Tag Archives: Ranking
The Facebook News Feed contains a selection of highlights from Facebook friends, pages to which a person is connected on Facebook and, to a limited degree, groups. The news feed receives significant visibility in Facebook due to its prime location in the central column of a Facebook user’s home page and its ongoing updates. The News Feed content consists of news and posts from friends and pages, friend requests, tagged photos & notes, responses to event invitations and notifications of group memberships.
The News feed is actually divided into two streams: Top News and Most Recent. The Top News stream, the default, contains selected highlights deemed by Facebook to be the most interesting and relevant, while the most recent stream, visible by clicking on a link, contains almost all of the current activity of friends and pages. It seems that about half of Facebook users click to view the most recent news. The Most Recent updates are limited to activity from 250 pages and friends but you can remove this constraint by choosing the Edit option at the bottom of the page.
The first web pages that appeared in 1992 strongly reflected their origin in the academic world, one characterized more by the written word rather than by visual presentation.
When graphic designers arrived on the scene, they tried to improve the situation, but before long many designers began to realize that the web would be a difficult beast to tame.
The web is not print media
Unfortunately for designers who so love Photoshop to create print materials, the Web is not print. When transitioning to the web, graphic designers face a set of common problems:
- Screen size and resolution. The web is populated with people who use devices with different screen sizes and resolutions. A “pixel-perfect”design won’t work when not all pixels are created equal. Browser bugs and differences in interpreting the html standard represent another obstacle to presenting the same exact design to all site visitors.
Figure 2: % web page displayed Increased use of so-called smart phones (iPod, Android, Windows Mobile 7) and similar (iPad) will further complicate the situation.
So now that most of the uninformed hype surrounding Google Instant has been written, let’s take a hard look at what Google Instant really means for most companies and organizations.
Google Instant is an interface change
First of all, it is important to understand what Google Instant is and what it is not. Google Instant is a user interface change, it changes the way Google presents search results to Google users.
How Google Instant works
As the user types a query, Google refreshes the displayed search results which, according to Google, best respond to the query typed so far or what Google predicts the query will be based on past queries.
This past week the Italian antitrust authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato) conducted a search of Google’s Italian office and announced it was beginning an investigation into Google’s possible abuse of its dominant position in the Italian search engine market. The case was triggered by a complaint from the Italian Federation of News Publishers, FIEG (Federazione Italiana Editori Giornali). FIEG represents publishers of newspapers and magazines, together with press agencies.
So what’s the problem?
The news industry has struggled since the mid 1990s to figure out a profitable internet strategy. “Free” content needs to be supported by advertising revenue, yet poorly targeted banners and the like don’t pay much. Google’s indisputable success as an advertising powerhouse1 has captured the press’ attention.
In a recent article on Microsoft’s bing, I felt it necessary to temper my enthusiasm for Microsoft’s commitment to web search by noting Microsoft’s decidedly checkered record as a good net citizen. What about Google?
It is almost too easy to write a glowing review of whatever new service Google unleashes. For example,
- Google Maps Street View enables us to preview a new client’s street and building prior to a first visit – a boon in city environments
- Google Translate has improved so significantly of late that it really is useful in providing rough draft translations of search marketing articles
- Google Squared provides an innovative take on structuring search results for items with multiple attributes.
However while enthusing over Google’s services one might ask,
Does Google have an underlying dark side? If so, need anyone care?
One of the more exciting recent search engine advances I’ve seen in a while is Google Squared. Search for something which has multiple attributes and Google will try to build a structured table of results, adding columns for each major attribute it knows about. As an example, try “Hitchcock films”.
Did Google miss a film? Just add a row and Google will try to fill in the missing attributes. Is a film attribute missing? Just choose from a column suggestion Google offers or specify it yourself and Google will try to find the data. Does a data element seem amiss? Hover over it and Google will display the data source along with alternative values. In the Hitchcock example, one film was reported with the re-release date rather than the original date; a click or two later and the correct date appeared.