Market Appeal Blog and News

Google Tests Dropping Star Ratings in Search

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Google tests swapping star ratings for percentages

 

Google is constantly testing tweaks to its search U.I., and the latest concerns the star ratings it’s long featured in both search ads and organic listings. Some users have reported seeing the bright yellow stars replaced with grey percentage ratings. It comes not long after the company swapped the yellow ‘Ad’ label for a green one, an effort it said was to minimize the number of colours on screen to make the page easier to scan, so this may be part of the same effort. The search giant also seems to be testing removing the estimated number of results from the top of the page, though hasn’t commented on why.

 

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Amazon More Popular Than Google As Shopping Start Point

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Amazon beats Google as starting point for product search

A survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers has found that Amazon just edges Google as the first place people search when they’re looking to shop. 38% of shoppers started with Amazon, compared to 35% on Google, while 21% went straight to another brand or retailer website. There’s more good news for Amazon, as among those who use Google, 41% of them go on to click an Amazon link anyway — cementing the retail giant’s position as the shopping destination of choice.

 

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Google’s RankBrain A.I. ‘Involved in Every Query’

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Google uses RankBrain for ‘every query’

 

The last we heard about Google’s ranking A.I. RankBrain, in October, the company said that it was used for “a very large fraction” of searches. Since then the search giant must have gotten more confident about the tool, which it now says is “involved in every query.” We still don’t know what exactly RankBrain does, but Google says it doesn’t affect the rankings “in every query but in a lot of queries,” and that it is now the company’s third-most useful ranking signal.

 

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Google Denies TLD Keyword Ranking Effect

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Top-level domain keywords don’t affect Google rankings

 

Google has categorically denied that it takes into account keywords in the top-level domain after a recent article claimed that a lawyer had seen an organic traffic boost after switching from a ‘.com’ to a ‘.attorney’ domain. “The TLD is not something we take into account there,” said Google’s John Mueller, adding that they “completely” ignore the words in the TLD. The company urged webmasters not to switch TLD for the sake of “vague promises” of ranking boosts.

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Siri Is Coming to macOS

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Apple brings Siri to Mac, opens her to third parties

 

Apple announced some major changes to Siri at WWDC this year. First up, the virtual assistant will arrive on macOS Sierra when it launches later this year, allowing users to search the web directly from the desktop with her help — with Bing as the default search engine. Secondly, the company confirmed rumours that it was opening Siri up to third-party app developers, allowing them to “build on the intelligence Siri offers and let users interact directly with apps using just their voice.” Uber, Lyft, WeChat, and Square Cash were all mentioned as potential partners.

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