Tag Archives: Search Sites

Google’s Recipe View a Delicious Idea!

As a foodie and home chef, I am almost ashamed to say that I have stopped buying cookbooks.  I used to love and treasure them.  But with so many recipes available online these days, it almost seems a waste to spend the money.  Of course, some are indispensable and I have my favorites with which I will never part (I may have my vegan slow cooker book cremated with me when I go!).  But for the most part, I can find almost any recipe I want these days on the internet.  Thanks to Google’s new Recipe View, recipe searches just got even easier!  Mon Deiu, what would Madame Child say?

Using the new Recipe View is easy-peasy and the functionality works like butter.  [Yes, we are having a good time with this one!]  Simply run a Google search for a recipe name or ingredients.  When you get your list of results, simply go to the left-hand side of the screen and choose “Recipes”.  When you click, your list is culled to only those results that are actually recipes.  Want to refine your search further by focusing on specific ingredients, cook times, or calories?  You can!  Just go back to the left side of the window and use one of the new filters that has appeared.  It is easier than boiling water!

You can read more about Google’s new Recipe View here.  Now get cooking!

Social Climber: Google Revamps Its Search

The social relevance of search results took on new importance today as Google announced a fresg revamp of its social search features.  To quote the company’s Project Management Director Mike Cassidy on Google’s blog, “[R]elevance isn’t just about pages—it’s also about relationships.”  Google is leveraging those relationships by bringing an even greater social emphasis to its search results.

Google rolled out its social search functionality back in 2009.  Since then, there have been some small changes here and there.  Today’s announced overhaul, however, is a major step in a bold direction.  Starting today, users will get more information from the people that matter to them, whether that info is being published onYouTube, Flickr or even their own blogs and sites.  How will this manifest in the search results?  Well, social search results will now be mixed right into the results list based on their relevance.  Annotations will tell you which of your friends posted the information and where.  Previously, social search results only appeared at the bottom of the screen.  Now, they will take their rightful places on the most valuable real estate on the screen.

Of course, you have to be logged into Google to see this functionality in action.  However, it is worth the extra step.  In fact, even links that your friends may feature publicly on sites like Twitter are rolled into the mix and annotated to show you the social connection between you and the poster.  To facilitate this, Google s making it easier and even more secure to connect your social network accounts.  In the past, you had to create a Google Profile and link your other accounts to it.  Starting today, you can privately connect those accounts directly to your Google account itself.

The new functionality really looks innovative and promising.  Talk about leveraging the knowledge of the people you know and trust most!  A helpful introductory video is available.  The new social search is rolling out in the days ahead.  Keep an eye out for it!

Zuula is Power Searching in a Zip!

Does that fact that running the same search on different search engines often results in wildly different results bother you?  It bothers us at iBraryGuy.  If you are like us, you probably will run an important search in various search engines just to make sure you did not miss anything.  This can be both cumbersome and time-consuming.  Well it could . . . until Zuula came along and made power searching a whole lot easier.

What is Zuula?  The name may sound odd, but we library types know better than to judge a book by its cover.  We judge it by its content and our contentment.  Give Zuula a try and you will see that it’s got some great features that are bound to make you happy.  Let’s start by saying what Zuula is not.  It is not a mere metasearch in the classic definition.  Though Zuula searches across various search engines, it does not simply aggregate and rank results into one list.  No.  It searches other engines and brings you individual lists that you can compare and contrast without running multiple searches or opening multiple windows.  In this regard, Zuula is really one part metasearch and one part time saver!

Zuula’s real power is not as much in its search (which is great!) but in its functionality and customization.  Run a search in Zuula and you will get a series of results tabs.  Each tab is a results list from a different search engine.  Simply click the tabs to compare and contrast the results.  Want to specify which engines are being searched and in which order?  No problem!  Zuula can be customised to poll only the search engines you trust and in an order ranked by you.  You can even set these prefernces by type of content being searched (web, images, video, blogs, etc.).  It does not take much to make Zuula work for you and save you a good bit of legwork and time.  Zuula even saves your most recent searches for you for easy recall.

