29 May 2013
I think an individual's Google search history is quite personal;
one of my housemates won't allow me to use her iPad for fear of me
judging her for the ridiculously far-fetched things she has tried
This leads me to believe that the Google 'search by voice' feature isn't entirely
practical. You probably don't want the world to know that you're
searching for help with how to do your job properly or symptoms of
But that's not to say my first experience of the feature wasn't
Despite it taking marginally longer than it would for me to
simply type my search terms - and annoying my colleagues by inanely
speaking into my laptop - I thought it worked well.
It's likely that it will lose its appeal very quickly. Either
that or I'll be reprimanded to a meeting room on my own to Google
at my heart's content! But it will be interesting to note how
effective and widely used it will be in the long run.
My first three Google voice searches (and the
, Google | 1 comment
11 February 2013
As soon as something newsworthy (or not in some cases) takes
place, Twitter will have covered it. One of its
200 million users will have tweeted about it. And then it
begins. The retweets, the unanswered questions, the conversations,
the hash tags and the arguments over opinion. It doesn't take long
before the item is trending. But just as quickly as it all started,
the trend can be gone. New events will have taken place and
something else will be the topic for discussion.
Where am I going with this you might ask?
Well, Twitter recently announced improvements to its search
capabilities that could have a huge impact on breaking news.
Twitter knows what terms and topics are popular but it hasn't
previously known what they mean - this is something its algorithms
alone can't answer and so Twitter has come up with a solution. It's
built in a 'real-time human computation' engine to help identify
search queries as soon as they're trending and make sense of
Twitter firstly monitors what search queries are currently most
popular. This could be anything -
we've all seen the ridiculous things that can trend on Twitter (NO
JOKE: Justin Bieber
is trending as I type. Give me strength). Then when a new popular
search query is identified it is sent to Twitter's human evaluators
who are asked a number of questions about the query - their job is
to make the trending topic more relevant to readers. After an
evaluator responds to the query with additional insight,
information is pushed out so that the next time a user searches the
query this information is utilised with relevant ads, tweets and
topical news. This will help piece the query together and provide a
more relevant and up-to-date story of the trending subject.
What does this mean?
It means that Twitter could potentially have the upper hand on
breaking news stories. I am increasingly turning to Twitter to find
out the latest on celebrity
gossip. The items that appear from a Google search can be outdated;
whereas I know I'll find the most up to date information on
Twitter. The only issue I have with Twitter is if the insight is
trustworthy. I know if I read an article on The Times or
The Telegraph I can take the information and know that it's
come from a trustworthy source. However, Twitter's new search
capabilities will make search queries more relevant and easier to
determine how truthful the information is.
What are your thoughts? Do you turn to Twitter to search for
Google, Search Engine, Twitter, news, newspapers, search, The Times, The Telegraph, followers, hashtag, conversation, retweet, tweet | Leave comment
04 February 2013
Keeping abreast of the news agenda is obviously crucial to any
PR or comms professional. But when I came across this
headline the other day I was quite literally stopped in my
Google News tracks. Firstly I felt quite apprehensive for 3.30pm on
Wednesday to roll around - note to self: apply some anti-wrinkle
cream on Tuesday. Secondly, I felt excited at the prospect of a
romantic Thursday and a fun Friday…
…Or did I? No, of course not. Instead I felt quite the opposite.
Seriously, what is the world coming to? And more importantly, how
is this actually deemed to be newsworthy?
Headlines like this are all too familiar. Research related or
otherwise, here are a few classics.
- Playing computer games can help beat childhood obesity, study
- Norway goat cheese fire closes tunnel
- Could just one can of diet fizzy drink make taxpayers' money
We're not foolish, (well most of us aren't) obviously headlines
are there to reel us in. And, to give this particular story some
credit, I did read on. But the more subtly ironic headlines I read,
the more I wonder if they are now actually intended to be taken
seriously. For instance, take the computer game example. I had
visions of a child sat on the sofa, barely exercising their thumbs,
however, upon reading the full story it became apparent that
actually it's the dance mat games that help beat obesity.
Obviously, I should have known - *slaps forehead with
As the integrated world of media and communications continues to
evolve, research and striking headlines all form the basis of a
strong and engaging story. The media landscape will always be
littered with questionable headlines, some of which we struggle to
find any sense of purpose - we can't (and shouldn't) stop that. But
what we can do is ensure that those we create are insightful and
engaging, without bordering on useless or downright ridiculous.
Google | Leave comment
14 June 2012
It's been all over the news this week - Google falling
foul of Britain's privacy watchdog over the misuse of personal
data. The online search engine has been accused of using their
Street View cars to gather information from unsecured Wi-Fi
Scary stuff! Even scarier that George Orwell told us extreme
surveillance was going to happen - fair enough he is about 28 years
out in his predictions, and we aren't all being controlled by the
dictatorship of The Party - but still this 'Big Brother' state is a
Yesterday, I frantically made my Facebook profile private in as
many ways as possible, without removing the ability for people to
write on my wall... which is actually just a space for me to post
things that I/other people find funny.... I digress; I suddenly
became very worried about who had seen my photos and who had been
trawling through them, although in reality it is probably just my
mother taking a peek at what I have been up to. Still, I do know
people who take great pleasure in extracting information from
people's Facebook pages - "OMG did you see she
liked his status? I am
defo looking through her
photos!" The thought of someone doing that to me
worries me greatly, especially as these are individuals, not
companies, who are following our online movements! **Shivers**
Let's face it; if Google weren't going to extract data from
unsecured wi-fi networks then they would probably just get
it from our online movements. Both of which are creepy. My advice?
