This week saw the publication of Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report, packed full of data and insights into the development of the internet and digital technology across the globe. Particularly of interest to us here at Search Engine Watch is a 21-page section on the evolution of voice and natural language as a computing interface, titled ‘Re-Imagining Voice = A New Paradigm in Human-Computer Interaction’. It looks at trends in recognition accuracy, voice assistants, voice search and sales of devices like the Amazon Echo to build up an accurate picture of how voice interface has progressed over the past few years, and is likely to progress in the future. So what do we learn from the report and Meeker’s data about the role of voice in internet trends for 2016? Voice search is growing exponentially We know that voice is a fast-rising trend in search, as the proliferation of digital assistants and the advances in interpreting natural language queries make … [Read more...] about What does Meeker’s Internet Trends report tell us about voice search?
At Google’s 15th anniversary celebration last summer, shortly after Hummingbird was introduced, Tamar Yehoshua, Google VP of Search, showed us conversational search at Google by first demonstrating a query asking for “pictures of the Eiffel Tower”, and then following up with the query “How tall is It?” In that second query, Google had to not only remember the Eiffel Tower was being asked about, but also to recognize the Eiffel Tower when it was being referred to as “it.” That is part of the new “conversational search” that Google is now engaging in, using something know by linguists as a “coreference.” I wanted to write about coreferences to clear up confusion that people might have had about them. I was inspired to do that after reading an article from Eric Enge earlier today, where he wrote about Knowledge Graph Advances From Google In his article’s section on “query sequences”, he tells us One last … [Read more...] about What are they? Coreferences in Followup Queries
Early in the days of web search, Inktomi (one of the first search engines that supplied results to Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other web portals) was updating their index every three to six months. Many businesses were calling up the search engine asking how they could get into the search index more rapidly and potentially be refreshed more frequently. They were even willing to pay for such a service. As a result, Inktomi started a paid inclusion program that would either take a URL or a list of URLs as an order or an XML feed with associated metadata. As search technology improved, having an updated index became table stakes for search engines to be relevant for users on the web. As a result, the value proposition of paid inclusion morphed into the ability to provide additional metadata and additional display fields both to be used in ranking. As search engines caught up to this new value proposition with the launch of structured data and schema and disclosure concerns were no longer a … [Read more...] about Local SEO: Don’t Rely on Paid Inclusion
Machine learning is quickly becoming an indispensable tool for many large companies. Everyone has, for sure, heard about Google’s AI algorithm beating the World Champion in Go, as well as technologies like RankBrain, but machine learning does not have to be a mystical subject relegated to the domain of math researchers. There are many approachable libraries and technologies that show promise of being very useful to any industry that has data to play with. Machine learning also has the ability to turn traditional website marketing and SEO on its head. Late last year, my colleagues and I (rather naively) began an experiment in which we threw several popular machine learning algorithms at the task of predicting ranking in Google. We ended up with an assembly that achieved 41 percent true positive and 41 percent true negative on our data set. In the following paragraphs, I will take you through our experiment, and I will also discuss a few important libraries and technologies that … [Read more...] about An experiment in trying to predict Google rankings
Since I noted Timothy Tuttle of Mindmeld’s LSA16 comments about the sudden increase in the volume of voice search queries, I’ve noticed an increasing number of articles on the subject. If the attention being given voice search is an indication of its anticipated impact on the marketplace, then it’s going to be a big deal. The potential for voice search to become a major search medium is well illustrated by the number of slides Mary Meeker devotes to the topic in her annual Internet Trends report that was just released this month. Out of 213 slides, Mary included 23 slides on voice search. And while the numbers on voice search growth vary quite widely, they all agree on one trend: explosive growth. Explosive growth and the reason behind it At LSA 16, Tuttle shared that within one year (last year), the use of voice search went from a statistical zero to 10 percent of all search volume. That was huge. Yet more recent numbers show that growth accelerating — Google … [Read more...] about The voice search explosion and how it will change local search