Alphabet: Antitrust Suits Will Weaken Google's Dominance - Seeking Alpha

Alphabet: Antitrust Suits Will Weaken Google's Dominance - Seeking AlphaAlphabet: Antitrust Suits Will Weaken Google's Dominance - Seeking AlphaPosted: 06 Jul 2020 12:00 AM PDTIntroductionIn this write-up, I will discuss the antitrust risks Alphabet (GOOG) is currently facing. In my opinion, Alphabet is facing the most substantial antitrust risks out of all the big tech firms, but this has been overshadowed for years by controversies surrounding Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN). There are tons of reports from reputable news agencies mentioning that the DOJ and a group of states are separately investigating Google's dominance in multiple market segments. However, the sources in these reports are most often anonymous sources or Google's direct competitors like DuckDuckGo. Therefore it might be a possibility that these reports are partially incorrect. In this article, I will discuss Google's dominance in-depth, discuss in which market segments G…

Google adds contextual fact-checking for some image search results - TechCrunch

Google adds contextual fact-checking for some image search results - TechCrunch

Google adds contextual fact-checking for some image search results - TechCrunch

Posted: 22 Jun 2020 11:31 AM PDT

Acknowledging the role that misleadingly edited or out-of-context images play in seeding the internet with misinformation, Google is introducing fact-checking labels for some Google image searches. The feature, available starting today, provides a few lines of context with select searches, drawing on services provided by third-party fact-checkers. The tool is powered by publishers themselves, who can now opt to tag images that have been fact-checked using ClaimReview, a method for publishers to communicate to search engines that an image has been verified.

"Photos and videos are an incredible way to help people understand what's going on in the world," Google Product Manager Harris Cohen wrote in a blog post announcing the feature. "But the power of visual media has its pitfalls⁠ — especially when there are questions surrounding the origin, authenticity or context of an image."

Google is definitely right about that. Recirculated images tend to pop-up in most major online conspiracy and viral misinformation cycles, and many credulous internet users are content to believe what they can see — even if what they're seeing was edited or otherwise removed from its context.

In its announcement, Google provided the example of "sharks swimming in street Houston," a query that pulls up a perennial viral image offender. In the example search, a fact-check from PolitiFact appears below the original image of the same shark silhouette swimming in the ocean. The addition is just a few lines of text rather than anything flashier, like a colorful label that might indicate more clearly that the content has a special status.

Image Credits: Google

According to Google's announcement, the labels will pop up on "results that come from independent, authoritative sources" that meet its standards. The company notes that the inclusion of fact-checking tags won't elevate those search results. While more fact-checking and additional context is always a good thing, the new image fact-checking tool only reinforces context from third-party sources already doing this fact-checking work rather than surfacing fact-checking on low-quality websites spreading misinformation.

Google appears content to lean on third-parties for much of this kind of work rather than bringing it in-house, but the company did trial a more aggressive, hands-on misinformation strategy for COVID-19. In March, Google began scrubbing false claims from search results and pointing users to verified public health information in searches and on YouTube.

In spite of running one of the most popular social websites in the world, Google has largely steered clear of engaging in the most fractious current conversations around content moderation and misinformation, exemplified by the ongoing standoff between President Trump and his allies and social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Those companies have signaled opposite strategies toward moderation in recent weeks, with Twitter making increasingly hands-on decisions about what violates its rules while Facebook intervenes only in the most egregious cases. But even if Google mostly succeeds in staying above the fray, the company faces the same existential threat from political figures who seek to punish social media companies by revoking the legal protections that make their businesses possible.

Still, Google did dip its toes into that ongoing conflict last week, when the company confirmed it had removed the right-wing website ZeroHedge from its ad platform for violating its rules against hate and discriminatory content. The company also issued a warning to The Federalist, another far-right site, for similar violations.

Lockdown 4.0 leads search trends in May: Google - The Hindu

Posted: 08 Jun 2020 02:48 AM PDT

As per Google's search trends for May, the most searched term, overall, for the month was "Lockdown 4.0", which spiked +3,150%.

The second top trending term during the month was "Eid Mubarak", that spiked +2,650%.

Relating to coronavirus, search interest for "coronavirus lockdown zones Delhi" spiked +1,800% over the month, while"Italy coronavirus vaccine" spiked +750%, said Google.

Interestingly, coronavirus dropped to 12th most searched topic, overall, during May, behind topics like meaning, news and weather — all consistently highly searched topics in India.

Search interest for coronavirus was half the monthly volume for April, but still five times more searched than cricket.

The top trending related topic for coronavirus is "vaccine", which increased by +190% in May. Vaccine-related searches reached a new record high during the month — the daily peak was on May 6.

Also, as per Google report, the State with the highest search interest for coronavirus over May was Goa, followed by Meghalaya and Chandigarh.

Google Creates a New Source of Traffic With Keen - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 22 Jun 2020 02:31 AM PDT

Google has quietly announced a content discovery service called Keen. Keen is being referred to as a Pinterest competitor but that's not entirely accurate.

Keen is a machine learning app that actively promotes relevant web pages to users. Keen is poised to become a new source of referral traffic, which makes it worthy of investigation.

What is Keen

Keen is an experimental web and Android app that is a part of Google's Area 120 projects. Area 120 is described as where small teams can work together in a small startup mode to bring innovative projects to life.

According to an official post on Google, the project grew out of a husband and wife sharing information about activities that were important to them, activities they wanted to share with each other.

As they gathered links and resources related to their hobbies and goals, the Googler understood that he needed a tool that not only helped curate and share those ideas but to discover more of those ideas.

The post explains:

"It was powerful to tell each other what we wanted to spend more time on. And once we did, we found that collecting related ideas, links and resources together gave us a way to spend more time on our shared passions in real life.

