Google's New Search Features: has it gone too far

Category: Others/ Misc

Presentation Description

Google’s New Search Features: has it gone too far? Presentation given at the Online Information exhibition, Olympia, London. 1st December 2010. Concentrated on new search features and options launched by Google this year and Google's personalisation of results.


Presentation Transcript

Slide 1: 

This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License Google’s New Search Features: has it gone too far? 1st December, 2010 , Karen Blakeman Presentation available on: and

Disclaimer : 

Disclaimer Google search options and services can appear and disappear overnight or within the next day, hour or second I cannot guarantee that any of the information in the following slides is an accurate representation of what Google is possibly doing with your search strategy at the time of this presentation or in the future I refuse to be held responsible for cases of insanity or paranoia resulting from the reading of this presentation (lawyers on stand by!) 03/12/2010 2

A lot has been happening this year : 

A lot has been happening this year Bing –Yahoo deal Yahoo to use Bing’s search engine (is it happening?) Bing to use Yahoo’s advertising sales team Yahoo will “still be innovating on top of the Bing results” not much happening in terms of innovative search within Bing outside of the US version Google has been doing lots of “stuff” personalisation, localisation, semantic search, adding social media to the search mix, new search features some “stuff” has gone or is going – Searchwiki, Google Wave some “stuff” has not gone but should have been killed [insert name of the Google feature/service you hate most] Ask has given up on search – reverted to a question and answer service Social media becoming part of search 03/12/2010 3

Google playing catch-up with Bing : 

Google playing catch-up with Bing Personalise the background of your home page with your own image (Bing – you are stuck with their choice) Scrolling page results for images (personally, I still prefer Bing’s) Preview web sites in results list 03/12/2010 4

Web history (1) : 

Web history (1) 03/12/2010 5 Google now automatically tracks your searches and what you click on results are “personalised” based on your searches and page views you do not have to be logged in to a Google account stored in a cookie on your computer so machine and browser specific Web History link appears in upper right hand corner of results page screen click on the link for option to disable it

Web history (2) : 

Web history (2) Signed in to your Google account Google account web history stored on Google Manage your web history from within your Google account 03/12/2010 6

Check your ad preferences : 

Check your ad preferences So you don’t have ad preferences? Check out Do not have to be signed in to a Google account “Preferences” based on pages you view Information stored in cookies different browser, different machine = different cookies Ad preferences are used on any site with Google ads You can remove and add categories, or opt out all together You will still see ads if you opt out but they will be generic Do your ad preferences give an indication of how Google customises your search results? 03/12/2010 7

Ad preferences : 

03/12/2010 8 Ad preferences ??

Google social search : 

Google social search Included in your search results if you are signed in to your Google account – maybe At present in a separate box Will Google seamlessly integrate them into your search results? Do you really want Google to include information gleaned from your primary and secondary social media connections? 03/12/2010 9

My social circle : 

My social circle 03/12/2010 10 List of direct and secondary connections

Google dashboard : 

Google dashboard 03/12/2010 11

Google dashboard : 

Google dashboard 03/12/2010 12

Google dashboard : 

Google dashboard 03/12/2010 13

Google dashboard : 

Google dashboard 03/12/2010 14

Google dashboard : 

Google dashboard 03/12/2010 15 “Is this everything? In a nutshell, not yet.” “There are other kinds of data that Google records when you use its services, but which are not associated with your Google Account. To protect your privacy, that data is intentionally kept separate from your Google Account and thus is not visible on this page. “ ??

Starred results : 

Starred results Starred results – need to signed in to a Google account 03/12/2010 16 Click on the star to mark it as a “favourite” Starred pages will appear at the top of results for similar searches This search is on UK average house prices 1980..2009

Localisation : 

Localisation Country versions automatically directed to what the Google thinks is your local version depends on your set up – can specify your default country version if you have Google Toolbar installed local content given preference Google now has an option allowing you to specify your location within your country e.g. Reading can be lazy with my personal searches e.g. for local restaurants for a night out with the girls! but a problem when carrying out broader research e.g. number of restaurants in the UK 03/12/2010 17

Your location : 

Your location 03/12/2010 18

Translated searches : 

Translated searches 03/12/2010 19

Slide 20: 

03/12/2010 20 Results from Google News Latest results - rolling feed from Twitter, blogs, discussions

Slide 21: 

03/12/2010 21 Images Wikipedia article Blog posting listing videos YouTube video Results from my “social circle”: Twitter, RSS feeds, FriendFeed, Google Wave contacts etc. Videos

Slide 22: 

Additional search features in left hand side menu Changes as you select different options 03/12/2010 22

Slide 23: 

03/12/2010 23

Slide 24: 

03/12/2010 24

Google Realtime : 

Google Realtime Said to search Twitter, Facebook, news, blogs but Twitter dominates “Anytime” loses sort by date/time and timeline 03/12/2010 25

Google Instant : 

Google Instant Coming to a Google near you (depends on country, browser, platform) Already the default on On if you are signed in to your Google account Tries to predict what you are searching for as you type and changes results accordingly 03/12/2010 26

Yahoo was there in 2005... : 

Yahoo was there in 2005... 03/12/2010 27

Google Instant : 

Google Instant Only displays 10 results at a time Lose the Wonderwheel option from the left hand menu on results page Can no longer disable suggestions from Settings page To disable Google Instant click on “Google Instant is on” link next to search box on results page and select the off option or switch it off under Settings See Karen Blakeman's Blog: Google Instant – display results as you type Karen Blakeman's Blog: Seriously irritating things about Google Instant 03/12/2010 28

Turning off Instant Search and suggestions : 

Turning off Instant Search and suggestions Turn both Google suggestions and Instant search off type in the address bar of your browser and click search or press the return/enter key. Turn Instant search off but keep the Google suggestions: Turn both services back on: 03/12/2010 29

Slide 30: 

Inconsistent and irreproducible results Presents problems for those of us who help and advise others on search strategies. What appears on your screen may not be appearing on theirs All depends on country version used, browser, version of browser, operating system, platform, logged in to a Google account or not, web history, starred results, searcher location specified or not, language, which server Google happens to send your search to, Google experiments, is there an r in the month, is there a full moon, am I going mad..... 03/12/2010 30

Slide 31: 

Many thanks to Even Hartmann Flood, Senior Academic Librarian, Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet (NTNU) for his help and research with the following examples 03/12/2010 31

Slide 32: 

Exploration of the Norne oil field in Google Scholar Google Scholar unhelpfully looks for the author Horne as well 03/12/2010 32 Switch to searching Google Scholar in Norwegian and an exact match search is carried out and no “Horne” Swedish – we are back to norne/horne Google Scholar doesn’t even have the courtesy to ask “Did you mean...”

Thanks to Sara Batts for the original problem – Google Scholar insisting on searching for “effect “ instead of EFET : 

Thanks to Sara Batts for the original problem – Google Scholar insisting on searching for “effect “ instead of EFET 03/12/2010 33 Google Web search does an exact match. Have to prefix term in GS with ‘+’ to force exact match

Even Flood takes up the chase... : 

Even Flood takes up the chase... Google Scholar using Norwegian language carries out an exact match search – EFET only Changing the language to Swedish gives a lot of hits on an author named K Efe - hitherto not mentioned 03/12/2010 34

Slide 35: 

“Madness, you hear, madness” 03/12/2010 35

Slide 36: 

“Don’t be evil?” (aka as the Google ice cream man, or search in YouTube on eric schmidt ice cream) 03/12/2010 36

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