Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Description of ‘Google’ Category:

Posts about Google, a website providing search engine, Internet related products, and services.

Google Abruptly Changes a Longtime Search Command

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Saying that Google changed the +Search command may not be the best way to describe Google’s actions. Instead of announcing that they were going to be replacing the +search command they quietly pulled the rug out from under its users and completely removed the Boolean + search command. Google is now ignoring the + symbol without so much as a blog post to let people know.

Although Google has decided to ignore searches with the + command they have expanded the role of the quotation marks to incorporate the + command functionality. After years of performing searches with + commands it will probably take time for some users to get used to the new way of searching.

Old Way: Keyword + Keyword + Keyword

New Way: Keyword “Keyword” “Keyword”

On a Google Help Forum, Kelly an employee from Google offered the following explanation.

“ We’ve made the ways you can tell Google exactly what you want more consistent by expanding the functionality of the quotation mark operator. In addition to using this operator to search for an exact phrase, you can now add quotation marks around a single word to tell Google to match that word precisely. So, if in the past you would have searched for [magazine +latina], you should now search for [magazine "Latina"].”

“We’re constantly making changes to Google Search – adding new features, tweaking the look and feel, running experiments, – all to get you the information you need as quickly and as easily as possible. This recent change is another step toward simplifying the search experience to get you to the info you want.”

Google may have stated that they have made these improvements to help users get to the information quicker and easier but it doesn’t really seem to benefit anyone but them. Some online users have even suggested that they only removed the + search command to better accommodate searches for their Google+ social network.

In conclusion the + search command’s replacement isn’t all that more complicated but it may require some time for people to get used to. The fact that Google didn’t really bother to announce that they were making this change and the belief that it only benefits their new social network rather than the search results seems to be the biggest issue for most users. It is only once a user performs a search with the +search command that they are finally notified that the +function has been eliminated and the displayed results are generated without the +command.

For better or for worst, the +search command has been replaced using the quotation mark operator. What do you think did Google do this just to help their social network become more searchable?

Visit the Google Forum to see what others are saying about the change.

Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland

Give Your Site a Speed Boost with the New Google Page Speed Service

Friday, August 12th, 2011

A couple weeks ago Google announced a new Page Speed Service which is currently available to only a limited number of webmasters. The new Page Speed service follows many previous speed assessment products that Google has released over the years, releases that include the Page Speed Browser Add-ons and Page Speed Online. These previous releases focused on scoring a websites speed performance and providing users with suggestions or feedback to increase their speed score.

page speed logo

from, August 2011

The new Page Speed is a service that doesn’t analyze your website’s speed but instead automatically increases it. The new service retrieves your content from the website server, rewrites the website using their specified guidelines, and then delivers it the site visitor even faster using their servers.

While using the Page Speed Service a website can expect to see a 25%-60% improvement however the exact amount of speed depends on a number of different factors. These factors include the amount of content on your pages, the browser, geographical location, bandwidth and more. Visit the web page test to analyze your website and determine the exact speed increase that the new page speed service can produce for your website.

The test works by simply visiting your site and then repeating the same test by substituting your website into the Page Speed Service. The test takes only minutes to perform and once complete the user is presented with a chart that details the load time from the original server, the load time from the Page Speed Service, the load time for repeat visits from both servers, the percentage of the speed increase, and multiple links to test details. The results also provide a visual rendering for the two speeds that clearly demonstrate to the user the exact amount of speed that they can expect to gain by using the Google Page Speed Service.

Visit the link to request to participate in the new Page Speed Trial.

How to use the Service:

  • Log into the Google APIs Console.
  • Provide the serving domain of the website you want to speed up.
  • Verify ownership of the domain through Google Webmaster Central.
  • At this stage, you will have an opportunity to preview how your site will look when rendered through the Page Speed Service.
  • Set up and provide the reference domain from where Page Speed Service will fetch your website content.
  • Change your site’s DNS CNAME entry and start using Page Speed Service to serve traffic to your users.
  • Monitor traffic and latency metrics for your web site from the Dashboard

Currently Google is offering this service free of charge to a limited number of users. At the conclusion of the trial period later this year the product will be available to everyone at a competitive price.

