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Facebook takes on search. A way bigger story than you might realize.

 by John Moe // Posted: 06/25/10 01:12 PM

The seemingly innocuous Like button recently spread from Facebook to sites all over the web as part of Facebook’s Open Graph program. You read something on some site and you have the option to like it and see who else liked it.

That functionality is part of a grander scheme, more details of which emerged today as Facebook introduced Open Graph Search. This is search functionality where the more people Like something, the higher it appears in search results. It’s a whole new form of search engine optimization that places Facebook, and it’s insistence upon the dawning social web, in competition with Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

I think this is huge. It puts the rubber on the road for Mark Zuckerberg’s grand plan of the web being a social place. It posits that opinion and not math will be the fundamental driver of finding things online.

From an immediate “what does it mean for me” angle, it means that everywhere you turn, someone will be urging you, begging you, to Like what they’ve posted online. 

Comments | Filed Under: facebook google yahoo bing

Search engine popularity metrics range from opaque to meaningless

 by John Moe // Posted: 06/11/10 11:01 AM

I’ve been trying to make sense of a couple recent articles about the latest information on the popularity of the major search engines. It seems like Bing and Yahoo had a pretty good gain in market share but were also doing various tricks to display multiple pages, acquire more hit counts, and manipulate the results. So depending on how you look at it, Bing and Yahoo gained ground on Google OR they were both flat while Google dominated even more than before. The write ups on this that I’ve caught seem to agree that it’s increasingly hard to get a read on who’s doing well where. And while that’s just math noise to a degree, remember that search is at the very heart of Google and the place they make the lion’s share of their money. Meanwhile, Bing is the vanguard of Microsoft’s push to be in the cloud, outgrow their desktop model, and SURVIVE. So if there’s no way to really measure who’s doing well, that kind of leaves us in a pickle, doesn’t it?

Comments | Filed Under: google bing microsoft yahoo

Google gets Caffeine

 by John Moe // Posted: 06/09/10 11:23 AM

It’s not being rolled out with the same fanfare as the notorious Wave or Buzz, but Google’s new Caffeine indexing technology, which is live right now, is going to be a lot more significant to your web experience (granted, EVERYTHING is more significant to your web experience than Wave or Buzz). It’s essentially the new guts of Google’s search engine. They say that it will mean more frequent web crawling and in smaller bites to retrieve up to date information faster and produce results that are 50 percent fresher than the old Google search.  On the one hand, how much faster and broader do we really need search to be? On the other hand, sometimes it does take a while for relatively recent information to show up in Google’s search results. Google has gotten some competition from Bing in the past year but there’s no evidence of Bing cutting into Google’s significant margin of dominance in that category. If you need more information, I’ll Buzz you a Wave and we can talk about it.

Comments | Filed Under: google search wave buzz bing I never use the tags buzz or wave

today's show

What will we do with all this "white space"?

09/26/10 11:15 AM

There’s a vote coming up this week in Washington that will have a big impact on how you use the internet, what’s available to you, how much faster you’ll be able to get things online. On Thursday, the FCC is expected to open up unused parts of the broadcast spectrum, a lot of people call it “white space”. This is space that was positioned to be something of a buffer between television stations but such padding is proving less essential since the conversion to digital TV.

On today’s show, we talk to Glenn Fleishman from Wi-Fi Networking News and The Economist about how the spectrum works and what kind of new space we’re talking about. We also check in with Tim Wu from Columbia Law School about the companies that will look to use the space and what it all might mean for you and me as internet consumers.

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