Using Google to Predict the Future

Elegantly simple proposal to measure economic confidence in The Economist’s search for other quirky indicators: searches in the U.S. on Google for “gold price” in the piece Alternative indicators: Behind the bald figures But the hottest tip came from Edward Ritchie, an investment analyst in London. He tracks Google searches for the “gold price” as an …

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Updater Fever

I sometimes wonder what software companies—Apple, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, they’re all the same—want from their customers. I spend enough time with novice users to know how confusing using computer software can be. Especially online: It’s a scary world out there (they’re right to be scared) but these companies, which should know better, make it more …

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Books. The New Google Juice?

Increasingly I find that if I enter a search on Google for something that I need explaining to me, the first result is a book. Of course, the book is in Google’s Book Search, but chances are the search is in a page that has been scanned and is available without having to buy the …

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Google Killer? A Clip Around the Ears, Maybe

There’s a new search engine out there, according to the Guardian, and it sort of tries to figure out what you’re looking for. Which is good. Google searches are great so long as they’re simple. But is Powerset up to snuff? Here are some searches I did (betraying my interests): Pretty good stuff. And how …

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Ring Tones, Drugs and the Spamming of Google News

This week in the WSJ.com (subscription only, I’m afraid) I wrote about web spam — the growing penetration of faux websites that ride up the search engines and muddy the Internet for all of us. I based it around the recent case of subdomain spam, well documented by the likes of blogs like Monetize. Briefly …

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Claria Goes Into Search

Claria, formerly Gator and allegedly the brief focus of Microsoft interest, has announced it is working on a new search engine technology which “goes far beyond analyzing links to pages and hypertext matching, and instead evaluates how consumers actually interact with search results when they are seeking information on the Web”. I don’t claim to …

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TurboScout, The Search Engine Of Search Engines

I have just heard from Singaporean William Chee, now about 21, who set up TurboScout, a search engine that that saves you time and makes your Web searches easy. With TurboScout you only enter keywords once, then getting and comparing original results from over 90 search engines across 7 categories is as simple as clicking …

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Google Localisation Gone Mad

As part of Google’s localization push, the search engine will figure from your IP address what country you’re in and configure itself accordingly into a local site, with a local country suffix, and, sometimes, local language options. Fair enough, except for travellers and people who are quite happy with things as they are. Running Google …

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What’s The Difference Between A Search Engine, A Search Destination And A Portal?

LookSmart has today unveiled some more focused search engines, according to a press release from the company: It calls them ‘vertical search destinations’ to ‘provide niche audiences with essential search results, versus the typically exhaustive returns from other search engines’: the trendy www.teenja.com for teens; the more studious www.gradewinner.com for “tweens;” and www.24hourscholar.com for college …

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The Desktop Search Dichotomy

I’ve updated my directory of desktop search engines and indexers to take into account the Yahoo/X1 tie-up and one or two other changes in the landscape since I created it. Yahoo!, as you have no doubt heard, is basically giving away a free version of X1, quite an excellent file indexer and searcher which would usually …

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