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Surely it often happens to you that in your searches on Google you do not find results as useful as you expected. So today I bring you something that I think you will like. These are advanced search operators that will make your life easier when it comes to finding valuable resources.

The Internet has exponentially multiplied the information that we can access with a single click. Thanks to the processing of large volumes of data (Big Data), we can obtain an instant response to a complex query in search engines such as Google. We can even find what we need without having to navigate through different websites.

 

However, the Google BERT algorithm has improved the accuracy of search results.  A large amount of accessible content bombards us and sometimes makes it difficult to find valuable information. We live in the age of information or “infoxication”.

But do not despair, the method that I show you today will help you to carry out your searches effectively. Eliminating all the noise to get to the content you really want. What you are going to learn is how to get better-filtered results using tools at your fingertips, such as Google’s advanced search operators.

How To Do advanced searches on Google

An advanced search utility is available on Google. This search is carried out from a small, very easy to use form where you can fill in various search fields to specify what you want to find.  In this article, I will show you the most popular and basic search commands. If you want to learn more, you can check this list of Google search operators (50+ operators) prepared by Olga Zarzeczna.

The basic Google operators

I assume that you are already familiar with some of the main search operators, also called commands or footprints, that can be used in Google. For example, the exact match operator, enclosed in quotation marks (” “). This operator offers you precision by returning the results that contain the exact phrase.

But I bet you didn’t know these others: Asterisk operator.

This operator is very useful when you do not remember or do not know part of the search terms. So that you understand it better, it is a wild card. Maybe you are looking for an expression that you only remember part of. Well, you could add the Asterisk in the part that you don’t remember. You can also combine it with quotation marks to further narrow the search.

Search word exclusion

If you add the symbol “-” in front of a specific word in your search, you can exclude that keyword from the results that are presented to you.

Search by number range

Google gives you the option to search for a range of numbers. This is done by writing the lower and upper values ​​and adding a colon between them. This operator is especially useful when looking for price ranges.

Boolean operators

Also known as logical operators, Boolean operators are commands based on Boolean algebra. They allow you to logically connect the concepts or groups of terms that you are looking for to expand, limit or define your searches quickly. As well as being very simple, they will notably improve the efficiency of your searches.

AND operator

It is a presence operator. Finds results that include all of the search terms that have been specified regardless of their relative position and order. The greater the number of terms joined by the operator, the fewer the results and the more accurate will be your query to Google.

OR operator

It is useful for indicating associations between words or synonyms in your search. We can say that it is used to make several queries in the same search since you will obtain results that respond to the term or group of terms that is on one side of the OR as well as the one that is on the other side.

NOT operator

It is also known as an exclusion operator. Finds results that do not contain the term written after the operator. For example, if you query SEO NOT sem, the result will only return the contents where SEO appears but not sem.

Site: operator

With this operator, searches are limited to that particular website or domain. It is very good to search for a specific topic indexed by Google within a specific website.

Inanchor operator

This operator is key if you want, it will help you find links to resources of interest. When you use it, Google will return the search results that contain the keywords as text in a link. It is also very useful for SEO because you can find websites where you are already linking to a specific type of resource like the one you have on your blog. So you can get them to link you easily.

Filetype operator

This command will be useful to you to find documentation according to the type of file: pdf, docx, xlx, ppt, etc. All you have to do is do a normal search and add the filetype operator “filetype” at the end.

 [Source: This article was published in southfloridareporter.com By Mark Jonson - Uploaded by the Association Member: Joshua Simon]
Categorized in Search Engine

As a brand or business, it’s not enough for you to intimately know your products and services. You also have to know your industry and customers inside and out if you want to achieve the highest level of success. To help you gain these insights, there are sites for market research that can offer a deeper look at your business and uncover ways to win over your audience.

What Is Market Research and Why Does It Matter?

Market research is the act of gathering and analyzing data about the position of a product or service in a market. It looks at information regarding current customer interest and potential growth.

The market analysis also gathers information about the people who are and might be interested in a product or service. It interprets data as they relate to customer spending habits, geographic locations, industry competitors, and economic conditions.

These insights help you find out:

  • How many people are likely to become your customers
  • Who your customers are
  • Why they buy
  • How they buy
  • How much they buy
  • Why they buy from you
  • Why they buy from a competitor
  • Where there might be opportunities for niche marketing

To find answers to these questions, there are many sites for market research that can help you uncover insights about your customers and industry.

The Best Sites for Market Research

Some of the best sites for market research include the following tools, platforms, and research methods. Use these free marketing research websites to gain insights into your industry, customer base, and potential for growth.

U.S. Census Data Tools

A vital part of marketing research is determining your market size or the potential reach of your products or service. Research to see how many people you could reasonably expect to become your customers. For this type of research, there are U.S. Census data tools. The site has more than a dozen online market research tools and free industry research reports that help you gain insight into demographics and geographic locations of populations who might be interested in your offerings.

