16 posts categorized "Google public search"

October 05, 2010

Google plans to make display ads as crucial as search advertisements

Google executives claimed that display ads will become as crucial to its business as search advertisements are during the keynote session of a international interactive advertising awards competition. They predicted that "smart and sexy" rich media ads will make the static ad banner become a thing of the past, and that in five years the online display market will grow from $20 billion to a $50 billion business, 75% of ads will be "social" (meaning that people can comment on them), and that people will be able to subscribe to them (receive notices when similar ads are available to watch).

Caroline McCarthy in Google: We're too sexy for your search talks about how Google is "unapologetically and enthusiastically optimistic about this space." Amiri Efrati in Google Wants to Make Online Display Ads ‘Sexy’ and Mike Shields in Google Sees 'Smart and Sexy' Future for Banner Ads describe a TrueView ad format for Youtube. Its designed to give viewers the option to skip an ad (after 5 seconds) that they don't want to watch, and to chose from multiple ads which one they want to watch (similar to Hulu). They will alter creative elements of an ad in real-time, depending on factors like the viewers location, the web sites content, and the time of day. Advertisers will only pay if a user decided to view their ad.

A YouTube executive stated that while television networks generally make more money by showing more ads, online video will reverse that trend. Google also predicted that 50% of all targeted ads will use a real time bidding system. In their case they will use technology from last years purchase of ad company Teracent .

September 08, 2010

Google Instant: Predictive queries

Google today announced a pretty cool capability that looks like instant results - as you type letters in the search box, the results show up immediately. I've liked this capability in Outlook for a while: in fact, sometimes I have found myself typing a query in Google Mail and waiting for results that never show up until I press Enter.

Actually, the new capability is based on predicting what the query will be, and displaying the results (and ads) for the words Google thinks you'll want. Try this query shown during today's announcement on YouTube:

Type the letters N and Y: Given those two letters, Google predicts that you will type 'Times' next, so it displays the results for the New York Times. However, if you were to hit Enter rather than Tab (to complete ther predictive query), you get a different set of results.

One thing that may impact SEO guys: as you type, the pay-to-click ads you see change along with the results.

Predictive entry is probably much easier to build than returning results based on a single initial letter. Still the guys at Google have done another pretty cool capability. Ajax again shows how useful it can be!

What was kind of funny was a quote they used more than a few times in the announcement: 'Never underestimate fast'. Well said...

August 27, 2010

There's an Ant on your Southwest Leg!

The WSJ has an interesting article on how language effects how we think.  I particularly liked the example of a indigenous language where anything you discuss involves absolute cardinal directions (north, south, east, west etc.). You literally can't say "There is an ant on one of your legs". Instead you say something like "There's an ant on your southwest leg." To say hello you'd ask "Where are you going?", and an appropriate response might be, "A long way to the south-southwest. How about you?" If you don't know which way is which, you literally can't get past hello. 

Dr. Kevin Lim reviewed Search Engine Society , a book which explores the effect search engines have on politics, culture and economics. He is not your typical reviewer since he also mentioned in the book, due to his recording a large part of his life using cameras (one he wears, another at his desk points at him) while a GPS device tracks his movements.

Google throws its weight behind Voice Search by Stephen Lawson discusses how voice search is based on statistical models of what sequences of words are most likely to occur, and how they train a new language model. Another example of that would be Midomi , a web site where you search for music by singing a fragment of the song. 

Multilingual Search Engine Breaks Language Barriers discusses how the the UNL Society uses the pivot language UNL to return a precise answer in the language in which the question was formulated. This seems to be still a research project, with some related projects such as LACE trying to extract data from parallel corpora as a cheaper way to populate a lexical database.

XBRL Across The Language Divide by Jennifer Zaino discusses how XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) may be one of the few areas that benefits from the Monnet project , which attempts to "provide a semantics-based solution for accessing information across language barriers". It tries to "build software that breaks the link between conceptual information and linguistic expressions (the labels that point back to concepts in ontologies) for each language." When that works, it makes it easier and quicker to perform analytics across multiple languages.

