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Highlights brought to you by Search Lately @SMGSearchUK this week include:

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Google Launch The Knowledge Graph “Our Mobile Planet” Smartphone Research Bing Offers More Social & Relevant Search Google Currents launches on Android Market

Browse last week’s Search Lately for more details and initial reaction from industry experts on recent hot topics

Google Launch The Knowledge Graph – 16th May 2012 Google is rolling out the Knowledge Graph for U.S. English users. It’s going to be available on desktop, smartphones and tablets with tailored features for different devices. The Knowledge Graph is displayed in a panel to the right of the search results. It enhances users’ search experience in 3 ways.

Firstly, it gives you the option to narrow your search results and refine to what you meant by your query. For example, if you search for [andromeda], which could be the galaxy, the TV series, or the Swedish band, the Knowledge Graph will distinguish between each of these meanings and allow you to select the meaning you intended. Secondly, the Knowledge Graph can summarize relevant content around that topic, including key facts. When you have a question, users may already have come to Google to search for the same thing so Google can aid your research process by including the answers other users found useful in the knowledge graph. This is especially helpful on smartphones and tablets, as it eliminates the need to go to a second web page for the information users are looking for, and thus saving research time. Thirdly, it can help you to go deeper and broader with your search or even make some unexpected discoveries with the “People also search for” section. With the Knowledge Graph, Google has taken the first step for the transition from an information engine to a knowledge engine. It is also a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do. The Knowledge Graph will probably make Google a better

search engine, but it could have a negative effect on paid search as it appears in the space of paid search results. – Blair Liu More details:

“Our Mobile Planet” Smartphone Research - 15th May 2012 Google has launched the new 2012 Our Mobile Planet smartphone research for 26 countries at Our Mobile Planet provides free access to unique data for a total of 40 countries in 22 languages from the 2011 and 2012 waves of research. A global mobile movement is occurring as smartphone adoption moves to the mainstream. Australia, UK, Sweden, Norway, Saudi Arabia and UAE all have more than 50% of their population on smartphones. Mobile devices have become indispensable to people’s lives and are driving massive changes in consumer behaviour. On the Our Mobile Planet website, you can discover new mobile insights and create custom, presentation-ready charts, get the country level Executive Summary Reports or dive deeper with full data downloads. – Blair Liu More details:

Bing Offers More Social & Relevant Search - 15th May 2012 Recent research has shown that Bing has been preferred in 43% of cases compared to just 28% for Google, where consumers have been presented with unbranded search results. Bing has been hard at work consolidating their search proposition in the build-up to the Search Alliance launch across the US & Europe, while the recent TV campaign displays how serious they are about fighting this battle with Google.

Behind the scenes, Bing have been hard at work trying to claw back the gap in market share that has developed over the past few years, and that is evident in this latest release.

The new update just released in the States proposes to offer consumers a more relevant, more social and more informative search results page. While the 2nd column looks very similar to the new section Google have introduced, this update offers a lot more than just additional information. The intriguing part of this update is the social column tugging the right hand side of the screen that ties in user’s social activity through the Bing-Facebook partnership announced last year. As users in this growing social arena look increasing more at other influences to make their decision, Bing are releasing a social feed that will allow users to both interact directly with friends and also show the most relevant social activity related to the search query. Google have been looking to incorporate social into search for a long time with both twitter and Google+ integration in the past, but Bing are leveraging the power of Facebook to give them a potential competitor advantage in this field. As users look for more and more from their search engine, this update will have a big say in the future of search. For advertisers, it will emphasise the importance to establish not just a PPC & SEO presence, but a social presence and following that may have a lot of significance for search behaviour going forwards. For consumers, it will mean a more relevant and more personal search experience, with more competition for user attention. Consumers may become less responsive to PPC activity as they have been in the past with more information available directly from the new search page format.

Consumers that do click may be more likely to convert as they have been exposed to more information prior to click, while advertisers may have to take a more serious approach to a more holistic digital mindset. Will this help Bing to bridge the gap that Google have built up? Only time will tell… it definitely looks like a step in the right direction for search and the fact that they have released a fully social and interactive search page before Google and with the might of Facebook behind them bodes well. It will be interesting to see how Google react in the coming months and how they plan to use Google+ to overcome the power in numbers that Facebook hold. – Kevin Ting More details:

Google Currents launches on Android Market - 10 May 2012 Hot on the heels of Flipboard for iOS, Google Currents for Android is released to Android Market. A direct competitor to the neat, magazine-like format of Flipboard, which pulls feeds from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Google Reader into a superbly designed user experience, Google’s own social application has one crowning glory – the ability to read articles offline. The release of Google Current’s Android app signifies the dawning of a new era of rich, curated and on-demand content into the mainstream. With 60% of businesses planning to spend more over the next year on content marketing to benefit search rankings, the wealth and sheer volume of online content continues to grow at an alarming pace. Bombarded by articles, videos, images and links, social curation services are now a necessity in providing a firewall of taste, to present media subscriptions in an elegant yet efficient way. The importance of optimisation for mobile and tablet devices is key here - Google Currents for Android fills the gap to highlight one underlying message - content marketing is crucial in realising not only search rankings, but true differentiation and traction for brands. – Grace Cowlard More details:

Search Lately: Issue 43  

The world of search is such a fast paced environment in which it is vitally important to stay on top of the latest developments and stay ahe...