Tag Archives: search

How Do Your State’s Search Statistics Stack Up?

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What was the last thing you searched for on Google? Do you know what your neighbors search for? How is the data of your area’s searches correlated with other sets of data that’s relevant to your state? StateStats allows you to explore the popularity of search results in US States.

This tool shows you how popular a Google search query is in each U.S. state, giving a ranking like the one you see in the left column. It then compares this ranking with other ways of ranking states, like average income or population density, using Spearman’s rank correlation. The middle column shows the results of these comparisons, with the strongest correlations listed first. High numbers (close to 1.0) mean that the rankings “line up” closely, which may indicate a relationship between the search query and the ranking metric.

Be careful drawing conclusions from this data. For example, the fact that walmart shows a moderate correlation with “Obesity” does not imply that people who search for “walmart” are obese! It only means that states with a high obesity rate tend to have a high rate of users searching for walmart, and vice versa. You should not infer causality from this tool: In the walmart example, the high correlation is driven partly by the fact that both obesity and Walmart stores are prevalent in the southeastern U.S., and these two facts may have independent explanations.

It’s really interesting to see what people in different places search for the most. I was surprised by some of the results, and I’m sure you will be, as well.


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How to Meet Geeks

You can take advantage of this growing community by being an active part of it. After all, it’s yours!

1. On the front page of http://geeks.pirillo.com/ you’ll find a list of the day’s registered birthdays. It takes less than 20 seconds to stop by someone’s profile and wish them well. You don’t have to be creative about it – a simple “happy birthday” is more than enough.

2. Watch http://geeks.pirillo.com/groups/group/list?sort=latestActivity for the latest happenings in the Groups. If you see something that interests you, join the group and start participating. Remember: it takes participation to evoke participation. If your favorite group isn’t showing up in “latest activity,” it’s because you’re not posting there. 🙂

3. Post your favorite daily news links and announcements in http://geeks.pirillo.com/forum as they come in throughout the day and night. No easier way of discovering who shares your thoughts. Posting a question that’s already been beaten to death isn’t very helpful at all. Did you just buy new hardware? Find new software? Tell everybody!

4. Keep an eye out for bloggers on http://geeks.pirillo.com/profiles/blog/list?pageSize=15 to see which geeks share your passions. Instead of simply leaving a commeent or passing the link to a friend account, why not click the user’s avatar and add them as a friend? Reach out!

5. Embed your own YouTube videos (or any of your videos) via http://geeks.pirillo.com/video/video/addEmbed and be sure to tag it accordingly. Your personality will draw people to you when they see what you’ve done!

6. Search for keywords on http://geeks.pirillo.com/memberSearch to see who matches you. Hopefully, every geek has filled out their own profile to the best of their ability. It’s all about discovery, my friends!

7. Go back to the front page when you have a moment – check out the latest activity that’s front and center! Not only can you click on member names and buddy icons, but their activity as well. Did they just upload a song you love? Did they just comment in a thread that sounds interesting? Did they just befriend one of your friends? The Activity Stream is incredibly revealing!

8. Keep your eye on http://geeks.pirillo.com/profiles/members/ which lists all the latest members to join the network. I wouldn’t recommend pouncing on them immediately, but once they’ve added a few things to their profile – why not personalize your greeting? Nothing would make a new geek feel more welcome!

9. When you do something interesting on Geeks, why not share the link with your Facebook or Twitter friends? It’s easy to do, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same people who follow you outside of Geeks would be more than interested in following you on Geeks.

10. Have you posted your event(s) to http://geeks.pirillo.com/events yet? Like, game tournaments, release dates, or anything else you’re interested in? Increase the chances of someone finding you before you find them… by simple participation.

To aid your navigation of Geeks features, several sub-menus were added to the menu bar recently. Go explore!

Danny Sullivan – Search Life Meets Real Life

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Widely considered a leading “search engine guru,” Danny Sullivan has been helping webmasters, marketers and everyday web users understand how search engines work for over a decade.