US Census online market research tool

SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurship Education Resources

Another one of the best sites for market research as it relates to customer demographics and economic statistics is the U.S. Small Business Administration website. Their Office of Entrepreneurship Education has a variety of market research analysis tools, resources, and reports that provide information useful for learning about customer statistics, product production, economic factors, and data you can use for your marketing intelligence.

 

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Pew Research Center

For more reports and datasets to use in your market research, search the Pew Research Center. The company conducts “public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis, and other data-driven social science research,” all of which offer insights into social, industry, and media trends. The varied and in-depth reports help businesses get a data-focused perspective on the topics shaping industries and geographic areas.

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Statista

For researching data and stats, Statista is another one of the best sites for market research. The site includes datasets on topics in over 600 industries. In addition to providing hard data, Statista also provides many supporting charts and infographics that make the data easy to consume, understand, and use in your market analysis.

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Google Surveys

One of the most powerful ways to learn about your target market is to ask questions. Creating surveys and distributing them to people who match the characteristics of your ideal audience allows you to get direct insight into the minds of your target customers. One of the best sites for market research like this is Google Surveys. You create a survey, describe who you want to take the survey, and Google pools people who match your criteria, and provides you with the results.

free sites for marketing research

SurveyMonkey

Getting information from people who match the criteria of your ideal customer is useful and so is gathering data from the people who actually do business with you. A part of your market research should include surveying your current customers to gain insight into their buying decision process and information that can help you create buyer personas. To perform this type of research, use SurveyMonkey to create surveys that you can distribute to your list of current customers.

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Alexa Tools

Researching your audience is a powerful way to gain insights to use in your marketing intelligence, which is why Alexa is one of the best sites for market research. Using Alexa, you can uncover a variety of details about your audience’s demographics, interests, and habits.

 

Audience Overlap Tool

The Audience Overlap Tool allows you to enter your website or up to 10 competitors to see a list of other websites that the audience regularly frequents.

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This helps you get to know what other interests your audience has as you can see what other types of websites they use. Demo the tool for free and find similar sites now.

Competitive Keyword Matrix

Using Alexa to create a competitive website analysis is another way to conduct market research. One such tool for performing this analysis is the Competitive Keyword Matrix tool. The Competitive Keyword Matrix helps you get a look at the terms your ideal audience is using in search to find your website and your competitors’ websites. You can use this report to see which terms are leading your target audience to competitors and create a plan to target those similar keywords.

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Site Overview

The Site Overview Tool allows you to enter a website and receive a report on the website’s top keywords, traffic sources, audience geography, and other sites with an overlapping audience.

City Town Info

To get more detailed demographic information as it relates to careers and geographic areas, use City Town Info. The site allows you to search by region and explore details about what types of jobs and college experience residents of those areas have. The data helps businesses get to know the people living in specific areas around the U.S. and gather insights into what they do, how much they earn, how much education they have, and more.

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Google Trends

Google offers another one of the best sites for market research with Google Trends. It allows you to get insight into the minds of consumers and audiences. The tool helps you see what topics and stories are popular by displaying reports on the top, most searched for terms. You can use filter functions to see trending stories based on region and category to gain more insight into the areas that are most relevant to your audience and industry.

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Social Mention

Another tool that helps you get a radar on industry trends and hot topics is Social Mention. The tool curates social posts that mention a target search term. It also provides details about the search term such as audience sentiment (how users feel about the term) and reaches (how much influence the term has). To gain insight into your business or industry, you can search both your brand name and related terms to get an idea of how audiences feel about the topic.

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Start Your Market Research Today

When it comes to understanding and winning over more customers, don’t rely on guesses, estimates, or feelings. Get the facts. Do a detailed competitive analysis of your industry using these sites for market research and discover new growth potential for your business and the path you need to take to get there.

To get help with your market research, sign up for a free trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan. It includes the Audience Overlap, Site Overview, and Competitive Keyword Matrix Tools mentioned in this post along with dozens of other tools that help you learn about your customers, competitors, and industry.

 [Source: This article was published in blog.alexa.com - Uploaded by the Association Member: Robert Hensonw] 
Categorized in Business Research

We all probably did a lot more online shopping this year during the pandemic than ever before. After online shopping, you will notice that pop-up ads are constant, and continue to pop up even if you continue to “x” them out. Or you might check the weather, and find that the site you access knows exactly which town and state you are in.

That’s because of cookies and your browser. Here are some tips to minimize the use of your browsing history by third parties.

First, when you use a computer and Wi-Fi in a public place, your browsing history can be accessed and stored. Even if you are browsing using your own Wi-Fi, you can do it privately. All you have to do is go to the far right side of the browser toolbar, click on the three little dots and select private or incognito.

Next, you can delete your browsing history by going to those same little three dots and clicking on “More Tools;” when the menu comes down, click on “Clear browsing data.”

When visiting websites, be wary of any pop-up that asks you to click on “I agree.” Usually, it is asking you to agree to allow cookies. If it gives you an option to say “no,” say “no.” If a pop-up asks you if you want to delete cookies or “do-not-track,” say “yes.”

