Making Google Behave

Category: Others/ Misc

Presentation Description

Slides for my session at the Society of Indexers annual conference held at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester. 5th-7th September 2014. The session covered recent changes to the way Google works, how to use Google commands and search options to get better results, and how Google can get it horribly wrong at times.


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08/09/2014 1 Making Google Behave Society of Indexers Annual Conference Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester 5-7 th September 2014 Karen Blakeman RBA Information Services karenblakeman Slides available on authorSTREAM, Slideshare and This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike License .

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08/09/2014 2 Search Engine Market Share June 2014

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08/09/2014 3 2014 Financial Tables – Investor Relations – Google

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08/09/2014 4 Google Play App Revenue Doubles in a Year With increased revenue, wearables focus, Google takes fast lane to mobile transition

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08/09/2014 5 Google Brings More "Now" To Search With New Quick Answers

Google search:

Google search is free text search is not aimed at the serious, in depth researcher does not do Boolean structured search is limited even in Scholar is personalised can change minute by minute 08/09/2014 6

It's Over: The Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship For Search Results :

08/09/2014 7 It's Over: The Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship For Search Results

Google Authorship:

Google Authorship 08/09/2014 8 Without Google Authorship

Five things you need to know about Google search :

Five things you need to know about Google search Google personalises your search Personalises search based on location – country, town past search history past browsing activity your activity in other areas of Google e.g. YouTube, blogs, images your activity on all your devices linked to your Google account what other people have clicked on for similar searches the device you are using 08/09/2014 9

Private browsing - quickest way “un-personalise”search :

Private browsing - quickest way “un-personalise”search Chrome - New Incognito window Ctrl+Shift+N FireFox Ctrl+Shift+P Internet Explorer Ctrl+Shift+P Opera Ctrl+Shift+N Will not remove country personalisation Not search engine specific, built into the browser 08/09/2014 10

Five things you need to know about Google search:

Five things you need to know about Google search Google automatically looks for variations on your search terms and sometimes drops terms from your search Google now tells you which terms it has ignored (some of the time) “..” around terms, phrases, names, titles of documents does not always work To force an exact match and inclusion of a term in a search prefix it with ‘ intext :’ intext:agricultural occupational asthma Use Verbatim for an exact match search 08/09/2014 11

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08/09/2014 12 Let’s throw it into the soup and see if the cat licks it up

Google introduces the “soft AND”:

Google introduces the “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’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 08/09/2014 13

Google – missing terms:

Google – missing terms 08/09/2014 14

Google Verbatim:

Google Verbatim 08/09/2014 15

Choosing your search terms:

Choosing your search terms Google automatically looks for synonyms and variations on your terms biofuels will find biodiesel, biogas, bio-ethanol etc. but do not get the same results if you use biodiesel instead of biofuels run separate searches using alternative terms no information on how the synonyms are identified or implemented The terms you use can radically change results copper mining north wales copper extraction north wales 08/09/2014 16

Choosing your search terms:

Choosing your search terms 08/09/2014 17

Five things you need to know about Google search:

Five things you need to know about Google search Google web search does not search everything it has in its database two indexes: main, default index and the supplemental index supplemental index may contain less popular, unusual, specialist material supplemental index comes into play when Google thinks your search has returned too few results Verbatim and some advanced search commands seems to trigger a search in the supplemental index 08/09/2014 18

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08/09/2014 19 “Normal search” 1,555,500 Search after Verbatim is applied 35,500,000

Five things you need to know about Google search:

Five things you need to know about Google search Google changes its algorithms several hundred times a year How Google makes improvements to its search algorithm - YouTube http :// 08/09/2014 20

Five things you need to know about Google search:

Five things you need to know about Google search We are all Google’s lab rats Just Testing: Google Users May See Up To A Dozen Experiments Mostly minor effects on search but sometimes totally bizarre results Google decides that coots are really lions google-decides-that-coots-are-really-lions/ Update on coots vs. lions update-on-coots-vs-lions/ 08/09/2014 21


Hummingbird Not just an update but a completely new algorithm Tries to make “sense” of your query and put it into context, natural language queries Not just search history but also your location, device being used Announced 26 th September 2013 but had already been implemented for about a month Many aspects had been tested over the previous months and past year 08/09/2014 22

Menu options change depending on your search:

Menu options change depending on your search 08/09/2014 23

Google rewrites page titles:

Google rewrites page titles 08/09/2014 24 Google's Matt Cutts : Why Google Will Ignore Your Page Title Tag & Write Its Own : 08/09/2014 25

EU - so called “right to be forgotten” ruling:

EU - so called “right to be forgotten” ruling 08/09/2014 26 Edition of Monday, January 19, 1998, page 23 - Newspaper - EU Court of Justice ruled that Google is a “data controller” under Data Protection legislation and must remove links to information that is “inadequate, irrelevant .... or excessive” from search results on a person’s name.

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Information is NOT removed from the web Subject can apply to have links in search results that point to specific information removed from the results Not just Google – all search engines with an EU presence Only applies to searches conducted in the EU + Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein Not automatic – subject has to apply and request will be assessed to see if the information is “ inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.” 08/09/2014 27

How to get around it?:

How to get around it? Google now removing results (and also adding back in results!) from searches in European country versions of Google Indicates on the results page if information has been excluded Google adds removal statement from all results for searches on personal names even if nothing has been removed Use non-European Google to see all results e.g., - but will see country biased results 08/09/2014 28

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08/09/2014 29

Google Knowledge Graph and carousel:

Google Knowledge Graph and carousel 08/09/2014 30

Google gets it wrong again:

Google gets it wrong again 08/09/2014 31

Google gets it wrong yet again:

Google gets it wrong yet again 08/09/2014 32 Google "Henry VIII wives": Jane Seymour reveals search engine's blind spots Image courtesy of Will Oremus

Nutrition facts:

Nutrition facts 08/09/2014 33 Information from Wikipedia and USDA


Compare 08/09/2014 34

Google Quick Answers:

Google Quick Answers Some Of The Weird Issues When Google's Quick Answers Come From Random Sources “Answers” appear at top of the results page and below the ads Try your favourite football club flight times symptoms of a medical condition 08/09/2014 35

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And then on another day...:

08/09/2014 39 And then on another day...

