query

Google Has Planted A Siri Killer On The iPhone (GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-updates-its-iphone-search-app-2012-10

google updated search app

Google just released a new version of its search app for iPhones and iPads today.

Why offer an app when Google is baked into Apple’s Safari Web browser? Because search on mobile devices isn’t just about the Web—and it’s definitely not about typing out long search queries.

Apple recognized that when it bought Siri and integrated into the iPhone—and now Google wants to make sure it’s not left out.

Google’s refreshed app looks a lot like its built-in voice search app on Android phones, Google Now.

Users of the new Google search app are encourage to find what they’re looking for by speaking their query out loud. Overall, the voice recognition works well and provided accurate results, but most important of all, it’s quick.

Many iPhone users complain that Siri is slow.

Besides being able to answer basic questions like “What’s the weather,” Google users can also ask the app more advanced questions: Is my flight on time? Can you play a trailer of a new movie?

Of course, the answers are full of links to Google services like YouTube, and also look at users’ stored documents and calendar events.

The whole point is to keep users from wandering away from Google’s online universe.

The Google Search app is free and available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Here’s a video of the app in action:

Don’t Miss: Google Unveils A New Way To Compose In Gmail >

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Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 news No Comments

Who Made the Sculpture? [Video]

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5939288/answer-who-made-the-sculpture

Answer: Who Made the Sculpture?Daniel Russell knows how to find the answers to questions you can’t get to with a simple Google query. In his weekly Search Research column, Russell issues a search challenge, then follows up later in the week with his solution—using whatever search technology and methodology fits the bill. This week’s challenge: who made the sculpture?

I thought this was going to be a difficult search, but the Challengers proved me wrong! Most of you solved this in 1 to 3 minutes, which is a great time!

The I way solved this problem was via Video search.

Since this is a kinetic sculpture, I figured that I wasn’t the only one to take a video of this. I also thought that Image search might be a bit tricky. So, searching in Google Videos for [ flip animated sculpture airport ] leads quickly to an instantly recognizable video of “Cloud.”

Once you know its name you can find other lovely videos. This second video turns out to have all kinds of information, including a link in the comments field to the Troika website, and from there you can answer all of the questions. If we jump to their web page about the sculpture: (extracted from that page…)

Troika [who are: Eva Rucki, Conny Freyer, Sebastien Noe ] was commissioned by Artwise Curators to create a signature piece for the entrance of the new British Airways luxury lounges in Heathrow Terminal 5.

In response, we created ‘Cloud’, a five meter long digital sculpture whose surface is covered with 4638 flip-dots that can be individually addressed by a computer to animate the entire skin of the sculpture.

Flip-dots were conventionally used in the 70s and 80s to create signs in train-stations and airports. By audibly flipping between black and silver, the flip-dots create mesmerizing waves as they chase across the surface of Cloud. Reflecting its surrounding colours, the mechanical mass is transformed into an organic form that appears to come alive, shimmering and flirting with the onlookers that pass by.

The sculpture is located in Terminal 5 in the atrium hall that leads to the British Airways First Class Lounges.

The brief from British Airways was open and simple: create a signature piece that marks the entrance to the First Class Lounges and signifies the transition between the busy shopping floor and the calm and serenity of the lounges. Working from the idea of clouds and the contrast between the busy, hectic airport experience and the calm, luminous and ethereal world that we discover as we fly through this dense layer we came up with the basic metaphor, atmosphere and form of the installation.

…one of our inspirations came from the old electromagnetic flip-dots that were used in railway and airport signs from the mid 70s. Those signs, with their characteristic flicking noise that instantly invokes the idea of travel, represent to us a golden age of technology when analogue and digital started to merge…

More info: http://troika.uk.com/cloud

Search Lessons: I have to admit that there were many, many different ways to solve this problem.

