Monday, February 25, 2019

google search

google search


How patients' Google search histories could lead to better care - WHYY

Posted: 25 Feb 2019 03:41 AM PST

Patients' search histories could be the key to delivering better health care, according to a new study by Penn Medicine researchers.

The study, which was recently published in the journal BMJ Open, found that health-related searches double in the week before an emergency-room visit. Pairing those searches with a patient's electronic health records reveals gaps in patient communication and care.

"These patterns could suggest that we could know more about what our patients want before they come to the hospital," said the study's lead author, Jeremy Asch. "And therefore we can anticipate needing to deal with these problems."

As an example, the study tells the story of one woman whose recent searches included: "How big is a walnut?" followed by "What is a fibrous tumor?"

An examination of the patient's electronic medical records showed that she'd recently been diagnosed with — you guessed it — a walnut-sized fibrous tumor.

"That really kind of struck a chord with us," Asch said. "Patients may not know what questions they want to ask, or they don't want to seem silly asking their doctor, 'How big is a walnut?' So it's much safer for them to Google those things."

The study came about as part of a larger project by Penn's Center for Digital Health centered on what it calls the "social mediome" — a play on the term "genome" that refers to the unique digital footprints created by our interactions with social media and other online platforms.

Previous studies have shown that social media posts can help predict diagnoses of depression. Researchers wanted to know if they could leverage the comparatively private data of Google searches to improve patient diagnoses and care at the hospital.

"Patients search all the time for symptoms," Asch said, "and we thought maybe this would be interesting information to look at and see what those pattern changes were around hospitalizations."

Specifically, they wanted to know three things:

  • Would patients share their search data and electronic health records?
  • Would their search patterns change in the days or weeks leading up to emergency-room visits?
  • And, what do patients search for?

To conduct the study, research assistants talked to 703 patients seeking treatment in the emergency department and asked if they'd be willing to share their Google search data in exchange for a chance at winning a $40 gift card. Patients would be allowed to review the data beforehand and censor any searches they wished (though none did).

Of the 703 patients approached, around 50 percent of eligible patients agreed to share their data, for a final group of 103 people.

Researchers would later spend several months reading and logging the resulting 600,000 queries to create a picture of the patients' Google patterns.

They found that, in keeping with Google's own research, people's health-related queries accounted for 6 percent of their overall searches — a figure that jumped to 16 percent in the week before an emergency-room visit.

Asch sees that window of increased activity as an opportunity for research into the kinds of questions patients are asking, both about their health and about health care.

"Knowing that people use this platform as a way of discovering more, or asking more questions about their own health, shows us that we can also use this platform as a way of interacting with our patients," Asch said. "And while it's difficult to know exactly how we would access that data, it's more about knowing what those questions are, and learning about what does somebody want to know before they come into the hospital? And if we know that, we can make systematic changes throughout the hospital environment to better serve their needs."

Search data could even play a clinical role in diagnosis, Asch said  — though he adds those days are likely a long way off.

"I don't think that I foresee a future where you come into the hospital and a doctor says, 'I'd love to take a look at your Google searches,' " he said. "It's so much data, and it would take so much time to comb through that."

Instead, he said, analysis of that data could be automated, and the results delivered to doctors as a supplement to what their patients are telling them.

On a more general level, Google searches can help researchers better understand their patients and their health.

"This Google study is one step in kind of a larger project of how do patients interact online, or how do they ask questions about their health," Asch said. "And how can we kind of meet them where they are instead of waiting for somebody to come into the hospital, and finding out in that moment what needs to be done."

40 incredibly useful Google search tips - Fast Company

Posted: 24 Feb 2019 09:00 PM PST

When you think about Google services, apps such as Gmail, Docs, and Photos may be the first things that come to mind. I'd be willing to wager, though, that the Google service you use more than any other is one you rarely think about—because it's woven so tightly into your life that it doesn't even feel like a service anymore. It just feels like a utility, something that's always there—like a faucet for metaphorical water.

advertisement

advertisement

I'm talking, of course, about Google Search, the gateway to an endless-seeming array of answers and information. But these days, Google Search can do a whole lot more than just look up simple queries. In fact, if you know all of its hidden powers, Search can be a Swiss Army knife that's always within reach, even when you aren't actively thinking about its presence.

Browse through these 40 advanced functions—and get ready to see Search in a whole new light.

Useful tools

1. Need an impartial judge to help make a decision? Try typing "random number generator" into Google. That'll bring up a tool that lets you specify a minimum and maximum number—for however many choices you have, or even representing a specific set of values within a spreadsheet—and then have the Google genie randomly pick a number within that range.

For a more visual (although also more limited) version of the same concept, type "spinner" into Google and then switch the toggle at the top to "Number." You can then create a wheel with anywhere from two to 20 numbers and click it to spin and land on a random digit.

The Google Search number spinner will land on a random digit, with anywhere from two to 20 options in place.

2. For even simpler decisions, let Google flip a coin or roll a die for you by typing either command into the search box. (Bonus tip: You can also ask Google to spin a dreidel.)

3. Make Google serve as your personal time-keeper by typing "timer" or "stopwatch" into a search box. You can also launch right into a specific timer by typing "20 minute timer" (or whatever amount of time you desire).

advertisement

4. You probably know that Google can act as a basic calculator, performing addition, subtraction, and so on—but did you know it can also do all sorts of advanced mathematics? For instance, you can have Google graph complicated equations like "cos(3x)+sin(x), cos(7x)+sin(x)" by entering them directly into the search box. And you can fire up a geometry calculator by searching for a specific query—"area of a circle," "formula for a triangle perimeter," or "volume of a cylinder"—and then entering in the values you know.

