Google Search gets expanded college search features - TechCrunch

Google Search gets expanded college search features - TechCrunch

Google Search gets expanded college search features - TechCrunch

Posted: 15 Aug 2019 10:00 AM PDT

Google today announced a number of new features for students looking for more information about U.S. colleges. Last year, Google Search introduced new widgets with information about four-year universities. Today, it is expanding this to two-year colleges.

The company says that searches for "community colleges near me" saw a 120% increase in the past two years, with overall searches for college information spiking between August and the fall, as high school students get ready to apply.

With this update, students can now easily compare the tuition cost, acceptance rates and other information of four and two-year schools. The feature will now also show popular certificates and associate programs offered at four-year universities, and students can create lists of schools that specialize in specific fields and filter them based on distance (which often matters because many community college students, for example, stay close to home) and size.

nm miLike before, this extended data set relies on public information from the U.S. Department of Education.

"We've continued to work with education researchers, experts and nonprofit organizations, high school counselors, and admissions professionals to build a useful experience that is attuned to the needs of students, and we will continue to find new ways to make information more easily available and helpful as you search for your future education opportunities," the company notes in today's announcement.

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Google is aware of sites hosted on another’s subdomain - Search Engine Land

Posted: 14 Aug 2019 01:52 PM PDT

Google has stated that hosting content in a subdomain or subfolder of another entity's site is not against its guidelines, but that it is improving its systems to recognize that content and treat it accordingly. The statement was delivered via the Google Webmasters Twitter account on August 14.

The tweet. "We've been asked if third-parties can host content in subdomains or subfolders of another's domain. It's not against our guidelines. But as the practice has grown, our systems are being improved to better know when such content is independent of the main site & treat accordingly. Overall, we'd recommend against letting others use subdomains or subfolders with content presented as if it is part of the main site, without close supervision or the involvement of the primary site. Our guidance is if you want the best success with Search, provide value-added content from your own efforts that reflect your own brand." Google stated in a three-part tweet.

Why would anyone do that? Third parties are interested in renting out another brand's subdomain to get a leg up on the competition in terms of search rankings, which may help them get more traffic and conversions.

Google's figuring out how to handle it. Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller touched on this subject during a Google Webmaster Central office hours session on June 28. During the session, Mueller said, "I know the search leads at Google have been talking about this exact topic for a while now to try to find ways to handle these appropriately. By 'handling them appropriately,' I don't mean we should treat them as spam and just delete all of these subdomains, because they're not really spam. They're just kind of sales pages, affiliate pages that are hosted within another website. Maybe the right approach is to find a way to figure out what is the primary topic of this website and focus more on that, and then kind of leave these other things on the side."

Mueller then went on to say, "When it comes to quality, we try to look at the quality of a website overall. So, if there are particular parts of a website that are really low quality …. then overall, that could be degrading the quality of that site a little bit."

Why we should care. For brands that are considering using another entity's subdomain to host their content, Google is aware of such tactics. Although this strategy does not currently violate its guidelines, the company might as well have said "proceed at your own risk."
For brands that are looking to rent out their subdomains to third parties, Mueller's statement suggests that, if the third party is hosting low quality content on your domain, then your entire domain's search rankings may be affected.

About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.

Google Search adds multi-sided die to built-in rolling tool - 9to5Google

Posted: 15 Aug 2019 06:38 PM PDT

Google Search has a number of built-in tools that you'd otherwise need to download separate apps for. The "roll dice" utility is getting a significant update that adds multi-sided die, while all the tools are now conveniently listed.

The previous "roll dice" or "roll a die" panel was just a six-sided cube. This tool now also features die with four, eight, ten, twelve, and twenty sides. All six options are listed below with a "modifier" feature for games like Dungeons & Dragons.

We've been able to add over 50 die to the window with each type featuring a corresponding shape and color. The "Total" is listed in the bottom-right corner and a value is generated at random immediately upon dice selection. "Roll" at the bottom of the screen will update all your added die, but there is a delay depending on the count.

Google Search's roll dice tool is more convenient than opening a dedicated app or visiting a separate website. It's also useful and fast to load in a pinch.

This card can be expanded to reveal Google's other built-in utilities: Color picker, Spinner, Meditate, Calculator, Flip a coin, Roll a die, and Metronome. There's also a list of games & toys: Tic tac toe, Earth Day Quiz, Fun facts, PAC-MAN, Solitaire, Spin a dreidel, Minesweeper, Snake, and Animal sounds.

All these tools are available in Google's Android and iOS apps, as well as the web, with some better suited for touchscreens.

More about Google Search:

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