To restrict browsers from sending your location-based data, refuse to provide consent if asked when you visit a site.  Depending on the browser you use, you can go into “preference” in settings and choose the option of disallowing or asking for the request of location when you visit a site.

Use other browsers that have advanced privacy settings, such as DuckDuckGo.

To restrict Google from creating an ad profile on you, you may wish to consider downloading Google Analytic Browser Add-on so your tracking activity is restricted.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn also track our online activities. To limit these platforms from tracking, go to “Settings” in each site, and click on the choices that allow you to limit targeted ads, tailor ads, or managing advertising preferences.

All websites track users. Controlling cookies and browsing history to limit this tracking will reduce the number of pop-up ads you receive, and the sharing of information about your browsing without your knowledge.

 [Source: This article was published in natlawreview.com  - Uploaded by the Association Member: Dorothy Allen]
Categorized in Internet Privacy

Search is integral to our experience of the internet. It answers our questions, satisfies our curiosities, and with an estimated 4.7 billion people actively using the internet, it’s no coincidence that one of the biggest companies in the world controls search. In fact, Google holds 92% of the global search engine market and derives 57% of its revenue – over $100 billion a year – directly from search advertising. Just the act of trying to improve your search engine ranking page for a particular search term – Search Engine Optimisation – is a multi-billion dollar industry in its own right.

With this in mind, Apple’s recent moves towards establishing its own search technology are hardly unusual, but the real reasons behind it might surprise you – because it’s not about monetization.

Apple’s rival to Google Search

In the latest version of iOS, Apple has begun to show its own web search results. If you have an iPhone, you’ll see them described as “Siri Suggested Websites” when searching from the home screen. It’s been well documented that the AppleBot search crawler is increasingly appearing on weblogs as Apple seeks to index the internet – Apple has a page describing its purpose – and it’s clear that Apple means business when it comes to its own search engine.

But why does Apple feel the need to invest in its own search engine? The status quo is a good deal for Apple – it’s thought that Google currently pays Apple anything between $8 and $12 billion dollars a year in order to be the default search engine on Apple products, and most people are reasonably happy to default to Google. The issue bubbling up is this agreement could be forced to change – not by Apple or Google, but by the US Government.

 

The internet search giant faces an antitrust lawsuit from the US Department of Justice over claims they are fostering a ‘continuous and self-reinforcing cycle of monopolization’. There are clear similarities with the Microsoft Internet Explorer antitrust action of the late ‘90s, and if a similar conclusion is reached, then Apple will be forced to go cap-in-hand to another search engine or reveal its own search engine. Either way, there’s no possibility that Apple will leave its users without the ability to search the internet, it’s too critical to the experience of its products.

What does this mean for enterprise search?

For many years there’s been a gulf between the tools we use as consumers and the tools we use as knowledge workers. It’s often a source of frustration: why is it that at an internet search console, we can find the answer to the most obtuse and bizarre question we can possibly imagine in seconds through a couple of clicks of the mouse, yet it takes me ten minutes to find the document that Jack from Accounts sent me two weeks ago?

The answer lies in the complexity of enterprise search as a function. Behind the veil of the easily accessible user interface, enterprise search is more complex than it appears and there are much greater technological challenges to be overcome, despite the visual similarities with an internet search. For example, content online can easily be categorized by the number of clicks and views a page has received, in order for relevancy to be established, as traffic volumes are incredibly high. However, the document that Jack from Accounts sent is unlikely to have been opened anywhere near as much, so other technologies, such as natural language processing, need to be relied upon in order to understand the content of documents and recommend relevancy.

So, if Apple is spending (most likely) billions of dollars recreating a tool that effortlessly finds us the global sum of human knowledge, then isn’t it about time we improve the tools that knowledge workers have to do their jobs?

Why now for enterprise search?

It’s fair to say Google is doing a good job at keeping up with indexing the internet, but the good news for Google is the internet’s growth of searchable data has slowed significantly since the early 2000s, and it’s currently growing by about 10% a year.

On the other hand, the growth of enterprise data is on another trajectory. According to an IDC whitepaper called “Data Age 2025”, its analysts calculate that enterprise data is growing by around 40% a year, and will account for over 80% of installed bytes by 2025. Under this deluge of data, how will we ever find the document sent to us by Jack from Accounts?

 

The complication is that enterprise data is more heterogeneous in nature than internet data, which is homogeneous by comparison. As a result, enterprise data tends to reside in silos, so if we need to find a document, we can narrow down where we look to a couple of places – for instance, in our email or on a particular SharePoint. However. a further complication arises when we don’t know where to look – or worse still, we don’t know what we’re looking for. A siloed approach works fairly well but at some point, we start to lose track of where to look. According to recent Sinequa research, knowledge workers currently have to access an average of around six different systems when looking for information – that’s potentially six individual searches you need to make to find something.

Compounding the issue, we’re increasingly making use of unstructured or semi-structured data and mining it for information. In these cases we need context; we need metadata. Finding data is getting more complicated.

The issue at hand is time. The same Sinequa research found that, on average, 44 minutes a day is spent searching for information. Just by cutting this in half, we’d get back 11 working days in a year. Better enterprise search tools would enable this, returning more time to employees so they are able to be more productive and deliver value to their organization.

Existential threat, or an opportunity to differentiate?

Whether Apple considers a potential lack of access to internet search an existential threat or simply another opportunity to differentiate its products versus its biggest competitor, it’s clear that Apple sees search as a fundamental part of its offering. That’s why it’s investing vast sums in building its own search engine.

It’s only a matter of time before enterprise search reaches a similar tipping point. There will be a time when the silos become too many or the time is taken to search them becomes too great. The question is whether the reason for enterprise to take search seriously is because a lack of search is seen as an existential threat, or an opportunity to differentiate.

[Source: This article was published in information-age.com By Stéphane Kirchacker - Uploaded by the Association Member: Anthony Frank] 
Categorized in Search Engine

Ecosia does more than an average search engine. With each click, you can plant a tree and save Earth. Here are the reasons to start using it today.

Although Ecosia is not one of the oldest search engines on the internet, it’s certainly old enough to persist and improve. This Berlin-based search engine has even made a name for itself in recent years.

Sure, Google is considered the top-dog among web browsers, but it doesn’t do everything, nor does it protect your privacy. On the contrary, Ecosia offers several things that no other browser has.

It might be time to switch to Ecosia, especially if you care about the environment. Here are ten reasons why you should use Ecosia rather than putting more money in Google’s wallet:

1. Ecosia Plants Trees as You Surf the Internet

Like other search engines, Ecosia generates revenue from the clicks on advertisements that appear beside and above the search results. Each search query also has a fixed rate.

What makes Ecosia different from Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo is that Ecosia uses 80 percent of its revenue to plant trees.

One of the goals of this not-for-profit search engine is to fight climate change. That is why for every 45 searches that you do in Ecosia, they will plant a tree where people need them most.

They only work with tree-planting partners who use various trees that are native to the area to create a biodiverse forest. Ecosia also ensures that the site is protected after the trees are planted, unlike other organizations.

2. You Can Reduce Your Digital Carbon Footprint

Data centers use a lot of energy to send you results. The carbon footprint generated and released into the atmosphere is usually around 0.2 grams of carbon per search query.

Internet Live Stats reported that Google processes over 1.2 trillion searches per year, which would result in 240 billion grams of carbon a year.

You can fight against the climate crisis by reducing your digital carbon footprint with Ecosia. They built their own solar plants in Germany to power their servers using 100% renewable energy so that every search will be carbon-free.

Moreover, each tree that they plant from your 45 search queries will remove 50 kilograms of carbon in the atmosphere in its whole lifetime. It means that each search would have a carbon footprint of negative 1.1 kilograms.

3. It’s Completely Free and Offers the Same Browsing Experience

Like other search engines, Ecosia is free. It also works the same way, so you won’t have a hard time using it. They partnered with Microsoft’s search engine Bing so you’ll see the same reliable results, images, news, and maps.

The only difference is that Ecosia puts a green leaf or fossil fuel icon beside some of the websites in the search results to help you make better decisions. The former symbol signifies that the website or organization is planet-friendly, while the latter would mean that they are one of the world’s biggest polluters.

4. Ecosia Is Available on Mobile Devices

This browser extension has also made its way to mobile devices, as more people are making the switch to greener internet usage. Ecosia even became a default search option for iOS phones.

Apple users alone generated enough ad revenue to plant over seven million trees in 2020. Meanwhile, Ecosia recorded over five million downloads on Google Play Store.

It has several nifty features on the mobile app, such as Safe Browsing, Quick Search, Adblock, Autofill, Add Cards, and Save Passwords. Like other mobile web browsers, it has tabs, incognito mode, bookmarks, history, downloads, and more. Results also load faster than other mobile search engines.

5. Ecosia Is a Privacy-Friendly Search Engine

Unlike Google, which collects your data and uses it in more ways than you can imagine, Ecosia is a privacy-friendly search engine. They don’t store your searches for more than a week, nor do they create personal profiles based on your data.

While Ecosia uses a tracking tool to collect a small amount of data to optimize their services, they don’t use any external or third parties. This way, they can prevent others from accessing your searches and using the data. But if you don’t want to be tracked by Ecosia, you can use their “Do Not Track” feature.

6. They Won’t Sell Your Data to Advertisers

Each of your search queries in Ecosia is securely encrypted to protect you from potential eavesdroppers. Ecosia ensures that nobody between you, them, and services directly involved can spy on your searches.

Also, you can rest easy that the little data they collect to improve their services won’t be sold to any advertisers.

7. Transparent Financial Reports

Ecosia knows that transparency is essential to earn your trust, so they publish their monthly financial reports in full online. Since they pledged 80 percent of their profit to plant trees, they also make sure to be transparent with the budgeting.

 

The report shows how much they spend on their tree planting project, so you can check whether they fulfilled their promise. You can also see how much money Ecosia generated from your searches and how much they used for marketing and employee salaries.

8. You Can Create Sustainable Jobs

As you continue to use Ecosia and help them earn more profit, you’ll also help Ecosia support more tree planting projects in different countries. This would create more sustainable jobs, which would employ people and help them earn income.

In one of their tree-planting projects in Madagascar, Ecosia hired 160 full-time employees to plant mangroves on the island. They also employed firefighters in Brazil to protect existing forest patches.

9. Help Protect Endangered Animal Habitats

With the money that Ecosia makes from your search queries, they can restore forest corridors in Uganda, replace trees that have been illegally cut on Sumatra, and connect existing forest patches in Madagascar.

These areas are home to endangered animals such as chimpanzees, orangutans, lemurs, and more. Planting more trees would support these animals and provide them with shelter and a source of food and water.

10. They Gamified Searching, Which Makes it Fun

Ecosia gamified their web browser by adding a search counter on the top right of their display. That way, you can track your impact and see how many trees you’ve planted.

This feature makes internet browsing amusing and even teases your gamer instincts to push the numbers as high as possible. It’s fun to watch it go up and can even be addicting.

Save the Earth While Searching the Web

Like any other web browsers, you can search for keywords and keyphrases in Ecosia. But there is more to it than just surfing the web since you can save the Earth and support good causes with each click.

Use Ecosia and make it your default search engine now so you can contribute to a greener Earth.

[Source: This article was published in makeuseof.com By Emma Collins - Uploaded by the Association Member: Issac Avila]
Categorized in Search Engine

DuckDuckGo’s Daniel Davis discusses the privacy-focused search engine’s future in the market

INTERVIEW DuckDuckGo’s journey started as an idea in the mind of Gabriel Weinberg, who found poor search results and high levels of spam a daily annoyance when he was browsing the web.

The first iterations of the DuckDuckGo search engine, launched in 2008, focused on offering improved search results – taking on the likes of Google and Yahoo! – but as time went on, the company’s attention pivoted to emerging security and privacy challenges.

There is money to be made in online advertising, and this ecosystem is the lifeblood of everything from media outlets to search engines and social media platforms.

This revenue stream becomes its most lucrative when data is used to create user profiles, resulting in personalized ad targeting.

Rather than charge users for an online service, some would argue that collecting data on users – such as their search queries, web page visits, and ‘likes’ on social media – is a fair trade.

For DuckDuckGo, however, the company believes that a right to privacy should trump marketing interests.

b7f8 article ddg search The DuckDuckGo homepage has become a familiar sight

Speaking to The Daily Swig, Daniel Davis, DuckDuckGo’s communications manager, said that the company has taken a different approach and “we believe getting privacy online should be simple and accessible to everyone, period”.

“We share our most intimate information with search engines – financial, medical, [and more] – and that information deserves to be private and not used for profiling or data targeting,” Davis commented.

No intrusion

DuckDuckGo does not collect user data, search queries, or purchase histories, and does not use or permit trackers – the most common approach employed by organizations to compile user profiles – so searches are kept private.

But how does such a company make money? Adverts are displayed on search engine results, but rather than targeting ads at users, DuckDuckGo’s advertising is based on the search results being viewed.

Today, DuckDuckGo has expanded beyond a simple search engine and now offers a mobile browser app, the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser on Android and iOS, and a desktop extension for Google Chrome.

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DuckDuckGo’s Daniel Davis says user privacy should trump an organization’s marketing interests

As the company does not track visitors, user base estimates are difficult. However, Davis says that within the course of a year, the number of searches a day has increased from roughly 30 million to 80 million – suggesting that the firm’s privacy message is catching on.

The current record, at the time of writing, is almost 86 million queries in a single day.

“Since we don’t track our users, we don't know the same things about them that other companies do, including how many users we have!,” the executive said. “However, we know many of them are increasingly discovering the importance of protecting their privacy.”

Privacy improvements

No company achieves its goals 100% of the time, however. Back in July, Weinberg was roused out of bed one Thursday morning to deal with a security storm online, in which users were questioning a favicon-fetching “design flaw” in DuckDuckGo’s domain that could impact their privacy.

At the time, the DuckDuckGo founder told us that different favicon fetching methods offered “basically a similar amount” of privacy, but the organization chose to change its method due to community feedback.

 

DuckDuckGo’s slogan is “Privacy Simplified”, and for Weinberg, this means users should not have to understand complex security concepts in order to feel safe.

This approach appears to be working. Over 2020, despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, DuckDuckGo is growing, with searches increasing by roughly 44% year-over-year.

“This makes us the number two search engine in several countries include the US, Canada, UK, and Australia,” Davis noted. “In addition, our mobile app is now the most downloaded browser on Android and second most downloaded browser on iOS.”

