Google Surfaces your Photos in Search

Looking for a picture you took at your sister's bridal shower? Google's search engine will now help you find it -- so long as you've posted the shot to the company's companion social network.

The company announced Thursday that Google+ members can log in to and search for their own photos or query for a buddy's pictures stored on the social network. Just plug in queries such as "my photos from Vegas" or "Angie's wedding photos" and Google will scour through Google+ photo albums and return matching images on the search results page...

Read the full story here. Source: CNET

Are iTunes Links Being Downranked by Google?

Searching for direct links is a popular way to locate apps, but it appears that Apple's App Store links are being downranked by Google. As TechCrunch points out, a search for "Whatsapp iTunes" or "Whatsapp iPhone" would normally rank the target URL high on the search results page, but that doesn't seem to be the case any longer. 

Searching for Whatsapp's iTunes link with those aforementioned phrases does not return an iTunes URL on the first page of results, and the same goes for many other popular apps like Facebook and Twitter for iOS. Even Apple's own Keynote and Numbers apps do not show up on the first page of results with search terms like "Keynote iTunes."

When searching for "Numbers iPhone," in fact, the iTunes link does not show up until the eighth page of search results. The results can vary slightly depending on whether one is logged in or out of Google, but for affected apps, the links remain low in the rankings. 

Not all apps appear to be suffering from the search bug. For example, a search for “Temple Run: Oz iPhone” returns a top ranked iTunes link, as does a similar search for Minecraft: Pocket Edition. 

Both TechCrunch and The Next Web have gone through several other examples of apps that appear to be suffering from downranked search results. There's no specific workaround for the search result mystery, but as noted by TechCrunch, adding "iTunes" to queries usually works to provide the proper links, though as seen above, that's not always the case.

For most apps, adding "iTunes" works to deliver the iTunes URL results, whether logged in or out. It's the other types of queries that are difficult, and it's difficult to pinpoint an exact time when these changes began. Because Google is constantly refining its algorithms, and many users are on Google while logged in, tweaks to search rankings are rarely spotted immediately, unless it's a case where a URL has been banned entirely, whether or purpose or by accident.

According to AppsFire co-founder Ouriel Ohayon, the search issue began recently, possibly just today. While Google has been contacted, the company has yet to issue a response on the odd search results. 

Update: A Google spokesperson issued the following statement to The Verge: "We've been having some issues fetching pages from the iTunes web servers, and as a result some people may have had problems finding iTunes apps in search easily. We're working with the team there to ensure search users can find what they're looking for."

[Source: MacRumors] world's 8th most popular website in new ComScore ranking

For 2012, Apple's website was ranked as the world's 11th most popular. However, that ranking did not take mobile access into account -- just desktop access. Now web analytics firm ComScore has added mobile visitors and viewers to their count, pushing Apple up to the number 8 spot on the MMX Multi-Platform Top 50 Properties list.

The first five sites on the list are not surprising, with Google sites taking the lead followed by Yahoo!, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon. Sites run by TUAW parent company AOL are in the 6th spot, followed by Glam Media and finally Apple. Rounding out the top 10 are Wikimedia sites and CBS Interactive.

Apple's total "digital population" on the ComScore list is counted as 115,920,000 unique visitors/viewers, about half that of list leader Google's count. Not surprisingly, Apple's mobile audience viewed as an incremental percentage to the desktop numbers was 54 percent, indicating a strong mobile presence on the web.

[Source: TUAW]

Facebook Graph Search Beta Rolling Out to Users Who Signed Up

Facebook’s new Graph Search is reportedly showing up for many more users today. Multiple reports who signed up for the beta program last week claim the future of Facebook is now live; the ambitious feature is a way for users to find more information through the social network by making search results more personal.

You should see a redesigned homepage where Graph Search is at the top of your feed. From there, you can search queries such as “bookstores nearby my friends like,” and that sort of thing. If you signed up, and you don’t see Graph Search, expect it to roll out soon.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Bing brings new social sidebar to the iPad, helps you see who's been looking for what

Bing's desktop version recently underwent a bit of a makeover and Microsoft has now added its search engine's new social sidebar for the iPad's Safari users. Upon performing a web search, folks will have access to a side pane displaying related results from the likes of Facebook, Foursquare, Klout and Twitter. Supporting both portrait and landscape formatting, the updated design is set to gradually roll out over the next few days. Just in time for you to check out who's going to see The Hobbit in 48fps this weekend when searching for showtimes and theaters.

