Inside Google & Alphabet - June 28th, 2019

Inside Google & Alphabet (Jun 28th, 2019)

Google for Small Business / Online Reputation Management / Follow Friday: The Search Liaison

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$GOOG (09:49 AM EST): $1,074.99 -1.02 (-0.09%) // More info

1. Google has launched a new site with resources for small businesses that want to start using Google products. The site, Google for Small Business, walks the user through a short series of questions about goals and how the user's business operates, then makes recommendations based on the answers. Recommendations include suggestions to use paid Google services like Google Suite, but also suggestions that don't cost anything, like starting a YouTube channel or creating a Google My Business profile. -- SEARCH ENGINE LAND

2. Search results on Google are being manipulated by reputation managers. Reputation management is the act of taking proactive measures to improve one's online reputation, whether that is by getting authoritative articles placed or getting a mug shot removed from a website. Reputation management can be ethically practiced, but unscrupulous practitioners are all over the Internet. They do everything from create fake people with the same name as someone with a bad reputation in an attempt to have them clutter up Google's search results to creating possibly-bogus scholarships in order to get links from educational institutions. (Links from .edu domains have a lot of weight with Google.) -- BUZZFEED NEWS

3. Follow Friday: Google's Search Liaison. Google has become more and more essential to business - businesses need to make sure their website is indexed by Google and ranks as high as possible to get website traffic and hopefully customers. An entire industry has sprung up around pushing up Google rankings, tweaking website, and getting exposure for business. 

As one might imagine this doesn't always work well with Google's opacity around its search results. When Google makes a big change or has a problem, users want to know how this might impact their business. That's where the Search Liaison Twitter account comes in.  

The current Search Liaison is Danny Sullivan, who has been writing about search engines and similar topics since 1997 when he founded Search Engine Watch. He joined Google in October 2017.

At this Twitter account you'll find reactions to and discussions of Google's indexing process, problems, or issues that are currently in the news. Recent tweets address the controversy over the song lyrics in Google's search results, how Google's site diversity initiative works, and an announcement of the June algorithm update. If you want news or clarification about Google straight from the source, go here. But don't just read the tweets -- read the threads started by the tweets. Danny answers questions and sometimes responds with more background than what's provided in the confines of a tweet. 

Google will never be completely transparent, but this Twitter account helps understand the thinking behind its changes. 

4. Alphabet's Chronicle is joining Google Cloud. Originally the product of Alphabet's "moonshot" company X, Chronicle is a cloud-based security company that was built to handle very large (Google-sized) enterprises. It will be folded into Google Cloud this fall, giving new Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian even more territory after Google Cloud's recent acquisition of analytics company Looker. It appears that Chronicle's focus on cloud-based, enterprise-sized security will remain the same. -- CNBC  

5. You can now share GIFs straight from a Google Images search. Any search result containing GIFs can be shared to Facebook, Twitter, or email. Just add filetype:gif to a Google Images search to bring those GIFs right to the top. -- 9TO5 GOOGLE

6. Google Maps has added a feature that predicts the fullness of a train. The feature uses previous rides to predict how crowded a train will be at a given time. This feature and another - providing information on bus delays - has rolled out to 200 cities around the world. -- CNET

7. Waymo and Lyft have teamed up for self-driving car rides in Phoenix. There are some limitations -- the ride has to start and end in the area of Phoenix being used for autonomous car testing, and there are less than ten cars currently being used for this partnership. (More will be added later.) -- TECHCRUNCH

8. Google's patent for a smart book shows a device with multiple screens. The patent  shows a design with a hinged spine to which multiple screens are attached. The outside screens are rigid while the interior screens are more flexible. Of course, a patent doesn't mean Google will produce the device, but I kind of like this. -- DIGITAL TRENDS

9. Google has backed Ireland's BAI for oversight. BAI, short for the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, has proposed to oversee and regulate harmful online content in Ireland. Google is backing the proposal, which would have tremendous impact on it and its property YouTube, but critics say BAI is the wrong organization for the task. -- INDEPENDENT

10. Google's Stadia streaming games service apparently won't have a beta and will go straight to full release. This according to Staida head Phil Harrison. That's pretty amazing because Google is notorious for using beta releases a lot. Gmail, for example, stayed in beta for over five years. -- GAMESRADAR

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), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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