Searching for balance

Google still holds the lion’s share of the global search engine market, but the growth is grounds for optimism – and according to DuckDuckGo, the tech giant’s iron grip needs to be loosened.

In October, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) accused Google of illegally holding a monopoly in the search engine and advertising market. Google was accused of using tactics including enforcing agreements that excluded rivals from fairly competing with it, alleged actions designed to maintain its pre-eminent position in the market.

While Google denies these claims, the company, described by the DoJ as a “gateway to the internet”, also maintains a dominant position in the browser market through Chrome, a business Davis says Google continues to “exploit” in conjunction with its search monopoly, thereby restricting user choice – and impacting privacy.

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DuckDuckGo’s headquarters in Paoli, Pennsylvania

“This anti-competitive behavior enables them to collect data at an unprecedented scale and use that to behaviorally target users,” Davis says.

“Even people not directly using Google products are targeted due to the proliferation of Google-hosted trackers found on around 75% of websites. Not only does this hurt competition and innovation, but the behavioral profiles that result are also used in ways that have a negative impact on society and democracy.”

When it comes to the browser security landscape, Davis said there is work to be done by major browser providers, including Google.

Privacy improvements are being made over time, but according to the executive, these are “not enough to properly block the pervasive tracking that people have grown tired of”.

Davis mentioned tracker-blocking technology implemented in the DuckDuckGo browser as an example, which has been released to the open-source community.

“People deserve a private alternative to the products and services they use,” he added. “They deserve simple tools that empower them to take back their privacy, without any trade-offs.”

Privacy beyond search

Davis said there is a growing demand for privacy-focused online products and services, and the company has been “delighted” with the response to the DuckDuckGo mobile browser, launched three years ago.

Recent improvements include adding route planning to private maps, allowing iOS users to set their default browser to DuckDuckGo, and becoming a founding member of a new privacy standard, Global Privacy Control (GPC).

There is “nothing to announce” when it comes to a fully-fledged DuckDuckGo desktop browser at present, but given the vendor’s current trajectory, this kind of offering could be a natural fit, eventually, within DuckDuckGo’s portfolio.

“We’re always looking to introduce new privacy protection products and features where people don't have the protection they deserve,” Davis said. “So next year, you'll see us rolling out new simple services that protect people's privacy in other places outside of search and browsing the web.”

[Source: This article was published in portswigger.net By Charlie Osborne - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jeremy Frink]
Categorized in Internet Privacy

Ecosia is a search engine that promotes privacy first and plants trees around the world, and with Mondays updates, it is now available as a default search engine setting on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

Ecosia uses their income from search ads to fund planting trees around the world in harsh environments. The search engine doesn't track users, encrypts searches, and anonymizes data within a week of it being created.

The ad revenue generated from Apple users alone have planted over seven million trees in 2020, and now you can do more by making it the default search engine. The website shows over 115 million trees have been planted as a result of search revenue so far.

Users can customize what data is gathered by using the Safari browser extension or altering settings on the website, which creates a cookie to store those settings. Ecosia uses keyword searches rather than building user-data profiles and hyper-targeting. The company also makes its earnings reports public to show exactly where finances are being distributed.

Browsers that can be set to default in Safari settings:

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Bing
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Ecosia

When a default search engine is set, it will replace Google everywhere web search occurs on the device within the OS except when using Siri. Spotlight search will pull data from everywhere on the device or use the default search engine to surface web results. When asking Siri for information it will search Google using a random identifier so Google doesn't know its you.

Set Ecosia as your default browser on iOS and iPadOS by navigating to Settings, scroll to Safari, and select Search Engine. On macOS set the default search engine from Safari settings.

Users who wish to set Ecosia as their default must update to iOS 14.3, iPadOS 14.3 or macOS 11.1 to do so.

Even as Apple adds competitors to Google to its platform, it appears as if Apple itself is preparing an in-house search engine. While web crawlers used by Apple could be related to bolstering Siri results, it could also indicate a larger project for Apple's search engine.

[Source: This article was published in appleinsider.com By Wesley Hilliard - Uploaded by the Association Member: Barbara larson]

Categorized in Search Engine

Search results can be cluttered with ads and other less-useful information. These add-ons strip out the junk to help you find exactly what you're looking for.

THE WEB IS a big place, which is why we need search engines. But given that virtually every popular search engine now heavily weights its top results in favor of its own products, services, and ads, it's gotten surprisingly difficult to really find the information you're looking for.

Luckily, these browser extensions for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox take your searches to the next level, making them smarter and faster, so you don't have to spend so much time sifting through ads and irrelevant information to find good search results.

From digging deeper into Wikipedia to querying multiple search engines at once, you should be able to find something of use here. Note that the new Microsoft Edge browser is based on Chromium, like Google Chrome is, so you can install any extension from the Chrome Web Store.

