“The ability to search for and find ongoing conversations about nearly any problem in the known universe is one of the Internet’s greatest gifts to humanity.”
— Darren Murph
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Why The Internet Is Awesome

Let’s never speak again: The incredible benefits of searchable text

By on August 4, 2014 at 12:00 PM.

Let’s never speak again: The incredible benefits of searchable text

I could, in theory, phone everyone up that’s reading this story and convey this message to them via voice. I’m in no position to argue the merits of vocal interactions, and indeed, we all owe a great deal to Alexander Graham Bell and the invention of the first practical telephone. But we’re beyond that now. The power of the Internet is too great to encapsulate in a single article, but I’ve been relying on it more heavily than usual of late. As I slide into a new home, I’m faced with all sorts of quandaries. DIY projects abound, curiosities need sating, and in general, I’m finding myself thirsty for knowledge in an area that I’m somewhat unfamiliar with. More →

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Google Search Results Redesign

For better or worse, Google redesigns search results page once again

By on November 7, 2012 at 1:35 PM.

For better or worse, Google redesigns search results page once again

Did you visit Google (GOOG) last night and notice something different? Google has redesigned its search results page once again. According to its Inside Search blog, the removal of the left-hand sidebar is an attempt “to create a consistent search experience across the wide variety of devices and screen sizes people use today.” A U.S.-only update for now, Google’s redesigned search page swaps the left sidebar for a horizontal one located at the top to give the design “more breathing room, and more focus on the answers you’re looking for, whether from web results or from a feature like the Knowledge Graph.” More →

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Google beefs up mobile search with direct answers to common queries

By on August 10, 2012 at 6:00 PM.

Google beefs up mobile search with direct answers to common queries

Google Mobile Search Direct Answers

Google (GOOG) is smart enough to know that when users type “weather” into its search engine, they don’t want to see a Wikipedia entry or a link to Weather.com — they just want to know the weather forecast for their area. With that in mind, Google has added some new features to its mobile search site aimed at giving users direct answers to their queries instead of a straight list of links to related websites. More →

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Google declares war on free clicks

By on July 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM.

Google declares war on free clicks

Google Search Ads Study 2012

Google is an advertising company first and foremost, but the big revenue the company sees from ads is funding the rest of the company’s efforts — efforts that have brought us great products and services like Gmail, Google Maps and the company’s new Nexus 7 tablet. Search remains Google’s core product, of course, and countless businesses are sustained by traffic generated by Google searches. As such, it’s no mystery that advertising is Google’s biggest revenue generator by a landslide. Google has made moves recently to promote clicks on paid ads rather than organically surfaced results, and a new study reveals that Google’s efforts have had quite an impact. More →

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Google posts Q1 results, beats Wall Street’s consensus; announces 2-for-1 stock split

By on April 12, 2012 at 4:09 PM.

Google posts Q1 results, beats Wall Street’s consensus; announces 2-for-1 stock split

Google on Thursday reported its results for the first quarter, topping Wall Street’s estimates. The Internet giant managed earnings of $10.08 per share on $10.65 billion in revenue, beating analysts EPS estimates of $9.64 and $8.1 billion in sales. Net revenue came in at $8.14 billion after $2.51 billion in traffic acquisition costs, in line with estimates. In the same quarter a year earlier, Google posted an adjusted profit of $8.08 per share $6.5 billion in sales. The company also plans to create a new class of non-voting capital stock that effectively creates a 2-for-1 stock split. The new class C shares will be traded under a separate ticker. “Google had another great quarter with revenues up 24% year on year,” Google CEO Larry Page said in a statement. “We also saw tremendous momentum from the big bets we’ve made in products like Android, Chrome and YouTube. We are still at the very early stages of what technology can do to improve people’s lives and we have enormous opportunities ahead. It is a very exciting time to be at Google.” A letter from Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin explaining the decision to split the company’s stock follows below along with the Google’s earnings release. More →

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Google to adopt ‘semantic search’ within months, WSJ says

By on March 15, 2012 at 7:45 PM.

Google to adopt ‘semantic search’ within months, WSJ says

Google is reportedly in the process of giving its Web-search formula a major makeover in an attempt to fix its shortcomings and maintain its dominance in the search market. In the coming months, the company is looking to use “semantic search” to analyze words and phrases and present more facts and direct answers to questions at the top of each results page. The changes are among the company’s biggest and could affect millions of websites that rely on Google’s current page-ranking results, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. A top Google search executive said that semantic search will allow the company to better match queries from a database containing hundreds of millions of “entities” — such as people, places and things — that the company has quietly built up over the past two years. For example, people who search for “Lake Tahoe” with semantic search will see “attributes” of the lake, such as its location, altitude and average temperature or salt content, while those who searched for it today would only get links. More →

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Google and LG may partner on Nexus TV

By on January 13, 2012 at 9:30 AM.

