According to Android Police, Google is preparing a broad expansion of voice actions beyond its search app. The report describes this initiative as “OK Google Everywhere.” Voice actions would extend to other Google apps (e.g., mail, photos) and would also be contextually specific, taking on Google Now-like capabilities. Currently queries and some app-related commands can be executed by voice but the report suggests a much deeper use of voice together with contextually specific actions: For example, if you were having a conversation with someone in Gmail, the prompt may suggest replying to that person, or performing actions related to the message chain like finding a movie, looking up the hours of a restaurant mentioned in the conversation, etc. This functionality is probably further out, as it would likely require more build-out on Google’s predictive/assistive technology, but simpler suggestions like composing an email or creating an appointment are already in … [Read more...] about Google To Broadly Expand “OK Google” Voice Actions
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The newest update for Cortana for Android enables users to make it the default assistant on Android devices, displacing the Google Assistant. A prompt when Cortana is initiated takes users through the quick setup process (below). Once installed, a long press on the home button brings up Cortana instead of the Google Assistant. Users will no longer be able to simply say “OK Google” to access the Google Assistant, although the latter can still be initiated via the Android home screen search box and mic. Cortana cannot be summoned in a hands-free way on Android phones, however. Previously, Microsoft made Cortana available on Android’s lock screen. This move makes it even more native to Android devices; however, it’s not clear how many people will bother to make it the default assistant. I suspect this is aimed at people who use Windows PCs but have Android phones, enabling a cross-platform assistant experience. Microsoft says that Cortana has nearly … [Read more...] about No more ‘OK Google’: Cortana can now be the default assistant on Android
On Friday we reported on an issue where SEOs began noticing that Google was removing tons of pages from their index. It seemed to have started on Thursday but Google did not confirm the issue until Saturday morning. The issue is now into day four or so and it is not yet fully resolved.In short, some sites were seeing a nice chunk of their web pages being de-indexed, removed from the Google index, and thus not showing up in the Google search results. This can hurt big time for sites that depend on Google to send them traffic. That traffic may convert to leads, ad clicks, e-commerce check outs, and other conversion metrics.It is hard to say how big this was, I asked, Google won't say. But the issue seems to be big at least from within the SEO community. Here is what we know so far.Google thought they fixed the issue Saturday morning: SEOs before this knew that they could use the URL Inspection tool to submit URLs back into the Google index. But for sites with thousands of pages … [Read more...] about Google Still Working On Reindexing Pages That Dropped Out Of The Index From Thursday
Google’s head of web spam, Matt Cutts, posted a 8 minute video on how Google search works. From crawling, indexing to ranking, he gets into a brief overview of how Google’s search engine does its job. Matt explains how PageRank is used, crawling timelines, frequencies, priorities, indexing and filtering processes within the databases. 0:00 0:00 MATT CUTTS: Hi, everybody.0:01 We got a really interesting and very expansive question0:04 from RobertvH in Munich.0:06 RobertvH wants to know–0:09 Hi Matt, could you please explain how Google’s ranking0:12 and website evaluation process works starting with the0:14 crawling and analysis of a site, crawling time lines,0:18 frequencies, priorities, indexing and filtering0:21 processes within the databases, et cetera?0:25 OK.0:25 So that’s basically just like, tell me0:27 everything about Google.0:28 Right?0:29 That’s a really expansive question.0:30 It covers a lot of different ground.0:32 And in fact, I have … [Read more...] about Google’s Cutts Explains How Google Search Works
The Wall Street Journal is out with a story saying that Google is about to make one of the biggest changes in its history of offering web search, providing more direct answers and gaining “semantic” smarts to understand more about what words mean. I’m scratching my head, since Google already does this. Methinks Google’s PR has exploded in ways it didn’t expect. Beyond Blue Links! From the story, we learn things such as: Over the next few months, Google’s search engine will begin spitting out more than a list of blue Web links. It will also present more facts and direct answers to queries at the top of the search-results page. and: The company is aiming to provide more relevant results by incorporating technology called “semantic search,” which refers to the process of understanding the actual meaning of words. and: Amit Singhal, a top Google search executive, said in a recent interview that the search engine will better match search … [Read more...] about WSJ Says Big Google Search Changes Coming? Reality Check Time!