July 30, 2020

This the end of my Google fan blog

Farewell readers!

Thank you for your loyalty these past 10 years.

 

Best wishes, amd remember

Google was once the happiest place to work in tech!

 

pics of 3 google founders

Larry Page, Serge, and Marissa Mayer 

 

Maybe Serge and Marissa and Larry will bring Google back to us, as the “Happiest Company in America” one day in the not too distant future.

April 20, 2020

Google graphs and graphs for code search

A graphing calculator

In 2012, Google discontinued its highly-regarded code search. It was freely available for open source projects residing on Google Code project hosting. This is the only description of the pre-2012 Google Code Search I could find:

…it was designed to help people search for open source code all over the web [and] will be shut down along with the Code Search API on January 15, 2012.

Simultaneously, a graphing calculator functionality was introduced to regular search.

chart with a graph

Google graph function result

 

Now, when you type a function, you’ll see it graphed… You can graph more than one function at a time by separating them with commas. Once the graph is drawn, you can zoom and pan to see the sections and details you want. And the Google colors are a nice touch.

One doesn’t quite replace the other.

Surprise! It’s BACK

Google Code Search has returned! Google Developers provide a reference document and the presumably comprehensive User’s Guide. All the user’s guide pages are dated March 12, 2020. Continue reading

March 3, 2016

Google Data Centers

There has been a lot of press coverage of Google data centers recently. Historically, Google has been very secretive about the technology and power usage for its data centers:

In one Silicon Valley data center, [Google] is so paranoid about competitors catching a glimpse of its gear, it’s been known to keep its server cages in complete darkness, outfitting its technical staff like miners and sending them spelunking into the cages with lights on their heads.

This makes sense, as both performance and energy efficiency are sources of competitive advantage. However, the veil has been lifted, to some degree.

Hardware

Google offered a detailed view of its data center technology to Wired recently. There was even an up-to-date photo gallery; much better than those murky images of Google servers with all the wires hanging out! That is all I’ve seen about Google servers for more years than I can remember.

Humor

A few days ago, Mashable posted a sweet gallery of Google data center Easter Eggs.

Android peeking

Read the annotations accompanying each image in the gallery.

Android on duty in the data center

The hiding Androids were, not surprisingly, my favorite.

Tags:
November 14, 2014

LOL targeted search

YouTube is something of a cesspool, with pockets of exceptional quality here and there. Even the higher quality videos have an ephemeral aspect, mysteriously vanishing or being marked Private, from one day to the next. Others succumb to the more prosaic, account suspended due to multiple copyright violations. Illegal uploads of major recording label artists abound, or did. YouTube is also becoming a go-to destination for low-fidelity live concert recordings.

There’s no shortage of fee-based alternatives, so I’m not complaining.

YouTube LOL search algorithm

Google Research developed an aLOLgorithm, “Quantifying comedy on YouTube: why the number of o’s in your LOL matter” to measure YouTube videos’ hilarity. Let’s just refer to it as the LOLgorithm, for my ease of typing. Initially, I thought it was a prior year’s April Fool’s Day post. It isn’t! Continue reading

May 4, 2014

Bing Search: Webmaster Chicken

Google Search has a well-known competitor, Microsoft Bing. Google is first, but Bing (and Yahoo, who contracts search to Bing now) has the second largest share of U.S. domestic internet search volume. Globally, Google is also first, with Baidu, Bing and Yandex in varying relative share positions depending on geographical locale.

Today’s post is about a (no longer) recent entry on one of the five* official Bing blogs.

screenshot of old version of Bing Webmaster Center

Old version of Bing Webmaster

Chickless in Seattle

The Chicken Has Landed (5 June 2013) offers guidance on how to improve search rank, website quality and traffic volume. It is applicable to e-commerce, blogs and most publicly accessible websites.

Continue reading

March 21, 2014

Google Research fan behavior

Friendly!

I found a broken link. It was important, being the contact URL on Google Research’s official Twitter account! I told them about it. Google Research wasn’t aloof! I was thrilled.

An invitation to join Google+

Google Research finally joined Google+ in August 2012.

Google Buzz chat

Inviting Google Research to Google+

I tried to coax an earlier arrival in July 2011. Click on the image if you would like to read our conversation. I remember feeling bold, and daring!

Odds and Ends

Indirect Content Privacy Surveys: Measuring Privacy Without Asking About It, Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS), 2011.
Abstract (an excerpt that I extracted from the abstract, that is):

The emotional aspect of privacy makes it difficult to evaluate privacy concern. This effect may be partly responsible for the dramatic privacy concern ratings coming from recent surveys, ratings that often seem to be at odds with user behavior…

This is SO true! Dramatically vocalized privacy concerns are highly inconsistent with actual user behavior! The gist of the article was to figure out a way to get at people’s privacy concerns without asking about privacy directly. Merely broaching the subject tends to cause survey respondents to get skittish, thus impacting their answers.

The article DOI, full text, is in this Google Research post.  If that doesn’t work, try the corresponding entry via Google Research’s profile on Google Buzz. Continue reading

November 2, 2013

Keywords in a time of Hummingbird

Google Hummingbird has brought significant changes to the web, for Google search engine users as well as webmasters. The impact seems more likely to affect smaller e-commerce merchants than large companies with brand name recognition and large budgets to pay for multiple advertising channels.

Hummingbird is NOT an update comparable to Penguin or Panda. Hummingbird is a major change to Google search.

For users

The first change that caught my attention was encryption. All Google search queries are now encrypted, i.e. it is no longer optional to connect to Google search by https instead of http.  SSL makes Google search safer, in a general sort of way.

Google AdWords keyword matching tool

Keyword tool using broad match

 

For webmasters

Keyword data is not as accessible as it was prior to Hummingbird. Google Keyword Tool has been replaced by Keyword Planner. Now, certain archival keyword data can only be accessed by Google AdWords customers. Google Analytics is free; Google AdWords is not.

Functionality such as broad match is no longer available.

Continue reading

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”.

  Continue reading

December 16, 2012

Google translation enigma

My Tumblr friend, Mr. Sheeper, shared a page from a Japanese language website,  アンティーク アナスタシア  I am always happy to hear from him, as he has remained in Japan since the earthquake and nuclear aftermath. In English, the website name is Antiques Anastasia. The focal point is a lovely 18 kt gold slide pendant, in a style evocative of 19th century France.

Translation icon

The original webpage metadata is リュフォニー作 天の元后 レジナ・チェリ 金無垢ペンダント フランス製アンティーク or Pendant of antique gold: Celi Regina, which means “Queen of Heaven”.

This is religious jewelry. The page includes narrative as well as photographs for context. So far, so good.

Original text, prior to Google Translate, side-by-side Latin and Japanese:

Regina Caeli, laetare, Alleluia,
Quia quem Meruisti Partare, Alleluia,
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, Alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum, Alleluia.
天の元后よ、喜び給へ。ハレルヤ。
御身産むを許され給へる御子の、ハレルヤ、
自ら言ひ給へるごとくに蘇へり給へばなり。ハレルヤ。
我らがために神に祈り給へ。ハレルヤ。

After Google Translate, Japanese to English, side-by-side Latin and English:  Continue reading