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Five of the most interesting search news stories of the week

While our editor Christopher is busy sunning himself in Miami at SEW Connect, I’m left with the task of this week’s round-up of SEM news.

So we have new Google mobile features, Valentine’s Day search stats and more…

Google’s new ‘trip planning’ feature for mobile

Google recently introduced a new feature for mobile users, as reported on the koddi blog.

The feature, triggered by searches such as those below, provides ideas for where to go and what to do.

where to go in italyItaly dest

Clicking on more opens up further destination ideas, and takes you away from the organic results altogether.

Ultimately, it can lead to reviews of hotels and tourist spots, and the ability to plan trips on Google.

italy travelitaly trav

Travel sites will no doubt be less than impressed with this move, which seems to take attention away from organic results.

However, these are not transactional searches, but queries more likely to be used in the earlier stages of travel planning when looking for ideas.

At the moment, I don’t think travel sites should be too concerned, especially as travel buyers then to take their time and view multiple sources before buying.

Alphabet becomes the world’s most valuable company

Google’s parent company Alphabet nudged ahead of Apple to become the most valuable company in the world, with better than expected results.

The company’s shares rose by 4.7% on Tuesday, meaning Alphabet is now valued at $548 billion compared to Apple’s $534 billion.

Google to warn users about ‘deceptive download’ buttons

Google announced this week that it would begin to warn Chrome users about sites which contain download buttons which appear to come from trusted sources.

Like this:

pasted image 0 (5)

According to Google:

You may have encountered social engineering in a deceptive download button, or an image ad that falsely claims your system is out of date. Today, we’re expanding Safe Browsing protection to protect you from such deceptive embedded content, like social engineering ads.

If you attempt to head to such a site, you’ll see a warning like this:


I’d say not pressing download buttons on random sites would be the best protection from malware, but it all helps.

Is Google censoring search suggestions?

As covered by Christopher Ratcliff earlier in the week, UK Google users uncovered a strange anomaly in autocomplete suggestions, whereby negative search terms were suggested for all political parties except for the Conservatives.


The background to this is the tax deal between Google and the UK government which saw the search giant paying what some felt was a derisory amount.

Valentine’s Day and search: stats from Bing

Enough Google-related news, now for Bing. This week it released a slideshare doc with stats on spending and search volume around Valentine’s Day.

A few highlights:

  • $18.9 billion was spent on Valentine’s in 2015, 10% up from 2014.
  • Candy and greetings cards were the most popular purchases, followed by flowers and evenings out.
  • Search volumes rise steadily during mid to late January,rising more sharply in February, presumably as people begin to panic…


via Search Engine Watch


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