At this point I’m just like “uh-huh.” Search Engine Land: Google launches new effort to flag upsetting or offensive content in search. “Google is undertaking a new effort to better identify content that is potentially upsetting or offensive to searchers. It hopes this will prevent such content from crowding out factual, accurate and trustworthy information in the top search results. ‘We’re explicitly avoiding the term “fake news,” because we think it is too vague,’ said Paul Haahr, one of Google’s senior engineers who is involved with search quality. ‘Demonstrably inaccurate information, however, we want to target.'” Oh, like when Google Maps reports a business as closed for weeks and weeks when it really isn’t? And the owner can’t get it reinstated? THAT kind of demonstrably inaccurate information?
Fagan Finder, a search tools Web site from wayyyyy back, has gotten its first update in over six years! (We missed you, Michael!) Both the video search page and the groups search page have been overhauled. These are excellent sites for reference or when you need a quick overview of what’s available in a particular search space.
South China Morning Post: Baidu’s Q4 sales dips as search engine struggles to regain traction. “Baidu, China’s largest online search operator, reported a second straight quarter of sales decline, as it struggles to regain traction after last year’s public backlash from the death of a medical student linked to an advertising fiasco. Sales dipped 2.6 per cent to 18.21 billion yuan (US$2.65 billion) in the fourth quarter, better than the 18.17 billion yuan consensus estimate of 16 analysts polled by Bloomberg.” Please do note that Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post, and that Alibaba does compete with Baidu in the area of online advertising.
TechCrunch: How Pinterest’s visual search went from a moonlight project to a real-world search engine. “Pinterest’s goal was to emulate the service’s core user experience: that sort of putzing around and discovering new products or concepts on Pinterest. Just getting the literal results like you might expect from a Google visual search wasn’t enough to extend the Pinterest experience beyond its typical search — with keywords and concepts — to what you’re doing with your camera. There are other ways to get to that result, like literally reading the label on a bottle or asking someone what kind of shoes they are wearing.”
From Portent: Don’t Panic: Google Site Search Replacements. “Google’s Site Search product has been around a long time. Pay $100, and you can embed a little Google search engine on your site. They’re keeping Google Custom Search. Sounds great, but there’s a problem…” Ads, specifically. This article lists some options for replacing Google Site Search, but there aren’t many; Google killed a lot of ’em. Does this remind you of anything? LIKE GOOGLE READER?
Google is killing off Google Site Search. “Existing customers can keep using GSS for the life of their current license, but Google will stop selling new licenses and renewals as of April 1, according the email viewed by Fortune. Once a customer’s allocation of search queries is exhausted, the account will ‘automatically convert’ to the company’s Custom Search Engine, or CSE for short.” So automatically convert to Google having more advertising opportunities?
Media Policy Project: The hidden human labour behind search engine algorithms. “Everybody knows that search engines use algorithms, but few know how these work and who builds them. Paško Bilić, Research Associate at the Institute for Development and International Relations in Zagreb, Croatia, writes here about the layers of human labour behind Google’s algorithms and their implications for search neutrality. His post is based on a paper published in Big Data & Society titled ‘Search algorithms, hidden labour and information control.'”