To explore this idea further, four colleagues and I created a new experiment called Keen…"

The curated content can be shared with the public, with specific people or kept private.

What sets Keen apart from Pinterest is that Keen uses Google Search and machine learning to help surface content that is related to your interest.

As your collection grows Keen becomes even better at surfacing the kind of content users are interested in.

This is a proactive content discovery method.

According to the official announcement you can:

"Save and add links, text, images and web searches. Everything you add gets you more to explore…"

That "more to explore" part is what is going to help the web ecosystem receive more traffic.



Keen is a New Channel for Traffic

Keen represents a new opportunity to grow popularity and traffic.

The most powerful recommendation a website can receive is a recommendation from one friend to another.

The value of Keen to the web ecosystem is that it represents a new way for users to discover web content.

Keen actively searches and suggests relevant content to users.

A search engine is passive. It waits for someone to ask it a question. Keen is proactive.

Instead of passively suggesting content in response to search queries, Keen actively recommends content that people will enjoy.

This is far more than a Pinterest competitor. It's a way to grow traffic and popularity.

Web publishers, search marketers and web stores may find it useful to look into Keen to see how it may fit into their marketing strategy.

Read Google's announcement here:
Want to Share Your Passion with the World? Get Keen

Why Google Organic Traffic To Websites Continues To Fall 05/28/2020 - MediaPost Communications

Posted: 28 May 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Nearly half of all ecommerce-related searches on Google never result in consumers clicking through to a retail or other website, and retailers acknowledge that they do not see the same volume of traffic from organic search as before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study by Searchmetrics.

Searchmetrics analyzed clickstream data in the U.S. for 1 million typical ecommerce search queries as part of a bigger study covering travel, health care, and media verticals. The study spanned between October and December 2019. Around 5,000 keywords were analyzed for each vertical.

Only 32% of ecommerce searches resulted in organic clicks, while 20% triggered paid clicks either through search ads or Product Listing Ads (PLAs). The remaining 48% of searches produced no clicks at all, so they did not generate traffic to the retail sites.

Google might disagree, but Searchmetrics attributes the high rate of no-click activity to two things -- either searchers not finding what they look for after an initial query and then searching again and refining the question or the increasing number of search engine results page (SERP) features such as Featured Snippets, Direct Answers, Knowledge Panels, People, Ask, and Video Carousels.



Tyson Stockton, VP of client services at Searchmetrics, believes marketers need to understand the different types of SERP features and how they compete in search results.

He suggests focusing on keywords that might have slightly low search volume but a high organic click-through rate to capture more traffic than just focusing on the keywords that have the highest search volume.

Google found other ways to answer queries without sending the searcher to the company or brand's website.

Featured Snippets, for example, provides short answers to search queries in a widget box that serves up above the organic search results displaying key text and images from a relevant web result that answers the searcher's question.

Direct Answer boxes serve information in the SERPs in response to fact-based search queries. The information comes from Google's Knowledge Graph, a knowledge base of information about things, people and places that has been pulled together from trusted sources such as Wikipedia and other high quality websites. Microsoft Bing offers the same type of information. Google Direct Answers does not include links to website where content originates.

Searchmetrics also found that in the media vertical, 63% of relevant search queries produce no organic clicks. This deprives publishers of potential revenue, which becomes a challenge and increases click-bait headlines.

In the health-care area, no-click activity accounted for 68% of all searches, the highest of all the verticals Searchmetrics analyzed. For the travel industry, no-click searches were about 27%.

This SEO tool can show you how to turn those billions of Google searches your way - The Next Web

Posted: 22 Jun 2020 08:34 AM PDT

TLDR: Long Tail Pro is a keyword research tool that can help you identify the best keywords to drive your online web traffic efforts.

Google handles 92 percent of all web searches worldwide. Users search Google using the keyword they think will best help them find the desired result. So if you know the keyword that is sending Google results to certain pages…well, that's the whole ballgame, isn't it?

That straight line sequence of events goes a long way toward explaining exactly why some sites earn monumental web traffic and others get virtually nothing. 

Of course, determining the keyword that can unlock Google riches isn't always a simple process. However, the fleet of web tools available with a service like Long Tail Pro can help you find that all-important keyword and divert a mighty river of search requests right to your door. Right now, a lifetime subscription to Long Tail Pro is on sale for just $49.99, an over 90 percent savings, from TNW Deals.

It's been almost a decade since this foundational keyword research tool was first launched — and it's still offering up a treasure trove of valuable web traffic data for its users. If you're invested in web analytics, Long Tail Pro can track your web ranking, analyze backlinks and yes, find keywords and determine their effectiveness for you or your key competitors.

Just enter a term you want to check. Long Tail Pro will show you how well it will work, offer suggestions for other terms that might offer better results, and even create long-tail keywords with even less competition that might also be worth using.

That analytical eye can also be cast on keywords used by rival businesses, so you can find out exactly what is and is not working for their web efforts.

There's also the Target KC tool to help you find out which keywords are easy, which ones will take extra effort, and which ones you should avoid at all cost.

With a Long Tail Pro subscription, you'll be able to measure your success and keep tabs on how you're doing with their new Brand New Rank Tracker feature, created from feedback of over 70,000 marketing pros.

Get the keyword advantages all the major online brands use with a lifetime of Long Tail Pro access, a $1,500 package of services now available for a one-time $49.99 price while this deal lasts.

Prices are subject to change.

Read next: How to turn on the Nintendo Switch with Joy-Cons or a Pro Controller

Celebrate Pride 2020 with us this month!

Why is queer representation so important? What's it like being trans in tech? How do I participate virtually? You can find all our Pride 2020 coverage here.


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