Google's search indexing is kind of a big deal - having a high spot in relevant searches for the world's biggest search engine can literally make or break a business. So if you don't want your site to lose its spot, you'd better make sure your website looks good when accessed from a mobile browser. Starting on April 21st, Google's search algorithm will incorporate whether or not a site is "mobile-friendly" when ranking its appearance in search results. Google announced the change on its Webmaster Central blog:
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.
Performing a Google search for medical information is a crap shoot. It can lead you somewhere filled with quality content, or it can send you down a trail of wildly inaccurate speculation and conjecture (which isn't all that different from performing an Internet search for anything else, really). But now when you turn to Google for questions about certain health conditions, it will dish out relevant information at the top of the search straight from the Knowledge Graph.
So when you perform a search for the likes of frostbite or the measles, Google will touch on information such as symptoms, treatments, whether something is contagious, and which age ranges are the most susceptible. Read More
The user experience on Android is never standing still, which is no more evident than in the Play Store itself. It seems Google may be trying out a new behavior for search queries that match the names of the Play Store's predefined categories. Instead of presenting a list of apps, searching for a term like 'action' or 'puzzle' can bring up structured lists like those that would appear in the category itself.
A search from the top level of the Play Store still pulls results from each of the major stores, as it should; but tapping into the apps section from those results or starting the search from anywhere in the Android-related portions of the store can redirect to the category-oriented view. Read More
There are multiple ways to go after users. One way is to come up with a catchy word (Scroogled), slur a competitor with it (Google), sell some shirts, and hope it sticks. An alternative approach is to introduce functionality that could potentially draw their interest. The latest Bing for Android update does just that. Now Bing supports downloading images found in search results, a feature Google previously introduced into its own search app only to remove it later.
To save a picture, just hold down on it and wait for the confirmation dialogue to pop up. Bing will then save it to your gallery. Read More
Back on the Nexus 5's launch day, Google announced an upcoming feature that would make it easier to open search results directly inside of relevant apps, rather than within a web browser. You'd be forgiven for missing this announcement, given everything else that was going on that day. This new functionality, known as app indexing, places an Open in app button next to search results that contains information better suited for perusing inside an app. The functionality's now rolling out to the Google Search app as well as mobile web browsers.
It's also now easier to find new apps as well. Read More
The Google Search app is already the quickest way to retrieve information on your Android device. With just a few words, users can search the web, open apps, and pull up directions. The problem is that some information opens up in a web browser that would be better suited for an app. If you already have the IMDb app installed, why should a search result shoot you out to the browser? Some links ask which app you want them to open in, but how can you tell which ones?
With app indexing, users will soon have more control over the experience. Read More
Google knows how annoying it is to miss the next episode of your favorite show because you didn't know when it was going to air, so now when you do a simple search for a TV show, Google will display a list of episodes directly in the search results. The episodes appear in descending order, so the upcoming episode should appear at the top with previous episodes listed below. Google released a screenshot on Google+ of the new feature in action.
If you're searching from your smartphone, the feature won't be as immediately noticeable. Initially it's tucked away, and you will have to click on the drop-down arrow to expand more information. Read More
It looks like Google isn't done adding goodies to the latest round of updates for the official Search app. The hotword for activating the voice search function is now "Ok Google," and it also works while looking at results, not just from the standard search screen. You'll need Search 2.8.7 (grab the APK here if you don't have it yet) and an updated English (US) language pack to see the new functionality.
We spotted the hotword-from-results feature in a teardown of a previous Search APK. Using the feature is pretty simple. Do a standard voice or keyboard search, then say "Ok Google" from the results page to begin a new voice search. Read More
Just when you thought we were done with the already rather extensive Google Search teardown, another wild teardown appears. Yup, still the same good old Search 2.7, but this time, we found a hidden feature that you will really want, even more than custom hotwords. At least I think you will.
Turns out, there's a secret flag within Search that lets you use the hotword, set by default to 'Google,' anywhere in search results instead of just the home Activity. By default, Search will let you say "Google" to activate voice input only in the main Search screen, after which you'd have to tap the Back button in order to use it again. Read More