Google have released a beta version of their new search engine which is supposed to be faster and more accurate than the current model. Coined by industry insiders as Caffeine, Google engineers claim the back end changes are, “the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions.”
Superficially it’s much the same because all the implemented changes are behind the scenes in order to vastly improve the results, Caffeine allows Google to index the web at a faster pace, gathering more information quicker and hopefully providing results that are “less spammy.” Which to be fair, they seem to have achieved, sometimes there are considerably less results than I’m used to but they’re all relevant.
New internet start up – Yasni believes it has identified a viable niche in the search market – people. Yasni collects all publicly available information related to the search term i.e. an individual’s name, by spidering web sites, social and business networking profiles such as Facebook and Linked In, forums, blogs, video content and news sites. It then bundles all this data into a well presented package on Yasni’s results page, dividing the results into sections of copy with the sources mentioned, images, suggested search and related search options.
The chief executive and co-founder Steffen Ruehl describes Yasni as “a free people search engine that gathers and collates all the public information available about an individual from across the web and places it on one easy-to-use site.” This is great, now we have an alternative to Wikipedia for answering all life’s important questions like, ‘what else has he been in?’
In fairness, for what is essentially another aggregator site it does perform well. Both Charlie Brooker and Hunter S Thompson searches came back with all relevant results. And there are a number of ways you can refine your search so inputting John Smith isn’t completely useless and although the information is presented in an accessible way it could do with a little intuitive funk-up.
Yasni was born out of a shared feeling that the de facto search engines weren’t adept enough to deliver the best results when searching for people online. Steffen Ruehl believes, ” Yasni finds much more people-related information than common search engines. In contrast to search engines like Yahoo or Google, Yasni scours public details from the ‘deep web’ in real time, including hundreds of sources not necessarily considered relevant by major search engines.”
The figures support his statement to the Guardian too, with over 8 million visitors each month and approximately 300,000 registered users after only launching the beta version of Yasni in October 2007, they’re not doing badly. But what are your thoughts? Do we need niche search engines such as Yasni? Or is it a little too Big Brother for you?
When I first heard that Microsoft was yet again attempting to launch a search service to rival Google, my initial reaction was ‘why bother?’ Google dominate search, always have and probably always will, and they deserve it. They’ve earned it over the last 10 years through developing increasingly complex algorithms and adapting the search engine to respond well to the increasing amount of multimedia content available on the web.
Now Microsoft unveil Bing, their ‘decision’ engine and plough the field of marketing with a $100 million campaign, in the hope that money and semantics might challenge Google for the top spot in search. But have they considered the consequences of delivering more accurate results through the categorisation for generic search terms, such as hiking up the cost of keywords? Or perhaps it means that all us lowly search engine optimizers will have to adapt our analysis and implementation skills.
But I wouldn’t worry, the only reported merit of Bing so far is its cosmetics and the ad revenue opportunities the design might open up to Microsoft. The Guardian recently published some interesting data from user experience research agency User Centric who used eye-tracking software to monitor where people looked on the page when using Bing and Google. The results showed that users searching with Bing paid more attention to the ads on the search engine results page. In the study they conducted, on average 42% of Bing users looked at the sponsored links, compared to only 25% with those using Google.
However this didn’t translate to the actual click-through rates on the ads, as this number was actually similar for both search engines. And there are further discrepancies, Bing’s three column design may be more ad-friendly but the nature of these results from User Centric could only be down to the fact that Bing is new, therefore the users were more likely to take a general look around the search engine results page.
I don’t imagine people will be Binging over Googling any time soon, but what do you think? Is it high time for an alternative to Google?
On the 8th of May last year, Kelvin wrote a post on the top 25 Twitterers. Now one year on, we return to see how they’re doing now. Of course none of these numbers are a scratch on Stephen Fry’s 392, 822 followers.
It’s still making the headlines and we can’t help but add fuel to the 140 character fire.
When Twitter bought the search engine Summize back in July last year the Twitterverse was made infinitely more usable for everyone, but it still didn’t solve Twitters business model issue – the fact that they don’t have one.
Today the good people at Wired Sussex are putting on their annual careers and skills fair at the Brighton Corn Exchange from 12pm – 8pm. This is well worth attending for anyone looking to further their digital media career, improve their contact list or if you just want to wander around and wet your appetite.
Brighton has a thriving digital media scene, boasting over 750 different animation, video, games, web and technology companies. There’ll be a number of representatives from such companies promoting their job vacancies, as well as presentations and career advisors on hand to help with all your digital job woes.
Videos can create a lot of interest, gain inbound and outbound links and generate website traffic, however search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN are not yet able to read video content so a number of techniques must be employed in order to build a presence for your material.
The good guys and girl at Use8 put on this social media shindig down at the Albion Hotel on Thursday 12th February. I’ve been attending their conferences for nearly a year now and they improve every time, Gareth was attending the event for the first time and was inspired to attend further conferences by Use 8. These friendly and informative sessions are an excellent opportunity to stay ahead of the game and do some network schmoozing.
Jeff Ferguson has been a veteran in the marketing world since 1995 and is currently the director of online marketing at Napster, where he controls all online acquisitions and retention via online media, search engine marketing, affiliate and e-mail marketing. He has worked with nimble start-ups as well as major heavyweight companies such as Fortune 500’s and therefore knows both ends of the SEO spectrum expertly.