A Wonky Analysis of Search Today: The SEO Wizard View

July 24, 2017

I read what one of my goslings described as a “wonky” discussion of search. You will have to judge for yourself, gentle reader. In an era of fake news, I am not sure what to make of a semi factual, incomplete write up with the title “How Search Reveals the World.” Search does not reveal “the world”; search provides some — note the word “some” — useful information about the behaviors of individuals who run queries or make use of systems like the oh, so friendly Amazon Alexa.

I learned that there are three types of search, and I have to tell you that these points were not particularly original. Here they are:

  • Navigational search queries. Don’t think about Endeca’s “guided navigation.” Think about Google Maps, which is going to morph into a publishing platform, a fact not included in the write up which triggered ruffled gosling feathers
  • Information search queries. Ah, now we’re talking. A human types 2.4 words in a search box and feels lucky or just looks at the first few hits on the first search page. Could these hits be ads unrelated or loosely related to the user’s query? Sure, absolutely.
  • Transactional search queries. I am not sure what this phrase “transactional search queries” means, but that’s not too surprising. The confusion rests with me when I think of looking for a product like a USB C plug on Amazon versus navigating to my bank’s fine, fine Web site and using a fine, fine interface to move money from Point A to Point B. Close enough for horseshoes.


Skimming the surface is good for seaplanes but not a plus for an analysis of search and retrieval.

But the most egregious argument in the write up is that search becomes little more than a rather clumsy manipulative tool for “marketers, advertisers, and business owners.” Why clumsy? The write up is happily silent about Facebook’s alleged gaming of its system for various purposes. Filtering hate speech, for example, seems admirable until someone has to define “hate speech.” Filtering live streaming of a suicide or crime in progress is a bit more problematic. But search is a sissy compared with the alleged Facebook methods. With marketers looking to make a buck, Facebook seems to slip the pager mâché noose of the write up’s argument.

But there is a far larger omission. One of the most important types of search is “pervasive, predictive search.” The idea is a nifty one. Using various “signals” a system presents information automatically to a user who is online and looking at an output. No specific action on the part of the user is required. The user sees what he or she presumably wants. Search without search! The marketer’s Holy Grail.

There are some important components of this type of search.

Perhaps an SEO expert will explain them instead of recycling old information and failing to define 33 percent of the bedrock statements. But that may be a bridge to far for those who would try to manipulate the systems and methods of some of the providers of free, ad supported search systems. The longest journey begins with a single step. Didn’t an SEO expert say that too?

Stephen E Arnold, July 24, 2017

China Transwarp: Can This Be a Palantir Challenger?

July 24, 2017

One of my sources provided me with a link to a write up which may be translated as “Yujialong star ring technology common to build China Palantir” or “Yu Jialong together star ring technology together to build China’s Palantir.” The link to the original article is here. “Yu Jialong” is a subsidiary of Boone Group, which may no longer be in operation. The point of the write up is that a group of Chinese wizards is working to create a “Chinese Palantir. The group is hooded up with Six Ring Technology. TenCent is providing some financing.


This may be the experts who are tackling the Palantir like system.

There is the challenge of seamlessly importing the file formats used by developers of cyINT eDiscovery systems. I have added it to mist of companies engaged in moving beyond Analyst’s Notebook and Gotham systems.

Stephen E Arnold, July 24,2017

Watson Does Whiteboards

July 24, 2017

A write-up at Helge Scherlund’s eLearning News describes a very useful tool in, “World’s Smartest Active Virtual Meeting Assistant Ricoh.” The tool integrates the IBM Watson AI into an interactive whiteboard system. The press release positions the tool as the future of meetings, but we wonder whether small businesses and schools can afford these gizmos. The write-up includes a nine-minute promotional video that describes the system, so interested readers should check it out. We’re also given a list of key features.

*Easy-to-join meetings: With the swipe of a badge the Intelligent Workplace Solution can log attendance and track key agenda items to ensure all key topics are discussed.


*Simple, global voice control of meetings: Once a meeting begins, any employee, whether in-person or located remotely in another country, can easily control what’s on the screen, including advancing slides, all through simple voice commands.


*Ability to capture side discussions: During a meeting, team members can also hold side conversations that are displayed on the same Ricoh interactive whiteboard.


*Translation of the meeting into another language: The Cognitive Whiteboard can translate speakers’ words into several other languages and display them on screen or in transcript.

I suppose one feature here may also be a thorn in the side of some old-school business people—the system creates a transcript of everything said in each meeting, including side conversations, and sends it to each participant. Auto CYA. The process would take some getting used to, but we can see the advantages for many organizations. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh’s history stretches back to 1936.

