and it now appears that the company’s stronghold, Search, may be on the verge of its long overdue redesign …

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Search Stories June 1, 2016

now-on-tap-text-select

Update: In a blog post, Google details new features currently available in English and rolling out soon to other languages. Now on Tap now officially works in the camera app and for images. For instance, users can open the camera app and initiate Now on Tap to identify landmarks. It can also be used in apps like Pinterest to identify artwork.

Rolled out last night to all users, Now on Tap has a new interface and the ability to manually select text from anything in a screenshot to perform a search. Due to a number of factors, Now on Tap has yet to become a hit feature and today’s update is a meaningful change to the product.

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Search Stories May 23, 2016

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Google appears to be A/B testing a new look for desktop search results.  The redesign takes many cues from mobile and places search results in individual cards. However, the bigger change displays Knowledge Graph cards inline and thus prioritizes them.

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Search Stories May 9, 2016

Google testing black links instead of blue in search results

For many, many years, whenever you search for anything on Google, chances are that you see a sea of blue unread links fill your web browser. Unless you’re in China, that is, in which case you see red ones.

Still, blue web links have been a feature within Google Search for a long time. So it comes as something of a minor shock to see that the company is now testing a new color: black.

Search Stories May 5, 2016

joaquin-phoenix

Over the past couple of years, Google has been implementing a number of AI, or machine-learning technologies, in to its products. Whether it’s intuitive search within the Photos app, better automatic thumbnail creation in YouTube, ‘Smart Reply’ in Inbox, or just straight-out beating an 18-time Go world champion, its artificial intelligent brains are being developed and honed.

With all of its incredible talent, apparently, there’s still work to be done when it comes to results from neural networks sounding and looking like naturally spoken or written human language. The solution: feeding it steamy romance…

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Search Stories April 29, 2016

cortana In an updated post on the Windows blog, Microsoft has confirmed that it is removing the option to use any browser other than Edge, and any search engine other than Bing, as an integrated option within Cortana. That means if you want to use Cortana for launching web pages or for performing searches in Windows 10, you’ll no longer be able to use Google Chrome or Google Search.

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Search Stories April 27, 2016

Google Getty Images

Google seems to be under fire lately. Less than a week from the European Union’s charges against the Mountain View company regarding supposedly unfair practices towards its hardware partners, TIME is reporting that the famous stock photo agency Getty Images is now accusing the technology giant of “promoting piracy” with its Images search engine…

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Search Stories April 20, 2016

doubleclick-tv

Following big Google Cloud announcements at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show earlier this week, the company is announcing a new ad platform to monetize and personalize video content, as well as that live TV listings are coming to Search results.

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google-podcast

Earlier this week, podcast listening, subscribing, and syncing features were finally added to Play Music. While that app update is still rolling out, the Google app for Android has just gained similar podcast listening features.

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android-antitrust

As previously rumored, in a press release published today, the EU has filed yet another antitrust movement against Google. This time it centers on Android, the company’s wildly successful mobile operating system, which the EU thinks is in breach of the continent’s antitrust rules. In short, the European Commission thinks Google is using Android to deliberately restrict other mobile operating systems, browsers and search engines.

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Search Stories April 19, 2016

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With imminent troubles looming in Europe, Canada just closed its three year investigation into anti-competitive practices involving Google’s search and advertising business (via The Verge). The country’s Competition Bureau ultimately “did not find sufficient evidence” that Google’s practices harmed local rivals.

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google-trends

During elections and other major events, Google Trends usually posts interesting statistics and data visualizations based on search results. While not necessarily reflective of today’s New York primary, Bernie Sanders is leading (via The Hill) Hillary Clinton in search interest and other related terms.

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Search Stories April 14, 2016

We’ve recently argued that the Galaxy S7 edge may represent the culmination of the “Smartphone 1.0 era”. It won’t please everyone about everything — and no such thing will likely ever exist — but it’s indubitable how all of the cornerstones of a modern smartphone have been tackled cleverly by the Korean giant, and all its positives can even justify its hefty price tag. Actually delivering something that steps up the game in a significant way, in fact, looks like a very tough challenge. Perhaps we will have to wait until true, Project Ara-like modular smartphones show up before radically rethinking the way we look at hardware, but the software roadmap seems to be getting clearer, with a future studded with bots.