Here are some of the successful queries that searchers used:

[ airport terminal sculpture aluminium ]
[ airport hanging electronic sculpture ]
[ mirror sculpture airport ]
[ airport sculpture flipping discs ]
[ airport sculpture silver discs ]

Clearly, having the search terms “airport” and “sculpture” in the query was important. How you described the kinetic aspect or the makeup of the discs (mirror, aluminum, flipping) all led to the same places.

But the lesson is clear: Use the information you have as a base, and then vary the descriptive terms as a way to zero in on what you’re looking for. You KNOW that it’s a sculpture in an airport—but you don’t know how someone might write about the flipping discs. (Would they say “disks” or “circles” or “flipdots” or…)

And finally, kudos to everyone who listened to the sound and figured out it was British Air. I’m impressed. I was there, and it wasn’t clear that *I* understood what they were saying! Great sleuthing!

Search on!

Answer: What is the mysterious sculpture? | SearchReSearch


Daniel M. Russell studies the way people search and research—an anthropologist of search, if you will. You can read more from Russell on his SearchReSearch blog, and stay tuned for his weekly challenges (and answers) here on Lifehacker.

Photo by Phillie Casablanca.

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Thursday, August 30th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Google’s New Indexing System Is Fully Caffeinated

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5559015/googles-new-indexing-system-is-fully-caffeinated

Google's New Indexing System Is Fully CaffeinatedGoogle’s latest web indexing system, the tool that pre-scans the entire web to have a ready answer to your search query, promises “50 percent fresher results for web searches.” It’s called Caffeine. And it comes with staggering Google search stats.

The main difference with Caffeine is that, rather than search one entire group of sites (represented in that lead graphic as a layer), then another, less prioritized group of sites, then yet another less prioritized group of sites, everything with the Caffeine algorithm is pretty much indexed constantly. Teased for several months now, Caffeine is the sort of update Google needs to follow the pace of searching services like Twitter. And indeed, Google will need to maintain/continue such innovations to keep up—our world is translated from analog to digital in more, quicker ways every day.

So now for those wicked Google stats:

• Every second Caffeine processes hundreds of thousands of pages in parallel.
• If this were a pile of paper it would grow three miles taller every second
• Caffeine takes up nearly 100 million gigabytes of storage in one database
• Caffeine adds new information at a rate of hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day.
• You would need 625,000 of the largest iPods to store that much information
• If these iPods were stacked end-to-end they would go for more than 40 miles.

[Google]

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Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 digital 1 Comment

Aardvark Publishes A Research Paper Offering Unprecedented Insights Into Social Search

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/IMDRrISRf-8/

In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin published a paper[PDF] titled Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Search Engine, in which they outlined the core technology behind Google and the theory behind PageRank. Now, twelve years after that paper was published, the team behind social search engine Aardvark has drafted its own research paper that looks at the social side of search. Dubbed Anatomy of a Large-Scale Social Search Engine, the paper has just been accepted to WWW2010, the same conference where the classic Google paper was published.

Aardvark will be posting the paper in its entirety on its official blog at 9 AM PST, and they gave us the chance to take a sneak peek at it. It’s an interesting read to say the least, outlining some of the fundamental principles that could turn Aardvark and other social search engines into powerful complements to Google and its ilk. The paper likens Aardvark to a ‘Village’ search model, where answers come from the people in your social network; Google is part of ‘Library’ search, where the answers lie in already-written texts. The paper is well worth reading in its entirety (and most of it is pretty accessible), but here are some key points:

