Google Tests Feature That Lets Media Companies, Marketers Publish Directly to Search Results – WSJ

Google Tests Feature That Lets Media Companies, Marketers Publish Directly to Search Results – WSJ

Google is experimenting with letting big publishers publish directly into search results, instead of going through SEO and indexing.

Google is experimenting with a new feature that allows marketers, media companies, politicians and other organizations to publish content directly to Google and have it appear instantly in search results.


Google has built a Web-based interface through which posts can be formatted and uploaded directly to its systems. The posts can be up to 14,400 characters in length and can include links and up to 10 images or videos. The pages also include options to share them via Twitter, Facebook or email.

Each post is hosted by Google itself on a dedicated page, and appears in a carousel in results pages for searches related to their authors for up to a week, a Google spokeswoman said. After seven days, the posts remain live but won’t be surfaced in search results. Rather, they can be accessed via a link.

The Google spokeswoman said the experimental feature is separate from Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages program, which aims to speed up online content by streamlining the code that powers Web pages.

With the AMP program, Google also “caches” pages, or saves copies of them on its own systems, in order to deliver them more quickly to users. AMP doesn’t host content directly, however, whereas Google’s new search feature does.

Google’s tests of the new posting tool comes at a time when media companies, marketers and organizations of all types are increasingly distributing content by publishing directly to major online platforms, instead of driving users back to their own websites and properties.

Facebook has an Instant Articles feature, for example, which lets anyone host their content directly on the social network, provided they adhere to its content policies. Facebook also overhauled its own “Notes” feature in September 2015 which—similarly to Google’s new feature—offers a Web interface through which users can publish their content directly to the social network.

Apple also unveiled a Web-based publishing tool that allows users to arrange and publish content directly to its Apple News application.

The Google spokeswoman emphasized that the new tool remains in an experimental phase, and wouldn’t provide details on if or when it may be opened up to more authors. Google is currently testing it with a range of different type of partners, she said, but wouldn’t disclose exactly how many.

Bots | A Working Library

Bots | A Working Library

Bots are a kind of manifestation of Walter Ong’s secondary orality—text that works like spoken language, even though it’s written, made ever more strange by being filtered through the uncanny valley of a bot’s impression of that language.

Maybe this is a tertiary orality, even—an orality removed first by text, then by bots.

a16z Podcast: Finally a Tablet that Replaces Your Laptop by a16z

When the iPad first came out in 2010 there was chatter that went in two directions:

1. It’s just a big iPhone
2. I’ll never carry a laptop again

Both were wrong. The big iPhone comment was quickly dispelled as people (and their kids) fell under the consumption thrall of iPads. But iPads never could meet the needs of most laptop users –- until now.

Benedict Evans and Steven Sinofsky offer their reasons why the iPad Pro hits the mark as a machine for all kinds of things, and why it may have shoved their own laptops aside for almost everything.

The end of a mobile wave — Benedict Evans

The end of a mobile wave — Benedict Evans

The mobile phone industry has had two waves – first voice and SMS and then the smartphone.  The voice wave has taken it from zero to 5 billion people on earth with a mobile phone, and now close to 2 billion mobile phones are sold every year.

In parallel, starting 9 years ago, the smartphone wave converted a larger and larger percentage of those phone sales to smartphones.

All of this is now reaching an end – the wave is almost over.

On one level this is just classic saturation – no industry can grow forever. But what happens next?

At the level of the consumer internet, it’s been clear for some time that Apple and Google won the platform war and that the important questions have moved up the stack – how far can Google and Facebook capture attention and intent, what other interaction models will emerge, how far Android and iOS can shape interaction and consumer behaviour, and so on.

For the hardware companies themselves, though (and that includes Apple), when you’re selling to everyone on earth (something the tech industry has never really done before), what do you do next? TV, once thought of as the next phase after PCs, turned to be an accessory to smartphones, and so are watches and (to some extent) even tablets. VR and AR are some time away with unclear market size, though I think AR could in principle be the next ecosystem after the smartphone.

This is all rather like the PC clone market of the 1980s – hundreds of undifferentiated companies fighting it out to sell commodity computers built with commodity components running a commodity operating system (though those companies mainly made the PCs themselves, where many phone brands do not). That world in due course led to companies like Dell – people who embraced the volume, low-margin commodity model and found an angle of their own. We’re starting to see equivalent model-creation now.

Man selling $100,000 collection of 600 vintage Smith-Corona typewriters / Boing Boing

Man selling $100,000 collection of 600 vintage Smith-Corona typewriters / Boing Boing

Craiglist has something wonderful on it: a vast collection of more than 600 vintage Smith-Corona typewriters, including accessories and marketing literature.

“My collection consists of over 600 typewriter items including the company’s first typewriter in the 1880’s to one of the company’s last typewriters in 2000’s and all models in between, along with all types of items that correspond to the typewriters, including ads, accessories, displays, documents, manuals, photos, shipping crates, etc. Smith Corona’s products are beautiful, interesting, unique, colorful, and when displayed, fun to look at.

I collected the typewriters and related items from 44 of the 50 United States, Washington DC, four Canadian provinces and three foreign countries. I only purchased museum quality items, so the collection would make an instant museum. The collection includes many rare and valuable items.

I have decided it is time to sell the collection.

The collection is a nice financial investment that consistently increases in value over time due to a large international typewriter collectors market. The collection will only increase in value over time.”

Some of our books live on | Five Simple Steps

When we decided to close Five Simple Steps, we made the decision to hand back the rights to each book to its relevant author. We are delighted that many authors

Source: Some of our books live on | Five Simple Steps

When we decided to close Five Simple Steps, we made the decision to hand back the rights to each book to its relevant author.

We are delighted that many authors have chosen to re-publish their work, some even making updates. Here we intend to list these books along with links to their new homes.

CSS3 Layout Modules – Rachel Andrew
Designing for the Web – Mark Boulton
Colour Accessibility
– Geri Coady
HTML Email – Andy Croll
Effective Workshops – Alison Coward
Web Performance – Andy Davies
Front-End Style Guides – Anna Debenham
Writing in Markdown
– Matt Gemmell
CSS Animations – Val Head
The Icon Handbook
– Jon Hicks
Psychology for Designers – Joe Leech
Sketchnoting – Kevin Mears
Building a device lab – Destiny Montague & Lara Hogan
Practical Responsive images – Ben Seymour
Working with Brand & Design Guidelines – Rachel Shillcock
The Craft of Words -The Standardistas
Creating Symbol Fonts – Brian Suda
Designing with Data – Brian Suda
International User Research – Chui Chui Tan
Version Control with Git – Ryan Taylor
Interviewing for Research – Andrew Travers
Web App Success – Dan Zambonini