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Mueller’s exact quote on this subject is as follows (more context available in the next section):

“But just because it’s patented from Google, and maybe even from someone who works on search, doesn’t mean that we actually use it in search.“

This is stated by Mueller during the Google Search Central SEO hangout recorded on February 5.

An SEO named Neeraj Pandey asked a question about image recognition and whether Google can understand what’s going on in an image.

In response Mueller says even if Google is capable of doing something there’s no guarantee the technology is being used in search. That applies to technology Google owns patents for as well.

Here are the full details of Mueller’s response.

Google’s John Mueller on Patents

Google & Image Recognition

Addressing the original question, Mueller says it’s possible Google can pull information from objects in an image, but it likely would not override other ranking factors.

It’s more something that would be used as a tie breaker. If multiple images have equivalent ranking signals, image recognition may be used to determine which one is more relevant to the query.

However, Mueller is only hypothesizing, as he says he’s not certain whether image recognition is used in search rankings.

“It’s certainly possible to some extent to pull out some additional information from an image. Which could be objects in the image or what is happening in the image. But I don’t know if that would override any of the other factors that we have there.

My understanding is this is probably something that would be more on the side – if we have multiple images that we think are equivalent, and we can clearly tell, somehow, that this one is more relevant because it has the objects or the actions that someone is searching for, then maybe we would use that.

But I honestly don’t know what we’ve announced in that area or what we’re actually using for search there.”

Google Patents & Search Rankings

Mueller turns his answer toward other things that are theoretically possible, such as technology and different processes that Google owns a patent for.

Not everything makes sense for search, Mueller says. While some patents do get used in search results, the existence of a patent should not be taken as confirmation of what Google is using and not using.

“The thing to keep in mind is there are a lot of different elements that are theoretically possible that might be done in consumer devices. There are lots of things that are patented that are out there that are theoretically possible.

But just because it’s possible in some instances doesn’t mean that it makes sense for search. And we see that a lot with patents when it comes to search where someone will patent a really cool algorithm or setup which could have an implication for search.

But just because it’s patented from Google, and maybe even from someone who works on search, doesn’t mean that we actually use it in search.”

Hear Mueller’s full response in the video below:

You're reading Google: Patents Are Not Always Used In Search

Biased Google Search Results Are Hurting Users, Harvard Study Claims

A recent study published by the Yelp data science team, conducted by researchers at the Harvard Business School and Columbia Law School, suggests Google is prominently displaying its own content ahead of others in organic search results.

The study aims to prove Google’s actions are harming users by presenting them with inferior results to what they would otherwise find if all search results were displayed organically.

In order to prove this theory, researchers from Harvard and Columbia conducted a test comparing Google’s results as they’re currently being displayed, with results determined by Google’s merit-based algorithm.

Following this test, researchers came to the conclusion Google is unfairly promoting its own content ahead of content from external sources, “leaving consumers with lower quality results and worse matches.”

Local Searches Skewed Most Heavily

The study finds Google is most heavily pushing its own properties ahead of competitors when it comes to local intent-based searches. These searches make up over 50% of all mobile searches, and roughly a third of desktop searches.

When conducting a local search, users are most often presented with Google’s Local OneBox — a list of seven businesses with links to Google+ Local pages. However, the study contends Google’s algorithm could be used in these instances to surface better results for its local search boxes.

Through comparative testing, researchers determined consumers would prefer results surfaced from Google’s own algorithm over the results being chosen to populate the local OneBox.

This is a disservice to both consumers and merchants, the study argues, since consumers are not getting the most optimal results and merchants are missing out on opportunities to sell to them.

“From this paper one thing should be abundantly clear. The easy and widely disseminated argument that Google’s universal search always serves users and merchants is demonstrably false.”

Google Stifling Competition?

Following a randomized and controlled trial, researchers found searchers are 45% more likely to engage with local specialized results from universal search when results are determined organically.

The study cites a statement by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) following an investigation into claims against the search giant. FTC’s statements back up the suggestion that Google is deliberately deploying universal search in a way that hurts competitors at the expense of consumers:

“Evidence shows that Google sought to increase such “triggering” of Universal Searh results not only to provide users with the “right” answer to their queries, but also to drive traffic to Google properties.”

For more information about these claims against Google, including full details of how the study was conducted, you can view the full SlideShare document titled “Is Google degrading search? Consumer Harm from Universal Search.”

Google Launches Free Deals Listings In Search Results

Google is rolling out a new way for ecommerce stores to list deals in search results, which is currently free for all merchants.

The company reports people are looking for ways to save money even more than usual, with searches for “discount code” increasing 50% since last year.

Ahead of two major shopping seasons — back-to-school and winter holidays — Google is giving retailers in the United States more tools to reach deal-seeking customers.

Here’s more about the new features retailers can start using right away.

Free Deals Listings in Google Search Results

As of today, Google is highlighting deals in the shopping tab of search results.

When searching for a product, the shopping tab will now organize and show product listings that are competitively priced or discounted from retailers across the web.

In October, Google Search will start showcasing the most popular deals for major retail sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

When people search for deals during major sales events, like “Black Friday deals” or “Cyber Monday sales,” they will see a new section highlighting relevant deals, alongside other related sales information.