Microsoft is betting big on them as a major part of the future of computing, and so is Facebook. There is a case that could be made for them to become the new apps — and this certainly is how these two firms are pitching the concept. Chances are that Google will follow sooner than later, and I think that if the general idea of bots we have been so far given remains valid, the owning of a platform as popular as Android may leave the Mountain View behemoth with quite an interesting card up its sleeve, which could give them a notable lead in the upcoming war for bots dominance, were they to play it cleverly…

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Search Stories April 5, 2016

Google can now play animal sounds directly from search

Very often, Google realizes that there’s a common search query that it can make more convenient for users by adding its own content directly to the search engine. The perfect example was last year, when Google effectively sherlocked dozens of lyrics-dedicated websites by adding its own lyrics directly to the top of search results for many songs. I don’t think as many websites are going to feel the brunt of this change, but Google has now added animal sounds to Search…

Search Stories March 31, 2016

google-now-nest

Google Now is a powerful tool. Combining the huge databases at the company’s disposal alongside the incredible amount of information it can pull – once granted access – from a customer’s usage of its many services, there are dozens of things that Google can help you with. Its power goes from answering to simple questions and completing easy requests to solving increasingly complex tasks that require a combination of the above to give more tailored and specific results.

In a somewhat curious outcome, Reddit user barney13 asked Google to show him some pictures from his trip to Nice, France, which while promptly showing the user correct results about his question also pulled out a snippet from an email which seemed oddly and yet particularly related to the request…

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Search Stories March 28, 2016

Pinterest-like image saving and tagging feature added to Google Search on the web

Last year, Google added a Pinterest-like photo saving and tagging feature to Image search. It was first available on the mobile web for Android and iOS, but starting today Google is rolling out the feature to desktop search.

china

For a brief spell last night, uncensored Google search was alive and kicking within China’s borders. For roughly 105 mins, according to the South China Morning Post, residents inside the People’s Republic had free, unrestricted use of Google’s popular search domain.

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googlenews

TNW reports that the European Commission is pressing ahead with proposals to make Google News pay a fee for linking to news stories on the web. The EC says that as search results include a short excerpt from the piece, and that text is protected by copyright, Google must pay.

Three European countries have tried this, and it failed in all three. In Spain, Google simply decided to close Google News in that country, and news websites lost 10-15% of their traffic overnight. Spanish publishers – who had originally demanded the law – quickly realized their mistake and tried to pass a new law that would somehow force Google to return …

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Search Stories March 25, 2016

cnil

The French data protection regulator CNIL has fined Google €100,000 ($112,000) after rejecting the company’s proposed compromise over the controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ legislation.

The legislation gives individuals the right to have ‘outdated or irrelevant’ information about them removed from Google’s search results. Google at first offered to remove the results from Google’s local domains on a country-by-country basis, in this case google.fr, before saying that it would also remove them from google.com when a search was carried out from within France …

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Search Stories March 22, 2016

brusselscrisis

In light of today’s appalling events in Brussels, as well as recent violence in Turkey, Google is offering free calls using Hangouts and Google Voice to the two countries. The company has done the same after similar events in France and is rolling out additional emergency resources via Google Now and Search to those in Brussels.

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Search Stories March 16, 2016

FILE - In this April 17, 2007 file photo, exhibitors work on laptop computers in front of an illuminated sign of the Google logo at the industrial fair Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany. According to numbers the company released Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, nearly 145,000 requests have been made in the European Union and four other countries by people looking to polish their online reputations. That’s an average of more than 1,000 requests a day since late May, when Google began accepting submissions to comply with a European court decision that ruled some embarrassing information about people’s lives can be scrubbed from search results. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File)

Google announced in April of last year that it tweaked search results to give a ranking boost to sites that offer mobile-friendly versions, and now the Mountain View company is prepping to give even more ranking weight to these sites. The company is planning a change that “increases the effect of the ranking signal” for mobile searches to put even more mobile pages on the top…

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Search Stories March 9, 2016

Destinations lets you plan your next vacation right from Google Search

Google Search just got a whole lot more useful for those of us who like to travel. With the new ‘Destinations’ feature you can search locations for your next trip, fine tune the search with your budget requirements and explore cities. In fact, you can virtually plan the entire trip right from within the Search user interface.

Search Stories March 8, 2016

Latest Google app beta adds OCR image recognition to Now on Tap

For all the features the Google app has added, it still does not have any image recognition capabilities. Google Goggles from 2010 could recognize book covers, landmarks, and even solve Sudoku, but was ultimately discontinued due to a lack of use. However, Now on Tap has gained some of those features in a recent update.