[Source: Engadget]

Bing boosts snapshot search with richer info on famous faces and places

Whether you're upfront about it or firmly in the closet, the search data doesn't lie: we all have a pop culture crush. Which is why Microsoft's expanding Bing's snapshot pane, one of three columns within its revamped layout, to display expanded data on celebrities and landmarks. (What? You thought all of those Kim Kardashian keyword searches went unnoticed?) Now, users that enter queries related to either of those two categories will be able to preview a host of relevant info (e.g., filmography, discography, movie trailers and track previews) from that second results column, all culled from a wider reach of sources. It's the first of many planned enhancements for Microsoft's search platform, so stay tuned for further changes in the "coming weeks."

[Source: Engadget]

Apple search results turn up iPhone 5 name and LTE connectivity, indications of new iPod touch, iPod nano and iTunes 11

Apple offered a hint of the name in its invitation to today's event, but it looks like a slip-up on its own website may have now let the cat of the bag. Searching for "iphone-5" brings up a number of results for (as yet nonexistent) pages related to a device that seems to clearly be called the "iPhone 5." What's more, as 9 to 5 Mac notes, there are also references to a "new iPod touch with Retina Display" and a new iPod nano, as well as a similar indication that iTunes 11 is set to be released today.

[Source: Engadget]

Amazon's Instant Video app for iPad adds search functionality with latest update

When Amazon's Instant Video app made its way to the iPad earlier this month, it gave users yet another way to stream content to their mobile devices, but was lacking some key features. Fortunately, an update to the app has rolled out to fix one of the major omissions: search functionality. The added tool provides instant results when typing a name or title, and the search can be filtered to display all videos or only those available for Amazon Prime subscribers. Prior to the update, users were only able to browse through "a selection of top Prime Instant Video titles" or items added to their Watchlist. With over 120,000 videos available for streaming, the lack of a search function was a major downside to Amazon's app. The update also includes various bug fixes and an improved notification bar, but unfortunately does not add AirPlay support or resolve the issue of requiring Wi-Fi connectivity to stream videos.

[Source: The Verge]

Google's Voice Search on Android adds support for 13 additional languages

Even though it's also on iOS now, Android is still the first love for Google's Voice Search and the company announced today it's adding support for an additional 13 languages on the platform, bringing the total to 42 languages and accents understood in 46 countries. The list includes Basque, Bulgarian. Catalan, European Portuguese, Finnish, Galician, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak and Swedish. Just like it has since at least 2010 when Voice Actions were introduced it will require Android 2.2 or higher, and is easily accessible either from the search box on your home screen or in the Voice Search app. We should note that it still only understands one language at a time and you may need to change some settings, also the new languages weren't showing up yet on every device we tried -- just some of them. Hit the source link for a few more details on how machine learning was used to extrapolate the pronunciation of all Swedish words based on thousands of samples from native speakers, or just grab a nearby phone or tablet and have Pau Gasol speak some Catalan to it -- although obviously Salvador Dali would be preferred, were he available.

[Source: Engadget]

Google Knowledge Graph coming to all English-speaking nations tomorrow, adds lists to results

Google launched its contextual and intelligent search service, Knowledge Graph, only a few months ago. Till now, it's been limited in its availability and, while most nations will still be left out, tomorrow it will be coming to all "English-speaking" countries. The ability to discern your intended search goal and present you with relevant information immediately, as opposed to just a page of links, is the next step in search technology and the secret sauce powering the somewhat creepy Google Now in Jelly Bean. The Graph has also received a few enhancements and tweaks, including the ability to answer queries with collections and lists. So, say you're looking for rides in Disney World, a thumbnail of every attraction will appear at the top in a horizontally scrollable list. How much longer till our Spanish, French or Chinese speaking pals can get in on the action? That's anyone's guess. But, if English is the native tongue of your home, then rest assured your flavor of Google has just gotten a little bit smarter.

[Source: Engadget]

Google's revamped voice search coming to iOS, tackles Siri on her home turf

Google has been offering the ability to search the web with your voice using its iOS app for some time. But, it always just spit out a pile of links. While the next version wont be getting quite as creepy as Google Now, it'll be bringing with it the vocalized responses that debuted as part of Jelly Bean's revamped search offerings. The UI is also getting an overhaul to bring it inline with Now and Mountain View's recent aesthetic tendencies towards sharp lines and limited color schemes. Obviously, the new app also taps the Knowledge Graph, allowing you to make natural language queries like, "what's the weather like in San Francisco," and get a detailed vocalized response. According to Google the update should be hitting the App Store in "the next few days," but don't expect it to keep tabs on your favorite sports team for you.

[Source: Engadget]