When performing a web page test for our own website we were able to see a 29% increase in our speed. For the best results we recommend using a combination of Google Page Speed online to determine how to reduce your website’s load time and the Page Speed Service to get an extra speed boost.

For more information visit the Page Speed Service FAQ.

Thanks for Reading and Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland

Google Spam Report Page Gets Revamped

Friday, August 5th, 2011

According to a recent Tweet from Matt Cutts, Google has released their biggest spam report form refresh in roughly ten years. Along with their own attempts Google also relies on individual users to help combat websites that are spamming their index. As a part of Google’s continuous effort to improve the quality of search results, they ask that you submit a spam report if you come across a site that isn’t following the webmaster guidelines or acceptable practices. Google users can submit spam reports using their Webmaster Tools. Spam

The previous spam report form was only a single page and had simple check boxes for users to identify the type of spam that was encountered. The new spam center however has a main page that provides a user with 8 different links. Each of the 8 links is for a different type of spam. The links include paid links, objectionable content, malware, other Google products, copyright, legal issues, personal/private, phishing, and other. These links will each direct a user to a separate spam complaint section where the user can then report the web address and express their concerns in full details.

Google depends on their “webmaster quality guidelines” as well as these detailed spam reports to help them generate scalable spam solutions. Instead of struggling against spam one by one they are always seeking new information to enhance their algorithm and combat large bodies of spam. Google’s quality guidelines express the various forms of deceptive or manipulative behaviors and describe how websites can avoid the misleading practices. The basic quality guidelines established by Google are as follows:

  • Design pages for users, not for the search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users (cloaking).
  • Don’t use tricks that are intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
  • Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
  • Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.
  • Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
  • Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.

These are only the basic quality guidelines. In order to prevent your site from being flagged by Google it’s advised that you follow the mentioned suggestions as well as the rest of the Webmaster Guidelines. If your website does fail to comply with Google’s requests then you should make the necessary adjustments and resubmit your website.

To compare the new and old spam report forms visit

Thanks for Reading and Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland

Google Improves the User Experience with More Design Changes

Friday, July 1st, 2011

It was only a year ago that Google implemented a new visual design that focused on providing users with a visual refresh and a convenient sidebar navigation tool. The June 2010 updates also introduced a time based search feature that enables users to search during a period of time such as the last 24 hours, the past year, or a custom range. During Google’s Spring Metamorphosis last year they had mentioned that they are always working on improving the design and experience of Google which has led to many of their latest changes. Users may have noticed that on Tuesday June 28, 2011 that some changes had taken place in an effort to evolve the design and Experience of Google. Not only did Google modify its search engine but that same day Google had also announced the Google+ Project.

Google's New Look

from July 2011

The clean, spacious, and simple design of Google+ coordinate with the new look of Google and are already carrying over to the other Google services like Gmail. The new Google home page has even gone through its own changes. Now with a smaller logo and the links moved to the top and bottom edges, the page has a cleaner and more intuitive feel. Additionally Google now has a universal toolbar that is located at the top of the page and is also consistent across each page and service.

According to Google, “The way people use and experience the web is evolving, and our goal is to give you a seamless and consistent online experience—one that works no matter which Google product you’re using or what device you’re using it on”

In their Google Blog, Google mentions that their new design was based on 3 principles focus, elasticity, and effortlessness. The new look however is only the first of many changes said to be coming in the following months. When it comes to increasing focus Google plans is to eliminate clutter, use bolder colors, make the buttons more identifiable, and a new “hide” feature that will let the user clear away any unnecessary distractions like navigation buttons. Behind the simplistic design, Google will continue to use the latest technology to provide users with a powerful experience. In addition Google will also be working hard to improve their flexibility across all devices. Their goal is to provide a solid visual experience on every device without losing any elegance and practicality.

Google is always changing in order to enhance and improve the Google user experience. These are only a few of the many changes we can expect to see over the next couple of months, keep an eye out.

Thanks for Reading and Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland