Karen Blakeman on May 8th, 2015

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 […]

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Karen Blakeman on March 2nd, 2015

We’ve all come across examples of how Google can get things wrong: incorrect supermarket opening hours (, false information and dubious sources used in Quick Answers (, authors who die 400 years before they are born (, a photo of the actress Jane Seymour ending up in a carousel of Henry VIII’s wives ( and […]

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Karen Blakeman on January 2nd, 2015

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 […]

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Karen Blakeman on December 8th, 2014

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 […]

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Karen Blakeman on May 20th, 2014

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 […]

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Karen Blakeman on April 27th, 2014

UPDATE: Reports of the death of Google+ may have been premature. See 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 […]

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Karen Blakeman on March 1st, 2014

This is a feature which I have been seeing on and off for a few months so I’m not sure if it is one of their experiments or if it is being rolled out gradually. It’s very simple: advertisements that appear at the top of your results lists and in the panel to the right […]

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Karen Blakeman on November 4th, 2013

Last week’s workshop on Google had a wonderful mix of participants from the academic, government, public, NHS and legal sectors. And true to form, Google decided to change a few things on the day. The link to the Google News advanced search completely disappeared (it wasn’t that good anyway!) but now seems to have reappeared. […]

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Karen Blakeman on October 14th, 2013

Just over a year ago Bing launched a website called Bingiton (, which enabled you to compare search results from Google and Bing side by side and then decide which set was best. You had to run five searches and then Bingiton told you which search engine you had chosen for each. After a couple […]

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Karen Blakeman on October 13th, 2013

If you have a Google+ account you should have received an email from Google with the innocuous subject line “An Update for Google+ Page Owners and Managers”. Don’t ignore it because it contains important information about changes to Google’s terms and conditions that take effect on November 11th, 2013. From that date Google may start […]

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