Have you ever found it a bit irksome trying to work out what the deal is with a newly discovered Twitter user? Okay, so you can see their bio, and their most recent tweets, but this may not tell you much about the actual people with whom they’re associated.
One of the most interesting Twitter tricks I’ve found in some time is what I’m calling the Google Twitter Connectivity Snapshot. The idea works courtesy of Google’s Advanced Search, and can provide a quick insight into a Twitter user’s sphere of activity. True, you can read the user’s bio and look at the tweets or retweets on their profile page, but that often gives quite a self-conscious sense of who the person is. Sometimes, it’s more revealing to see what kind of people connect with them, and take a peep at some of the connections. Continue reading Google’s Twitter Connectivity Snapshot→
It’s a pretty simple matter, right? You’ve put tags on your blog posts, and now you want to delete them. Well actually, it’s nothing like as simple as it sounds, and it could cause you major problems. But before we delve into all that, why would anyone want to delete tags?… Continue reading The Dangers of Deleting Tags on a Blog→
Google has now been the King of Search for about a decade and a half, and most people envisage that the organisation’s supremacy cannot be challenged. However, Google’s basic foundations are now old, and well out of date. Although the Mighty G has continued to tackle attempts to game its system over time, we’re now close to the end of the road. The key problems with Google Search are no longer about controlling spam tactics per se. They’re about the fact that Google is a machine, using an outdated concept, whilst the Internet is increasingly human, and behaves very differently from the way it behaved 20 years ago. Continue reading Google Search Now Has Limited Lifespan→
Imagine Google with just seven Twitter Followers. Imagine the official Twitter account with just one follower… Well, you don’t need to imagine, because we’re going on a journey back through time to revisit those very scenarios, in a pictorial history of Twitter’s rise to micro-blogging stardom. Continue reading The Rise of Twitter – in Pictures→
Privacy protection has become a big factor in the realm of smaller search engines. It’s one way in which an otherwise unremarkable site can compete with the most accomplished and spectacular in the world. If users fear serious privacy breaches enough, they’ll seek out a search engine which professes not to store any of their data, and in the wake of media stories about mass government surveillance, that’s exactly what’s been happening.
But is privacy protection a real commitment on the part of the search providers involved, or is it just a gimmick? If one of the search businesses currently trading on privacy were to grow to the size of Google, would it maintain its values, or would it quietly throw that privacy commitment out of the window and start mining data, just like everyone else?…
How strange it is to zip back through the years and revisit old articles from the 1990s – their writers referring to Google as the “The new search engine, Google.com”, and scratching their heads as to how the company was ever going to make any money. The scene, when Google first arrived, was awash with search brands such as AltaVista, Yahoo!, Lycos, Excite, Infoseek, WebCrawler, Hotbot, Dogpile, a host of others, and significantly as regards the future of Google, a new player by the name of GoTo. Continue reading Retrospective: How Google Monopolised The Search Market→
Google is so simple… IF you want what everyone else wants. The world’s favourite search engine has made its fortune second-guessing every phrase you type into it. No matter what you actually want, Google will use its giant, virtual brain to make a judgement on what most people would want, and then give you that content. By default, Google doesn’t simply search for what you type. It searches for what it thinks you mean.
This is actually a huge problem, because whilst for very typical searches, most of the time Google will be right; for more unusual searches, it’s likely to be wrong a high proportion of the time. And not just wrong – very wrong. Continue reading How To Find EVERYTHING on the Internet→