Search Engine Roundtable: Google Adds Pros & Cons To Search Result Snippets. “Normally when someone sends me a sophisticated search result snippet from Google and I dig in, I find a reason for how Google came up with this snippet. But it seems like in this case below, Google is being a bit more sophisticated and showing pros and cons in the snippet without the web site having mentioned pros and cons specifically.” Today in “What could possibly go wrong”….
WIRED: Brave Now Lets You Customize Search Results—for Better or Worse. “For instance, a Goggle (not to be confused with Google) can strip Pinterest pages from your search results; it can show only results from tech blogs or boost articles from either left- or right-leaning political news sources. Essentially, they put you in charge of the search results you see. The move is the first for a search engine.” I just spent a little time looking at this and oh boy, am I going to have some fun.
Engadget: You can now ask Google to remove phone numbers from search results. “Google has long accepted requests to remove some personal information from search results, but now that option should be considerably more useful. Google has expanded the policy to let you ask for the removal of contact info like phone numbers, email addresses and physical addresses. You can also have Google remove login credentials if they pop up in queries.”
Search Engine Journal: Google Updates Some Searches With Translated Results. “Google added documentation for what appears to be a new feature called Translated Results. Translated Results is a feature that will automatically translate and rank web pages that are in a different language than the language of the user and then publish the title and snippet in the translated language. This change does not affect all languages and is currently rolled out in only six languages.”
Reuters: EU gives Google 2 months to improve hotel, flight search results. “Alphabet unit Google has two months to improve the way it presents internet search results for flights and hotels and explain how it ranks these or face possible sanctions, the European Commission and EU consumer authorities said on Monday.”
Wired: A New Tool Shows How Google Results Vary Around the World. “Search Atlas makes it easy to see how Google offers different responses to the same query on versions of its search engine offered in different parts of the world. The research project reveals how Google’s service can reflect or amplify cultural differences or government preferences—such as whether Beijing’s Tiananmen Square should be seen first as a sunny tourist attraction or the site of a lethal military crackdown on protesters.”
The Next Web: Google Search’s new feature makes it easier to weed out unreliable results. “Google Search is adding a feature to help you verify your search results are showing reliable information. Search will now show a menu icon ‘next to most results on Google’ that you can tap on to access more information about a particular site without having to actually click through. This makes it a little easier to verify if the search result comes from a source that’s likely to be trustworthy.”
San Diego Union-Tribune: Column: Student probes alleged Google search bias. “When Agastya Sridharan read in The Wall Street Journal last fall about some politicians’ complaints of suspected bias in Google online search results, he was upset and intrigued. Was it possible to re-order search results and, thus, influence voter preferences? Agastya, then a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Scripps Ranch, decided to conduct his own research as his entry in the 2020 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair.”
EurekAlert: New tool improves fairness of online search rankings. “When you search for something on the internet, do you scroll through page after page of suggestions – or pick from the first few choices? Because most people choose from the tops of these lists, they rarely see the vast majority of the options, creating a potential for bias in everything from hiring to media exposure to e-commerce. In a new paper, Cornell University researchers introduce a tool they’ve developed to improve the fairness of online rankings without sacrificing their usefulness or relevance.”