May 2012 Archive
Google Scholar has announced an update that brings Scholar more in line with other Google properties. Google Scholar is still not linked from the main Google page, but now (if you are getting the new look which is still being rolled out) Scholar has made a couple of changes to bring the look in line with the other Google revisions.
The main changes:
- The limits which had been along the top of the results are now on the left side
- Advanced Search is now hiding behind the small triangle in the search box like in News (see my older post on Advanced Search Changes)
The screenshot below, from the blog post, highlights these changes.
Somehow I missed the announcement last month from Google which included a note that Google has started indexing more punctuation marks. Based on this announcement, it looks like we can start searching with all of the following (some of which have been possible for years, like the dollar sign): %, $, \, ., @, #, and +.
It does not seem that Google has fully indexed all pages with these punctuation marks, but as it continues to refresh its indexing, more content should be indexed with these symbols and thus findable via a Google search. Already this change makes it possible to search for social tags like @bios and #cildc. I find it interesting that the top result for the last example is a link to a Twitter search for that hash tag (which by this point finds only 3 tweets). A much better search option is Topsy which claims over 1,000 tweets for the hash tag, but Google's new support of punctuation means its search finds the hash tag on other web pages. I need to explore more of these options, like using the + for the blood type ab+ or even b+ (which finds more uses than just blood type). Beware using old searches where the + is supposed make the term an exact match. Now the search may find a Google+ user instead.
I have never understood why Google supports the $ for searching prices but still does not support other currency symbols like the Euro, Pound, or Yen. But maybe this expansion of searchable punctuation will lead the way to more punctuation search capabilities.
If a search using one of these punctuation marks finds no results, Google offers the search results without the punctuation and links to a new help page on punctuation searching.
If like me you are not yet seeing all the new Bing features (or if you are outside the U.S. where they have not yet been introduced), Danny provides an excellent and in-depth overview with his Bing Relaunches, Features New Social Sidebar posted yesterday. It seems that to see most of these new features requires
- being in the U.S.
- having Facebook and/or Twitter accounts
- being logged into Bing using Facebook Connect and your account
According to Bing's announcement, "In the coming days we will be releasing this to users in the United States. If you would like to be one of the first people to experience the new Bing, visit www.bing.com/new, to receive an email notification when it's available."
The social sidebar, in particular, seems to provide some possible ways for librarians and information professionals to be available to their users during a Bing search, if you can get your users to use Bing and connect to you via Facebook.
Yesterday I noticed a new left margin icon appearing on some results at Bing. A small, grey, curved, upward arrow shows up just to the left of the title on results that are "trending" on Facebook and/or Twitter. These trend icons appear whether or not I am logged in. I am guessing that it is part of Bing's newly relaunched social search push although it is not mentioned in today's announcement:: "Introducing the New Bing: Spend Less Time Searching, More Time Doing." Since I do not yet see the new social search even when logged in, you can read reports from The Atlantic, Danny at Search Engine Land, and see Bing's video embedded below.
The trend arrow icons only shows up for currently popular topics (probably popular links but I am not sure) on Twitter and/or Facebook. Note in the image on the right how one example just notes Twitter while the other says "Trending on Twitter and Facebook." Like the thumbs-up icon for sites "liked" by friends on Facebook, Both of the examples in the image (animated GIF, refresh this page to see it again) worked yesterday but not today, so this information must be refreshed somewhat frequently. I find this additional information interesting and potentially useful. Since the social search is not yet visible to me and is supposed to only be available in the U.S., I am assuming that this trend icon is visible outside the U.S., at least on the main Bing site, but send me a tweet @notess if not.
Here's Bing's video about the new social search:
Google News has announced a few changes:
- "Realtime" news
- Larger images on main page
- Integration of Google+ content
But no, this is not a new version of Google Realtime search that searched Twitter and other social networks and was killed when Google was unable to renegotiate access to the Twitter feed.
Late last night I started seeing the new Bing user interface live on results pages in all my browsers. I first saw it last week in a slightly different version, but now it is official and has been reported on by Verge, TechCrunch, and SearchEngineLand. Most of the focus is on whether the new "cleaner" look is more like Google used to be, but a few comments have noticed some of what is missing from this new search results page: