TIME Companies

Do This 1 Thing For a Better Google Ranking

Google Mobile Search
JEWEL SAMAD—AFP/Getty Images Google's lead designer for "Inbox by Gmail" Jason Cornwell shows the app's functionalities on a Nexus 6 android phone during a media preview in New York on October 29, 2014.

Mobile-friendly sites will do better in search results next month

Google is once again tweaking its search algorithm with a new change that should have some benefits for users.

The company announced in a Thursday blog post that it will rank mobile-optimized sites higher in search results starting April 21. Sites that work well on a smartphone will get a “significant” boost over other sites, the company says.

The change should ensure that people conducting Google searches on their phone typically arrive on easily-readable sites rather than messy desktop-based layouts that are hard to navigate on a small screen. Google offers a form where developers can input a URL to see whether it is mobile-friendly or not.

In addition to the algorithm change, Google said starting Thursday it will begin surfacing content hidden within apps more prominently in search results. If a developer has enabled App Indexing, Google’s search bots can crawl the contents of an app just like a Web page. Information from the app can show up along with regular search results on Google.

It makes sense that Google would want to incentivize App Indexing. The search giant doesn’t have the stranglehold on information queries on phones as it does on the desktop because people often boot up more narrowly-focused apps (Amazon for shopping, Yelp for food) instead of using Google to trawl the entire World Wide Web. More indexing means more valuable information that Google can present to users and serve ads against.

TIME Aviation

Search for AirAsia Wreckage Ends

INDONESIA-SINGAPORE-MALAYSIA-AVIATION-AIRASIA
Adek Berry—AFP/Getty Images An Indonesian rescue helicopter flies over the Crest Onyx ship as divers (R in rubber boats) conduct operations to lift the tail of AirAsia QZ8501 in the Java Sea on January 9, 2015.

Searchers have found 70 of the 162 bodies

Indonesia’s military suspended a search effort for a downed AirAsia flight in the Java Sea on Tuesday, drawing to a close a 30-day effort to retrieve bodies from the wreckage.

“We apologize to the families of the victims,” Rear Adm. Widodo said, according to Reuters. “We tried our best to look for the missing victims.”

Divers with the Indonesian military have struggled against strong currents and murky water conditions to retrieve bodies from the wreckage site, submerged some 100 feet below sea level. Officials said they had retrieved 70 bodies to date from the wreckage site, and no bodies were known to remain in the fuselage, the New York Times reports.

The plane had 162 people on board when it crashed last month.

TIME Aviation

Search Crews Locate Missing AirAsia Flight’s Fuselage

AirAsia aircraft tail storage is recovered
Denny Pohan—Demotix/Corbis AirAsia aircraft tail is recovered from the Java Sea on Jan. 12, 2015, in Pangkalan Bun, Indonesia

Official hopes it brings "some form of closure" to families

Search crews located the fuselage of missing Air Asia Flight 8501 on Wednesday, officials said, marking a breakthrough in a the search for the plane’s scattered wreckage and the missing passengers’ remains.

“The [rescue team] has located the fuselage of the AirAsia plane in the Java Sea,” Singapore’s Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen wrote on Facebook, saying the fuselage had been found by a remotely operated vehicle in the Java Sea, 2 km away from the tail. The flight en route from Indonesia to Singapore vanished over the Java Sea on Dec. 28 with 162 people on board.

The Facebook post included images of the submerged wreckage, which showed a section of the wing and AirAsia’s slogan “Now Everyone Can Fly” legibly printed on the side of the plane.

“I hope that with the fuselage located, some form of closure can come to the families of the victims to ease their grief,” Ng wrote.

TIME Holidays

It’s New Year’s Day and Everyone Is Googling ‘Hangover Cure’

hangover
Getty Images

Google searches reveal that Jan. 1 is the most hungover day of the year, by a lot

You may not fully remember what you did for New Year’s Eve 2014, but Google has a pretty good idea.

The number of people Googling the phrase “hangover cure” surges January 1–a point illustrated clearly in this chart posted by Wonkblog’s Christopher Ingraham. It’s the biggest day of the year (by far) for searches on ways to heal a booze-addled brain after one too many champagne toasts to ring in the new year.

Next down the list for the year’s most hungover days are the Saturday after Halloween, followed by May 17 (for unknown reasons; personally, I suspect it’s because it’s the day after a particularly entertaining friend’s birthday), and then July 5.

Read more at Wonkblog

TIME Aviation

Objects Spotted That May Be Related to Missing AirAsia Jet, Say Officials

The Indonesian official leading search operations believes Flight QZ 8501 has sunk

An Australian Orion aircraft has detected suspicious objects that may be related to the missing AirAsia jet, in the Java Sea around 700 miles (1,120 km) from where contact with Flight QZ 8501 was lost.

The sightings were made near the tiny island of Nangka, located in the western part of the Indonesian archipelago, approximately midway between the large islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

However, the commander of Jakarta air-force base, Rear Marshal Dwi Putranto, stressed that nothing could be confirmed. “We cannot be sure whether it is part of the missing AirAsia plane,” he told the Associated Press. “We are now moving in that direction, which is in cloudy conditions.”

