Beating Google into Submission

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Presentation given at the Online Information exhibition, National Hall, Olympia, London. 30th November 2011

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Beating Google into Submission:

Beating Google into Submission Karen Blakeman Online Information 2011 #online11 karen.blakeman@rba.co.uk Twitter: @karenblakeman Slides available at http://www.rba.co.uk/as/ and also on authorSTREAM and Slideshare 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 1 This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Disclaimer: the content of these slides was correct on November 24th 14.59 GMT, using google.co.uk via Chrome, and signed into one of my Google accounts. Of course, a lot of it will have changed by now!!:

Disclaimer: the content of these slides was correct on November 24 th 14.59 GMT, using google.co.uk via Chrome, and signed into one of my Google accounts. Of course, a lot of it will have changed by now!! 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 2

Google knows best :

Google knows best 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 3 Hewish mild Google decided to change my search to Jewish mild = Google decides that coots are lions – changed a search for coots mating behaviour to lions mating behaviour

Coots mating behaviour = lions mating behaviour:

Coots mating behaviour = lions mating behaviour A Google experiment? we think Google assumed coots was a typing error for cats and then did a synonym search on cats See: Google decides that coots are really lions http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2011/02/12/google-decides-that-coots-are-really-lions/ Update on coots vs. lions http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2011/02/21/update-on-coots-vs-lions/ Google still thinks coots are possibly cats (or cows) http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2011/06/07/google-still-thinks-coots-are-possibly-cats-or-cows/ Exact search when the term coots was repeated the order of the search terms was changed Thanks to Arthur Weiss and Susanna Winter for their help with this oddity 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 4

Google's Collateral Damage: SEO Cat & Mouse Game http://www.seobook.com/learn-seo/collateral-damage.php :

Google's Collateral Damage: SEO Cat & Mouse Game http://www.seobook.com/learn-seo/collateral-damage.php 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 5 Google revenues - $29.321 billion ($8.505 billion net) - Q1+Q2+Q3=$27.301 billion ($7.032 billion net) 2011 Financial Tables - Google Investor Relations http://investor.google.com/financial/tables.html

How Google works:

How Google works “ Dear Bing, We Have 10,000 Ranking Signals To Your 1,000. Love, Google” http://searchengineland.com/bing-10000-ranking-signals-google-55473 Over 200 hundred “signals” Each may have over 50 variations / 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 6

Google knows us so well:

Google knows us so well 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 7 Google personalises and tailors your results depending on your location, computer, browser, past searches, what you have looked at in the past, your +1s, your blocked sites, Google experiments, your Google+ account, your other social networks, what you do on your android phone, what you had for breakfast...and anything else it can find by rummaging around in your Google dashboard. Check your account’s dashboard at http://www.google.com/dashboard/

Google includes social media:

Google includes social media 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 8

Google is good at....:

Google is good at.... Localisation Country versions give priority to local content Localisation at town/city level may have to tell Google where you are based don’t have to tell Google my town if I am looking a local restaurant, taxi or plumber especially useful when using a mobile device Personalisation? Varies from person to person as to whether it is useful Image search Maps Google Finance Overall coverage and rolling out features worldwide 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 9

:

BUT.......what I see on my screen for a search is not what you’ll see on yours. This affects how we advise users and clients on the best search strategy. 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 10

No plus sign any more and Google ignores “...”:

No plus sign any more and Google ignores “...” Dear Google, stop messing with my search : http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2011/11/08/dear-google-stop-messing-with-my-search/ 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 11

Google does a “soft AND”:

Google does a “soft AND” “When you do a multi-term query on Google (even with quoted terms), the algorithm sometimes backs-off from hard ANDing all of the terms together.......it’s clear that people will often write long queries (with anywhere from 5 to 10 terms) for which there are no results. Google will then selectively remove the terms that are the lowest frequency to give you some results (rather than none)....Soft AND is a way to reduce the overall frustration and give the searcher something to examine (and with luck, a chance to reformulate their query).” Dan Russell http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2011/11/08/dear-google-stop-messing-with-my-search/#comments 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 12

We now have Verbatim search:

We now have Verbatim search Run your search first and then select Verbatim from the left hand menu on your results page Appears that you can include advanced search commands in your strategy e.g. OR and the tilde (~) for synonyms Google: Verbatim for exact match search http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2011/11/18/google-verbatim-for-exact-match-search/ 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 13

PowerPoint Presentation:

18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 14 “Normal” search Verbatim (identical to &pws=0) Chrome Incognito Google web searches

Use the results sidebars:

Use the results sidebars These help you focus your search Vary depending on type of search e.g. web, news, images Open up the "more" options to see everything 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 15

Translated pages for a different perspective:

Translated pages for a different perspective Google suggests languages from context of search but you can choose your own Your search is translated and the results are translated into your original language 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 16

Google sidebars:

Google sidebars 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 17 Images Videos News Books Blogs

Where have cached and similar gone?:

Where have cached and similar gone? 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 18 Hover over a result and a "preview" of the page should appear to the right together with cached and similar links

Block sites that you never, ever want to see again!:

Block sites that you never, ever want to see again! Use with caution – Google may use your blocked sites as a ranking "signal" for other searchers Sign into your Google account Run your search, click on a result, return to results and a block option is made available Site will be blocked from all your future searches regardless of topic 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 19

Learn advanced search commands:

Learn advanced search commands Advanced Search screen (now hidden under cog wheel in upper right hand corner of the screen) Do more with commands For example selecting file type ppt on the Advanced Search screen will only search for ppt and not pptx Use filetype command instead, for example zeolites environmental remediation filetype:ppt (35 results) zeolites environmental remediation filetype:ppt OR filetype:pptx (42 results) 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 20

Essential commands :

Essential commands filetype: site: inurl: and allinurl: intitle: and allintitle: related: Numeric range search [1 st number]..[2 nd number] [unit of measurement (optional)] 1..7 kg 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 21

Keeping up to date:

Keeping up to date Inside Search http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/ Official Google Blog http://googleblog.blogspot.com/ Search Engine Land http://searchengineland.com/ Search Engine Watch http://searchenginewatch.com/ Boolean Black Belt-Sourcing/Recruiting http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/ Karen Blakeman’s Blog http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/ Phil Bradley's weblog http://philbradley.typepad.com/ 18/11/2013 www.rba.co.uk 22

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