Search the Current Site

Full marks to this particular browser add-on for one of the most straightforward and descriptive names we've come across: Search the Current Site does exactly that, running your query of choice on every page across the domain you're currently visiting (such as www.wired.com). While your browser lets you search through the single web page you're currently viewing if you tap Ctrl+F (Windows) or Cmd+F (macOS), this extension is a far more comprehensive and customizable way of getting results from one particular website.
Wikipedia Search

It's likely that a lot of your web searches are going to lead you to Wikipedia anyway, so you can speed up the process by querying the online encyclopedia right from the address bar in Chrome or Edge—just type "wiki" followed by your search keywords. The extension does more than that though, also enabling you to look up terms from inside Wikipedia and on the web at large through the right-click context menu. It works with hundreds of languages that Wikipedia supports and is a must if you spend a lot of time hunting through its pages.

Wolfram|Alpha

Google is fine, up to a point, but Wolfram|Alpha beats it in all kinds of areas—from mathematical equations and algebra to cultural history and entertainment. It does conversions and calculations, physics queries, and data about engineering, and can also dig into information on transportation, the economy, and health. There's plenty more to explore besides everything we've already mentioned, and with this extension set up, you can get at the vast array of features offered by Wolfram|Alpha with a single click.

 

Simple Search

The Simple Search extension offers a reminder of what web searches used to look like: If you run a search using Bing or Google with Simple Search enabled, you'll get a plain and uncluttered list of results, without any of the distractions of ads, info boxes, and sponsored links. The simplified search results appear on top of the standard results, so if you want to see the original page, it's only a click away—otherwise enjoy searching the web the old-fashioned way.

TinEye Reverse Image Search

TinEye is one of those essential resources that should be in the toolkit of every serious web searcher. It scours the internet for pictures, or rather one specific picture that you provide—it can help you spot scams and fakes, work out the origin of an image, direct you towards different sizes of a certain picture, and more. This official TinEye extension makes it easier for you to launch image searches, via a new entry that gets added to the right-click context menu in your browser. Sure, in Chrome you can search for images by right-clicking on them as well, but this gives you another—and sometimes more useful—option.

Search All

Sometimes just one search engine isn't enough—Search All enables you to query Google, Bing, Amazon, Wikipedia, eBay, Twitter, YouTube, and any other search engine or searchable portal you want to add. It's easy to switch between the search options you've configured, and the extension makes it straightforward to focus your searches on shopping sites, image databases, video and movie sites, recipe portals, or whatever else you're particularly interested in. The add-on comes with some useful customizations too.

Multiple Tabs Search

Multiple Tabs Search is a web search extension for power users: Essentially, it lets you run multiple searches at once, together with any necessary parameters you want to add (to limit results to a certain site, for example). It can really speed up your searching if you're got a lot of queries to get through, and you can even remove certain sites (such as YouTube or Facebook) from the list of matches if necessary. The add-on can also be used to open a list of URLs at the same time in successive tabs, making it an even more useful utility.

InvisibleHand

InvisibleHand is a search tool that runs automatically in the background for you, springing into life whenever it finds the product you're currently looking at for a cheaper price somewhere else on the web. It can also load up coupons relevant to the site that you're currently visiting, just in case you can get some money off, and there's also the option to set up price alerts on particular items that you're interested in getting—potentially saving you hours of manually searching the web and clicking around to find the best deals online.

Giphy

Never be stuck for a GIF again by adding the Giphy extension right to your browser toolbar. No matter what the occasion, you can save yourself a substantial amount of searching time by loading up this add-on and typing in some keywords—you can then copy the URL link to your chosen GIF, or drag and drop it straight into the web page you're on (your reactions will never have been so fast). The extension's pop-up window also showcases GIFs that are trending and proving popular, in case you're stuck for some inspiration.

[Source: This article was published in wired.com By DAVID NIELD - Uploaded by the Association Member: Eric Beaudoin ]

Categorized in Search Engine

Bestselling author and cybersecurity awareness specialist.

It's a digital world, and we all love the convenience. But can we honestly say we're being as safe as possible when exploring our favorite websites? Some of you may even be thinking that it's no big deal because you've been using the internet for years to perform data-sensitive tasks, like making purchases or processing digital banking transactions, and you've never had a problem.

But a cybercriminal's goal isn't necessarily to make obvious trouble for you. Rather, they seek to remain undetected for as long as possible, so they can steal as much sensitive data as they can for as long as they can. 

With that in mind, here are 12 tips to help protect yourself, your colleagues and your family while browsing the web.

Automate Processes

• Web browsing is considerably safer when you control pop-up windows. Configure your browser to either block or alert you to pop-ups.

• Turn on auto-updates for your browser, browser plugins and any software that runs in your browser. Doing this is an inexpensive way to add security to your web browsing experience.

• Use browser security add-ons. These applications provide safety ratings for websites and search engine results.

Use Discretion

• Always use a secured website for private information like passwords, email and credit cards. In the web address bar, "http" means a website isn't secured with secure sockets layer (SSL). Look for "https" in the web address, as well as the lock symbol — these are indications the website is secured with SSL.

