Archives for the month of: March, 2011
Slash

I went to a Google event in Culver City the other day and was sitting in on a presentation regarding YouTube. It was a fascinating production about the rise of video content online and the increasing adoption of video through non-television devices. There was one problem though: the presenter–a high-ranking Google employee–kept saying "backslash" instead of "slash" whenever she was talking about a URL. For example, she would refer to youtube.com/symphony as "YouTube dot com backslash symphony," when it should be read as "YouTube dot com slash symphony." The symphony link leads you to a cool project and you should definitely check it out but if you use a backslash instead of a slash, you'll just be forwarded to the URL that uses a slash. On many other sites online, you just won't get to view the content at all if you make that mistake.

I know that it's nitpicky of me to obsess over something so trivial. I just find it substantially more irritating when a person deemed qualified by Google to present about the future of video content makes this mistake than when a normal, non-technical person does. The days of the backslash are essentially behind us. Unless you do a lot of programming, you probably wouldn't even notice it if the backslash button was removed from your keyboard (unless you like using the vertical line above it, for some reason). 

Let's move on, guys! Save yourself the syllable and just say "slash" when talking about a URL. If you can't remember which way is correct, please refer to the handy diagram above. Thanks! 
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Kudos to the folks over at Level343 for putting together such a simple and informative infographic detailing the history of Google and its fickle algorithm. The "Google Dance" used to describe the shake up of the search results caused by tweets and adjustments to Google's search algorithm which is constantly being updated to improve results. This infographic makes the progression nice and easy to understand without being inundated with junky imagery. Great job!

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“We’re #2! We’re #2!”

That’s the chant coming out of Seattle or, at least, it should be. Bing is officially the second most popular search engine in the US, overtaking Yahoo according to a recent report from BusinessWire. This is big news for Microsoft, which has been pushing Bing through multi-multi-multi-million dollar ad campaigns since, well… forever. Of course, Bing overtaking Yahoo is actually something of a mixed blessing because both engines have been serving up Bing results (which also serves up Google results) for some time now. Still, congrats are in order for Bing. Hopefully, this accomplishment will cause Microsoft to take more interest in search and dedicate more resources to to improving adCenter, which still lags way behind AdWords in terms of usability, options and technology. Even if it results in Bing trying to innovate on the search end, that would be good news for consumers and haters of monopolies. 

Remember, even though Bing leaves a lot to be desired when compared to Google in many ways, it’s still the only thing standing between Google and a near perfect monopoly of the US search market. And if you think Google is scary now, imagine Google without competition. On second thought, don’t. Despite this news, the future is still very bright for Google. Unless Microsoft really pushes ingenuity with Bing on the user and advertiser side, you may only have to wait a few years before Google wins out for real.

[BusinessWire via Lifehacker]

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