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How Search Engines are Changing

 

Geo-location

Websites that you are viewing can determine your approximate location in most cases. They get this from your IP address; a unique address for your place on the internet. This allows search engines such as Google to tailor its suggestions and its results to your location, all with the intention of giving you a better service.

google maps icon

If you are in Ireland and you go to Google.com, you will see a link on the page to Google.ie.  Go to Google.ie and you will find that the suggestions given in the drop-down box are often related to your locality. If you type 'restaurants' you may find that the suggestion is 'restaurants in dublin' if you are in the Dublin area.

 

Google Instant

Google features a service whereby as you type into the search box, you are shown the search results straight away, without clicking 'Google Search' or hitting the return key. You can disable this feature if you wish of course. So that you are not annoyed by searches for partial words as you type, Google completes the current word with its calculated most likely value (shown in grey) and displays the search results for this. It's impressive how much computing power Google is willing to commit to its users to improve the service.

How Online Search is Changing

Bing

Formerly MSN Search, Bing is Microsoft's search engine unveiled in 2009. Now despite the marketing effort of Microsoft, Bing still lags a long way behind Google in share of query volume. 

Personally I think the quality of the service from Google is far better. For example if you type 'restaurants' into Bing the 'drop down' options appear to have no knowledge of my current location, Waterford. The first link on the results page is not a restaurant in Waterford. Even selecting 'local restaurants' in the related searches section returns review sites in first positions. Going to 'bing.ie' doesn't improve matters either. Google.ie in contrast gives me 'restaurants in waterford' as the first drop-down option as soon as I type 'rest'. Google 'knows' that I'm doing my search from Waterford.

 

Facebook searches

Although Facebook is primarily intended as a social networking site, it does have search capabilities which now even bring back results from the web in general. It is certainly one for businesses to watch but as a search engine is not a serious contender to Google at the moment.

 

Others

Wolfram Alpha is a very clever site from Wolfram Research. It differs from a normal search engine in that it can interpret and collate data in many ways. For example type 'compare microsoft apple' and you will get nicely formatted figures and graphs comparing the two companies. Certainly one to watch as more information is added.

 

DuckDuckGo is a very clever search engine that distinguishes itself by giving great results without tracking you. So if you like your privacy and no ads, this is the one for you. Certainly one to watch as it grows in popularity.



Testimonial

Cquent.ie

Website Design and eCommerce Website Development

Cquent is a company I regularly recommend to others. Their knowledge of e-commerce, SEO and website design is second to none, on top of their 'can do' attitude. I have worked with Cquent for many years now and no matter what the issue or query, they always know how to tackle it. They also have a very quick response time, which is critical for us being an e-commerce business. On a personal note, the guys are a pleasure to deal with and, again, I never have any hesitation in recommending Cquent to anyone looking for web developers.

Website Design and eCommerce Development Services

Date published: 18/05/2015

5 / 5 stars
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