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  • Gerrit Eicker 11:29 on 17. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Gastronomy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Search Engines, , , , , , , , ,   

    Local Business 

    Pew: The Internet is the source that people most rely on for material about local businesses; http://eicker.at/LocalBusiness

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:29 on 17. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Where people get information about restaurants and other local businesses – The internet is the source that people most rely on for material about the local business scene and search engines are particularly valued. Newspapers and word of mouth also rank high as sources. … The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from January 12 to 25, 2011, among a sample of 2,251 adults, age 18 and older.”

      Pew: “People looking for information about local restaurants and other businesses say they rely on the internet, especially search engines, ahead of any other source.Newspapers, both printed copies and the websites of newspaper companies, run second behind the internet as the source that people rely on for news and information about local businesses, including restaurants and bars. – And word of mouth, particularly among non-internet users, is also an important source of information about local businesses. … 51% turn to the internet, including: search engines (38% rely on them), specialty websites (17% rely on them), social media (3% rely on social networking sites or Twitter) … People who seek out information and news about local businesses and restaurants are a diverse and somewhat upscale group. As distinct populations, they are more likely to live in relatively well-off households – those earning $75,000 or more – and have college educations. – In addition, the 55% of adults who get information about restaurants, bars, and clubs are more likely to be women, young adults, urban, and technology adopters. – The 60% of adults who get information about other local businesses are also more likely to be tech users.”

      Pew: “The 55% of all adults who get information about restaurants, bars, and clubs are disproportionately young, female, tech adaptive and upscale in educational attainment, urban. … Those who get news and information about local restaurants, bars, and clubs are also likely to be avid local news consumers who enjoy following the local scene, pay for local news in some form, and use multiple platforms to get the local information. … Those who are heavy local news junkies are considerably more likely than others to get material about local restaurants. We asked people about their use of 14 different kinds of sources to get local news and their frequency of using those platforms. When it comes to restaurant information, 71% of those who used at least six platforms monthly got news and information about local restaurants, compared with 34% of those who relied on just one or two sources.”

      Pew: “Those who get information about local businesses that are not tied to eating or socializing are a diverse and somewhat upscale group. Those who get this information are more likely to have college or advanced degrees, live in relatively high-earning households, use the internet and own cell phones. They are not distinct by gender or race and ethnicity. … They are also likely to be local news and information junkies. Those who get news and information from at least six different local news platforms monthly are considerably more likely than others to get material about local businesses. … Those mobile consumers were also more likely than others to get material about local businesses: 65% of mobile local news consumers got information about local businesses, compared with 55% of others.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:22 on 29. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 1998, , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Local, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Methodology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , Search Engines, , Timeline, Universal Search, , ,   

    Google Search 

    Google: Another look under the hood of searchthe evolution of Google Search; http://eicker.at/GoogleSearch

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:23 on 29. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Over the past few years, we’ve released a series of blog posts to share the methodology and process behind our search ranking, evaluation and algorithmic changes. Just last month, Ben Gomes, Matt Cutts and I participated in a Churchill Club event where we discussed how search works and where we believe it’s headed in the future. – Beyond our talk and various blog posts, we wanted to give people an even deeper look inside search, so we put together a short video that gives you a sense of the work that goes into the changes and improvements we make to Google almost every day. While an improvement to the algorithm may start with a creative idea, it always goes through a process of rigorous scientific testing. Simply put: if the data from our experiments doesn’t show that we’re helping users, we won’t launch the change. … In the world of search, we’re always striving to deliver the answers you’re looking for. After all, we know you have a choice of a search engine every time you open a browser. As the Internet becomes bigger, richer and more interactive it means that we have to work that much harder to ensure we’re unearthing and displaying the best results for you.

      Google: “Following up on our video on how we make improvements to search, we wanted to share with you a short history of the evolution of search, highlighting some of the most important milestones from the past decade-and a taste of what’s coming next. – Our goal is to get you to the answer you’re looking for faster and faster, creating a nearly seamless connection between your questions and the information you seek. For those of you looking to deepen your understanding of how search has evolved, this video highlights some important trends like universal results, quick answers and the future of search. – For more information, go to Google.com/insidesearch

      SEL: “Google released a short video today highlighting some of its key milestones in search over the past decade. It’s both a fun blast from the past and a worthwhile reminder of how much things have changed over the years. The video is also a nice follow-on to the look under the hood of search that Google released in August.”

      TC: “One anecdote centers on the attacks of September 11: in the wake of the attacks, many people were searching for ‘New York Twin Towers’ and related queries as they attempted to get the latest news – only to find that Google’s index didn’t have any relevant news stories because it was weeks old (Danny Sullivan has written more about this failure). Google’s quick-fix was to post links to relevant news articles on its homepage, and its stumble eventually led to the launch of Google News.

      ATD: “So, what would be a hard query that Google wants to answer in the future? Complex questions that take reasoning, says Google Fellow Amit Singhal. ‘In my ideal world, I would be able to walk up to a computer and say, ‘Hey, what is the best time for me to sow seeds in India, given that monsoon was early this year?’‘ Singhal says in the video.”