Google's geometry calculator can work with a variety of advanced formulas.

5. Google has separate standalone calculators that can figure out tips and monthly mortgage payments, too. Search for "tip calculator" or "mortgage calculator" to give either a whirl.

6. The next time you need to convert between units, try asking Google to do the heavy lifting for you. In addition to  handling currency and practically any measurement system, Google can convert megabytes to gigabytes, Fahrenheit to Celsius, and days into minutes or even seconds. You can explore all the possibilities by typing "unit converter" into the search box and then looking through the dropdown menus that appear—or you can perform most conversions directly by searching for the exact changeover you want (e.g. "14.7 lbs to oz").

7. Who among us hasn't come across a sprawling number and stared at it blankly while trying to figure out how to say it aloud? Search for any number followed by "=english"—"53493439531=english," for example—and Google will spell out your number for you in plain-English words.

8. Designers, take note: Searching for "color picker" will pull up a simple tool that lets you select a color and find its hex code, RGB value, CMYK value, and more—and easily convert from one color code type to another.

The color picker tool is an easy way to find color codes and convert among different code types.

9. You can also see an identifying swatch for a specific color code by typing it into Google in almost any form: "#fcef00," "rgb(252, 239, 0)," "pantone 444 u," and so on.

advertisement

10. Get up-to-date info on any flight, anytime, by typing the airline name or code and flight number directly into Google.

11. Find your current IP address in a snap by typing "IP address" into any Google prompt.

12. Google can measure your internet speed and give you speedy results, regardless of whether you're on Wi-Fi or mobile data. Just type "speed test" into a search box and then click the "Run Speed Test" button to get started.

13. From your phone, type "bubble level" into Google to load an on-demand level tool and make sure the picture you're hanging is perfectly straight.

Keep the toolbox in the closet and pull up a bubble level right from Google Search on your phone.

14. Trying to stay on beat? Google "metronome," and the search site will give you a fully functional metronome with a slider to start any beat-per-minute setting you need.

15. Search or browse through hundreds of old print newspapers at Google's hidden newspaper archive site. The selection is pretty hit-and-miss, but you just might find what you're after.

advertisement

16. Hardly anyone knows it, but Google has a system that allows you to save results from your searches and then organize them into collections. From a browser, it works with images, jobs, and places; after searching for any of those types of items, you'll see small bookmark icons alongside your results that can be clicked to save the associated entities. If you have an Android phone, you can also save web pages by pulling them up within the Google app and then looking for the bookmark icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Either way, you can find and sort your saved stuff by going to google.com/collections or looking for the "Collections" option in the Google app on Android (tucked away within the "More" menu).

Advanced information

17. Find your next job on Google by searching for "jobs near me" or something specific like "programming jobs." You can then narrow down the search as needed, find direct links to apply to positions, and even turn on email alerts for worthwhile queries.

Google's job search function pulls in postings from all over the web and presents them in a centralized, easy-to-follow manner.

18. Thinking about going back to school—or maybe enrolling in college for the first time? Google can give you oodles of useful info about any four-year college in the United States. All you have to do is search for the school's name, and you'll get an interactive box with facts about its average cost (before and after financial aid for any income level) along with its acceptance rate, typical test scores, rankings, and notable alumni.

19. Get the perfect recipe for any meal by searching for the name of a dish from your mobile device. Google will give you a scrolling list of choices and will even provide one-tap commands for sending any set of instructions to a Google Assistant Smart Display connected to your account. (Bonus tip: You can search for drink recipes in the same way—again, though, only on a mobile device for some reason.)

20. Speaking of eating, you can Google any individual ingredient to find detailed nutritional information about the food. You can also search for specific nutritional queries—things like: "How many calories are in avocados," "How much fat is in an egg yolk," or "How much protein is in chickpeas."

21. Figure out which streaming service has the show or movie you want by searching for "watch" followed by the program's title. Google will give you a list of places where you can find it—both as part of an active subscription and on an a-la-carte purchasing basis.

advertisement

22. Craving some variety with your tried-and-true songs? Try searching for an artist name and song title together—like "Michael Jackson Billie Jean," for instance—and then, in the info box that appears, click the "Other recordings of this song" header. That'll bring up an interactive list of artists who have covered your favorite tune, complete with videos to watch each alternate version.

23. Fan of the sportsball? Search for the name of a team or league to get real-time game scores and detailed recaps of recent matchups.

Location fixation

24. Avoid frustration and check on a restaurant's average wait time for any day and time before you head out. Just search for the restaurant's name, then look for the "Popular times" section in the info box that appears. There, you can click a dropdown menu to select any day and then scroll through a timeline to see the typical crowd level and wait length for any given hour.

See how long you're likely to wait at a restaurant by using Google's "Popular times" tool.

25. Generate a list of upcoming local events by searching for "events near me" from your mobile device. Once the info box is in front of you, you can jump ahead to other days or tap any event to get additional info. If you're looking for something specific, you can also search for terms like "concerts near me," "food festivals near me," or "conferences near me."

26. Google has a whole host of ways it can help you figure out the time in any location. Aside from being able to search for "time" followed by the name of a place to see the current time in that area, you can quickly perform time zone conversions by typing in something like "time 2:00 p.m. India"—which would show you what time it'll be in your location when it's 2:00 p.m. in India.