When retailers upload promotions and deals in Google Merchant Center will be automatically surfaced for relevant queries in the Shopping tab.

Google will surface offers based on factors such as the discount itself, how popular a product is, how popular the site it’s listed on is, and more.

This creates opportunities for ecommerce stores to move inventory, drive sales, and attract new customers during important shopping events and peak holiday season.

Customize Promotions in Google Merchant Center

Another update launched today in Merchant Center allows retailers to customize their promotions.

It’s now possible to indicate if a deal is only available to first-time customers.

For example, the title of the promotion can now say “10% off for new members.”

The promotions will be shown to all shoppers, but only those who meet a retailer’s specified criteria will be able to access the promotional price.

Better Merchandising Insights

In one last update rolling out now, Google is adding two new features to the best sellers report:

Historical best seller data: Helps retailers predict sales trends for the upcoming season with insights into popular products from previous shopping events.

Relative product demand: Helps retailers gauge the relative demand between products in the same category and country, as well as the potential opportunity when stocking new products.

Merchants can access the best sellers report after opting into market insights within Merchant Center.

Source: Google

Bing Beats Google In November Search Volume Growth

Latest comScore data for November search volume is showing a slightly unexpected result. For the second time Bing managed to beat Google in terms of total US core search volumes, while Yahoo’s search volume continues to go chúng tôi while the total US core search volume increased from 13.2% in October to 17.8% Y/Y in November, Microsoft sites domestic core search market share increased by .4% from 9.9% in October to 10.3% in November. Likewise, Microsoft sites domestic core search volume  for October-November increased by 38.2% from Q3’s  25.8%. Comparing it with October’s core search volume, it is also up from 30.8% to 46.0%.

For Google, domestic core search market slightly increased from 65.4% to 65.6% in November. Core search volume also increased from October’s 17.4% to 21.8%. In the domestic core search for the first two months of Q4, Google’s search volume decreased from 21.1% in Q3 to 19.6% in Q4.

As for the remaining search engine:


domestic core search market share dropped to 17.5% in November from 18.0% in October.

Yahoo! grew November core search volume by 1.1% Y/Y, up from down 0.7% Y/Y growth in October. Yahoo!’s first 2 months of 4Q domestic core search volume growth of 0.2% Y/Y trails 3Q’s 11.6% Y/Y growth.

Microsoft sites domestic core search market share increased to 10.3% in November from 9.9% in October

. Microsoft sites grew November core search volume by 46.0% Y/Y, up from 30.8% Y/Y growth in October. Microsoft sites domestic core search volume was up 38.2% Y/Y in the first two months of 4Q, ahead of 25.8% Y/Y growth in 3Q.

Ask Network domestic core search market share dropped slightly to 3.8% in November from 3.9% in October

. Ask grew November core search volume by 10.8% Y/Y, up from 4.2% Y/Y growth in October. Ask Network domestic core search volume was up by 7.4% Y/Y in the first two months of 4Q vs. 4.5% Y/Y growth in 3Q.

AOL November domestic core search market share declined to 2.8% from 2.9% in October

. AOL November core search volume declined by 13.7% Y/Y vs. a 12.8% Y/Y decline in October. AOL domestic core search volume was down 13.2% Y/Y in the first two months of 4Q vs. a 15.4% decline in 3Q.

How To Restore Google Image Search In Chrome

Google decided it was a good idea to remove the Google Image Search function from Chrome in favor of Google Lens. Now, while the Lens feature is neat, some users prefer the previous version because it worked in a way that fits their overall needs.

It would have been best if Google chose to add Lens alongside Image Search, but that did not happen so now we are in the position where users must either use Lens or directly visit the Google Image Search website.

Not everyone wants to do that, so then, what are our options? Well, it is possible to return the Google Image Search function to Chrome. We’re not sure if Google will remove this workaround in the near or distant future, but for now, the solution we’re about to discuss is the only one we know of outside of a few extensions.

Disable Lens and restore Google Image Search in Chrome

Follow the steps below in order to restore Google Image Search in Chrome:

Open Google Chrome

Enter the Experimental section of Chrome

Find Enable Lens flag.

If the value is set to Default, change it to Disabled.

Resart Chrome

Alternatively, install one of these Image Search extensions

As expected, Google Chrome must be up and running first before we can move forward with removing the Image Search functionality.

Alternatively, you can open it from the Taskbar or via the Apps drawer.

The final thing required of us is to disable Google Lens. For this to happen, we must enter the Experimental section of Chrome.

Copy chrome://flags/#enable-lens-standalone and paste it into the address bar, and then hit the Enter key.

Look for Enable Lens features in Chrome.

If the value is set to Default, change it to Disabled.

Restart the Chrome web browser.

Check to see if the classing Image Search feature has returned.

Use Image Search extensions to restore Image Search in Chrome

Chances are Google will remove the experimental flag sometime in the future, which means, you’ll be stuck with Lens no matter what. However, there are a few extensions you can consider whenever Lens becomes the only option.