Danny’s expertise about search engines is often sought by the media, and he has been quoted in places like The Wall St. Journal, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, The New Yorker and Newsweek and ABC’s Nightline.

Danny began covering search engines in late 1995, when he undertook a study of how they indexed web pages. The results were published online as “A Webmaster’s Guide To Search Engines” [now “Search Engine Marketing 101”], a pioneering effort to answer the many questions site designers and Internet publicists had about search engines.

The positive reaction from both marketers and general search engine users caused Danny to expand the guide into Search Engine Watch, where he served as editor-in-chief through November 2006. Now he heads up Search Engine Land as editor-in-chief, taking it into the next generation of search coverage.

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Are You Tired of the Same Old Search Engine?

Daniel is a community member, who also happens to work for MSE360. He sent me the following email:

MSE360 uses several API systems and a custom crawler called Fred to provide a unique search experience. Unlike nearly all other search engines currently on the market, MSE360 combines Web, Wikipedia, Blogs and Images into one easy-on-the eyes design. This in turn results in MSE360 being able to provide users with a much quicker way of getting the best information from the Internet.

MSE360 contains an Anti-Spyware feature powered by StopBadWare. When a site is hosting Spyware or something else the user won’t want to install, we warn them. The warnings show next to the result. We find this will help users be safer when searching. We plan to have user submissions at a later date.

The 3-column layout. despite having much more content. still loads very fast, and that’s an extremely important aspect of the search. We need search to load fast, and we’re looking into more methods to speed up the search engine results.

Another unique feature is the community results. These are links that the community that uses MSE360 thinks are important. For example, if I searched for Google Browser I would find that a user has submitted the Google Chrome website. Because this is the right result for me, that community result will stay at the top. We hope the addition of user-submitted results will make it that bit more relevant. After all robots aren’t as bright us Humans… yet!

Over the coming months we plan to add much more in the sense of community search. Users will be able to design their own custom modules for the search engine. We plan to launch a voting system similar to what Digg has next week. We’re still young, but feature-wise we’re growing fast. The majority of users we’ve surveyed preferred our alpha stage search engine to Cuil. The difference is that we’re not going to lie when it comes to marketing. We’re not a stage yet where anyone working on MSE360 can say ‘We’re perfect’, but slowly we plan to make it an extremely powerful search engine.

We’re also very certain on our Privacy policy. We don’t want the users being spied on. After all – without them, we’d be nothing. For this reason, we store nothing on our servers. We’ve got a lot coming soon, and I hope users keep updated with the barrage of new features we plan to release. That being said, search is still search. Users want to get to other sites, some search engines forget that.

Have you tried out MSE360 yet? What are your initial thoughts, and what feedback can you give to Daniel so he can take it back to his team?

Should Search Engines be Community Driven?

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If you Google the word Chris, you will find me. If you’re not in Google, you’re just not there. Where do you go to search? Do you only use one search engine, or does it depend on what you’re looking for? Do you ever try any others? Have you thought about giving MSE360 a try?

We know getting used to new search formats can be hard, everyone who has worked on MSE360 has used Google an awful lot, never the less there are clear limitations in the single result | ad format. When you search with MSE360 you’re presented with a 3 column layout. This layout allows us to provide you with Blogs, Wikipedia, Web and images all on one page. You can also select between standard results and job results using the top of the page. We’ve designed the layout to be easy on the eyes, so let us know what you think!

Search is important in a search engine, that’s why we have used the best providers in the industry. Along with our own algorithmic system. The more a user clicks on certain websites the higher that site will rank. We’ve put in placed certain precautions to avoid anyone using this system to gain unfair advantages.

We know you’ve heard so many companies promise to stay true to there values, but we really do. Without you, our visitors we would just be a dump of boring code. Our main goal is to please you, and as a result we hope you will visit as again. Profit comes after success, not the other way around. Below is a simplistic explanation of MSE360’s values.