27. Get a fast glance at the weather for any city on any day by typing "weather" followed by the city name—and then the day you're interested in, if it's anything other than today.

advertisement

Search smarts

28. Trying to reach a site that's temporarily down or permanently offline? Type "cache:" followed by the site's address directly into Google. That'll take you to a recently saved version of the site hosted on Google's own servers.

29. You can search any site through Google to find whatever you need: Simply type in the term you want followed by "site:" and the URL—"site:fastcompany.com," for example—and you'll get a list of results that's practically guaranteed to be better than whatever the site's own internal search function would give you.

30. If you're looking for information from a specific time period, type in the term you want and then click or tap the "Tools" menu at the top of the Google results page. Then you can limit your search results to a particular time—if, say, you wanted to see stories about Apple earnings from January 2018.

31. Google's image search function has a similarly useful option: After searching for an image, tap "Tools" at the top of the results. You'll be able to filter your image search to show only results of a particular size or color—or only images that contain a face or were created during a specific period of time.

Filter your image search to find exactly the type of result you need.

32. Save yourself a bunch of clicks or taps and tell Google to show more search results per page—without forcing you to press that pesky "Next" or "More" button. Just hop over to this preferences page and move the slider under "Results per page" as high as you'd like, then be sure to hit the blue "Save" button at the bottom of the screen. Google warns that the higher the number, the slower your searches may be—but realistically, as long as you're on a reasonably speedy internet connection, you aren't likely to notice much difference.

33. On that same preferences page, you can instruct Google to open every search result as a new tab by default. If you find yourself opening links in new tabs more often than not, that can be a very welcome change.

advertisement

Getting personal

34. Got a tracking number from the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx? Paste the number directly into Google Search. It'll give you a direct link to the latest update on your package's delivery.

35. Google Search can dig up info from your own personal data, so long as you use services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Photos. Try searching for "my trips," "my flights," "my appointments," "my reservations," "my purchases," "my bills," or "my photos." With some of those, you can get even more specific: "my AT&T bills from 2018," "my photos from france," "my photos from February 2016," and so on. As long as you have matching data in a compatible Google service, you'll get results right then and there.

Quickly find photos featuring a particular time, place, subject, or event by searching directly in Google Search.

36. You can browse or search through your own past Google searches and even rediscover results you clicked while signed into your account by visiting myactivity.google.com. Click the "Search" tab at the top to narrow the results down only to Search (as opposed to also seeing your activity from other Google products).

37. Want to erase the past—or maybe just part of it? Hang onto this link. It makes it easy to wipe away your entire Google Search history, should the urge ever arise, or to erase your last hour's worth of searches for a more limited reset.

Just for fun

38. The next time you need to calm down and focus, type "breathing exercise" into any Google box. You'll get a one-minute guided breathing exercise to help recenter your brain.

39. If you need a serious break from productivity, let Google entertain you with a hidden Search game:

advertisement

  • Search for "Atari Breakout," then click on the "Images" tab at the top of the screen to test your old-school skills.
  • Search for "Zerg Rush" and fight off the falling O's before they erase the page.
  • Search for "Google Pacman" and chomp away at those pretty yellow pellets.
  • Search for "Solitaire," "Minesweeper," "Tic Tac Toe," or "Snake" for some good old-fashioned fun.

40. Last but not least, take a trip back in time by searching for "Google in 1998." That'll let you look through one of Google's earliest site designs, from the time of the company's launch—and make you appreciate just how far things have come.

Opinion | A little-known search engine gains ground on Google’s turf - Livemint

Posted: 24 Feb 2019 09:05 AM PST

We all know that Google knows more about us than we do about ourselves. It knows our web history, which tracks our past searches on all the devices where one is registered with one's Google account. Web history is supposedly beneficial to users because it allows Google to tailor future search results to your preference based on your past history, but a log of your searches is also very useful to marketers.

After all, Google's prime commercial interest is to serve you ads.

Google also maintains a history of the pages you visit, which occurs whether you're logged in to a Google account or not. This is accomplished through the use of tracking cookies and information derived from AdSense and Google Analytics. The company can learn what sites you frequent, in what order you visit them, how much time you spend on them, and much more.

The company can also mine your emails and drive documents, track the videos you watch on YouTube, obtain your Wi-Fi passwords and more. Of course, if you are carrying an Android cellphone, it knows exactly where you are at any time.

However, as far as search is concerned, Google now has a little competitor, built on the principle of user privacy. Duckduckgo.com describes itself as "the search engine that doesn't track you". It opts not to personalize your search results. The company's mission statement says: "At DuckDuckGo, we believe the Internet shouldn't feel so creepy and getting the privacy you deserve online should be as simple as closing the blinds. Our app provides the privacy essentials you need to seamlessly take control of your personal information as you search and browse the web, no matter where the Internet takes you."

The site has grown steadily since its inception, going from an average 79,000 daily searches in 2010, to 23.5 million daily and more than 22 billion total searches as of now. Some of this growth has been because f DuckDuckGo's partnerships with browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Apple's Safari. It has also partnered with many Linux operating systems, and has native apps for both Android and iOS.

Of course, these numbers are nothing compared to Google searches. Google now processes more than 40,000 search queries every second, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. However, DuckDuckGo is growing and on the net one can find some favourable comparisons between DuckDuckGo and Google.

I tried to test the two search engines. I keyed in "Narendra Modi". Google's search results were certainly more useful at first glance. It gave me news stories, Twitter results, videos in addition to text web links. DuckDuckGo gave me Modi's home page, recent news, his Wikipedia page and his Twitter handle. To get videos, I clicked on the 'Videos' option, and there was a nice menu which let one choose between 'Past Day', 'Past Week', 'Past Month' and 'Any Time'.

