Archive for the ‘Search History’ Category

Google Transparency Report

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Google Transparency Report

The Google Transparency Report consists of five parts:

  1. Government requests to remove content

    A list of the number of requests we receive from governments to review or remove content from Google products.

  2. Requests for information about our users

    A list of the number of requests we received from governments to hand over user data and account information.

  3. Requests by copyright owners to remove search results

    Detailed information on requests by copyright owners or their representatives to remove web pages from Google search results.

  4. Google product traffic

    The real-time availability of Google products around the world, historic traffic patterns since 2008, and a historic archive of disruptions to Google products.

  5. Safe Browsing

    Statistics on how many malware and phishing websites we detect per week, how many users we warn, and which networks around the world host malware sites.

I pointed out the visualizations of the copyright holder data earlier today.

There are a number of visualizations of the Google Transparency Report and I may assemble some of the more interesting ones for your viewing pleasure.

You certainly should download the data sets and/or view them as Google Docs Spreadsheets.

I say that because while Google is more “transparent” than the current White House, it’s not all that transparent at all.

Take the government take down requests for example.

According to the raw data file, the United States has made five (5) requests on the basis of national security, four (4) of which were for YouTube videos and one (1) was for one web search result.


And for no government request, is there sufficient information to identify the information that any government sought to conceal.

Google may have qualms about information governments want to conceal but that sounds like a marketing opportunity to me. (Being mindful of your availability to such governments.)

History matters

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

History matters by Gene Golovchinsky.

Whose history? Your history. Your search history. Visualized.

Interested? Read more:

Exploratory search is an uncertain endeavor. Quite often, people don’t know exactly how to express their information need, and that need may evolve over time as information is discovered and understood. This is not news.

When people search for information, they often run multiple queries to get at different aspects of the information need, to gain a better understanding of the collection, or to incorporate newly-found information into their searches. This too is not news.

The multiple queries that people run may well retrieve some of the same documents. In some cases, there may be little or no overlap between query results; at other times, the overlap may be considerable. Yet most search engines treat each query as an independent event, and leave it to the searcher to make sense of the results. This, to me, is an opportunity.

Design goal: Help people plan future actions by understanding the present in the context of the past.

While web search engines such as Bing make it easy for people to re-visit some recent queries, and early systems such as Dialog allowed Boolean queries to be constructed by combining results of previously-executed queries, these approaches do not help people make sense of the retrieval histories of specific documents with respect to a particular information need. There is nothing new under the sun, however: Mark Sanderson’s NRT system flagged documents as having been previously retrieved for a given search task, VOIR used retrieval histograms for each document, and of course a browser maintains a limited history of activity to indicate which links were followed.

Our recent work in Querium (see here and here) seeks to explore this space further by providing searchers with tools that reflect patterns of retrieval of specific documents within a search mission.

Even more interested? Read Gene’s post in full.

If not, check your pulse.