Quick Image Search: This extension allows the user to search by uploading a photo to Google Image Search, and from there, it will return the classic results. However, we should point out that this tool hasn’t been updated since the year 2023.

Reverse Image Search: We like this one because it adds a context menu to Google Chrome. From this menu, folks can search for images on Google, IQDB, and even Yandex, the popular Russian search engine.

Search by Image: If you’re not afraid of using other sources outside of Google Image Search, then take a look at this extension. With it, you can use what Google has to offer, but on top of that, it is also possible to use the likes of Bing, Yandex, Baidu, TinEye, and much more. Understand that this tool supports more than 30 search engines, so you are bound to find whatever you’re looking for.

Read: How to import Chrome Data to Edge without installing Chrome

How can I search by image? What’s Google Lens used for?

According to the folks at Google, Lens is a set of vision-based computing capabilities that can understand what the user is looking at and use that information to translate or copy text, identify animals and plants, discover products, and much more. It can even find visually similar images if you wish it to do so.

From what we can tell, Google Lens is not always able to recognize an object. And outside of searching, there are little no other options or components at this time, but things will likely change in the future.

Do I need to download Google Chrome?

You are free to choose if you want to download Google Chrome on your computer or not. There are several different web browsers available, so there is no need to download Chrome if you do not want to. Still, it goes without saying that Chrome is the most popular web browser to date, but from our point of view, it is no longer the best of the bunch.

Fix Arrow Keys Are Not Working In Teams

While using Microsoft Teams, some users have noticed that the Arrow keys are not working. To check if it is a hardware issue, they tested their keyboards in other applications, like Notepad, Word, etc., and the arrow keys worked fine. This post offers some suggestions that may help the affected users get this issue fixed.

Fix Arrow keys are not working in Teams

If the Arrow keys are not working in Teams, you can try the solutions mentioned below. But before you begin, check your Windows OS and Microsoft Teams for updates and install them if any are available:

Relaunch Microsoft Teams

Clear Microsoft Teams cache

Disable GPU Hardware Acceleration in Teams

Troubleshoot in the Clean Boot

Repair or Reset the Microsoft Teams app

Below, we have explained all these fixes in detail.

1] Relaunch Teams

Sometimes a minor glitch causes the problem. Therefore, we suggest you close and relaunch Teams and check if the issue persists. Follow the below-listed steps:

Exit Microsoft Teams.

2] Clear Microsoft Teams cache

A cache is a temporary storage for apps and software. This storage is used by apps and software to store data temporarily. When a user performs a particular task in an app or software, it pulls this data from the cache in order to get the job done quickly.

If the cache data gets corrupted, it also impacts the performance of the respective app or software. In such a case, deleting the cache fixes the problem. The problem that you are currently experiencing might be occurring due to the corrupted Teams cache. Delete the Microsoft Teams cache and see if it helps.

3] Disable GPU Hardware Acceleration in Teams

Sometimes, performance issues occur in Teams due to the GPU hardware Acceleration. If you have enabled this feature in Teams, turn it off and see if it brings any changes.

The instructions to disable GPU Hardware Acceleration in teams are provided below:

Launch Microsoft Teams and open its Settings.

Select the General category from the left side.

Select the Disable GPU Hardware Acceleration checkbox.

Restart Teams.

4] Troubleshoot in Clean Boot

The Clean Boot starts your computer in a basic state with only a limited set of files and drivers. This state will help you troubleshoot the problem occurring in your system.  After entering Clean Boot State, launch Microsoft Teams. If the arrow keys work in Teams, there might be a startup or background application causing the problem. Now, exit Clean Boot State and uninstall the recently installed software. In addition to this, disable the startup programs to check if any of them is causing the problem.

Read: Arrow keys are not working in Windows 11/10

5] Repair or Reset the Microsoft Teams app

If nothing helps, reset the Microsoft Teams app. The way to reset programs in Windows 11 is a bit different than the way to reset programs in Windows 10.

Follow the instructions given below:

Open Windows 11/10 Settings app.

Locate the Microsoft Teams app in the list of installed programs.

Related: Arrows keys not working in Excel

Why are my keyboard arrows not working in Teams?

There might be many reasons why your keyboard arrow keys are not working in Teams, like a conflicting background or startup application, corrupted Microsoft Teams cache, etc. You can try some fixes to get this issue resolved, like clearing the Teams cache, disabling the GPU hardware Acceleration in Teams, troubleshooting in the Safe Mode, etc. If nothing fixes the problem, resetting the teams may help.

Read: Keyboard shortcuts and Hotkeys are not working in Windows

How do I fix my arrow keys not working?

If your keyboard arrow keys are not working, the first thing that you should try is to connect your keyboard to another computer (if available) and test your arrow keys. This will let you know if the problem is with your hardware or not. If your keyboard works fine on another computer, you can try some fixes, like running the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter, Running the Keyboard Troubleshooter, updating, rolling back, or reinstalling your keyboard drivers, etc. Sometimes, problems occur due to a background program conflict. To check this, you can troubleshoot your system in a Clean Boot State.

Hope this helps.

Read next: Fix Microsoft Teams Login issues: We couldn’t sign you in.

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