DuckDuckGo has a few nice features that Google does not have. For instance, 'bang', which is helpful if the users are pretty sure what they are looking for. So, if one is looking for the Wikipedia page for Virat Kohli, one can just type in "!w Virat Kohli" and reach there instantly. One can do the same for a Google search. Type in "!g search term" and you reach the google page, or "!gi search term" for images. It may seem odd that DuckDuckGo allows a Google search, given its commitment to user privacy, but it encrypts the search request so Google cannot trace it to you.

You can also do things like generate a QR code by simply typing in "qr" and then the URL you want a QR code for.

However, DuckDuckGo has a very long way to go before it can pose any sort of serious challenge to Google in search. I typed in "Israel" in Google, and the suggested searches I got were "Israel tourism", "Israel history", "Israel map", "Israel Jerusalem", "Israel capital", "Israel continent", "Israel population" and "Israel language".

I did the same in DuckDuckGo, and I got "Israel maps", "Israel news headlines", "Israel Houghton", "Israelites", "Israel kamakawiwo'ole", "Israel keyes", "Israel adesanya ufc", and "Israel cancer cure".

Of course, all it means is that people with some pretty niche interests have been searching DuckDuckGo for "Israel", but to a general user like me, it just seemed plain weird.

Hopefully, as the number of users grows, the quality of suggested searches will also grow better.

So how does DuckDuckGo make money? Like Google, through advertising. But unlike Google, it doesn't trace the user's web history and other details and serve up ads. It uses the user's key word searches to decide what ads to show them. Will it survive? One never knows, but with Google getting more controversial by the day, there is already a nascent movement on the net promoting DuckDuckGo. In fact, some sly people are suggesting installing DuckDuckGo as the default browser and using its Google search function using the "!g" appellation. So you get the best of Google search and Google does not get your data.

Sandipan Deb is a former editor of 'Financial Express', and founder-editor of 'Open' and 'Swarajya' magazines.

Google Drive ‘Intelligent Search’ suggests queries, lists top collaborators, and more on the web - 9to5Google

Posted: 25 Feb 2019 11:36 AM PST

Last July, Google introduced an "intelligent search box" for Drive's web interface. This updated lookup experience is no longer limited to the Enterprise edition of G Suite, and will soon be available for all Drive users.

At the moment, tapping the "Search Drive" field at the top of the website opens a panel of file types and a shortcut to "More search tools." This upcoming update starts by listing three or so "suggested search queries," with a click starting that search.

Next is a row of your top collaborators that features their names and profile avatars. Tapping on a person will show files you have edited together. Below this are file types (PDFs, Documents, Presentations, Images, and Videos), as well as shortcuts for edit history (today), priority items, and other filters. The last minor change sees "Advanced search" more prominently labeled.

These suggested filters and search tools leverage multi-variant machine learning to "predict what you're most likely to use." Results should improve over time, with Google hoping that users will be able to find files without having to "remember a specific title or keyword."

This updated search experience is rolling out today to all G Suite Editions and will be enabled by default. It comes as Google has been working to infuse G Suite with machine learning tools and smarts to increase end-user productivity. An upcoming update to Google Drive adds "Priority" AI file suggestions and organized "Workspaces" for quicker access to frequently accessed documents.

Samsung Galaxy S10 cases

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

New Google Featured Snippets Combine Content From Multiple Publishers - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 23 Feb 2019 12:00 AM PST

Google is now displaying featured snippets that pull content from multiple publishers and combine it into one result.

The featured snippet answers questions for searchers by creating a listicle of sorts.

Here's an example shared by Cyrus Shepard for the query "seeds with highest omega 3:"

As Shepard points out, the trouble with these featured snippets is they do not do the best job of directing traffic to publishers.

If a searcher gets the answer they're looking for in the snippet, there's no need to click through to another site.

However, if the searcher decides to expand the snippet with one of the drop down menus they'll see not one but multiple links to other sites.

You can get a better look at how the snippet functions in this example shared by Jon Henshaw:

Many still share the same concern of publishers not getting enough credit in these snippets.

The concerns prompted Google's Danny Sullivan to respond and explain the company's line of thinking behind these snippets.

In a series of tweet, Sullivan states:

"Since I got asked about this, a couple of things.

Most important, the future of Google Search is to continue supporting the ecosystem. We don't thrive & users don't thrive unless the ecosystem thrives.

Support of the ecosystem is constantly raised in meetings I'm in. It always comes up. It is a front-line concern with everyone involved with search. Any feature you see, impact on ecosystem has been considered. The hope is that overall, as Google grows, so does the ecosystem….

For everyone to grow, search has to keep evolving. While I think SEOs are fair to raise concerns about new formats, I also think they should recognize that new formats bring in new and often welcomed opportunities. Which leads back to this particular feature…."

Sullivan continues by adding that these snippets are not brand new and have been out for months.

Personally I have not encountered them and, judging by the amount of attention this is getting on Twitter, many others haven't either.

Ultimately, these snippets are designed to let users explore and find information.

Although it's a different way of finding information, it's still what search has always strived to do for users.

Sullivan concludes his train of thought with a rhetorical question:

"Does search not become search if you can scan and scroll through results horizontally rather than vertically? Does search only remain search if it looks and acts like it's 1998."

Search has evolved since inception and this is a sign of its continued evolution.

More Resources

Subscribe to SEJ

Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!