  • On traditional search engines like Google, the ‘long-tail’ of information can be acquired with the use of very thorough crawlers. With Aardvark, a breadth of knowledge is totally reliant on how many knowledgeable users are on the service. This leads Aardvark to conclude that “the strategy for increasing the knowledge base of Aardvark crucially involves creating a good experience for users so that they remain active and are inclined to invite their friends”. This will likely be one of Aardvark’s greatest challenges.
  • Beyond asking you about the topics you’re most familiar with, Aardvark will actually look at your past blog posts, existing online profiles, and tweets to identify what topics you know about.
  • If you seem to know about a topic and your friends do too, the system assumes you’re more knowledgeable than if you were the only one in a group of friends to know about that topic.
  • Aardvark concludes that while the amount of trust users place in information on engines like Google is related to a source website’s authority, the amount they trust a source on Aardvark is based on intimacy, and how they’re connected to the person giving them information
  • Some parts of the search process are actually easier for Aardvark’s technology than they are for traditional search engines. On Google, when you type in a query, the engine has to pair you up with exact websites that hold the answer to your query. On Aardvark, it only has to pair you with a person who knows about the topic — it doesn’t have to worry about actually finding the answer, and can be more flexible with how the query is worded.
  • As of October 2009, Aardvark had 90,361 users, of whom 55.9% had created content (asked or answered a question). The site’s average query volume was 3,167.2 questions per day, with the median active user asking 3.1 questions per month. Interestingly, mobile users are more active than desktop users. The Aardvark team attributes this to users wanting quick, short answers on their phones without having to dig for anything. They also think people are more used to using more natural language patterns on their phones.
  • The average query length was 18.6 words (median of 13) versus 2.2-2.9 words on a standard search engine.  Some of this difference comes from the more natural language people use (with words like “a”, “the”, and “if”).  It’s also because people tend to add more context to their queries, with the knowledge that it will be read by a human and will likely lead to a better answer.
  • 98.1% of questions asked on Aardvark were unique, compared with between 57 and 63% on traditional search engines.
  • 87.7% of questions submitted were answered, and nearly 60% of them were answered within 10 minutes.  The median answering time was 6 minutes and 37 seconds, with the average question receiving two answers.  70.4% of answers were deemed to be ‘good’, with 14.1% as ‘OK’ and 15.5% were rated as bad.
  • 86.7% of Aardvark users had been asked by Aardvark to answer a question, of whom 70% actually looked at the question and 38% could answer.  50% of all members had answered a question (including 75% of all users who had ever actually interacted with the site), though 20% of users accounted for 85% of answers.
Information provided by CrunchBase


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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 digital No Comments

lift in search due to paid TV advertising

List of 2009 Superbowl spots on AdAge.com

http://adage.com/superbowl09/article?article_id=134136

Lift in search is a great indicator of interest. Modern consumers may be inspired by TV ads, but they usually go online to do more research for themselves, to inform their own purchase decision. The following examples show the lift in search after Superbowl commercials or for launch of products like Subway Footlongs. The use of unique, made-up words makes it easier to detect lift in search (see related post: made up words are great for tracking buzz and search volume ). There is now a correlation between offline paid advertising and online behaviors of modern consumers that can be tracked and ultimately related to sales.

What is harder to do is track lift in search from smaller TV media buys or from terms which are generic — e.g. American Express OPEN, Proctor & Gamble’s TAG (men’s deoorant), etc. And furthermore, people may or may not remember the brand name itself and may type in a more general search query — e.g. “talking baby” instead of” e-Trade” or “dancing lizards” instead of “SoBe LifeWater.” And most people usually forget to type in special URLs specified in the ads. So the opportunity is to 1) use made-up words which can be used to detect lift in search and 2) search-optimize around other more generic terms that people may search for if they remembered the ad, but did not remember the brand name itself.

key learnings include:

1. only the superbowl TV ads generates enough awareness to drive lift in search volume detectable above the noise or normal levels

2. made up words are useful in correlating paid advertising and subsequent online actions (e.g. search) because most users forget or are too lazy to type special URLs

3. is is always better to have real analytics from the site to see when paid campaigns hit; site analytics will also reveal more information about users including demographic information, what they are looking for, and even whether they “convert” to a sale or a desired action — like print off a coupon, etc.

Notice the January spikes for several of the examples below — these are their Superbowl ads in action. But also notice how sharp the spikes are — most of them go back to prior levels within 1 – 3 days (see related post: the ephemerality of the Superbowl halo )

Source: Google Insights for Search

footlongs

jackinthebox

dennys

ecoimagination

godaddy1

lifewater

drinkability

etrade

cash4gold

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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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