Cynthia Murrell, July 24, 2017

AI Feeling a Little Sentimental

July 24, 2017

Big data was one of the popular buzzwords a couple years ago, but one conundrum was how organizations were going to use all that mined data?  One answer has presented itself: sentiment analysis.  Science shares the article, “AI In Action: How Algorithms Can Analyze The Mood Of The Masses” about how artificial intelligence is being used to gauge people’s emotions.

Social media presents a constant stream of emotional information about products, services, and places that could be useful to organizations.  The problem in the past is that no one knew how to fish all of that useful information out of the social media Web sites and make it a usable.    By using artificial intelligence algorithms and natural language processing, data scientists are finding associations between words, the language used, posting frequency, and more to determine everything from a person’s mood to their personality, income level, and political associations.

‘There’s a revolution going on in the analysis of language and its links to psychology,’ says James Pennebaker, a social psychologist at the University of Texas in Austin. He focuses not on content but style, and has found, for example, that the use of function words in a college admissions essay can predict grades. Articles and prepositions indicate analytical thinking and predict higher grades; pronouns and adverbs indicate narrative thinking and predict lower grades…’Now, we can analyze everything that you’ve ever posted, ever written, and increasingly how you and Alexa talk,’ Pennebaker says. The result: ‘richer and richer pictures of who people are.’

AI algorithms are able to turn a person’s online social media accounts and construct more than a digital fingerprint of a person.  The algorithms act like digital mind readers and recreate a person based on the data they publish.

Whitney Grace, July 24, 2017

Instagram Reins in Trolls

July 21, 2017

Photo-sharing app Instagram has successfully implemented DeeText, a program that can successfully weed out nasty and spammy comments from people’s feeds.

Wired in an article titled Instagram Unleashes an AI System to Blast Away Nasty Comments says:

DeepText is based on recent advances in artificial intelligence, and a concept called word embeddings, which means it is designed to mimic the way language works in our brains.

DeepText initially was built by Facebook, Instagram’s parent company for preventing abusers, trolls, and spammers at bay. Buoyed by the success, it soon implemented on Instagram.

The development process was arduous wherein a large number of employees and contractors for months were teaching the DeepText engine how to identify abusers. This was achieved by telling the algorithm which word can be abusive based on its context.

At the moment, the tools are being tested and rolled out for a limited number of users in the US and are available only in English. It will be subsequently rolled out to other markets and languages.

Vishal Ingole, July 21, 2017

Drugmaker Merk Partners with Palantir on Data Analysis

July 21, 2017

Pharmaceutical company Merk is working with data-analysis firm Palantir on a project to inform future research, we learn from the piece, “Merk Forges Cancer-Focused Big Data Alliance with Palantir” at pharmaceutical news site PMLive. The project is an effort to remove the bottleneck that currently exists between growing silos of medical data and practical applications of that information. Writer Phil Taylor specifies:

Merck will work with Palantir on cancer therapies in the first instance, with the aim of developing a collaborative data and analytics platform for the drug development processes that will give researchers new understanding of how new medicines work. Palantir contends that many scientists in pharma companies struggle with unstructured data and information silos that ‘reduce creativity and limit researchers’ corrective analyses’. The data analytics and sharing platform will help Merck researchers analyse real-world and bioinformatics data so they can ‘understand the patients who may benefit most’ from a treatment.

The alliance also has a patient-centric component, and according to Merck will improve the experience of patients using its products, improve adherence as well as provide feedback on real-world efficacy.

Finally, the two companies will collaborate on a platform that will allow improved global supply chain forecasting and help to get medicines to patients who need them around the world as quickly as possible. Neither company has disclosed any financial details on the deal.

This is no surprise move for the 125-year-old Merk, which has been embracing digital technology in part by funding projects around the world. Known as MSD everywhere but the U.S. and Canada, the company started with a small pharmacy in Germany but now has its headquarters in New Jersey.

Palantir has recently stirred up some controversy. The company’s massive-scale data platforms allow even the largest organizations to integrate, manage, and secure all sorts of data. Its founding members include PayPal alumni and Stanford computer-science grads. The company is based in Palo Alto, California, and has offices around the world.

Cynthia Murrell, July 21, 2017

Ambercite: A Patent Similarity Service

July 20, 2017

We learned about an Australian start up called Ambercite. The company’s service allows those wanting to know the answer to a question like this:

What patents are similar to US7593939?

Most of the online patent search systems do not deliver quick, comprehensive similarity results. When I have to think about patent similarity, I have found that several services have to be consulted and then some old-fashioned, billable time must be generously applied. Ambercite wants to change this approach to one powered by a more practical system. The company says:

Ambercite can help you quickly find patents and commercial opportunities, in many cases, missed by others, with its tools and services.

For more information about the firm, point your browser to this link. Worth watching.