Ebook

google search


How patients' Google search histories could lead to better care - WHYY

Posted: 25 Feb 2019 03:41 AM PST

Patients' search histories could be the key to delivering better health care, according to a new study by Penn Medicine researchers.

The study, which was recently published in the journal BMJ Open, found that health-related searches double in the week before an emergency-room visit. Pairing those searches with a patient's electronic health records reveals gaps in patient communication and care.

"These patterns could suggest that we could know more about what our patients want before they come to the hospital," said the study's lead author, Jeremy Asch. "And therefore we can anticipate needing to deal with these problems."

As an example, the study tells the story of one woman whose recent searches included: "How big is a walnut?" followed by "What is a fibrous tumor?"

An examination of the patient's electronic medical records showed that she'd recently been diagnosed with — you guessed it — a walnut-sized fibrous tumor.

"That really kind of struck a chord with us," Asch said. "Patients may not know what questions they want to ask, or they don't want to seem silly asking their doctor, 'How big is a walnut?' So it's much safer for them to Google those things."

The study came about as part of a larger project by Penn's Center for Digital Health centered on what it calls the "social mediome" — a play on the term "genome" that refers to the unique digital footprints created by our interactions with social media and other online platforms.

Previous studies have shown that social media posts can help predict diagnoses of depression. Researchers wanted to know if they could leverage the comparatively private data of Google searches to improve patient diagnoses and care at the hospital.

"Patients search all the time for symptoms," Asch said, "and we thought maybe this would be interesting information to look at and see what those pattern changes were around hospitalizations."

Specifically, they wanted to know three things:

  • Would patients share their search data and electronic health records?
  • Would their search patterns change in the days or weeks leading up to emergency-room visits?
  • And, what do patients search for?

To conduct the study, research assistants talked to 703 patients seeking treatment in the emergency department and asked if they'd be willing to share their Google search data in exchange for a chance at winning a $40 gift card. Patients would be allowed to review the data beforehand and censor any searches they wished (though none did).

Of the 703 patients approached, around 50 percent of eligible patients agreed to share their data, for a final group of 103 people.

Researchers would later spend several months reading and logging the resulting 600,000 queries to create a picture of the patients' Google patterns.

They found that, in keeping with Google's own research, people's health-related queries accounted for 6 percent of their overall searches — a figure that jumped to 16 percent in the week before an emergency-room visit.

Asch sees that window of increased activity as an opportunity for research into the kinds of questions patients are asking, both about their health and about health care.

"Knowing that people use this platform as a way of discovering more, or asking more questions about their own health, shows us that we can also use this platform as a way of interacting with our patients," Asch said. "And while it's difficult to know exactly how we would access that data, it's more about knowing what those questions are, and learning about what does somebody want to know before they come into the hospital? And if we know that, we can make systematic changes throughout the hospital environment to better serve their needs."

Search data could even play a clinical role in diagnosis, Asch said  — though he adds those days are likely a long way off.

"I don't think that I foresee a future where you come into the hospital and a doctor says, 'I'd love to take a look at your Google searches,' " he said. "It's so much data, and it would take so much time to comb through that."

Instead, he said, analysis of that data could be automated, and the results delivered to doctors as a supplement to what their patients are telling them.

On a more general level, Google searches can help researchers better understand their patients and their health.

"This Google study is one step in kind of a larger project of how do patients interact online, or how do they ask questions about their health," Asch said. "And how can we kind of meet them where they are instead of waiting for somebody to come into the hospital, and finding out in that moment what needs to be done."

40 incredibly useful Google search tips - Fast Company

Posted: 24 Feb 2019 09:00 PM PST

When you think about Google services, apps such as Gmail, Docs, and Photos may be the first things that come to mind. I'd be willing to wager, though, that the Google service you use more than any other is one you rarely think about—because it's woven so tightly into your life that it doesn't even feel like a service anymore. It just feels like a utility, something that's always there—like a faucet for metaphorical water.

advertisement

advertisement

I'm talking, of course, about Google Search, the gateway to an endless-seeming array of answers and information. But these days, Google Search can do a whole lot more than just look up simple queries. In fact, if you know all of its hidden powers, Search can be a Swiss Army knife that's always within reach, even when you aren't actively thinking about its presence.

Browse through these 40 advanced functions—and get ready to see Search in a whole new light.

Useful tools

1. Need an impartial judge to help make a decision? Try typing "random number generator" into Google. That'll bring up a tool that lets you specify a minimum and maximum number—for however many choices you have, or even representing a specific set of values within a spreadsheet—and then have the Google genie randomly pick a number within that range.

For a more visual (although also more limited) version of the same concept, type "spinner" into Google and then switch the toggle at the top to "Number." You can then create a wheel with anywhere from two to 20 numbers and click it to spin and land on a random digit.

The Google Search number spinner will land on a random digit, with anywhere from two to 20 options in place.

2. For even simpler decisions, let Google flip a coin or roll a die for you by typing either command into the search box. (Bonus tip: You can also ask Google to spin a dreidel.)

3. Make Google serve as your personal time-keeper by typing "timer" or "stopwatch" into a search box. You can also launch right into a specific timer by typing "20 minute timer" (or whatever amount of time you desire).

advertisement

4. You probably know that Google can act as a basic calculator, performing addition, subtraction, and so on—but did you know it can also do all sorts of advanced mathematics? For instance, you can have Google graph complicated equations like "cos(3x)+sin(x), cos(7x)+sin(x)" by entering them directly into the search box. And you can fire up a geometry calculator by searching for a specific query—"area of a circle," "formula for a triangle perimeter," or "volume of a cylinder"—and then entering in the values you know.

