Category Archives: Matt Cutts

Google experiments with Social Search

Google, Bing and Yahoo are all showing twitter content in their search results now but Google have taken things a step further with Google Social Search from Google Labs.

Matt Cutts explains how it works:

Note the emphasis that Matt places on the fact that all this data is already publically available!

Basically Google rounds up your social networking activity (such as Twitter, friend feed, blog subscriptions, picassa and so on) and spiders the hell out of it so it can return stuff from your friends and social connections in the search results pages of Google, if you are signed in to your Google account. Only you will see stuff from your network.

Google needs more caffeine

The official Google Webmaster Blog has released details of a major update to Google, code named “Caffeine.” Basically “Caffeine” is an update to the search engine’s code and although these happen quite frequently this large code update warrents a press release and a bit of hype in their book. Google claims only “power users” will really see the difference and are asking for their feedback on the new infrastructure from them. Currently the update is live only on a testing sandbox address: www2.sandbox.google.com.

This update allows Google to index more documents faster, and display them to you, the user, faster. Of course they have also tweaked the ranking algorithm and the importance of sites such as Wikipedia has been dowengraded very slightly. Universal search has also been demoted slightly, instead of image, news and video results at the top of the page these will usually appear lower down the page on “Caffeine” powered searches. Books and Shopping results are also noticeably absent although these may return once the new code is put onto the live Google servers.

Search Engine Watch blog has some excellent comparison screenshots.

Google’s Matt Cutts explains a bit more about the update at the SES Conference in San Jose to Web Pro News:

Google Search Options


Google has added an extra feature to it’s search results that they’re calling “Search Options”. The options take the form of a link near the top of the page that toggles an sidebar with extra options to refine your results.

Clicking the link shows options to choose between video, forum and review results, by time scale, to show images from the pages or more text and finally my personal favourite options where things get a bit more interesting.

The last set of choices are:

  • “Standard View” – the basic Google results view
  • “Related searches” – the suggestions you sometimes see at the bottom of the search results page
  • “Wonder Wheel” which appears to show related search terms in a wheel shaped diagram which then spin off to show other related terms. Perfect for researching keywords and semantics!
  • And finally there’s “Timeline” view which shows a potted history of the thing you’re searching for, in our example it’s a timeline of the light bulb, from Edison to the present day.

Seems I’m not exactly on the ball here as Google’s Matt Cutts showed this feature on the 12th May on his blog!

SEO News round up

It’s been a hectic week here at Denial Towers so I’ve not been able to blog about this week’s stories so I thought I’d do a quick round up of the SEO news headline.

Microsoft will unveil their new look search next week at the D: All Things Digital conference before going live at the SMX Advanced conference a week later. Developed under the codename “Kumo” there has been speculation as to what Microsoft will call this new search technology. Will it use an existing brand like Live or MSN Search or even it’s codename, Kumo? Or something else entirely new like Sift, Hook or Bing? Sift.com is owned by someone else and Microsoft’s Sift seems to be a mobile search platform, Hook.com is also already taken which leaves us with Bing. Bing.com is owned by Microsoft but Google’s Matt Cutts posted on Twitter that the US Trademark Office rejected the application due to the fact a similar mark is already registered to Bing Mobile Inc.

Yahoo is also getting ready to revamp their search. Apparently they want to get rid of the “10 blue links” and change to a system they are calling “WOO”, or Web Of Objects” instead of the current “Web Of Pages”. WOO is an attemopt to return “a better representation of the “real world” in search results. In other words: more closely aligning user intent with search results and mapping those to real-world tasks.” and will include multi-media elements.

Yahoo have also been singing the praises of BOSS (Build your Own Search Service) and SearchMonkey (which is now 1 year old).

Google are changing the way Google Suggest works (the drop down that suggests queries as you type). See the Official Blog for more information.

And finally Google founder Larry Page is at today’s Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix as a guest of Vodafone (and by extension, Ferrari who Vodafone sponsor). Maybe Google are looking at some sort of deal with Vodafone or maybe Mr. Page is just trying to score a new Ferrari!

Google joins Twitter

Google joins the micro-blogging service du jour Twitter (Twitter.com/google) and just a few hours later has 25,279 followers. The tweets so far are mainly links to the existing Google blogs but it’s nice to have everything in one place.

Yahoo and Live Search also have twitter accounts but far less followers (4,567 and 1,334 respectively) showing that it dominates even this area of the Internet. They still have a long way to go before they pass Stephen Fry in number of followers though (239,321)!

I will be watching with interest to see what nuggets of useful search information they let out. There’s an interesting Tweet by Matt Cutts responding to the question of why the brand new Google Twitter page already has Page Rank. Apparently the account was registered unofficially in 2007 and Google have just taken it over. Wonder how much they paid for that? And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.