The Singapore-bound QZ 8501 lost contact with air-traffic control early Sunday, 42 minutes after departing Surabaya, Indonesia, at 5:35 a.m. local time. There were 162 people on board.

On Sunday, search vessels and aircraft were not able to spot any sign of the Airbus A320-200.

“Based on the coordinates given to us and evaluation that the estimated crash position is in the sea, the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea,” Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency chief Bambang Soelistyo told a press conference earlier on Monday.

“Even fishermen are being asked to find the plane,” Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla told reporters at Surabaya’s Juanda Airport on Monday afternoon. “Of course, we hope that we find survivors, we pray for that, but we realize that the worst may have happened.”

Records show that Iriyanto, the captain of QZ 8501, who like many Indonesians only uses one name, had requested to ascend from 32,000 ft. (9,700 m) to 38,000 ft. (11,600 m) to avoid cloud, but this was denied. Meteorologists say cloud tops may have reached over 50,000 ft. (15,200 m), and satellite imagery shows a huge storm that quickly disappeared, indicating a massive amount of rainfall in a short period.

Experts are speculating the plane may have come down because of adverse weather. “In that area of the world, weather is something you have to deal with all of the time and it’s why we have a weather radar to keep clear of the most intense areas of rain and turbulence,” David Newbery, a Hong Kong flight captain and accredited aircraft-accident investigator, tells TIME.

“I’m very devastated by what’s happened,” AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes told reporters in Surabaya late Sunday. “It’s unbelievable. But we don’t now what’s happened yet. Our concern right now is for the relatives and the next of kin — nothing is more important for us.”

In a statement posted to his Facebook page on Sunday evening, Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged all those looking for the missing plane to “keep up the hard work.” He added: “I am also praying to God for the safety of the passengers of AirAsia Flight QZ 8501.”

Indonesia is providing 12 ships, three helicopters and five military aircraft for the search efforts, while Malaysia has offered a C-130 plane and three ships. Singapore has dispatched a C-130 and Australia is also providing aerial assistance. India has put ships on standby.

Sunday’s search was hampered by heavy rain and poor visibility, but the skies cleared overnight, the bright sun burning off sea fog, and raising hopes that some wreckage may be spotted Monday.

The waters of the Java Sea, a major shipping route, are comparatively shallow, and pinpointing the missing jetliner’s location should, in theory, be straightforward, given that its last known position was just one third into a two-hour flight. Sonar pings from the black box would likely be audible, and divers could even reach the seabed without the use of submersibles.

The loss of QZ8501 is the third major aviation disaster this year with Malaysia links, after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March and the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine in July. AirAsia Indonesia, which operated QZ8501, is 49% owned by the Malaysia-based AirAsia.

With reporting by Yenni Kwok

Read next: Everything We Know About the Missing AirAsia Flight QZ 8501

TIME Web

The One Celebrity We Couldn’t Stop Googling in 2014

Thanks to a pair of blockbuster movies, a Golden Globe and a photo hack

Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence tops Google’s list of the top trending searches of people in the U.S. in 2014, the search giant announced Tuesday.

The 24-year-old star was in the news — and, inevitably, the Google search bar — for a lot of reasons this year. She starred in two blockbuster sequels, X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, and picked up a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role in American Hustle. Lawrence was also at the center of the celebrity iCloud hack, in which dozens of famous women had their nude photos stolen and posted online.

Following Lawrence on the list was Kim Kardashian, who tried (and failed) to “#BreaktheInternet” by appearing nude on the cover of Paper in November and released a hit mobile game this year. In third place was 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan, who was involved in a serious bus wreck over the summer, while NFL running back Ray Rice, who was suspended from the league after punching his fiancée-turned-wife on camera, ranked fourth. Rounding out the top 5 was Tony Stewart, the NASCAR driver involved in the on-track death of fellow driver Kevin Ward in August.

The list is not necessarily the most-searched people of the year, but rather the people that had searches for their name spike the most compared to 2013. Here’s the entire top 10:

Top 10 Trending People in the U.S.

  1. Jennifer Lawrence
  2. Kim Kardashian
  3. Tracy Morgan
  4. Ray Rice
  5. Tony Stewart
  6. Iggy Azalea
  7. Donald Sterling
  8. Adrian Peterson
  9. Renee Zellweger
  10. Jared Leto


Read next: The Top 10 Everything of 2014

TIME Web

Robin Williams Was Google’s Top Trending Search of 2014

Robin Williams
Art Streiber—CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Robin Williams topped a list that also included the World Cup, Ebola, ISIS and Flappy Bird

Robin Williams topped Google’s list of the top trending searches in 2014.

The comedian and actor, who died in August, led the list of the people, places and things that got the biggest boost in search traffic this year compared to 2013. The list of actual “most searched” terms is actually pretty boring, Google says, because it includes generic terms like “weather” and website names like “Google.”