      RWW: “4 Big Trends in the Evolution of Google SearchUniveral Search – Google’s introduction of universal search in 2007 was the beginning of a trend away from separating Web search results by type and toward putting it all in one place. … Google Goes Mobile and Local – Before long, Google was deep into the business of local commerce. With the rise of Android, Google had an end-to-end business of finding location-based results for local businesses, restaurants and destinations. … Google Search and Time – Google has changed the impact of time on search, as well as place. It has tweaked the way timeliness of content appears in search multiple times, and its latest update calculates when a search is probably looking for recent results rather than historical ones. … Google+: Google’s New Identity – Identity is the final piece of the puzzle. Google has personalized results for a while using Web history and sharing data. But with the launch of Google+, Google has introduced a form of social SEO. Social activity is now a fundamental part of how search results appear for users logged into Google’s ubiquitous Web services.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:14 on 4. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Business Practices, , , , , , , , Debiasing, , Economic Incentives, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Replication, , , , Search Bias, Search Engine Bias, Search Engines, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Search Engine Bias 

    Does Google favour its own sites in search results? New study: Google less biased than Bing; http://eicker.at/SearchEngineBias

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:14 on 4. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      SEL: “Does Google favor its own sites in search results, as many critics have claimed? Not necessarily. New research suggests that claims that Google is ‘biased’ are overblown, and that Google’s primary competitor, Microsoft’s Bing, may actually be serving Microsoft-related results ‘far more’ often than Google links to its own services in search results. – In an analysis of a large, random sample of search queries, the study from Josh Wright, Professor of Law and Economics at George Mason University, found that Bing generally favors Microsoft content more frequently, and far more prominently, than Google favors its own content. According to the findings, Google references its own content in its first results position in just 6.7% of queries, while Bing provides search result links to Microsoft content more than twice as often (14.3%). … The findings of the new study are in stark contrast with a study on search engine ‘bias’ released earlier this year. That study, conducted by Harvard professor Ben Edelman concluded that ‘by comparing results across multiple search engines, we provide prima facie evidence of bias; especially in light of the anomalous click-through rates we describe above, we can only conclude that Google intentionally places its results first.’ … So, what conclusions to draw? Wright says that ‘analysis finds that own-content bias is a relatively infrequent phenomenon’ – meaning that although Microsoft appears to favor its own sites more often than Google, it’s not really a major issue, at least in terms of ‘bias’ or ‘fairness’ of search results that the engines present. Reasonable conclusion: Google [and Bing, though less so] really are trying to deliver the best results possible, regardless of whether they come from their own services [local search, product search, etc] or not. … But just because a company has grown into a dominant position doesn’t mean they’re doing wrong, or that governments should intervene and force changes that may or may not be “beneficial” to users or customers.

      Edelman/Lockwood: “By comparing results between leading search engines, we identify patterns in their algorithmic search listings. We find that each search engine favors its own services in that each search engine links to its own services more often than other search engines do so. But some search engines promote their own services significantly more than others. We examine patterns in these differences, and we flag keywords where the problem is particularly widespread. Even excluding ‘rich results’ (whereby search engines feature their own images, videos, maps, etc.), we find that Google’s algorithmic search results link to Google’s own services more than three times as often as other search engines link to Google’s services. For selected keywords, biased results advance search engines’ interests at users’ expense: We demonstrate that lower-ranked listings for other sites sometimes manage to obtain more clicks than Google and Yahoo’s own-site listings, even when Google and Yahoo put their own links first. … Google typically claims that its results are ‘algorithmically-generated’, ‘objective’, and ‘never manipulated.’ Google asks the public to believe that algorithms rule, and that no bias results from its partnerships, growth aspirations, or related services. We are skeptical. For one, the economic incentives for bias are overpowering: Search engines can use biased results to expand into new sectors, to grant instant free traffic to their own new services, and to block competitors and would-be competitors. The incentive for bias is all the stronger because the lack of obvious benchmarks makes most bias would be difficult to uncover. That said, by comparing results across multiple search engine, we provide prima facie evidence of bias; especially in light of the anomalous click-through rates we describe above, we can only conclude that Google intentionally places its results first.”

      ICLE: “A new report released [PDF] by the International Center for Law und Economics and authored by Joshua Wright, Professor of Law and Economics at George Mason University, critiques, replicates, and extends the study, finding Edelman und Lockwood’s claim of Google’s unique bias inaccurate and misleading. Although frequently cited for it, the Edelman und Lockwod study fails to support any claim of consumer harm – or call for antitrust action – arising from Google’s practices.Prof. Wright’s analysis finds own-content bias is actually an infrequent phenomenon, and Google references its own content more favorably than other search engines far less frequently than does Bing: In the replication of Edelman und Lockwood, Google refers to its own content in its first page of results when its rivals do not for only 7.9% of the queries, whereas Bing does so nearly twice as often (13.2%). – Again using Edelman und Lockwood’s own data, neither Bing nor Google demonstrates much bias when considering Microsoft or Google content, respectively, referred to on the first page of search results. – In our more robust analysis of a large, random sample of search queries we find that Bing generally favors Microsoft content more frequently-and far more prominently-than Google favors its own content. – Google references own content in its first results position when no other engine does in just 6.7% of queries; Bing does so over twice as often (14.3%). – The results suggest that this so-called bias is an efficient business practice, as economists have long understood, and consistent with competition rather than the foreclosure of competition. One necessary condition of the anticompetitive theories of own-content bias raised by Google’s rivals is that the bias must be sufficient in magnitude to exclude rival search engines from achieving efficient scale. A corollary of this condition is that the bias must actually be directed toward Google’s rivals. That Google displays less own-content bias than its closest rival, and that such bias is nonetheless relatively infrequent, demonstrates that this condition is not met, suggesting that intervention aimed at ‘debiasing’ would likely harm, rather than help, consumers.”

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