Magazine article Online

Search Engine Update

Magazine article Online

Search Engine Update

Article excerpt

Ask announced that it will cease building its own web database in order to focus on Q&A. It will outsource search. It closed its China and New Jersey offices, laying off 130 people. You can now sign in using your Facebook or Linkedln account and can invite Facebook and Linkedln friends to join the Ask.com beta Q&A service. Bloglines, the RSS reader and former RSS search engine, will transition to being wholly run by MerchantCircle.

Bing partnered with Facebook to incorporate Facebook friends' information into search results. At Bing, logged-in Facebook users can click on a small Facebook icon in the upper right to "connect" to Facebook and see their friends' profile pictures and links to their Facebook pages at the top of results when searching friends' names. In addition, searchers will also occasionally see items within the results that have been "liked by your Facebook friends." To exclude such content from Bing searches, disconnect within Bing or log out of Facebook. Bing Translator has added Indonesian, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese to its language pairs.

Bing Maps introduces a public transit layer for 11 North American cities, with plans to expand to more. The bird's-eye and 3D views have also been improved.

Bing Social expanded its search results to include a Twitter User Recommendation section. For some searches, recommended Twitterers will be displayed on the right under the heading "Recommended Users on Twitter." This joins the other Social sections of Public Updates, Shared Links, and Trending Topics.

blekko launched its new search engine out of closed, private beta into a public beta version, blekko.com built its own database. Its search features have garnered more excitement than most new search engine launches. Most prominent is blekko's use of slashtags for limits, sorting, and opinion searching. A slashtag can be added to any search and starts with a "/." There are hundreds available, and registered users can create their own. Use /date to sort most recent results first; /bLogs and /forums to limit results to discussion content; /weather, /map, and /défi ne to show other specific content; and /conservative and /Libe ra L to retrieve webpages from one side or the other of the political spectrum. In addition to the slashtag capabilities, each of blekko's search results has links under the title to additional information about the page, including tagging, SEO data, links to the page, cached copy of the page, and the ability to tag a result as spam (if signed in). The SEO link connects to blekko's extensive information about a webpage, such as inbound links, crawl statistics, site pages, blekko's "hostrank" score, and duplicate content. The extensive information on ranking and linking reflects blekko's ideals (as described in its Web Search Bill of Rights) of openness, human involvement, accessibility of advanced search, community, privacy, and spam removal, blekko has a toolbar that provides access to its webpage data as a user browses the web.

Google finally changed its label for advertisements from "sponsored links" to "ads." In regular Google results, the "real-time" results (mostly Twitter updates) now display in a blue bar with a count of how many entries are available. Google Instant has been launched on more international versions (although sometimes only for signed-in users) and on more Google databases (Videos, News, Books, Blogs, Updates, and Discussions). …

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