Search Engine Land: Is Google Search getting worse?. “Marissa Mayer, the former CEO of Yahoo, was Google’s 20th employee and the one-time leader of its search team, said Google is concerned about the declining quality of the web. The comments were made on a recent Freakonomics podcast episode that looked at whether the quality of Google search has declined over the years.”
TechCrunch: Google rolls out new features across Maps, Search and Shopping. “Google announced today that it’s introducing a slew of new Maps, Search and Shopping features. The company revealed a majority of the new features during its Search On event in September and is now starting to roll them out to users.”
CNET: Study Says Almost 30% of People Are Redoing or Refining Their Google Searches. “Almost 30% of people are having to redo their Google searches, either by refining or extending queries, according to research published earlier this month by SEMRush, an online marketing software company.”
MakeUseOf: Microsoft Edge Is Getting a Better Webpage Search Tool . “Hitting CTRL + F to find something on a webpage is a quick and easy way to skip to where you want to go. However, sometimes a browser’s search tool doesn’t quite cut it. Microsoft aims to change that with a new search tool for Edge, which will make things easier to find.”
Search Engine Land: Google releases October 2022 spam update. “Google is rolling out a new search ranking algorithm update targeting the more spammy side of the search results. The company is calling this update the ‘October 2022 spam update.’ It should take about a week to fully roll out and be noticed in the search results.”
Google Blog: Helping you easily identify information sources in Search. “We’re adding site names to search results on mobile, so you can easily identify the website that’s associated with each result at a glance. We’re also updating the size and shape of the favicon (a website’s logo or icon) that appears in Search, to make it easier to see on the page.”
Engadget: Google is making it easier to find search results from Reddit and other forums. “Google is making it easier to find search results from Reddit and other forum sites. The search engine is adding a new module that will surface discussions happening on forums across the web for queries that may benefit from crowd-sourced answers.”
Spotted in about four different places at once: the new EU initiative Open Web Search. “14 renowned European research and computing centers have joined forces to develop an open European infrastructure for web search. The project will be contributing to Europe’s digital sovereignty as well as promoting an open human-centered search engine market.” Sounds good to me!
PsyPost: Countries with more stringent pandemic lockdowns had less mental illness-related Google searches
PsyPost: Countries with more stringent pandemic lockdowns had less mental illness-related Google searches. “Many people feel their well-being and mental state suffered as a result of being locked inside during the early waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, but could stricter and longer lockdowns actually have positive effects on people’s mental health? A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research suggests that countries with more stringent lockdown requirements showed less mental illness-related internet searches during the pandemic.”
Google Blog: How we’re improving search results when you use quotes. “The snippets we display for search results (meaning the text you see describing web content) will be formed around where a quoted word or phrase occurs in a web document. That means you can more easily identify where to find them after you click the link and visit the content. On desktop, we’ll also bold the quoted material.” An excellent update.
Brookings Institution: How China uses search engines to spread propaganda. “Users come to search engines seeking honest answers to their queries. On a wide range of issues—from personal health, to finance, to news—search engines are often the first stop for those looking to get information online. But as authoritarian states like China increasingly use online platforms to disseminate narratives aimed at weakening their democratic competitors, these search engines represent a crucial battleground in their information war with rivals.”
Phys .org: Research finds that Google searches may be a predictor of domestic violence. “…a study just published in the European Journal of Population finds that Google searches are an effective tool to track and predict domestic violence, especially in times of crisis, such as the period that followed the COVID-19 outbreak. And policymakers could use these results to better devise surveillance/monitoring systems to contain, minimize, and even anticipate surges in domestic violence.”