Archive for ‘Search’

April 14, 2013

Search and tell

Hide from cache

If you don’t want web searchers to be able to access a cached version of your page, use the noarchive meta tag like this:

<meta name="robots" content="noarchive">

The page will still be crawled and indexed by Google, but users will not see a cached link in search results.

Similar to your website

The related: operator displays websites similar to the site you are looking for. It returns the same results as clicking Similar pages next to a result on the search results page.

I was curious about the results returned by Similar pages, as its intent is to return overlapping resources. Specifically, I was worried whether it indicated anything potentially detrimental, for search engine optimization purposes. According to Google, there’s no need for SEO concern, not for the moment:

The quality of the sites returned has no impact on your ranking or on how Google indexes your site.

Webmaster documentation

Another find: Google recently updated its References for Webmasters.

Fan memorabilia

 

December 29, 2012

Google Zeitgeist Snapshot

This is an especially short post, as it is a high-level summary of an even higher level summary. Of course, we all know how meaningful THAT is :~

Google Zeitgeist 2008

Nostalgia

Zeitgeist is a borrowed word, from an English language point of view. It means “signs of the times”. Yes, I realize that zeitgeist is singular, but somehow we seem to have made it plural in the process of adoption from German. Or maybe not, as it is sometimes capitalized, as a proper noun, the Zeitgeist. Perhaps it is one of those mysterious, uncountable words?

Quartz News looked a little more deeply into the annual Google Zeitgeist survey, with thankfully human, not machine, translation and analysis.

Methodology

Quartz took the top results for the 34 countries for which there was data for the Zeitgeist “How to…?” category. He then rank ordered by frequency, chose the most common result for each country, and asked around, to assure that everything was translated correctly.

Do the results accurately capture each country’s national character?

Chrome screenshot

In most instances, I think the answer is, “Yes”.

The number one “How to….?” query for The Netherlands was “How to survive”.

 

September 22, 2011

New Google domains

Google offers search on different regional domains, to give users the most locally relevant results.

These are two examples of regional domains

  • google.fr for France
  • google.dj for Djibouti

In March 2011, Google introduced two more domains, google.iq for Iraq and google.tn for Tunisia. This brings the count of local Google search domains, worldwide, to 184. According to the Official Google Arabia blog, 15 of these domains are now in Arab countries.

Coupon

Free search!

Curious to view the internet from the view point of these domains? Or any other Google local domain?

The GoogleSystem Blog gives a step-by-step explanation for changing Google’s search domain from the default associated with your physical location.

September 17, 2011

Google Plus impact on page rank

Controversy over the impact of Google Plus buttons on search engine page rank is the latest news story associated with Google’s recently introduced social network. Will it benefit large websites to the detriment of small or specialty sites, particularly blogs? Since Google page rank is part of the mysterious world of search engine optimization, speculation is plentiful.

I found this attractive rendering of a Google Plus button on the Flickr page of a Second Life resident.

Circle Me! on G+

The image was used as the illustration for a mysteriously de-listed Forbes article* about the effect of Google+ buttons on website page rank. The article URL was supposedly removed from Google search results. Based on the error returned when I checked just now, I think it is more likely that it was deleted by Forbes. Whether accidental or by intent wasn’t obvious to me.

Yet it is not easy for anyone, not even Google, to erase digital footprints. Alternative search engine Blekko has the article in cache. Publication date was 18 August 2011 (Forbes Online). I will amend this post with a cleaner URL for the web cached result from Blekko. The article didn’t seem objectionable to me, upon first glance. But I am not an SEO expert.

* Thanks and attribution given to a Google+ user discussion of 31 August 2011.

UPDATE

Here is the Blekko web cached URL: http://blekko-webcache.com/cache/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.forbes.com%2Fsites%2Fkashmirhill%2F2011%2F08%2F18%2Fstick-google-plus-buttons-on-your-pages-or-your-search-traffic-dies%2F

The author is Forbes staff writer Ms. Kashmir Hill. The article is time stamped 11:21 AM on August 18, 2011, Technology section. The title is Stick Google Plus Buttons On Your Pages, Or Your Search Traffic Dies. The content of the article is not as dire as the title. These are the salient points, and possibly cause for concern by any website involved in e-commerce, publisher or otherwise:

Though recommendations from contacts in your Google circles will be weighted more heavily, the number of “+1″s overall will now be a factor in search whether you’re part of Plus or not…. The Google guys explained how the new recommendation system will be a factor in search. “Universally, or just among Google Plus friends?” I asked. ‘Universal’ was the answer.

This was not surprising, but still unsavory:

Some traffic scammers are already onto this. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic reports that SEO shops are already offering bushels of +1 votes for $9.99 a pop.

Ms. Hill then suggested that the Google+ buttons will benefit users of online services and those active in social media:

There are going to be lots of benefits to this… I just gave a hotel I liked in TownN a +1. Should I miss a Facebook status update from a friend going to TownN in the future asking for recommendations, this is a built-in back-up, so that this hotel will rise up in the search results should they Google “TownN hotels.” That’s pretty cool… And I can do that even though TownN doesn’t have a +1 on its page, since these buttons are also available from the main Google search page.

Additional web analytics information will be available to sites that include the Google+ button. But similarly, sites that choose not to place the +1 button on their pages will likely fare worse in search results than competitors who have included the button.

Is this a problem?

Facebook “Like” buttons have a similar impact, though not through Google search engine results directly.

What is the downside?

The Google Plus button is free to use, just like other social media services. There will be some work for the web maintenance staff, decisions about optimal placement. Page load speed? Uncertain. Yet it would be very unwise for Google to penalize sites in search results due to incremental delay from using one its own products! Overall, Google+ does not seem to be a cause for concern– merely the addition of another social media button to the already ubiquitous Facebook and Twitter icons.

August 16, 2011

Google Labs for Enterprise Search

Labs logo

Google Labs

Google Enterprise Search now has a lab of its own ! Actually, I first noticed this in February 2011, but just got around to writing about it. I was too busy collecting cool images of Google Enterprise hardware to put together a post.

What does Google Enterprise Labs offer?

Recall that Google Enterprise refers to these products:

  1. the Google Search Appliance (GSA)
  2. Google Commerce Search for larger online businesses
  3. Google Intranet search, and
  4. the Google Mini, a less powerful, blue-colored version of the yellow GSA.
GSA connector

GSA connector

Google Enterprise Labs offers many enhancements such as open source connectors to improve GSA connectivity with file systems, databases or SalesForce.com documents. Cross-language Enterprise Search is an interesting project too.

GSA enabled for open search also caught my attention. OpenSearch is a collaborative venture led by Amazon, and includes the major search engines. Its goal is to set up common standards for internet search. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of activity at the moment, but that’s just my personal impression. Google gives this description (via the Enterprise Labs page that goes on to describe how to implement open search with browser integration):

OpenSearch is a collection of simple formats for the sharing of search results. OpenSearch… format can be used to describe a search engine so that it can be used by search client applications. Such search client applications include all major browsers.

In other words, you can send search queries right from your browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome), after registering your GSA as a search provider.

GSA for Enterprise

GSA and Open Search

The same sort of browser integration is possible for Intranet Search (with Windows 7):

If your Intranet content e.g. Windows file shares or SharePoint, have been indexed by a GSA, all Windows clients will be able to submit search queries from Windows Explorer.

Be careful, though, as Secure Search cannot be used from within Windows Explorer.

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