The Cross-Language Evaluation Forum (CLEF) is working on infrastructure for testing, tuning and evaluation of systems that retrieve information in European languages, and benchmarks to help test it. One of its papers for example, compares lexical and algorithmetic stemming in 9 languages using Hummingbird SearchServer

August 19, 2010

Microsoft has a ways to go in search...

So I discovered an article on a Microsoft forum today where someone was asking about the differences between the different versions of enterprise search. I posted a reply, with some link suggestions and a pointer to a previous posting here on our own blog.

Now, because of all the work we do with Microsoft's FAST product, some people think we see no wrong in Redmond. Well, read on.

A few minutes later, I wanted to go back and re-read the original posting; but, try as I might, I was unable to find the posting on the Microsoft forum search. The original question had a number of relatively unique terms, so I tried again. And again. No luck anywhere on the Microsoft MSDN site.

(By the wait, it sometimes took up to 30 seconds to get a result back- something on the system social.msdn.microsoft.com takes forever. But the search itself, when it came back, reported it only took 0.2 seconds' so i felt much better. NOT. I noticed that if I hit the 'Search' button again in frustration after a long wait, the result came back immediately. Someone at Microsoft needs to be looking at this!)

I went back to the Google public site and, by using a bunch of unique terms, found the original post. My search? fs4sp fs14 fsis fsia reference. Only one document comes back even in Google, which may be a record.

The same search on the Microsoft forums returns ZERO hits - ironic since the document is posted on the Microsoft discussion forum. Bing returns a Japanese language page; and, to no surprise, Yahoo returns the same page. Both, by the way, are an HTTP error 403 page.

So it looks like Microsoft has its work cut out for it in the public-facing web search arena: If it cannot locate a posting (from April!) on its own forums, how can it hope to compete with Google?

August 02, 2010

Some of Yahoo's most valuable assets might switch to Google Search

Yahoo Japan is one of Yahoo's most valuable assets , but it is not fully owned by Yahoo and is not obligated by Yahoo's recent agreement with Microsoft to use Bing. There are a lot of posts about Google trying to reach an agreement with Yahoo Japan but the best one seems to be this one by Kara Swisher.  If they reach an agreement, Google would essentially control the Japanese search market.

The Alibaba Group owns Yahoo's name in China, and is partially owned by Yahoo. Its currently using Yahoos' search technology, but is also free to switch if it wants to. Yahoo Japan has partnered with Taobao (China's top ecommerce website and a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group) to list over eight million items in a Chinese-language TaoJapan section. That might cause a ripple effect if Yahoo Japan switches.

Yahoo Japan is very different from what somebody in the USA is used to. Its very localized , with what a non-Japanese would consider a very cluttered site. Even Google (in Japan) has customized its sparse splash page and added links to numerous services to try to cater to Japanese users. Yahoo Japan scans passerby's and puts personalized content on billboards . Supposedly the install CD from most Japanese ISPs sets the home page to Yahoo Japan, and few users bother to change it. Cheap 100Mbps residential broadband with a IP phone is also fairly standard. Why Yahoo! is more popular than Google in Japan has some more details.

May 25, 2010

Google and TV: "prevening" on the Bing Bang Theory

When a popular TV show mentions an odd word, there's a tendency for people to look it up online and/or blog about it.

Our staff likes "The Big Bang Theory". One of the characters mentions the term "prevening" referring to the time between mid afternoon and the early evening.

When I first heard the term:

  • Mon 5/24/2010, 10:49pm PDT
  • Google shows 7,000 hits
  • including an entry Urban Dictionary from 2008

When watching a rerun of a different episode this evening, I remembered this post and went back to check:

  • Mon 7/19/10 11:04pm PDT
  • Google shows 96,000 hits
  • more than a 10x increase, pretty cool

Some years later, reviewing old blog posts, checked again:

  • Thu 5/23/2013 17:13 PDT
  • Google shows 95,800 hits
  • With 0.2 % of reading 3 years ago, so I'll call it quiescent

I had another more colorful entry from the Jay Leno show, but apparently too off color for our blog.  :-(