Google rolls out “People also ask”

There have been reports (http://searchengineland.com/google-tests-new-mobile-search-design-people-also-ask-box-219078) for several months that Google has been testing a new query refinement box called “People also ask”.  It now looks as though it has gone live. The feature suggests queries related to your search after the first few entries in your results list. It doesn’t appear for all queries and it is dependent … Continue reading Google rolls out “People also ask”

UKeiG Article: New Google, New Challenges

My article on major changes at Google, “New Google, New Challenges”, is now available in UKeiG’s latest issue of eLucidate at http://www.cilip.org.uk/uk-einformation-group/elucidate-ukeigs-journal/elucidate-current-issue/new-google-new-challenges As well as the general dumbing down and relentless removal of search options, it covers the new technologies that Google is experimenting with: artificial intelligence, driver-less cars, robotics, home environment sensors and controls. … Continue reading UKeiG Article: New Google, New Challenges

Google dumps Reading Level search filter

It seems that Google has dumped the Reading Level search filter. This was not one that I used regularly but it was very useful when I wanted more serious, in-depth, research or technically biased articles rather than consumer or retail focused pages. It often featured in the Top Tips suggested by participants of my advanced … Continue reading Google dumps Reading Level search filter

And you thought Google couldn’t get any worse

We’ve all come across examples of how Google can get things wrong: incorrect supermarket opening hours (http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2015/01/02/google-gets-it-wrong-again/), false information and dubious sources used in Quick Answers (http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2014/12/08/the-quality-of-googles-results-is-becoming-more-strained/), authors who die 400 years before they are born (http://googlesystem.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/google-knowledge-graph-gets-confused.html), a photo of the actress Jane Seymour ending up in a carousel of Henry VIII’s wives (http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/09/23/google_henry_viii_wives_jane_seymour_reveals_search_engine_s_blind_spots.html) and … Continue reading And you thought Google couldn’t get any worse

Google gets it wrong again

Yesterday, on New Year’s Day, I came across yet another example of Google getting its Knowledge Graph wrong. I wanted to double check which local shops were open and the first one on the list was Waitrose. I vaguely recalled seeing somewhere that the supermarket would be closed on January 1st but a Google search … Continue reading Google gets it wrong again

The quality of Google’s results is very strained

I recently received an email from a friend asking about whether it was acceptable for a student to cite Google as a source in their work. My friend’s instinct was to say no, but there was a problem getting beyond Google and to the original source of the answer. The student had used the Google … Continue reading The quality of Google’s results is very strained

Top ten Google search tips from Oxford

These Top Ten search tips comes from an advanced workshop I recently ran for a group in Oxford. If this is the first Top Tips that you have read on this blog, a few words of explanation as to how these are generated. These are not my own personal tips but are nominated by people … Continue reading Top ten Google search tips from Oxford

Google rewriting page titles in results is NOT always helpful

Update: On further investigation the example given below is not Google rewriting webpage titles (see the comments section). However, Google has said that they do rewrite under certain circumstances so please let me know if you come across any good examples. Most of us are used to Google rewriting our searches and personalising results and … Continue reading Google rewriting page titles in results is NOT always helpful

Google to stop ramming Google+ down our throats?

UPDATE: Reports of the death of Google+ may have been premature. See http://www.seroundtable.com/google-sticking-around-18465.html. There are now all sorts of stories and rumours doing the rounds so we’ll just have to wait and see. Well, here’s a turn up for the books. It seems that Google may no longer force us to create Google+ accounts if … Continue reading Google to stop ramming Google+ down our throats?

Google Top 10 Search Tips

These are the top 10 tips from the participants of a recent workshop on Google, organised by UKeiG and held on 9th April 2014. The edited slides from the day can be found on authorSTREAM at http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/karenblakeman-2121264-making-google-behave-techniques-better-results/ and on Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/KarenBlakeman/making-google-behave-techniques-for-better-results 1. site:  Use the site: command to focus your search on particular types of site, for … Continue reading Google Top 10 Search Tips