Stephen E Arnold, July 20, 2017

TechnoSecurity & Digital Forensics Conference Info

July 20, 2017

I am giving two talks about the Dark Web at the September 2017 TechnoSecurity & Digital Forensics Conference. With the take down of AlphaBay and the attentions Dark Web sources of synthetic drugs are getting in the main stream media, the sessions will be of particular relevance to law enforcement, security, and intelligence professionals. My first talk is a quick start basics lecture. My second presentation focuses on free an and source tools and the commercial services which can flip on the lights in the Dark Web.

The conference has emerged as one of the most important resources for corporate network security professionals, federal, state and local law enforcement digital forensic specialists, and cybersecurity industry leaders from around the world. The purpose is to raise international awareness of developments, teaching, training, responsibilities, and ethics in the field of IT security and digital forensics. The event will feature more than 70 speakers, 60 sessions, 20 new product demonstrations, and 25 sponsors and exhibits. exhibits. For full details and to register, please visit www.TechnoSecurity.us.

As a reader of Beyond Search, you qualify for a 30 percent discount. Just use the promotional code DKWB17 when you sign up online.

Stephen E Arnold, July 20, 2017

Google: Recycling and Me Too-ing

July 20, 2017

Quite a week for the Google. The company’s Glass product is now positioned as a tool for the world of the enterprise, not the world of the low cost Snap glasses. Snap glasses are available on Amazon for $129.


Google informs me that “We’ve all been busy.” Nah, I have not been busy no matter what Google asserts.

Someday I will recount some of the information I collected when Google Glass was a fashion thing, a home wrecker, and a mechanism for destabilizing a Silicon Valley whiz kid. But not now, not in this post about recycling and me too-ing.

The recycle part is wrapped, is it not? Google Glass is back as an non-fashion statement. Recycling is good. Newspapers, plastic bottles, and heads up displays which work until the battery dies or the online connection is lost.

Now the me too-ing.

I read “Google Formally Announces Hire, Its LinkedIn Competitor.” That pretty much tells the story. LinkedIn, the job hunting and self promoting engine loved by many folks who want to be in the top one percent, is part of Microsoft. Google wants to be the 21st century Microsoft in order to do something other than sell online ads, finds the job hunting and self promotion sector promising. Well, maybe it will annoy Microsoft and take a bite out of that company’s efforts to be more than a vendor of apps and laptops covered in synthetic fabric.

The idea, as I understand the write up’s version, is:

Google has formally introduced Hire, a recruiting app for small- and medium-sized businesses, which also integrates seamlessly with G Suite…Google has announced Hire, an app that provides a recruiting platform aimed towards US businesses with under 1,000 employees. Hire makes it easier for companies to find suitable candidates for jobs, and manage the interview process efficiently. The app is further aided by seamless integration with Google’s G Suite, which over three million businesses use.

The service looks like “LinkedIn Light” from my vantage point in Harrod’s Creek. But what’s interesting to me is that Google has a dossier invention which creates profiles of people from disparate sources of information. If my memory is working this morning, the example I learned about takes items from multiple databases and assembles a profile. The case example was a snapshot of Michael Jackson. The report was a dossier which included aliases like “Jocko”, pop culture effluvia, and some substantive stuff like location. The presentation seemed quite similar to what is called a bubble gum card in certain circles.

If Google keeps wood behind this project, perhaps the dossier type function will become available. That would be more useful to me than a self promotion profile on LinkedIn. For now, Google seems content to do the me too thing in order to nibble away at Microsoft’s multi billion bet on a social media platform for “professionals,” whatever that term means. Is it possible Google wants to remind the Microsofties that the GOOG wishes to see the company fade into the sunset or buy ads on Google to promote its fabric covered laptop?

I am okay with “LinkedIn Light” because it has a bit of a kick unlike low cal me too alternatives. Google’s innovation balloons may not be able to take off.

Stephen E Arnold, July 20, 2017

Stephen E Arnold,

Software That Detects Sarcasm on Social Media

July 20, 2017

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management has developed Sarcasm SIGN, a software that can detect sarcasm in social media content. People with learning difficulties will find this tool useful.

According to an article published by Digital Journal titled Software Detects Sarcasm on Social Media:

The primary aim is to interpret sarcastic statements made on social media, be they Facebook comments, tweets or some other form of digital communication.

As we move towards a more digitized world where the majority of our communications are through digital channels, people with learning disabilities are at the receiving end. As machine learning advances so do the natural language capabilities. Tools like these will be immensely helpful for people who are unable to understand the undertones of communication.

The same tool can also be utilized by brands for determining who is talking about them in a negative way. Now ain’t that wonderful Facebook?

Vishal Ingole, July 20, 2017

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