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google search

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Data from the US Department of Education's College Scorecard is now available in Google Search

If you're a student, you've probably used Google to look up information about colleges and universities. You've also likely noticed that most, if not all, schools have their own personalized cards with figures such as acceptance rate, tuition, total enrollment, and endowment. Now, Google is partnering with the US Department of Education to integrate statistics from the College Scorecard into Google Search.

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Google Search may soon show live popular business times for locations

There's a Chick-Fil-A location on Powers Boulevard in Colorado Springs. It's there. It sells chicken sandwiches. It's the only one on that side of the city. The store is technically open from 6AM to 10PM every day, but I don't think I've ever been there before nine at night. Because as good as Chick-Fil-A sandwiches are, they're not worth waiting 40 minutes in a drive-through line that wraps around the building twice.

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Google Now is dead: Latest beta of Search app erases references to Google Now

Version 6.5.26 of the beta Google Search app rolled out last night, and while at first the changes seemed minimal, we're seeing one thing this morning that is of particular interest: all references to Google Now have been removed. Google Now cards have been renamed to "Feed," and Now On Tap (as some of you told us) is now referred to as "Screen search." Given Google assistant's forthcoming launch, this isn't exactly surprising.

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Google now allows any site to contribute reviews to Google Search

Google Search has shown reviews of places, movies, TV shows, and more for a while now. The reviews displayed in Search results were always limited to a few select websites, but no longer. Google will now aggregate reviews from up to three sites for any given place (and movies/TV shows/books/etc), as long as the sites implement Google's snippet markup and follow its guidelines. Reviews can either be from the site itself, or from user-created reviews submitted to the site (like Facebook).

In addition to normal reviews, qualifying publishers can also add their critic reviews to Search results. As seen in the right screenshot above, these are larger cards with an embedded summary. Critic reviews are supported for local businesses, movies, as well as books.

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Google announces Search In Apps, a new way to search for personal content

Android's always been pretty good at search - it's developed by the world's biggest search company, so you'd hope so - but one thing that it's always struggled with is searching content on your device, having removed it in Ice Cream Sandwich because the API was not up to scratch. Google is attempting to fix that today with the launch of the new 'Search In Apps' feature, which Cody uncovered part of during a recent Google app teardown.

InAppsSearch LgV20InApps

In Apps is basically an extension to the Google search bar. When searching something that's 'personal' such as a name or place, scroll to the end of list of available searches - the one with 'Web,' 'Images,' 'Shopping,' 'Maps,' and more on it.

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[Bored at work] Google adds playable Solitaire and Tic-Tac-Toe games in search results

Here goes my productivity for the rest of the day week. In its quest to make the search page the only thing you ever visit online, Google has added another fun trick to its search engine: Solitaire and Tic-Tac-Toe. Forget about animal sounds, metronomes, bubble levels, and all kinds of other tools or time-wasters, this is what we've all been waiting for, from the moment we booted our first Windows computer to all those car and train rides in winter when we played Tic-Tac-Toe on the foggy windows, to that time we saw the doctor's assistant playing Solitaire on her computer and wished we had that to ease the long wait.

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Google will start ranking pages with intrusive ads lower on search results

Trying to browse the internet quickly, even on the fastest smartphones, has become much harder in recent years. Advertisements take up valuable screen real estate, and can cause your phone's browser to slow to a crawl. Even worse, some sites *coughWikiacough* have taken to using full-screen advertisements and other popups.

As Jean-Luc Picard once said, "The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!" Google has taken the offensive in the battle against intrusive mobile ads, using their influence as the most popular search engine as leverage. Starting on January 10, 2017, pages with content not easily accessible on mobile "may not rank as highly," according to Google's blog post.

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Latest Google App beta adds an animation for the Nexus Launcher's search button

If you're rocking the leaked Nexus Launcher on your device, you might have noticed at least one animation wasn't working. With the current release version of the Google Search APK, tapping on the search button brings up the search bar, but without the fluid animations we've come to expect from Material Design.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, "does one animation really matter?" And the answer is always yes. Reddit user /u/parentskeepfindingme noticed that in the latest Google App beta, there's actually an animation! Here's a capture we took of that new animation.

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Google Search will better answer voter registration questions for the upcoming US election

In case you missed it, there's a national election approaching here in the US. I know, it's understandable if you mistook the nonstop campaigning for our idea of good TV. It might as well be. But one way or another, years of campaigning are about to come to an end... for a few days before starting back up again.

Despite holding elections every year or so for hundreds of years, the process is still a messy one. Each state has its own requirements and rules for registering to vote. I majored in political science, and I have to search to figure out some of this stuff.

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[5 Minutes at the gym] Google will start telling you how long people usually spend at a location

Google Search, not Google Maps, is adding a new feature when you search for a place. You'll get the usual card with the photo, location, open hours, description, reviews, and more, but there will be a new section there called Plan your trip with the duration people typically spend at this location.

This information won't show up for every single place you might look at. It will most likely be limited to popular touristic and historical locations with lots of foot traffic where Google can aggregate data from different visits and figure out how long people usually stay there.

This, along with the Popular times graph that was added last year to Maps (and Google Places) should help you plan your visits to different destinations more effectively, especially when you're on holiday or traveling.

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