Search Stories March 4, 2016

Google Search 2016-03-04 15-27-52

Google+ may not be the biggest success ever (and its recent redesign doesn’t seem to be doing it any favors), but Google’s apparently not done with trying to break into the social space. A new product called “Google Posts” has started adding announcements directly to search results, and those posts only come directly from a certain group of people with special access to the “experimental” service…

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google

Following reports that Google will be more strict with how it complies with the European ‘right to be forgotten‘ act, the search giant today clarified how it would do so.

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Search Stories March 3, 2016

zika-google-search

Since last year, the Zika virus has ravaged through South America and there are now cases of it popping up around the world. Google is aiding the fight against the outbreak by expanding search results and creating a new mapping tool. Additionally, the company has pledged $1 million to UNICEF.

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Search Stories March 2, 2016

Google Trends - Web Search interest: how to move to canada - United States, Past 7 days 2016-03-02 16-04-21

It goes without saying that the American people aren’t exactly ecstatic about the prospective options for the US presidency, but just how unexcited are they? In response to the Super Tuesday results, which showed both Republican frontrunner Donald J. Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton both winning 7 of 11 states, it looks like many Americans are looking for a way to jump ship. And by jump ship, I mean head north to Canada…

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Search Stories February 24, 2016

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The first initiative out of Jigsaw, the think tank formerly known as Google Ideas, is an expansion of Project Shield. Announced in 2013, the tool helps prevent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks from taking a website offline.

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Search Stories February 23, 2016

amp-google-search (1)

Update: AMP is officially live on mobile. It will be coming soon to the Android and iOS Google apps.

Ahead of tomorrow’s wider launch of Accelerated Mobile Pages, Google Search is now denoting AMP articles in search results on mobile.

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Search Stories February 21, 2016

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With February coming to an end, Google’s deadline for the launch of its industry effort to speed up and improve mobile web pages is nearing. According to AdAge, Accelerated Mobile Pages will launch on February 24 with BuzzFeed, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post also launching AMP ready sites.

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Search Stories February 18, 2016

Google patent reveals concept for real-time voting, right on the search homepage

A new patent has recently been granted to Google which conceptualizes real-time, online voting. The example used in its graphic portrays a made-up reality TV show called ‘Top American Singer’, and shows how you would only need to click on a contestant’s image to vote. No calling or texting a premium rate number required.

In the patent, it’s clear Google is imagining this would be used for things like reality shows where contestants get voted off. It would be ideal for shows like American Idol, although there is potential here that it could be used for more consequential events like a political leadership campaign.

As you’d expect from any Google Search based interface, the web page would also show news and content related to the campaign.

While it may not launch the concept as an official product, Google has long been experimenting with real-time election tracking. During the recent US political campaigns, Google’s search tool has been updating with poll results during debates.

In an age where everything appears to be heading towards being internet-based, it’s hard to imagine a future without online voting for the next state senator, US President or UK Prime Minister. Whether or not it’ll be as open and insecure as a simple Google vote is debatable. That would of course need to be a highly encrypted bespoke application, rather than a Google Search interface. But, for TV shows, the Google solution seems promising.

 

Search Stories February 12, 2016

Google wins UK court case against antitrust accusers, Streetmap

Google has won a UK court case filed against it by a European mapping company named Streetmap.EU, which claimed the search giant had been skewing results in its own favor. Streetmap will appeal the decision, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Search Stories February 11, 2016

Google to comply more strictly with EU’s ‘right to be forgotten’ act

Following a series of pressures by European regulation and privacy authorities, Google will soon start removing unwanted results from all of its domains. Despite having complied with the EU’s rules regarding the so-called ‘right to be forgotten‘ act, the search giant has so far only removed the results within the specific country’s domain.

Search Stories February 4, 2016

Google Personal Search

According to a report from The Guardian, Google will soon start showing anti-ISIS ads in search results. The report claims that when a user searches for a topic relating to Islamic extremism or radicalization, they will see ads that encourage them to view the “counter narrative” to their search query.

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Search Stories February 3, 2016

safe-browsing-buttons

Over the years, Google has expanded what its Safe Browsing feature protects against. Last December, Safe Browsing was fully rolled out to Android users as part of an update to Chrome and Google Play services. Today, they are expanding it to protect against deceptive download buttons increasingly found around the web.

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Search Stories January 28, 2016

google-voice-aussie

Google is now further localizing the voice in their apps for Australian users. The new accent will sound more familiar to those down under and be better able to pronounce place names and understand local colloquialisms for tasks and actions.

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