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Google Testing "Sources" Results Area With Info. About Movies, Books, People, Music

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, May 9, 2012.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google Testing "Sources" Area With Info About Movies, Books, People, Music & More (click for full article)

    "Last November, Google tested a new "Sources" section in its search results, in the third column where ads normally appear. It seems the testing is underway again, showing extended information about actors, films, musicians, people and more. It also seems likely everyone may see this extended information soon, and that it's the "search refresh" the Wall Street Journal wrote about in March finally arriving.


    Experiment Confirmed


    I noticed these appearing yesterday in my own search results, and Google has confirmed that there's an experiment happening:


    We're always experimenting with ways to improve search, but we have nothing to announce at this time.
    Google does indeed often experiment with new formats, randomly tagging some visitors to see the formats being tested. I apparently was one of those tagged. Most people, however, won't see some of the examples I'll share below, as they're not tagged into the experiment.


    I think that will change in the near future, because as I'll explain at the end, this is one test that I suspect will go fully live soon. "
     
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    MediaPost Publications Report: Forcing Search Engines To Be 'Fair' Violates Free Speech 05/09/2012 (click for full article)

    "Search engines have a free-speech right to display whichever results they choose, in whichever order they choose, constitutional law scholar Eugene Volokh argues in a paper commissioned by Google and submitted to the Federal Trade Commission.


    Volokh argues that Google has the same free-speech rights as newspapers, encyclopedias or other publishers in deciding what content to feature -- even if the decisions are seen as unfair or harmful to other businesses. "For instance," he writes in the 27-page paper, "when many newspapers published TV listings, they were free to choose to do so without regard to whether this choice undermined the market for TV Guide. Likewise, search engines are free to include and highlight their own listings of (for example) local review pages even though Yelp might prefer that the search engines instead rank Yelp's information higher."


    The report -- which addresses organic listings, and not AdWords ads -- comes as the Federal Trade Commission is investigating Google for potential antitrust violations. While the investigation isn't yet public, some observers believe that the FTC is particularly concerned about whether Google is favoring its own content at the expense of material created by other publishers.


    The FTC isn't the only one probing Google. A Senate panel last year also held a hearing addressing Google and antitrust issues. One of the witnesses, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, took aim at Google for including Yelp reviews in Google's local search product without a license. "Google forces review Web sites to provide their content for free to benefit Google's own competing product -- not consumers," Stoppleman said in his written testimony. "Google then gives its own product preferential treatment in Google search results."


    Stoppleman also said at that hearing that he didn't think he would launch Yelp today. "Honestly, I'd find something else to do," he said in response to a lawmaker's question. "When we started there was a level playing field."


    Of course, at this point, it's still unknown whether the FTC will charge Google with antitrust violations. For now, however, Volokh's paper sets out an array of arguments for why antitrust charges against Google based on its search results could conflict with free-speech principles.


    The paper includes references to cases dealing with potential conflicts between free-speech principles and laws mandating "fairness." One that he highlights is a 1974 Supreme Court decision overturning a Florida law that required newspapers to allow political candidates to respond to criticism by the paper. The court wrote in that case that questions about what to print, as well as what not to print, were protected by free-speech principles.


    But Seton Hall law professor Frank Pasquale (who has suggested that search engines should be more transparent about the factors that go into the decisions about rankings) says a 1951 Supreme Court decision about a monopolistic newspaper might be more problematic for Google. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that the Lorain Journal of Ohio violated antitrust law by refusing to accept ads from companies who also advertised with a local radio station.


    At the time, the Journal was the only daily paper in town; it reached virtually every household in Lorain. For those reasons, the Journal was "an indispensable medium of advertising for many Lorain concerns," the Supreme Court wrote in an order holding that the Journal's ad policies violated antitrust law.


    Of course, that case dealt with ads, and Volokh's paper doesn't address AdWords. Still, the decision could be used to show that free-speech principles don't always protect publishers' decisions about when to reject material. "
     
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google revamps search, tries to think more like a person - CNN.com (click for full article)

    "(CNN) -- So, let's say you're doing a Google search for "Kings." Did you mean the L.A. hockey team or the Sacramento basketball team? Maybe the TV show? Or maybe you actually wanted to know something about monarchs.
    Google on Wednesday announced Knowledge Graph, a significant change to how search results are delivered that the company believes will make their search engine think more like a human.


    "The web pages we [currently] return for the search 'kings,' they're all good," Jack Menzel, director of product management at Google, told CNN in an interview. "You, as a human, associate those words with their real-world meaning but, for a computer, they're just a random string of characters."


    With Knowledge Graph, which will begin rolling out to some users immediately, results will be arranged according to categories with which the search term has been associated. So, in the above example, boxes will appear with separate results for the hockey team, basketball team and TV show.


    The user can then click on one of those boxes to only get results for the specific topic they were searching.
    "It hones your search results right in on the task that you're after," Menzel said.


    More specific searches, say for the name of a celebrity, will render boxes with basic information, as well as links to what Google believes are possibly related searches.


    Menzel says the initial version of Knowledge Graph has information on 500 million people, places and things and uses 3.5 billion defining attributes and connections to create categories for them.


    The feature will begin rolling out as early as Wednesday afternoon for some users in the United States and eventually be available on desktop, mobile and tablet searches. It will first become available in English, then in other languages, Menzel said. "
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google bringing new smarts to search with Knowledge Graph | Internet & Media - CNET News (click for full article)

    "Google has long sought to index the world's information -- and it's now taking things a step farther with an effort to create "a database of everything in the world." And it's bringing this effort to your search results pages.

    The new Knowledge Graph project, rolling out to English-language Google Search users over the next few days, provides more data snippets alongside its query results than the search engine currently provides. The results are based on Google's new database of 500 million people, places, and things, says Jack Menzel, Product Management Director of Search at Google. Menzel says there are 3.5 billion attributes and connections between these things in the database.


    You'll be able to meander through lists of facts and connections when you are searching for items that are in the Knowledge Graph. As one Google example illustrates, if you search for Frank Lloyd Wright, you'll get a fact box with a summary about him (from Wikipedia), a small collection of biographical facts, and picture links to the buildings he designed. If you click on Fallingwater, you'll get another fact box about that house.


    Google has both personnel and technology to curate what results appear in these fact boxes. "
     
  5. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google shakes up search with new Wikipedia-like feature — Tech News and Analysis (click for full article)

    "Just months after rolling out a controversial personalized search feature, Google is shaking up its search pages once again. This time, the search giant is carving out a chunk of the site for "Knowledge Graph," a tool that offers an encyclopedia-like package in response to a user's query.


    The idea is to get users to spend more time on Google and also to make the search engine offer a more human-like understanding of questions and context. "This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do," Google said in a blog post announcing the new feature."
     

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