Google and LG may partner on Nexus TV

LG had a number of gorgeous HDTVs on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and apparently we aren’t the only ones who noticed how strong LG’s next-generation televisions are. Mere rumors of an HDTV in the works from Apple has set the industry aflutter, eying apps, voice and motion controls, and the Android OS in an effort to recapture consumers’ interest ahead of whatever Apple may be planning to announce as soon as this summer. Now, a new report from Bloomberg suggests Google may be in negotiations to enter the TV space as well. Unnamed sources speaking with the business news site claim Google is currently in talks with LG to create a Google TV-powered HDTV in a partnership said to be similar to the arrangement Google had with HTC and then Samsung to build Nexus-branded smartphones. Google is also reportedly working on a Nexus tablet and with connected TVs in the spotlight this year, a Nexus TV could be a crucial next step for the Mountain View-based company. More →

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Google will remain default Firefox search engine for three more years

By on December 21, 2011 at 12:30 AM.

Google will remain default Firefox search engine for three more years

Mozilla announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with Google in which Google Search will remain the default search engine in Firefox for the next three years. “Mozilla has been a valuable partner to Google over the years and we look forward to continuing this great partnership in the years to come,” said Google’s senior vice president of search, Alan Eustace. While terms of the agreement remain confidential, Mozilla reported in October that its partnership with Google helped the company achieve a large portion of the $123 million in revenue in reported last year, CNET said. More →

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Mock-up shows off iOS 5 ‘Assistant’ voice controls [video]

By on September 30, 2011 at 6:30 PM.

Mock-up shows off iOS 5 ‘Assistant’ voice controls [video]

Apple’s Siri and Nuance-powered “Assistant” voice control feature expected to launch with iOS 5 has hardly been a secret, and now MacRumors has commissioned a video mock-up of the service based on what we know so far. The video shows, for example, that a user might be able to hold down the home button to activate the application and speak a command, not unlike Apple’s simple voice controls today. Assistant should step today’s capabilities up quite a bit, however. The service will likely scour your phone’s contents or the web to deliver results, and it may even be capable of replying to you; in the MacRumors video, Assistant asks the user if he would like to text a contact’s mobile or work number. We expect to hear more about Assistant during Apple’s iPhone event on October 4th. Read on for the full video. More →

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Microsoft has lost $5.5 billion on Bing since launch

By on September 21, 2011 at 9:20 PM.

Microsoft has lost $5.5 billion on Bing since launch

Microsoft has lost $5.5 billion, an average drain of $1 billion per quarter, on Bing since it introduced the search engine in 2009, CNNMoney reported on Wednesday. Despite the losses, Microsoft’s Bing reached a 30% share of the U.S. search engine market in April of this year, slowly narrowing the gap with Google, although comScore’s figures pin the search engine’s share at just 14.7%. Despite the constant drain, Microsoft still has a plan for Bing. During the company’s financial analyst meeting in California recently, Microsoft’s president of online services Qi Lu said his company hopes to use Bing to “reorganize the web” to “change the game fundamentally” instead of taking on Google in a head-to-head dogfight. Read on for more. More →

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FTC antitrust investigators hone in on Android

By on August 11, 2011 at 12:45 PM.

FTC antitrust investigators hone in on Android

Antitrust investigators with the Federal Trade Commission are focusing on Google’s Android operating system and web search services, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Reportedly, there is some concern that Google prevents its Android partners from implementing services provided by Google’s competitors to their smartphones. One example comes from backin May, when Google blocked Motorola from using Skyhook Wireless’ location services on its phones. The FTC is also investigating whether Google promotes its own services over its rivals, and whether it actually uses data that its competitors have collected, such as local reviews, to populate its own results. The FTC announced that it was opening an investigation into Google’s business practices on June 24th and, at the time, Google said that it was not clear what the FTC’s concerns were. The search giant said that it will cooperate fully and will continue to follow its five pillars: “do what’s best for the user,” “provide the most relevant answers as quickly as possible,” “label advertisements clearly,” “be transparent,” and “loyalty, not lock-in.”

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European Commission now investigating nine formal antitrust complaints against Google

By on August 2, 2011 at 7:15 PM.

European Commission now investigating nine formal antitrust complaints against Google

The European Commission now has a total of nine formal antitrust complaints targeting Google, Reuters reported on Tuesday. “The new complaints come from small companies,” one source told the news outlet, and another said two of the complaints were new while three came from national regulators. Until Tuesday, the EC had only confirmed that there were four total complaints. Microsoft has also filed a formal complaint with the European Commission and its general counsel, Brad Smith, said that the search giant “has engaged in a broadening pattern of walling off access to content and data that competitors need to provide search results to consumers and to attract advertisers.” Microsoft has argued that Google has a 95% grip of the European search market. The European Commission is also investigating Google for anticompetitive advertising practices and, in June, the Federal Trade Commission in the United States announced that it will investigate Google’s business practices. The search giant has said in the past that it will be fully compliant with the investigation. More →

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Microsoft spills beans on new ‘Tulalip’ social network

By on July 16, 2011 at 2:00 AM.

Microsoft spills beans on new ‘Tulalip’ social network

Microsoft accidentally spilled the beans on a new social network it has been working on called “Tulalip.” According to VentureBeat, a splash page for the the social network appeared shortly on Socl.com on Thursday before it was immediately taken down. In an effort to conceal its mistake, Microsoft issued a statement. “Thanks for stopping by. Socl.com is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly published to the web. We didn’t mean to, honest,” Microsoft said. It’s unclear if Tulalip is a legitimate social network or if it really is just an “internal design project,” but given the similarities between Tulalip’s user interface and the tiles found in Windows 8 and Windows Phone, it would certainly be a nice fit. More →

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