Thursday, February 20th, 2020

Google is offering additional protection for its “strict” SafeSearch options. When you receive the update, you’ll be required to give your password to select the strict option or to change it back to moderate or off. When the strict SafeSearch is selected, bright bubbles with the primary colors of Google’s famous bubble will be present in the top right corner of the page. This means parents can keep an eye on their kids’ web browsing without breathing down their necks. For more info, check out this video Google put together:…

Earlier today, news broke that Google’s new index would launch soon. The news was simultaneously exciting and disconcerting since most SEOs and search marketers are in full-fledged holiday mode, and boy, would this disrupt things. But Google spam ninja Matt Cutts took to his personal blog to assure that most people won’t get the update until after the holidays. You can breathe that sigh of relief now. Caffeine will still be rolled out to one data center, which Cutts said will affect a small percentage of searchers….

In August, Google released a developer preview of their new index, dubbed Google Caffeine. Changes in the index appeared to be largely a “Your Mileage May Vary” situation, with some noticing hardly any changes to their rankings while others noticed bigger changes. Now, Google has closed the preview sandbox and is prepping the new index for a larger release. It will initially roll out to one data center. I would imagine that for many, this isn’t the greatest time to be experiencing changes in Google’s index. The holidays are coming and the economy has been in a rough place for…

Google recently launched a new feature that uses RSS and Atom feeds to discover new web pages. This helps Google index new webpages faster than traditional methods. As a result, you’ll want to make sure that your robots.txt file allows Googlebot to crawl your feeds. To learn more about robots.txt from Google’s standpoint, click here. In other feed news related to Google, AdSense for Feeds is now available directly in Blogger. You can find the integration under the “Monetize” tab in the Blogger dashboard. AdSense for Feeds allows bloggers to make money from advertisements that are included in RSS feeds….

Last week, rumors swirled that Google would launch a new music search. Earlier today, Greg Jarboe covered Hitwise data examining how important music is to search. Now, we’ve gotten confirmation that the rumors are true and data don’t lie. Google is, indeed, rolling out a new music search. This update will roll out over the next day to all U.S. users. Why the focus on music? Google says two out of the top ten searches in the U.S., according to Insights for Search. When you get the update, you’ll be able to sample music directly in the search results. Google…

Last week at the Web 2.0 Summit, Google VP Marissa Mayer announced a new experiment in Labs: Social Search. Now, that experiment has officially been launched. If you’d like to participate, simply go to the Google Labs page (http://www.google.com/experimental/). Look for the Social Search experiment and click “Join This Experiment.” You can only participate in one experiment at a time, so you’ll have to leave any other Google Labs experiments you are a part of. Then, go to Google and conduct a search. Google will use networks from your Google Profile to deliver social search results, if there are any….

Google has enabled new sync features between desktop computers and mobile devices, specifically for local search and query suggestions. You need to be signed in, of course, to makes use of the sync. Here’s what to expect if you do: Local If you’re searching on Google Maps, you can star various local businesses. Later, you can pull them up on your phone on Google.com under the Local section. Just look for “Starred Places.” Once you bring them up, you can access mobile optimized Place Pages, the new local content pages Google just released. There’s also a new category browse feature…

Google has added some new filters to its Search Options, a feature they added to their web search last May. Here’s a list of the new filters: Past hour Specific date range More shopping sites Fewer shopping sites Visited pages Not yet visited Books (actually this one was already added, still new though) Blogs News If you haven’t used Search Options before, look for the “Show Options” link in the lightly shaded blue bar above the search results: It opens up a sidebar on the left where you can filter your results:…

Google is adding forum topics as deep links for some search results. These can occur for your traditional message boards or even answers sites. Google says that the deep links will occur for sites that appear to have a large number of discussions on a given topic. Check out this search for “laptop fan noise” and notice the forum deep links under the Yahoo! Answers result:…

If you happen to be searching one of the 100 hottest trends on Google Search, you’ll now see a Google Trends graph of the keyword at the bottom of the search results. Meanwhile, Google Trends will now only display the top 40 trends instead of the top 100. And they’ll get Ryan Seacrest to deliver the results on his radio show. Just kidding. Despite the reduction of displayed top trends, the new search results feature will still affect the top 100 trends….