Google's geometry calculator can work with a variety of advanced formulas.

5. Google has separate standalone calculators that can figure out tips and monthly mortgage payments, too. Search for "tip calculator" or "mortgage calculator" to give either a whirl.

6. The next time you need to convert between units, try asking Google to do the heavy lifting for you. In addition to  handling currency and practically any measurement system, Google can convert megabytes to gigabytes, Fahrenheit to Celsius, and days into minutes or even seconds. You can explore all the possibilities by typing "unit converter" into the search box and then looking through the dropdown menus that appear—or you can perform most conversions directly by searching for the exact changeover you want (e.g. "14.7 lbs to oz").

7. Who among us hasn't come across a sprawling number and stared at it blankly while trying to figure out how to say it aloud? Search for any number followed by "=english"—"53493439531=english," for example—and Google will spell out your number for you in plain-English words.

8. Designers, take note: Searching for "color picker" will pull up a simple tool that lets you select a color and find its hex code, RGB value, CMYK value, and more—and easily convert from one color code type to another.

The color picker tool is an easy way to find color codes and convert among different code types.

9. You can also see an identifying swatch for a specific color code by typing it into Google in almost any form: "#fcef00," "rgb(252, 239, 0)," "pantone 444 u," and so on.

advertisement

10. Get up-to-date info on any flight, anytime, by typing the airline name or code and flight number directly into Google.

11. Find your current IP address in a snap by typing "IP address" into any Google prompt.

12. Google can measure your internet speed and give you speedy results, regardless of whether you're on Wi-Fi or mobile data. Just type "speed test" into a search box and then click the "Run Speed Test" button to get started.

13. From your phone, type "bubble level" into Google to load an on-demand level tool and make sure the picture you're hanging is perfectly straight.

Keep the toolbox in the closet and pull up a bubble level right from Google Search on your phone.

14. Trying to stay on beat? Google "metronome," and the search site will give you a fully functional metronome with a slider to start any beat-per-minute setting you need.

15. Search or browse through hundreds of old print newspapers at Google's hidden newspaper archive site. The selection is pretty hit-and-miss, but you just might find what you're after.

advertisement

16. Hardly anyone knows it, but Google has a system that allows you to save results from your searches and then organize them into collections. From a browser, it works with images, jobs, and places; after searching for any of those types of items, you'll see small bookmark icons alongside your results that can be clicked to save the associated entities. If you have an Android phone, you can also save web pages by pulling them up within the Google app and then looking for the bookmark icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Either way, you can find and sort your saved stuff by going to google.com/collections or looking for the "Collections" option in the Google app on Android (tucked away within the "More" menu).

Advanced information

17. Find your next job on Google by searching for "jobs near me" or something specific like "programming jobs." You can then narrow down the search as needed, find direct links to apply to positions, and even turn on email alerts for worthwhile queries.

Google's job search function pulls in postings from all over the web and presents them in a centralized, easy-to-follow manner.

18. Thinking about going back to school—or maybe enrolling in college for the first time? Google can give you oodles of useful info about any four-year college in the United States. All you have to do is search for the school's name, and you'll get an interactive box with facts about its average cost (before and after financial aid for any income level) along with its acceptance rate, typical test scores, rankings, and notable alumni.

19. Get the perfect recipe for any meal by searching for the name of a dish from your mobile device. Google will give you a scrolling list of choices and will even provide one-tap commands for sending any set of instructions to a Google Assistant Smart Display connected to your account. (Bonus tip: You can search for drink recipes in the same way—again, though, only on a mobile device for some reason.)

20. Speaking of eating, you can Google any individual ingredient to find detailed nutritional information about the food. You can also search for specific nutritional queries—things like: "How many calories are in avocados," "How much fat is in an egg yolk," or "How much protein is in chickpeas."

21. Figure out which streaming service has the show or movie you want by searching for "watch" followed by the program's title. Google will give you a list of places where you can find it—both as part of an active subscription and on an a-la-carte purchasing basis.

advertisement

22. Craving some variety with your tried-and-true songs? Try searching for an artist name and song title together—like "Michael Jackson Billie Jean," for instance—and then, in the info box that appears, click the "Other recordings of this song" header. That'll bring up an interactive list of artists who have covered your favorite tune, complete with videos to watch each alternate version.

23. Fan of the sportsball? Search for the name of a team or league to get real-time game scores and detailed recaps of recent matchups.

Location fixation

24. Avoid frustration and check on a restaurant's average wait time for any day and time before you head out. Just search for the restaurant's name, then look for the "Popular times" section in the info box that appears. There, you can click a dropdown menu to select any day and then scroll through a timeline to see the typical crowd level and wait length for any given hour.

See how long you're likely to wait at a restaurant by using Google's "Popular times" tool.

25. Generate a list of upcoming local events by searching for "events near me" from your mobile device. Once the info box is in front of you, you can jump ahead to other days or tap any event to get additional info. If you're looking for something specific, you can also search for terms like "concerts near me," "food festivals near me," or "conferences near me."

26. Google has a whole host of ways it can help you figure out the time in any location. Aside from being able to search for "time" followed by the name of a place to see the current time in that area, you can quickly perform time zone conversions by typing in something like "time 2:00 p.m. India"—which would show you what time it'll be in your location when it's 2:00 p.m. in India.