MSE360 is a good alternative to Google and other search engines, especially since it’s better than many resources out there at the time. It is fast, and it is comprehensive. Competition is a healthy thing.


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What is Your Home Page?

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When you open up your Web browser, what is your home page set as? I know that many of you will answer Google or Yahoo. Some of you may be using a site like Facebook or MySpace as your main page. Mine is often just blank (on purpose), but when I do use one, it’s the Mac page on Alltop. This is a Website that launched a few months ago, and is largely funded by our friend Guy Kawasaki.

The idea behind Alltop is to really aggregate top resources and collections of information into a consice format, and target it to a specific audience. My homepage is set to the Mac section, as I mentioned. Just guess what’s on there? There’s links to Mac news, Mac Websites, and even Mac programs. It’s a great way to get the latest news from several places at once. If you hover your mouse over one of the story links, you’ll get a small preview box with the beginning of the article in it.

When Guy first started talking about this, there were some naysayers. They didn’t see the point of it. However, I think it’s great. I like it so much, it’s my home page. What else is there to say? I haven’t had any issues or problems with it whatsoever. They’ve done an excellent job with it so far. They’re constantly launching new ‘divisions’ of the site, such as the Mac page I use.

We help you explore your passions by collecting stories about “all the topics” on the web. We’ve grouped these collections — “aggregations” — into individual Alltop sites based on topics such as environment, photography, science, Muslim, celebrity gossip, military, fashion, gaming, sports, politics, automobiles, and Macintosh. At each Alltop site, we display the headlines of the latest stories from dozens of sites and blogs.

You can think of an Alltop site as a “digital magazine rack” of the Internet. To be clear, Alltop sites are starting points—they are not destinations per se. The bottom line is that we are trying to enhance your online reading by both displaying stories from the sites that you’re already visiting and helping you discover sites that you didn’t know existed. In other words, our goal is the “cessation of Internet stagnation” by providing “aggregation without aggravation.”

So what’s your home page? Why did you choose that one?


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Is This the World's Best Metasearch Site?

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Back in April, I shared a private invite to those of you who were following me on Twitter. Anytime I stumble across new websites, or get invites to pass out for something new, I try to pass them along right away. Even though you may think you have enough websites already, you really need to check this one out.

Viewzi is a new way to search. I know, I know… you are a faithful Google user. But just take a moment to pay attention to this with an open mind. You may just find yourself using Viewzi often.

Viewzi is Metasearch. It will change the way you think about search engines. Viewzi will then ask you how you want to view the data that is found. What types of views are there?

  • Celebrity Photo View
  • Web Screenshot View
  • Simple Text View
  • Viewzi News View
  • Video x3 View
  • Basic Photo View
  • 3D Photo Cloud View
  • Site Information View
  • 4 Sources View
  • The Weather View
  • Album View
  • MP3 Search View
  • Everyday Shopping View
  • Amazon Book View
  • TechCrunch
  • Recipe View

Choosing one of the above views will give you different results, culled from different places. For instance, the Video x3 View will give you three strips of videos that match the words you searched for. It pulls in results from places like Veoh and YouTube. The really cool thing is that in those strips, the thumbnails are animated.

Viewzi is amazing when shopping, because it will do the work FOR you. It searches places like eBay and Amazon and brings you only results that really work for you. It will fit your needs better than what Google does.

Viewzi will change the way you view your search results.

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Get Your Google On!

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Recently I did a segment about Google searches. At the end of it, I asked for other Google tips and tricks, or different uses! Here are some excellent tips that one of our community members sent in with other Google uses.

