I'll Tumbl For You

At Long Last, Tumblr Has Decent Search Functionality

Get ready to FREEBASE some Sherlock fan art.

For most of Tumblr’s history, attempts to search the site have been frustrating and often just plain fruitless. It really took a lot of dedication to keep up with the erotic Optimus Prime fanfic community, you know?

But it looks like the company finally invested some effort into fixing this particular feature. Tumblr announced today the site’s search functionality “has been rebuilt, front to back, to help explore all of your 65 billion(!) posts.” Read More

Planet GOOG

Surgeon Sues Google for Unflattering Autocomplete Results

(Screencap: Google)

Google’s autocomplete functionality, which suggests search terms as you type based on how often the terms are searched for, is a boon for lazy typers and people who aren’t sure how exactly to spell “Massachusetts” (how many s’s???). But autocomplete can be a life-ruiner if it proves that people frequently search for your name + an unflattering adjective/event.

Take the case of Australian surgeon Dr. Guy Hingston, whose autocomplete results suggest you search for “bankrupt” when Googling his name. Dr. Hingston is so upset at the inaccurate portrait painted by the GOOG that he filed a suit in a California court, claiming the negative autocomplete results have cost him business as a plastic surgeon. Read More

The Machines

Google Wants to Insert Itself into as Many of Your Conversations as Possible

Mobile devices: For so much more than Instagramming your dinner. (Photo: flickr.com/sixteenmilesofstring)

We’ve all done it: An argument breaks out at the bar/dinner table/book club meeting, about a half-remembered line of poetry or factoid about the American Revolution. What was Mick Jagger’s childhood nickname? Only Google can tell you for sure. So someone hauls out a smartphone and lickety-split, the matter is settled. Back to brunch! 

Well, the matter isn’t settled as far as Google is concerned, reports The New York Times. Rather than being a mere 30-second in-case-of-emergency argument ender, the company wants its search products integrated ever-deeper into your socializing, like that one dude who doesn’t know when to stop dropping Trivial Pursuit factoids at the cocktail party.

According to the Times: Read More

Searching Towards Bethlehem

Can This Y Combinator Startup Solve the Site Search Problem?

Swiftype's sweet offices. (swiftype.com)

Talk to anyone who primarily works on the Internet, and you’ll eventually bump into the same grievance, no matter the industry: site search–the mechanism that allows users to search your website for key words–is broken. Actually, broken might be too soft a word: fucked is really more apt. On the whole, site search is fucked.

Last week we were at a bar with a fellow Observer staff writer, when the conversation turned to site search. “I abandoned my Tumblr because their site search doesn’t work,” he declared. We all nodded our heads in agreement.

But it’s not just Tumblr. Have you ever tried to search this very website? Read More

Apples and Androids

Why It Is Imperative For Apple To Build Its Own Search Engine

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder & CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can follow him at @garysguide and reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.

Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that Apple last week announced its quarterly earnings and the entire tech industry let out a collective gasp and then promptly went into a swoon. Apple’s now overtaken Exxon as the world’s most valuable company and has almost $100 billion in cash reserves. Thats higher than the market cap of 474 of the S&P 500 companies. Apple’s been very careful when it comes to spending its cash. Expect it to continue the trend of locking in a better deal on components in its supply chain boosting its own profit margins and increasing prices (and scarcity) for competitors. Also expect it to snap up important IP that can provide a generational leap to advance core features of its hardware (camera, screen, battery, memory, CPU). Beyond that (‘n all the cool wearable computing rumors), one of the things thats imperative for Apple to do (if its not doing it already) is to finally build its own search engine. Here’s why. Read More