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A Walk Through Google's Changes With Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan

A Walk Through Google's Changes With Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan

Search Engine Land founding editor and search engine guru Danny Sullivan appeared in SunTrust Robinson Humphrey's Investor Conference Call Series, hosted by Robert Peck, to discuss the ongoing changes at search giant Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), including an explanation of Hummingbird.

“Hummingbird was a complete rewrite of the core search engine itself,” said Sullivan.

He compared past engines to running like a car engine, but said that Google realized stuff was coming in and “gumming up the works,” so they added filters to purify the running process, Sullivan said.

“Let's create a filter that we'll call Panda and we'll screw it into the engine, kind of like [how] an oil filter works, and we hope that'll catch any content that we think is low quality,” said Sullivan.

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“And, oh we've just discovered that a bunch of people are spamming us, ah, in ways we haven't been catching very well. We'll create another new filter, kind of like, you know, an air filter, and we'll put it on there and that'll be our Penguin filter.”

Sullivan noted that new ways to communicate and search for information came along, which made the nature or search far different than it was prior to these new technologies hitting the scene. Social signals, like hashtags, and voice controlled searches via mobile are prime examples that he listed as prominent innovations.

With Hummingbird the idea was, “let's build a new engine for, you know, this whole new decade…two decades…that we're really into,” replacing the outdated 2001 engine that didn't meet the standards of a transformed Web, Sullivan outlined. The rebuilt model is meant to match modern efficiency, and new expectations mean new tricks, such as accepting “alternative fuels,” if it likes.

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They rolled out Hummingbird in September 2013, but no one really noticed, Sullivan said; with traffic remaining relatively the same for most sites.

Google still mostly relies on link signals, which he jokes are very much the “fossil fuel of the Internet,” and have become diluted for a variety of reasons as new types of signals simultaneously enter the stage.

Sullivan also noted that this indicates that the engine works much like it did before. The difference now, he said, that is if you want to sometimes use that car as a hybrid, then you can.

There is now a more present demand to enhance users' search experiences by creating connections that better optimize filtering by ranking ratings. According to Sullivan, part of this concerns entities; not only their relevance by definition, but by their deeper meaning. He said that upgrading, including new filters for the unexpected, can always come up in the future, which also encompasses updates to filters like Panda.

While Google is hesitant, he said, they'll have to utilize social signals eventually because of link dilution. Currently, they use Google+ as their main source of social signals. Sullivan also pointed to the other reason for them not taking on social signals fully: their network isn't ready for it yet. He said that their engine still needs lots of “fossil fuel” to run. It's what it was originally designed for, despite being rebuilt.

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) both argue that Google doesn't cover its platforms during live sessions and other valuable activity time that's trackable for advertising. That translates to ad dollars that they can't tap into, and many experts don't see them as a serious part of that social space, Sullivan added.

Medbox CEO Strikes Back Against Citron Research

Medbox (OTCMKTS: MDBX) CEO Dr. Bruce Bedrick appeared on CNBC's Closing Bell Tuesday after their stock took a hit during trading today following the release of a report by Citron Research that claims the company committed fraud on their financial statements, amongst other accusations of poor ethics based in dishonesty.

“Everybody is trying to take a pot shot at us…With billions of dollars of potential, um, and knowing that ultimately when this grows up into its childhood and ultimate adolescence there's only going to be a few Yahoos (NASDAQ: YHOO) and Googles (NASDAQ: GOOG) that are going to make it, and Medbox is posed to do that,” said Bedrick, claiming that others will try to short them and knock them down because of this to tank their stock.

He claims that past mistakes, such as claiming revenue of nearly $2 million in Q1 of 2013, only to later reclaim it as less than $1.24 million at year's end, are because of errors on the part of the accounting firm that they were outsourcing to. He says that now they're doing their accounting in-house; also bringing in a new CFO he notes. Bedrick highlighted that reports of all discrepancies have been included on their Form 10.

“We believe that there's absolutely no basis in fact for any of the charges,” said Bedrick.

Bedrick noted enthusiasm for being one of the only companies that has filled out and submitted their Form 10.

“All of our accounting has been essentially audited and submitted to the SEC and we will let it stand for what it is,” said Bedrick.

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Bedrick pushed asides other claims, however, such as claiming leadership in the pharmaceuticals business without truly having a lucrative stake yet, as well as helping clients win licenses in Arizona that were actually awarded by blind lottery, with statements that boosted his companies upcoming “game-changing technology” that will change how everyone accesses their pharmaceuticals (e.g. medical marijuana dispensers). He included that the technology applies to how everyone will get their perception drugs in the future.

Bedrick also asserted that he has made it clear in the past that these drug dispensers are only in their prototypes phase. He also toted that they're a top industry consultant; claiming that Medbox is being attacked because of their “leadership” in the emerging medical marijuana industry.

This comes after last week's news that banks and legal marijuana sellers can work together.

"The market for legal marijuana is expected to exceed $3 billion this year. We are encouraged by and commend the Obama administration for its forward-thinking action to ease the issues that banks currently have in doing business with dispensary operators which Medbox directly serves. This is yet another step in what we believe will be a steady progression to legalization of marijuana in most, if not all, states in the coming years,” said Bedrick in a PR Newswire release “Medbox Responds to Critics and Issues Status Update to Company Shareholders.”

He included that they'll be a fully reporting company by next month.

 Jason Cunningham had no position with the mentioned entities while writing this article. Visit Jason on Twitter at @JasonCunningham and @Benzinga.


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