Overall, the list reflects the way global crises co-mingle with pop culture phenomena on the Internet. Second to Robin Williams was the World Cup, which sparked widespread discussion across the Web. Third was Ebola, the viral epidemic that sparked scares in West Africa and elsewhere around the world as it emerged in different locales. Fourth was Malaysia Airlines, which was in the news first for a plane that mysteriously disappeared in March and later for a second plane that was shot down over Ukraine in July. Rounding out the top five was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in which people recorded themselves being doused in cold water to raise money for charity.

Check out the full Top 10 below:

  1. Robin Williams
  2. World Cup
  3. Ebola
  4. Malaysia Airlines
  5. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
  6. Flappy Bird
  7. Conchita Wurst
  8. ISIS
  9. Frozen
  10. Sochi Olympics
TIME Social Media

Facebook Unfriends Microsoft Search Engine

Facebook offices in Paris, France in 2010.
Tomas van Houtryve—VII for TIME Facebook offices in Paris, France in 2010.

The social media behemoth may be angling in on Google-dominated web search

Facebook has officially dropped from its website search results from Bing, the search engine owned by Microsoft Corp.

The move comes on the heels of Facebook unveiling a new search tool on its own site, allowing the site’s 1.35 billion users to easily search for old Facebook activity on theirs and others’ pages, perhaps indicating an increased emphasis on the lucrative web search market currently dominated by Facebook rival Google.

Facebook’s decision was confirmed to Reuters on Friday by a company spokesperson. “We’re not currently showing web search results in Facebook Search because we’re focused on helping people find what’s been shared with them on Facebook,” a spokesperson said. “We continue to have a great partnership with Microsoft in lots of different areas.

[Reuters]

TIME Social Media

You Asked: Can I Delete All My Old, Embarrassing Tweets?

Social Media Site Twitter Debuts On The New York Stock Exchange
Bethany Clarke—Getty Images In this photo illustration, The Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced it's initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England.

Twitter just made it easier than ever for anyone to find all your tweets

Twitter just made its search tool more powerful than ever. The social network has now made it easy to search any of the 500 billion public tweets that have been sent in Twitter’s eight-year history. Yes, that includes your tweets—even the drunk ones.

If you’re nervous about what an Internet sleuth might uncover if they searched for all your references to “weed” or a comprehensive listing of your embarrassing unanswered pleas directly to a celebrity, you might want to review your old tweets and delete the bad apples. And remember, if you ever become famous, someone will inevitably dig up all those racist tweets you sent in 2010.

Here’s how to head off your future PR nightmare at the pass:

Option 1: Request Your Twitter Archive

Before today, the best way to take stock of your Twitter past was to request your personal archive from the social network. Twitter will email you a zip file that includes all your tweets in an easily searchable database that mimics the Twitter.com interface. Just type in any questionable words you might have used in your younger days (“drunk,” “high,” “hella” ) and delete anything you wouldn’t want your Mom to read or embed on a public web page for the whole Internet to see.

To get the archive, go to your Settings and click “Request your archive.”

Option 2: Use Advanced Search

If you don’t want to wait around for Twitter to send you your archive, you can use the Advanced Search option (here) to quickly parse through your tweets. In the “From These Accounts” field, enter your username, and in the “Words” fields, enter whatever terms you’re trying to find that you previously tweeted.

Retweet the ones where you accurately predicted the future. Delete the incriminating ones.

Option 3: Scorch the Earth

You were a different person when you joined Twitter. If you were below the age of 20, it’s possible that you said so many cruel, vapid and ignorant things that there is simply no salvaging your younger digital self. You can wipe this person from Twitter’s record with a few clicks. Tweet Delete lets you automatically delete tweets more than a year old on an ongoing basis. Tweet Eraser allows you to delete everything you wrote before any given date. For more dire situations, you can download Tweeticide and erase your entire Twitter history.

Not sure whether you should delete or tweet? Consider this: Every public tweet is being archived for future generations to make judgments about our culture in the Library of Congress. Don’t make us look bad.

TIME Companies

You Can Now Search Every Tweet Ever

The Twitter logo and hashtag '#Ring!' is displayed on a mobile device.
Bethany Clarke—Getty Images The Twitter logo and hashtag '#Ring!' is displayed on a mobile device.

Archive of 500 billion tweets are now searchable

Time to start deleting your embarrassing old tweets—Twitter just made it easy to search every public tweet ever sent.

The social network announced Tuesday that it has completed indexing of every public tweet since 2006, which amounts to about half a trillion messages. A new, more powerful search function will let users search for specific words used by specific users, hashtags used between a set of given dates and other variables. In the past, these types of searches only yielded a portion of the tweets that fit the criteria.

“Our search engine excelled at surfacing breaking news and events in real time, and our search index infrastructure reflected this strong emphasis on recency,” Twitter wrote in a blog post that explains the indexing process for tweets in extreme detail. “But our long-standing goal has been to let people search through every Tweet ever published.”

The more robust archive will eventually affect the basic searches that Twitter users conduct from the site’s homepage. While basic searches currently surface tweets from the last several hours or days as “Top” tweets, the company will soon begin showing older tweets that may also be relevant. Getting people conducting Twitter searches more regularly could boost the company’s revenue, as Twitter already sells ads against keyword searches.

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