Everyone should get offline and go play in the sunshine…..Oh wait?
It's raining? I better update my Facebook and Twitter and tell
everyone just how much it's raining #EnglishWeather.
Rambo (aka Kelly) @KelRams
, Social media, Google | 1 comment
10 February 2012
In the last 48 hours, Google has launched one of the
most serious developments in Internet software with its Instant Search offering.
Essentially, Google no longer waits for you to hit the 'Enter' key
when conducting a search, rather it predicts your potential search
term, generating results as you type below the search
Why have they done this? Google say, "Our key
technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly,
typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30
milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of
the page. This means that you can scan a results page while you
What does this mean for us folk in PR and online marketing?
Well, quite a lot actually. With the launch of this software,
Google has singlehandedly removed the immediate value of bought
keywords, because, when you now type a letter into Google Instant
Search, brands and services appear upon the instant a letter is
It doesn't matter anymore if your client has bought the search
term 'foreign exchange', by the time they've typed the letter 'F',
two results for
Facebook have appeared - proving more than enough distraction
for the average internet user. Importantly, the Instant results
could potentially yield a rival brands services or products. Quite
a change on the previous search incarnation!
So, if you're a brand, the new Holy Grail for Search is being
recognised by Google Instant Search when a user enters the first
letter of your brand name. Former FT journalist, Tom Foremski has
post about this from a US perspective. He's gone to the trouble
of listing each brand that appears upon the entry of each first
letter. I wanted to do this for the UK, so dropped Tom a note and
checked he wouldn't mind. He was happy for me to do this, so here
is the listing.
A - Argos, Amazon, Asda, ASOS
B - BBC, BBC News, BBC Weather, BBC Sport
C - Currys, Comet, CBBC, Cineworld
D - Debenhams, Daily Mail, DVLA, Dictionary
E - eBay, Easyjet, Expedia, ebuddy
F - Facebook, Facebook login, Friv, First Choice
G - Google maps, Gmail, Gumtree, Games
H - Hotmail, HSBC, Homebase, Halfords
I - ITV, Ikea, iPlayer, IMDB
J - John Lewis, Jobcentre Plus, Jane Norman, Jobs
K - KLM, KFC, Kwik Fit, Karen Millen
L - Lotto, Lloyds TSB, Lottery Results, Lidl
M - MSN, Maps, Matalan, Miniclip
N - Next, New Look, Natwest, National Rail
O - O2, Orange, Odeon, Office
P - Paypal, PC World, Play, Primark
Q - QVC, Quidco, Quiz Quotes
R - Rightmove, Ryan Air, River Island, Royal Mail
S - Sky, Sky News, Sky Sports, Skype
T - Tesco, TFL, The Sun, Topshop
U - Utube, UCAS, UK top 40, UFC
V - Virgin, Vodafone, Virgin Media, Very
W - Weather, Wikipedia, Wickes, We7
X - Xbox, XE, Xbox live, XFM
Y - Youtube, Yahoo, Yahoo Mail, Yell
Z - Zara, Zoopla, Zumba, Zizi
I for one am intrigued by Google's latest version of its
software; it sure throws up a lot of questions. Can it be
manipulated? Can a place be bought? Will an organisation now not
appearing at the top of Google challenge it for loss of revenue?
Will brands seek out their search agency and begin the questioning?
It firmly sits above the traditional keyword search and does
relegate keyword search to the backseat. What is for sure is that
the goalposts of SEO have just moved a million miles apart.
, Google, Google Instant, SEO | Leave comment
Hands up if you have Google set as your home page? Go on, don't
be shy. You're not alone anyway, that's for sure. According to US
firm Net Applications' NetMarketShare Internet Market
Share Data, Google accounts for almost 85 per cent of all
search engine traffic globally.
It's the undeniable market leader when it comes to search, and
is where the majority of consumers internet journeys start. But
have you ever wondered how exactly Google works?
For a long time magic beans or at least some kind of medieval
conjuring remained a popular theory, but there is actually a great
deal of science behind retrieving those results for a distributing
volume of 'Is Lady Gaga a man?' searches.
Well, as luck would have it, long-time Guardian tech journo and
pipe smoker Jack Schofield was kind
enough to share a brilliant infographic of just how exactly your
average Google search really works on his Twitter feed recently. It's
an accomplished overview for those of you looking to explain in
crystal clear detail just how Google pulls back the most relevant
data from some 300 million searches a day, all in under a
So, wonder no more, and check-out this handy overview
Infographic by PPC Blog.
site by rubbaglove
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