27. Get a fast glance at the weather for any city on any day by typing "weather" followed by the city name—and then the day you're interested in, if it's anything other than today.

advertisement

Search smarts

28. Trying to reach a site that's temporarily down or permanently offline? Type "cache:" followed by the site's address directly into Google. That'll take you to a recently saved version of the site hosted on Google's own servers.

29. You can search any site through Google to find whatever you need: Simply type in the term you want followed by "site:" and the URL—"site:fastcompany.com," for example—and you'll get a list of results that's practically guaranteed to be better than whatever the site's own internal search function would give you.

30. If you're looking for information from a specific time period, type in the term you want and then click or tap the "Tools" menu at the top of the Google results page. Then you can limit your search results to a particular time—if, say, you wanted to see stories about Apple earnings from January 2018.

31. Google's image search function has a similarly useful option: After searching for an image, tap "Tools" at the top of the results. You'll be able to filter your image search to show only results of a particular size or color—or only images that contain a face or were created during a specific period of time.

Filter your image search to find exactly the type of result you need.

32. Save yourself a bunch of clicks or taps and tell Google to show more search results per page—without forcing you to press that pesky "Next" or "More" button. Just hop over to this preferences page and move the slider under "Results per page" as high as you'd like, then be sure to hit the blue "Save" button at the bottom of the screen. Google warns that the higher the number, the slower your searches may be—but realistically, as long as you're on a reasonably speedy internet connection, you aren't likely to notice much difference.

33. On that same preferences page, you can instruct Google to open every search result as a new tab by default. If you find yourself opening links in new tabs more often than not, that can be a very welcome change.

advertisement

Getting personal

34. Got a tracking number from the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx? Paste the number directly into Google Search. It'll give you a direct link to the latest update on your package's delivery.

35. Google Search can dig up info from your own personal data, so long as you use services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Photos. Try searching for "my trips," "my flights," "my appointments," "my reservations," "my purchases," "my bills," or "my photos." With some of those, you can get even more specific: "my AT&T bills from 2018," "my photos from france," "my photos from February 2016," and so on. As long as you have matching data in a compatible Google service, you'll get results right then and there.

Quickly find photos featuring a particular time, place, subject, or event by searching directly in Google Search.

36. You can browse or search through your own past Google searches and even rediscover results you clicked while signed into your account by visiting myactivity.google.com. Click the "Search" tab at the top to narrow the results down only to Search (as opposed to also seeing your activity from other Google products).

37. Want to erase the past—or maybe just part of it? Hang onto this link. It makes it easy to wipe away your entire Google Search history, should the urge ever arise, or to erase your last hour's worth of searches for a more limited reset.

Just for fun

38. The next time you need to calm down and focus, type "breathing exercise" into any Google box. You'll get a one-minute guided breathing exercise to help recenter your brain.

39. If you need a serious break from productivity, let Google entertain you with a hidden Search game:

advertisement

  • Search for "Atari Breakout," then click on the "Images" tab at the top of the screen to test your old-school skills.
  • Search for "Zerg Rush" and fight off the falling O's before they erase the page.
  • Search for "Google Pacman" and chomp away at those pretty yellow pellets.
  • Search for "Solitaire," "Minesweeper," "Tic Tac Toe," or "Snake" for some good old-fashioned fun.

40. Last but not least, take a trip back in time by searching for "Google in 1998." That'll let you look through one of Google's earliest site designs, from the time of the company's launch—and make you appreciate just how far things have come.

Opinion | A little-known search engine gains ground on Google’s turf - Livemint

Posted: 24 Feb 2019 09:05 AM PST

We all know that Google knows more about us than we do about ourselves. It knows our web history, which tracks our past searches on all the devices where one is registered with one's Google account. Web history is supposedly beneficial to users because it allows Google to tailor future search results to your preference based on your past history, but a log of your searches is also very useful to marketers.

After all, Google's prime commercial interest is to serve you ads.

Google also maintains a history of the pages you visit, which occurs whether you're logged in to a Google account or not. This is accomplished through the use of tracking cookies and information derived from AdSense and Google Analytics. The company can learn what sites you frequent, in what order you visit them, how much time you spend on them, and much more.

The company can also mine your emails and drive documents, track the videos you watch on YouTube, obtain your Wi-Fi passwords and more. Of course, if you are carrying an Android cellphone, it knows exactly where you are at any time.

However, as far as search is concerned, Google now has a little competitor, built on the principle of user privacy. Duckduckgo.com describes itself as "the search engine that doesn't track you". It opts not to personalize your search results. The company's mission statement says: "At DuckDuckGo, we believe the Internet shouldn't feel so creepy and getting the privacy you deserve online should be as simple as closing the blinds. Our app provides the privacy essentials you need to seamlessly take control of your personal information as you search and browse the web, no matter where the Internet takes you."

The site has grown steadily since its inception, going from an average 79,000 daily searches in 2010, to 23.5 million daily and more than 22 billion total searches as of now. Some of this growth has been because f DuckDuckGo's partnerships with browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Apple's Safari. It has also partnered with many Linux operating systems, and has native apps for both Android and iOS.

Of course, these numbers are nothing compared to Google searches. Google now processes more than 40,000 search queries every second, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. However, DuckDuckGo is growing and on the net one can find some favourable comparisons between DuckDuckGo and Google.

I tried to test the two search engines. I keyed in "Narendra Modi". Google's search results were certainly more useful at first glance. It gave me news stories, Twitter results, videos in addition to text web links. DuckDuckGo gave me Modi's home page, recent news, his Wikipedia page and his Twitter handle. To get videos, I clicked on the 'Videos' option, and there was a nice menu which let one choose between 'Past Day', 'Past Week', 'Past Month' and 'Any Time'.

