Latest Developments in Search – 22nd August 2014


It’s time for another round up of recent events in search.

The Serious Business:

Let’s start with the continued flux of Google’s local results. Search Engine Roundtable posted earlier this week about Google testing dropping the local carousel. It looks like this is another step in unifying the look and feel between mobile and desktop.

Due to some quirk or other I’m not seeing either layout currently on desktop so I can’t comment on this! I do, however, see the layout on mobile and it looks great – very easy to use.

If you can currently see old or new on desktop what do you think?

For the linguists out there, the Google app is now much more capable with multiple languages. As announced on their Inside Search blog, users can now select up to 5 languages at a time from the 50 Google currently understands. It would be reasonable to assume that Google will continue to add to that 50 in their quest for information!

Simply go to Google Settings on your Android device tap ‘Search & Now’, then ‘Voice’ then ‘Languages’ and then select your languages. Easy! Now to learn another 4 languages….

The biggest news for advertisers recently was changes to exact and phrase match keyword types in AdWords. Perhaps slightly misleadingly labelled as the death of exact and phrase match by Search Engine Watch, Google said most people are already using close variant matching and getting better results. Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?

In Amusing News:

Search isn’t always hugely funny, but a couple of stories caught my eye this week.

Google has finally clarified its stance on the HTTP code 418. What’s this? Not found? Forbidden? Authorisation required? No – this is, of course, if you want your page to say it’s a teapot.

Unfortunately your teapot won’t pass pagerank. Sorry.

Glad it’s finally sorted though.

We’ll end with an embarrassing incident for Google involving Greggs. This story as featured on Search Engine Land also gave my old Greggs a few seconds of fame in its lead picture of the Wade Lane Greggs in Leeds. An odd moment seeing that!

Basically what happened was a bit of a knowledge graph snafu that lead to a satirical online encyclopaedia providing some of the particulars for their listing. Namely, this version of their logo:


Greggs Knowledge base mix up

How very rude! A lively and amusing back and forth between Greggs and Google ensued on Twitter. Whoever is doing Greggs social media is doing it brilliantly and deserves a cookie (or a scone… donut…. Muffin….Iced finger….  – Ok stop listing Greggs confectionary – Ed)

That’s it for this week so over to you – what’s been on your mind this week in the world of search?

Author Owen Radford

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