In a world where web search has almost become ubiquitous to our daily lives, it is becoming increasingly difficult for a search engine to stand out from the crowd or compete with the major players.  Zuula, which is still in beta, is off to a great start.   More than just a fresh approach to metasearch, it is practical and powerful alternative to search engine overload!

Google’s new look causes a stir.

Google unveiled a brand new look for its industry-dominating search engine yesterday.  The new 3-Column format is designed to make filtering searches and drilling down results easier than ever.  Some folks are praising the new interface.  Others, if you are following the comments on the various news feeds and blogs, are outraged and want their old Google back.  While no one can make everyone happy, when a giant like Google makes even the smallest change, you are certain to hear a great deal from both sides.  Suffice it to say that the new changes are worth a good, hard look.

Google’s new user interface is clean and uncluttered.  It is also very logical and user-friendly.  No longer do you have to hunt for search options.  They are all in the left column.  Filtering by content type (news, blogs, video, etc.) or timeliness (latest, past month, etc) is as easy as clicking.  check out the “related searches” and “wonder wheel” links for some truly interesting functionality.  The “Something Different” section on the left gives you even more to think about while conducting your searches.  What you see in the left column is just the surface.  As you begin to drill into the search options, even more functionality reveals itself (filtering by date ranges, choosing just pages with photos, etc.).  It is really powerful stuff!

Search results now appear in the middle column of the page and look like they always have.  Of course, selecting any of the search options on the left will change the list you see.  Drilling down is thus interactive, easy, and immediate.  As it should be!  The right column is for ads, of course.  After all, someone has to pay for innovation (and to keep it free for the rest of us!).  Other changes worth noting are the new look of the Google logo (not so 3D-y anymore) and page footer (much cleaner).

So what is there to complain about with so much search optimization and customization so readily and obviously available?  Well, if you read the comments on the various news and search engine blogs, it appears that Google stalwarts fear two things.  First, they miss the minimalist look of the Google search page – a look that many say set Google apart from the rest.  Second, they fear that Google is trying too hard to compete with the “rest”.  Many are pointing out that Google looks and feels a lot like Microsoft’s Bing search engine. 

Though Google still dominates the market, Bing has steadily grown to a 10% share in search engine preference.   Is the new look of Google a reaction to Bing’s challenge?  Maybe.  Will it drive enough people away to hurt Google’s own marketshare?  We think not.  The iBraryGuy team is impressed by Google’s new interface.  It is the epitome of searching elegance, bolstered by the power that only Google can deliver.

Spokeo takes people searching to a whole new level!

There are many good sites out there to help you find people. From specialty search sites to major search engines to social networks, information on individuals is plentiful on the internet.  What sets Spokeo apart from most of the standard people search sites is that it brings all of this scattered, public information together in one place.  To quote its homepage, Spokeo is “not your grandma’s phonebook”!

Spokeo’s user interface is deceptively simple.  You just need to enter either a name, an e-mail address, or phone number to start your search.  What happens after you enter the search is complex and powerful.  Spokeo doesn’t simply search the web.  It actually aggregates data from hundreds of online and offline sources, including: phone directories, social networks, marketing surveys, mailing lists, government census, real estate listings, and even business websites.  It’s hard to find a people search that is more thorough and still publicly available.

What Spokeo returns in response to a search query is fascinating – almost frightening, actually.  Profile information, photos, blog postings, social network memberships, interests, lifestyle indicators, education, household information, wealth and credit estimates, and even neighborhood demographics. It really is an impressive overview of the person for whom you are searching.  Of course, it also begs the question of what people can find out about you.  For those who are concerned about the reach of Spokeo, you can actually opt out of having your information aggregated by the site.

Basic use of Spokeo is free.  There is a premium pricing plan that delivers even more robust information and more detailed reports.  Given the amount of information the free search returned, we were almost curious enough to get the paid membership a try!