DuckDuckGo has a few nice features that Google does not have. For instance, 'bang', which is helpful if the users are pretty sure what they are looking for. So, if one is looking for the Wikipedia page for Virat Kohli, one can just type in "!w Virat Kohli" and reach there instantly. One can do the same for a Google search. Type in "!g search term" and you reach the google page, or "!gi search term" for images. It may seem odd that DuckDuckGo allows a Google search, given its commitment to user privacy, but it encrypts the search request so Google cannot trace it to you.

You can also do things like generate a QR code by simply typing in "qr" and then the URL you want a QR code for.

However, DuckDuckGo has a very long way to go before it can pose any sort of serious challenge to Google in search. I typed in "Israel" in Google, and the suggested searches I got were "Israel tourism", "Israel history", "Israel map", "Israel Jerusalem", "Israel capital", "Israel continent", "Israel population" and "Israel language".

I did the same in DuckDuckGo, and I got "Israel maps", "Israel news headlines", "Israel Houghton", "Israelites", "Israel kamakawiwo'ole", "Israel keyes", "Israel adesanya ufc", and "Israel cancer cure".

Of course, all it means is that people with some pretty niche interests have been searching DuckDuckGo for "Israel", but to a general user like me, it just seemed plain weird.

Hopefully, as the number of users grows, the quality of suggested searches will also grow better.

So how does DuckDuckGo make money? Like Google, through advertising. But unlike Google, it doesn't trace the user's web history and other details and serve up ads. It uses the user's key word searches to decide what ads to show them. Will it survive? One never knows, but with Google getting more controversial by the day, there is already a nascent movement on the net promoting DuckDuckGo. In fact, some sly people are suggesting installing DuckDuckGo as the default browser and using its Google search function using the "!g" appellation. So you get the best of Google search and Google does not get your data.

Sandipan Deb is a former editor of 'Financial Express', and founder-editor of 'Open' and 'Swarajya' magazines.

Google Drive ‘Intelligent Search’ suggests queries, lists top collaborators, and more on the web - 9to5Google

Posted: 25 Feb 2019 11:36 AM PST

Last July, Google introduced an "intelligent search box" for Drive's web interface. This updated lookup experience is no longer limited to the Enterprise edition of G Suite, and will soon be available for all Drive users.

At the moment, tapping the "Search Drive" field at the top of the website opens a panel of file types and a shortcut to "More search tools." This upcoming update starts by listing three or so "suggested search queries," with a click starting that search.

Next is a row of your top collaborators that features their names and profile avatars. Tapping on a person will show files you have edited together. Below this are file types (PDFs, Documents, Presentations, Images, and Videos), as well as shortcuts for edit history (today), priority items, and other filters. The last minor change sees "Advanced search" more prominently labeled.

These suggested filters and search tools leverage multi-variant machine learning to "predict what you're most likely to use." Results should improve over time, with Google hoping that users will be able to find files without having to "remember a specific title or keyword."

This updated search experience is rolling out today to all G Suite Editions and will be enabled by default. It comes as Google has been working to infuse G Suite with machine learning tools and smarts to increase end-user productivity. An upcoming update to Google Drive adds "Priority" AI file suggestions and organized "Workspaces" for quicker access to frequently accessed documents.

Samsung Galaxy S10 cases

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

New Google Featured Snippets Combine Content From Multiple Publishers - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 23 Feb 2019 12:00 AM PST

Google is now displaying featured snippets that pull content from multiple publishers and combine it into one result.

The featured snippet answers questions for searchers by creating a listicle of sorts.

Here's an example shared by Cyrus Shepard for the query "seeds with highest omega 3:"

As Shepard points out, the trouble with these featured snippets is they do not do the best job of directing traffic to publishers.

If a searcher gets the answer they're looking for in the snippet, there's no need to click through to another site.

However, if the searcher decides to expand the snippet with one of the drop down menus they'll see not one but multiple links to other sites.

You can get a better look at how the snippet functions in this example shared by Jon Henshaw:

Many still share the same concern of publishers not getting enough credit in these snippets.

The concerns prompted Google's Danny Sullivan to respond and explain the company's line of thinking behind these snippets.

In a series of tweet, Sullivan states:

"Since I got asked about this, a couple of things.

Most important, the future of Google Search is to continue supporting the ecosystem. We don't thrive & users don't thrive unless the ecosystem thrives.

Support of the ecosystem is constantly raised in meetings I'm in. It always comes up. It is a front-line concern with everyone involved with search. Any feature you see, impact on ecosystem has been considered. The hope is that overall, as Google grows, so does the ecosystem….

For everyone to grow, search has to keep evolving. While I think SEOs are fair to raise concerns about new formats, I also think they should recognize that new formats bring in new and often welcomed opportunities. Which leads back to this particular feature…."

Sullivan continues by adding that these snippets are not brand new and have been out for months.

Personally I have not encountered them and, judging by the amount of attention this is getting on Twitter, many others haven't either.

Ultimately, these snippets are designed to let users explore and find information.

Although it's a different way of finding information, it's still what search has always strived to do for users.

Sullivan concludes his train of thought with a rhetorical question:

"Does search not become search if you can scan and scroll through results horizontally rather than vertically? Does search only remain search if it looks and acts like it's 1998."

Search has evolved since inception and this is a sign of its continued evolution.

More Resources

Subscribe to SEJ

Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!

Ebook

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.