  • The “intitle:” operator It is very useful if you are looking to download things or are looking to really dial in what you’re searching for. For example “intitle:”index.of” will bring up mostly ftp servers.
  • The “.” operator. It may just be a period but it is one of my favorites. When you use a period instead of a space when using more than one keyword Google will search for that string of words together. For example if I search ” Chris.Pirillo” I will get back web pages that have “Chris-Pirillo”, “Chris Pirillo (together)”, “Chris.Pirillo”, and “Chris_Pirillo”. But I won’t get back results that are”Chris blah, blah, blah, Pirillo”.
  • The simple “+” and “-” operators. They’re pretty self-explanatory “+” adds terms and “-” removes terms. For example if I search “Chris Pirillo – filetype:.php” I wont get any PHP documents.
  • The “( )” operator. This one isn’t a earth-shattering operator but it does help make typing my searches quicker. “( )” let you include multiple things after operators. For example “Chris Pirillo – filetype:(.php|.lzx|.aspx)” will not return PHP, Open Laszlo, or ASP documents.
  • This last tip is Gecko based browser (Firefox, SeaMonkey, Camino) exclusive. First you go to Google and search for something ,for example, “intitle:”index.of” Chris (mp3|wav|ogg|flac)” then copy the information in the address bar of your browser. Then hit “Ctrl+B” it will bring up the bookmarks window / panel. Then Make a new bookmark and give it a name ,for example “audio”. Then paste the address you copied into the location/address bar, find “Chris” in the address you copied and replace it with “%s”. Finally give it a keyword say,”music”. Then instead of having to type intitle:” index.of” (mp3|wav|ogg|flac) every time you want to search for video you can simply go to your address bar and type “music Radiohead” and it will search for music in Google using the criteria you defined earlier.


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Google Tips

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Google is a very powerful tool. Heck, it’s a verb nowadays… not a noun or place. Most of us probably visit Google more than any other single website. Here are some tips to help you Google more effectively, sent in by Peter.

  • Don’t just use the “I’m Feeling Lucky” portion of the search. You will be severely limiting yourself on your results, and will often not find exactly what you are looking for. Broaden your horizons by using the main search feature.
  • Learn how to use Boolean operatives to your advantage. Using quotations from the beginning will narrow down your results greatly. Also, using operatives such as and and or will help, as well.
  • Use Advanced search, instead of the plain one. You can filter by region, language, even date ranges. You can also search by file type, as well! Try it. In Google, type pirillo filetype:pdf just like that. You will ONLY receive relavant results that have my name in them, in pdf format.
  • Don’t only use the standard search. If you’re looking for a chart or graph, you’ll likely get better results from an Image search. Likewise, try using Google Scholar when looking for scholarly articles for a college research paper, or Google Books when writing up a Bibliography.
  • Never limit yourself to just one search, and don’t give up after one page. The first several pages are usually full of on-topic hits, and you could likely miss exactly what it was you were looking for in the first place.

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How to Track Things on Google

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When you send a package to someone, you will receive a tracking number. You can then use that number to track the progress of that package. Did you know you can enter that number on Google.com and get information? You can search for items shipped via UPS, FedEx, or the US Postal Service. Heck, if you don’t know what company your package was shipped with, but have the tracking number… you can Google search it anyway! Here are some other things you may not have known you can search in Google:

  • VIN numbersEnter a Vehicle Identification Number (or VIN) from any vehicle, and you will find information about it. When I entered my VIN number into Google, it brings up a list of entries, including for CarFax.com. This will tell me all the history on my title, and you can find out potential problems when purchasing a used vehicle, as well.
  • Area CodeHave a number come up on your CallerID you don’t recognize, and wonder where the heck it is from? Simply put the area code into Google. The first result that comes up is for mapping the area of the country that area code is in. The next several results will tell you more detailed information about that area.
  • UPC Codes Entering a Universal Product Code (or UPC) into Google can bring up loads of information on the product, including possible recalls and what to do about them.

Thanks to Torrey for writing in to remind me that you can also enter an entire phone number into Google, and possibly find out whose it is. How often do numbers come up on your caller ID that you don’t recognize? Google them! The same thing can be done with Email addresses, as well.

What other things have you used Google as a quick search for? Leave me a comment or send an email to me at [email protected] and let me know! I’m off to do some more searching.

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