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Google Personalization and New Search Features: help or hindrance?



Presentation given to the Norwegian Association of Special Libraries (NFF) in Trondheim, 1st November 2010

Presentation given to the Norwegian Association of Special Libraries (NFF) in Trondheim, 1st November 2010



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  • 01/11/10 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • 01/11/10 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • 01/11/10 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009

Google Personalization and New Search Features: help or hindrance? Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Google personalization and new search features: help or hindrance? Karen Blakeman, RBA Information Services NFF, 1st November 2010 This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
  • 2.
    • Email: [email_address]
    • Web site: http://www.rba.co.uk/
    • Blog: http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/
    • Twitter: http://twitter.com/karenblakeman
    • Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karenblakeman
    • Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/karenblakeman
    • authorSTREAM http://www.authorstream.com/User-Presentations/karenblakeman/
    • LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karenblakeman
    • or just Google “Karen Blakeman”
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 3. Themes for this session
    • New search features
    • How does Google personalise search and results?
    • Can you control what Google is doing?
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 4. Where are you?
    • IP address location ( not mobile geo-location)
    • Unless you tell it to do otherwise, Google present s you with what it thinks is the relevant country version e.g. google.co.uk, google.no
      • “ local” content is given priority and more emphasis
      • search features vary from one country to another, especially new services e.g.Google Instant
      • Access to some non-Google sites and information blocked to those outside of local “region/area” e.g. BBC iPlayer
      • Location/Country not always correct
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 5. Learn How Google Works: in Gory Detail
    • http://www.ppcblog.com/how-google-works/
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk Already out of date!!
  • 6. Schmidt: Listing Google’s 200 Ranking Factors Would Reveal Business Secrets
    • http://searchengineland.com/schmidt-listing-googles-200-ranking-factors-would-reveal-business-secrets-51065
    • Here are just a few
      • search term in HTML title tag, header tags, URL
      • search term in anchor text leading to page
      • terms in content near the top of the page
      • frequency of search terms in the page
      • Page Rank of a page, authority of the entire domain
      • speed of web site
      • country version of Google
      • the server carrying out your search
      • searching for company, person, hot topic
      • what you have searched and clicked on before
      • semantic search
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 7.
    • Is your web history on? Switched on for everyone by default
    • Google adjusts search results according to past page views
    • Stored in cookies so browser and machine specific
    • See: Personalized Search for everyone http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/personalized-search-for-everyone.html
    Google web history 1 November 2010 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk
  • 8. Google first page results 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk Results from Google News & blogs Latest results - rolling feed of headlines from Twitter, blogs, discussions
  • 9. Google first page results 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk Images Wikipedia article Blog posting listing videos YouTube video Results from my “social circle”: Twitter, RSS feeds, FriendFeed, Google Wave contacts etc.
  • 10. Google results – a person 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk Latest results. Rolling feed of headlines from Twitter, blogs, discussions About/CV page LinkedIn profile Slideshare profile
  • 11. Google results - person 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk Blogger profile Twitter profile Yasni profile Mashed Library wiki activity Facebook profile
  • 12. Google social search
    • Included in your search results if you are signed in to your Google account - maybe
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 13. Google social search 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 14. Your social circle 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk List of direct and secondary connections
  • 15. Your social circle – social content 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 16. Google side bar 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 17. Google sidebar (more search options) 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk Google.co.uk suddenly lost Social search and location Google. no (Trondheim) – has location option Google.co.uk 3 weeks ago: Social and Location
  • 18. Google Realtime
    • http://www.google.com/realtime
    • Said to search Twitter, Facebook, news, blogs but Twitter dominates
    • “ Anytime” loses sort by date/time and timeline
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 19. Google Instant
    • Coming to a Google near you (depends on country, browser, platform)
    • Already the default on Google.com
    • On Google.co.uk if you are signed in to your Google account
    • Tries to predict what you are searching for as you type and changes results accordingly
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 20. Yahoo was there in 2005... 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 21. 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
      • http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2010/09/09/google-instant-display-results-as-you-type/
      • Karen Blakeman's Blog: Seriously irritating things about Google Instant
      • http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2010/09/10/seriously-irritating-things-about-google-instant/
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 22. Turning off Instant Search and suggestions
    • Turn both Google suggestions and Instant search off type http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=0&hl=en 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: http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=1&instant=0&hl=en
    • Turn both services back on: http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=1&instant=1&hl=en
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 23. Starred results
    • Starred results – need to signed in to a Google account
    • http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/stars-make-search-more-personal.html
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk 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
  • 24. A feature that still annoys me...
    • Automatically looks for variations on a term
    • Force exact match by preceding term with a plus sign or using double quote marks around the word or phrase
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 25. 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 26.
    • Thanks to Even Flood for this example in GS on exploration of the Norne oil field
    • GS unhelpfully looks for Horne as well!
    • No cached version to quickly show where or if original search terms occur in the document
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 27. Images 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 28. Images 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 29. Similar images 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 30. Images - colour
    • Only one colour can be selected
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 31. Images – creative commons, public domain
    • Google advanced image search - use the pull down menu under usage rights
    • Public domain
      • carry out your search in the image search bar and when the results appear on screen add &as_rights=cc_publicdomain to the end of the string in the URL/address bar of your browser
      • but may not be really in the public domain – cheque the web site hosting the photo
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 32. Images – Google Swirl
    • Image Swirl in Google Labs
    • http://image-swirl.googlelabs.com/
    • Google experiments with Image Swirl
      • http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2009/11/19/google-experiments-with-image-swirl/
    • Seems to concentrate on patterns and shapes rather than colours
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 33. Images – Google Swirl 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 34. Google Public Data Explorer
    • http://www.google.com/publicdata/
    • See review at http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2010/03/27/google-public-data-explorer-fine-as-far-as-it-goes/ - getting better
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 35. Google Squared 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 36. Fusion Tables
    • http://www.google.com/fusiontables/
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 37. Fusion Tables 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 38. Fusion Tables 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 39. What Google knows about you?
    • Do you have a Google account - gmail, maps, Docs ?
    • Do you know which Google services and products you are using?
    • Do you know if you have made that information private or left it public?
      • many of Google’s services and applications are public by default
    • Check your dashboard
      • “ What Google knows about you(1): check your dashboard”
        • http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2010/06/24/what-google-knows-about-you1-check-your-dashboard /
      • sign in to your Google account
      • http://www.google.com/dashboard
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 40. Google dashboard 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 41. Google dashboard 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 42. Google dashboard 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 43. Google dashboard 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 44. Google Health 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 45. Google Health 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 46. Google dashboard 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 47. Google dashboard 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 48. Google dashboard 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk Used to purchase Google Adwords on 2 occasions
  • 49. Google dashboard 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk “ 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. “ ??
  • 50. Check your ad preferences
    • So you don’t have ad preferences?
    • Check out http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/
    • 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
    • Sometimes extends to determining content
    • 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
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 51. Ad preferences 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk ??
  • 52. Google ad preferences in action 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 53. Google ad preferences in action 01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 54. Google Labs
    • http://labs.google.com/
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk
  • 55. Keeping up to date
    • Google has dozens of blogs
      • http://www.google.com/press/blogs/directory.html
      • main one is Official Google Blog http://googleblog.blogspot.com/
    • Google Blogoscoped
      • http://blogoscoped.com/
    • Search Engine Land: Must Read News About Search Marketing & Search Engines
      • http://searchengineland.com/
    • Karen Blakeman’s Blog
      • http://www.rba.co.uk/workpress/
    • Phil Bradley's weblog
      • http://philbradley.typepad.com/
    01/11/10 www.rba.co.uk