Inside Google & Alphabet - May 29th, 2019 |

Inside Google & Alphabet (May 29th, 2019)

Mobile-First Indexing / Temporary Workers / Google Chrome

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1. Google's moving to mobile-first indexing of sites new to its search engine as of July 1. This means that Google will be indexing (and ranking in its search results) what the new site looks like to someone accessing it from a mobile device (like a smartphone or tablet.) Google has been building a mobile-first index since 2016, but older Web sites which have not yet developed mobile-focused versions will still be indexed as desktop-first (what a site looks like from a desktop or laptop) until Google deems them ready to move to mobile-first indexing. -- SEARCH ENGINE LAND 

2. Google has more temp and contract workers than full-time employees, according to a New York Times report. These workers make less money, get no paid vacation time in the United States, and have different benefits than full-timers. Google's full-time workforce, already at odds with corporate management, has been calling for better treatment of these workers for several months. Possibly in response, Google announced last month that temporary workers would be paid a minimum of $15 an hour and be given better health care benefits, among other beneficial changes. -- NEW YORK TIMES

3. Google has added new features to Google Lens, its image recognition app. The app's new features include overlaying information from Google Maps onto a restaurant menu, providing photos and reviews of different dishes. The Translate filter will translate and overlay text in over a hundred languages. And the Text filter will copy text from an object when Google Lens is pointed at it. The Google Lens technology has been improving by leaps and bounds since its initial launch in 2017 . -- CNET

I wish I'd had that Text filter a long time ago; it'll make my tech support work for my family a lot easier. How about you - do you think any of the new Google Lens features are a must-have? Hit reply and let me know.

4. Google Chrome is so dominant on the desktop -- it has 70 percent of the users there and 63 percent overall -- that neither developers nor Google are paying much attention to other browsers. Google services don't always work as expected with non-Google browsers; Google has even been accused of deliberately slowing YouTube for non-Chrome browsers. Meanwhile, industry observers and tech executives are concerned with what Google's overarching Chrome market share might do to user privacy as it sets standards for cookies and sells digital advertising.  -- BNN BLOOMBERG

5. Google is rolling out its Google Maps speed camera alerts to more countries. Denmark and Poland join over the two dozen other countries already getting the alerts. -- UBERGIZMO

6. Neural matching is changing the way Google matches keywords. Thanks to AI, the search engine is looking for intent instead of just finding search terms. -- SEARCH ENGINE JOURNAL

7. A Google-backed research effort found no evidence of cold fusion. But some of the project's discoveries could assist other aspects of energy research. -- NATURE

8. Google says a bug has broken YouTube in Microsoft's Edge browser. It's working on a fix. -- NEOWIN

9. Portland Oregon has teamed with Google's Sidewalk Labs to get a better sense of how its residents move throughout the city. Privacy experts have concerns about how data is being gathered. -- GEEKWIRE

10. Google has added a new "trail view" to the Queenstown Trail Network in New Zealand. -- SCOOP NZ

Tara Calishain has been writing about search engines since 1996, when she wrote the Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research. She's since authored or co-authored several other search-related books, including Google Hacks. Tara is obsessed with all things related to online information collections. You can say hi at @ResearchBuzz on Twitter.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside) and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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