And one of many wrong Quick Answers submitted to me by delegates of this conference:

And one of many wrong Quick Answers submitted to me by delegates of this conference 08/09/2014 40 Many thanks to Philip Stirups for the example. About 24 hours after taking this screen shot Google corrected the error.

Google commands:

Google commands Speech marks around phrases or titles of articles “Geochemical evaluation of flowback brine from Marcellus gas wells” Note: if Google finds no documents, or very few documents, containing your phrase it will ignore the speech marks Verbatim – runs your search exactly as you have typed it Search tools, All results, Verbatim (see earlier slide) intext : before your term – term must be present and exactly as you have typed it UK public transport intext:biodiesel 08/09/2014 41

Google commands:

Google commands Think file format PDF for research papers, lengthy documents, government reports, industry papers ppt or pptx for presentations, tracking down an expert on a topic xls, xlsx or csv for data and statistics filetype: command zeolites environmental remediation filetype:pdf "north sea" deep water drilling filetype:ppt "north sea" deep water drilling filetype:pptx 08/09/2014 42

Google commands:

Google commands Site search For searching large websites, or groups of sites by type for example government, NHS, academic Can exclude sites using -site: agricultural occupational asthma UK agricultural occupational asthma UK agricultural occupational asthma UK agricultural occupational asthma UK – 08/09/2014 43

Google commands:

Google commands Numeric range search Anything to do with numbers and quantities: years, temperatures, weights, distances, prices etc Use the advanced search screen or type in your two numbers separated by two full stops as part of your search   Rhodes zeolites environmental remediation 2005..2014 toblerone 1..6 kg 08/09/2014 44

Google commands:

Google commands Words in the title – can be single words or phrases Ensures subject is the main focus of the article Use advanced search screen or intitle : intitle :”diabetic retinopathy” Words in the URL – can be single words or phrases Use advanced search screen or inurl : inurl :”diabetic retinopathy” There are allintitle and allinurl commands but they are unreliable and do not work with other commands 08/09/2014 45


define 08/09/2014 46

Google search options:

Google search options Date Restrict your results to information that has been published within the last hour, day, week, month, year or your own date range Search tools , Any time and select an option  08/09/2014 47

Google search options:

Google search options Reading level Changes the type of material that is returned Run the search and from the menu above the results select Search tools , All results and then Reading level 08/09/2014 48

Google search options:

Google search options 08/09/2014 49

Google Scholar :

Google Scholar “Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research”.   Search all scholarly literature from one convenient place Explore related works, citations, authors, and publications Locate the complete document through your library or on the web Keep up with recent developments in any area of research Check who's citing your publications, create a public author profile 08/09/2014 50

Google Scholar:

Google Scholar Does not cover all key journals in all subjects – no source list Top publications for subjects and languages under Metrics link on home page or Scholar indexes the full text but you may have to pay to view the whole article Groups different versions of an article together 08/09/2014 51

Google Scholar:

Google Scholar Includes open access material, pre-prints, institutional repositories (but not necessarily author self archived repositories) Includes material that is NOT peer reviewed but is structured and looks like an academic article (title in large font, authors, affiliations, abstract, keywords, citations) Pre-prints and IR copies may differ from final published version – charts and images may be redacted because of copyright restrictions 08/09/2014 52

Google Scholar:

Google Scholar 08/09/2014 53 Does NOT use the publishers’ metadata Date and author search looks in the area of the document where those elements are usually found Page numbers, part of an address, data item may be mistaken for publication year Sometimes gets the author wrong

Google Scholar verified author and citations:

Google Scholar verified author and citations 08/09/2014 54

Google Scholar advanced search commands:

Google Scholar advanced search commands Use advanced search screen or commands as follows: + sign before a search term to force an exact match, for example + norne “....” around phrases for example “environmental remediation”   intitle : to search for a single word in the title, for example intitle:zeolites environmental remediation   allintitle : to search for all of your terms in the title, for example allintitle:zeolites environmental remediation   author: to search on an author’s name, for example zeolites environmental remediation author:rhodes   site: to limit your search to specific institution for example marcellus shale   Commands can be combined for a precise search, for example author:wolford allintitle:marcellus shale 08/09/2014 55


Patents Coverage: US Canada European Patent Office (EPO) Germany China World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Patents available in original language and English (Google Translate) 08/09/2014 56 : Includes magazines, journals, archives of newspapers (mainly US) 08/09/2014 57

Google Books Ngram viewer:

Google Books Ngram viewer 08/09/2014 58

Google Books Ngram viewer:

Google Books Ngram viewer 08/09/2014 59

Google Trends :

Google Trends 08/09/2014 60

Google Trends :

Google Trends 08/09/2014 61

Google Cultural Institute :

Google Cultural Institute 08/09/2014 62

Google Art Project :

Google Art Project 08/09/2014 63

Google ArtProject museum view:

Google ArtProject museum view 08/09/2014 64

PowerPoint Presentation:

Important to keep up to date with what Google and the other search engines are doing, and with regulatory changes Search Engine Land Search Engine Roundtable Search Engine Watch Get to know Google commands and where the search options are hidden Never, never, never trust the “answers” on Google’s results pages 08/09/2014 65

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Thank you! Questions? 08/09/2014 66

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