• Avoid sensational sites. Don't visit sites dedicated to gossip about the latest sensational news stories or celebrities, as they are often riddled with malicious software, often referred to as malware. 

• Watch for search engine warnings. If the search engines show that a site might be malicious, don't go there.

• When something pops up on your screen that you find suspicious, always hit X in the top corner, instead of hitting the cancel or ignore function. The cancel or ignore button of suspicious pop-ups are often used to trick someone into downloading malicious software.

Follow Best Practices

• Cover the webcam on your computer or laptop when not in use. Hackers can turn your webcam on and watch you without your knowledge.

• Use bookmarking. For sites that you visit often, save the web address as a favorite or bookmark. This will lessen the chances of landing on a hacker's lookalike site.

• Don't browse while signed into accounts. Before signing into an account with private information, close all other browser windows and tabs.

• Don't store passwords in your browser or on websites. These places can make your passwords more vulnerable to being stolen.

• Remember, anything connected to the internet, even a smart home device like a refrigerator, can be hacked. Always approach connected devices with security in mind.

The internet is a wonderful source of information. As long as we are careful and follow the tips in this article, we can greatly assist in protecting ourselves, our colleagues and our loved ones.

 

[Source: This article was published in forbes.com By Danny Pehar - Uploaded by the Association Member: Logan Hochstetler]

Categorized in Internet Privacy

YouTube shares new details about how its recommendation algorithm

New information about how various factors influence YouTube’s video recommendation algorithm is revealed by members of the team responsible for working on it.

Having only been implemented in 2016, we still have a rudimentary of how YouTube’s machine learning algorithm works.

We know video recommendations are influenced by factors such as clicks, watch time, likes/dislikes, comments, freshness, and upload frequency.

We do not know, for example, whether external traffic has any impact on video recommendations.

It’s also not known whether underperforming videos will affect the likelihood of future videos being recommended.

The impact of other potentially negative factors, such as inactive subscribers or too-frequent uploads, is not known either.

Those are the factors YouTube’s team discusses in a new Q&A video about the recommendation algorithm. Here is a summary of all questions and answers.

Underperforming Videos

If one of my videos under-performs, is that going to hurt my channel? Could a few poor videos pull down better videos in the future?

YouTube doesn’t make assessments about a channel as a whole based on the performance of a few videos.

YouTube only cares about how people are responding to a given video when deciding whether to recommend it to others.

The recommendation algorithm is always going to be “following the audience.”

If a video is attracting an audience then it will show up in users’ recommendations regardless of how the channel’s previous videos performed.

Channels shouldn’t be concerned about some kind of algorithmic demotion based on a dip in viewership.

It’s normal for the performance of videos to fluctuate in terms of views and other metrics. So YouTube is careful not to have all of its recommendations driven by those metrics.

Too Many Uploads Per Day

Is there a point at which the number of videos per day/week on each channel is so high that the algorithm is overwhelmed and videos slip through?

There is no limit to how many videos can be recommended to a given viewer from a channel in a single day.

Channels can upload as much as they want. How many views each video receives comes down to viewer preferences.

YouTube’s recommendation system will continue to recommend videos as long as viewers continue to watch them.

If a channel is uploading more videos than usual, and each video is getting progressively fewer views, that may be a sign the audience is getting burned out.

While there is no limit to how many videos YouTube will recommend from a channel in a single day, there is a limit to how many notifications will be sent out.

YouTube only allows 3 notifications per channel in a 24 hour period.

Inactive Subscribers

My channel has been around for quite a few years and I think I may have lots of inactive subscribers. Should I create a new channel and then re-upload the videos in order to appear more acceptable to the algorithm?

 

Inactive subscribers is not a factor impacting YouTube’s recommendation algorithm.

This goes back to the first question where YouTube says its algorithm follows the audience.

A channel with inactive subscribers can still get its next video shown in the recommendations section if it attracts an audience.

Creating a new channel and re-uploading the same videos will not help with getting those videos shown to more people.

YouTube remembers viewer preferences, so there’s little chance of reaching those inactive subscribers with a new channel.

Creators should only start a new channel if they decide to go in a different direction with their content.

External Traffic

How important is external traffic?

External traffic is definitely a factor that influences YouTube’s recommendation algorithm.

However, its influence only extends so far.

External traffic can help get a video shown in the recommendations section. But once it’s there it has to perform well with viewers.

Long term success of a video depends on how people respond after clicking on it in their recommendations.

I’m getting lots of traffic from external websites which is causing my click-through-rates and average view durations to drop, is this going to hurt my video’s performance?

YouTube says it’s not a problem if average view duration drops when a video receives a significant amount of external traffic.

Apparently it’s common for this to happen, and it has no impact on a video’s long-term success.

Again, YouTube’s algorithm cares more about viewers engage with a video after clicking on it in their recommendations.

The algorithm is not concerned with what viewers do after clicking on a video from an external website or app.

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern- Uploaded by the Association Member: Jason bourne]

Categorized in Search Engine
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