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Dec
30

Top Searches of 2013 According to Bing

This year brought in billions of Bing searches. Searchers wanted details on everything from the top movies to controversial sports stars. Yearly search trends give us insight on what has captured the attention of people all over the world. According to Bing the top searches include search data from the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Australia, and Brazil.

A wide range of movies was released this year. Everything from sci-fi to dramas topped the searches. The number one movie searched in 2013 was the much anticipated “Iron Man 3” film. The animated film “Despicable Me 2” was the sequel to “Despicable Me” and came in at number three in the searches for movies. The remake of the original film starring Robert Redford, “The Great Gatsby” was a big blockbuster hit and made the number seven spot. Number ten on Bing’s search list is “Man of Steel.”

Tim Tebow was the number one most searched sports star for 2013. His unapologetic outwardly expressed religious beliefs coupled with a year of struggling to find his place in the NFL, secured him the top spot. Tiger Woods followed at number two and Lindsey Vonn took the number three search spot. Derek Jeter and Maria Sharapova take ninth and tenth place respectively. Kevin Ware, Danica Patrick, and Dwight Howard also were among the top ten.

The most searched people in the world included Miley Cyrus and teen sensation Justin Bieber. Miley was 2013’s most searched person in Australia and Canada while Justin Bieber was the most searched in the United Kingdom and Germany. Brazil, China, and India’s most searched people were Bruna Marquezine, Wen Zhang, and Salman Khan. Both Rihana and David Bisbal made the top searched list for Spain and France. Rounding out the world’s most searched people are Danmitsu and Belen Rodriguez for Japan and Italy.

The United States’ number one most search person for 2013 had an exciting year. She made an unforgettable appearance at the Super Bowl, reuniting with her former singing group during her performance. Her incredible year helped her beat out last year’s most searched person and knock her down to the number two spot. Beyonce Knowles is this year’s most searched person and most searched musician.

Kim Kardashian made the number one spot in 2012, but was respectfully beat out by Beyonce this year and took the number two spot. Lindsay Lohan (who made the top ten list last year) can breathe a sigh of relief. Her quiet time spent to herself this year gave Amanda Bynes the opening to make the list for her troubled antics. Amanda Bynes made Bing’s top ten list at number eight after a very public breakdown on the social network, Twitter.

Taylor Swift narrowly made last year’s list at number ten, yet made the leap to the number four most searched person in the year 2013. She had a busy year with her “Red” album release and tour. Her singles topped the charts and her dating life seemed to take a backseat due to her busy schedule. She finished up her successful year by adding to her American Music Awards award collection where she won Artist of the Year.

Miley Cyrus, coming in at number nine and Justin Bieber, coming in at number six,  gave us jaw dropping moments throughout 2013. Miley left her long haired southern style in the dust and went all out with short, shorter, and shortest haircuts that kept shocking fans. In addition, Miley went bleach blond, made twerking a new “thing” and gave a number of attention grabbing performances. While Miley transformed her image, Justin gave international performances and left his innocent image behind causing trouble for himself along the way.

2013 was an exciting searchable year. Only time will tell what next year will bring and who and what will grab our interest.

Nov
26

Top 5 Song Searches on Google’s List

Top 5 Song Searches on Google's List

Although 2013 has already produced unforgettable music moments, Google has already put down 2012’s Top 5 Song Searches in Google’s record books. New records have been set, dance moves introduced, and racy moments forever etched in our minds.

The year isn’t over yet and we already have a list of songs that have secured their place on the top 10 list of most searched songs on Google for 2013. Looking back at last year’s top 10 most searched songs list, 2013’s is going to look very different. Let’s take a look at 2012’s top five most searched songs.

  • [list style=”bl”]”Gangnam Style” easily secured the number one spot of the most searched song on Google for 2012. With over 1 billion views on YouTube, it was the 18th single by the South Korean musician, Psy. The lead single of his six studio album “Psy 6 (Six Rules)”, the song was released in July 2012 and debuted at number one on South Korea’s Gaon Chart before making its way to the United States. In December 2012, its music video became the first YouTube video to reach 1 billion views. As of October 2013, the video has been viewed over 1.8 billion times and is the site’s most-watched music video of all time.
  • Coming in at number two is “Call Me Maybe” by Canadian singer and songwriter , Carly Ray Jepsen. Jepsen was one of the first musical artists to be signed to Justin Bieber’s record label. The song was originally written as a folk song and then modified to a pop song before being recorded. It was released in September 2011 as the first single from her album “Kiss.” Carly Ray Jepsen made her United States television debut on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and then performed her hit song again at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards. “Call Me Maybe” was the best-selling single worldwide in 2012, selling over 10 million copies.
  • “Blow Me One Last Kiss” takes the number three spot on Google’s 2012 most searched songs list. The song is recorded by musical artist and song writer Pink. The single came from her sixth studio album called “The Truth About Love.” Pink ranks third among women with the most top ten singles since the year 2000. During its second week, the song went from number 58 to number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100’s list. It premiered on VEVO in July 2013 and its massive success gave it a secure spot on Google’s most searched songs list.
  • Following Pink’s success is the song “Beneath Your Beautiful” by Labrinth and featuring Emeli Sande. It was released as the sixth single from Labrinth’s debut album in October 2012. The song peaked at number one on the United Kingdom singles chart, selling over 100,000 copies in its first week of release, and becoming the singers number one single. The song also became his first top 40 hit on the United States Billboard Hot 100 list. After its release, the song gained in popularity and was searched millions of times making it number four on Google’s 2012 most searched songs lists. As of October 2013, the hit single has over 63 million views.
  • The official Olympics song takes the number five spot on Google’s top 10 most searched songs list of 2012. The song was recorded by the English alternative rock band Muse. Although it did not reach the same incredible YouTube success as the other four of 2012’s top five songs, “Survival” by Muse still makes it to the number five spot due to the overwhelming number of Google searches for “the official Olympic song.” The song’s music video features a montage of past Olympic events including both celebratory and disappointing.[/list]

The second half of the top 10 most searched songs on Google’s list include Adel’s “Skyfall”, “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye, “We Are Young” sung by the group Fun, “Too Close” by Alex Clare, and “212” sung by Azealia Banks. These songs, along with many others, dominated the Google searches in 2012.

Although there are already clear candidates for 2013’s top 10 list, there is always room for a surprise late bloomer that could knock somebody off the list. All they have to do is capture Google searcher’s attention.

Nov
19

Internet Search Engines and Our Privacy

Internet Search Engines and Our Privacy

Privacy is important to all of us. It’s understandable that we don’t want our personal information available to anyone and everyone. With more and more of our lives being spent online we can’t help but wonder how private our lives really are. Should we be worried about our privacy as we search the web? Let’s take a look at what search engines really know about us.

Each of us has an IP address that can be identified on every site we visit. The IP address doesn’t give away personal information about us. You could look at it as your internet address, or your domain. An “unresolved” IP looks like a domain and includes information like, location, and internet provider. Let’s say however, that you work for a company who names computers after their users; for example, jane.smith.companyname.com. This is rare and doesn’t give away anything more than a name. The most a search engine will ever know is that someone who lives in Texas and uses an identified server visited the site.

Cookies are very helpful to search engines like Google in that they give search engines insight into where your IP address pops up. They help search engines know how often users visit their site. They also give insight on each person’s behavior. These insights are available for every website owner who chooses to keep track of this data. In a nut shell, it’s a business strategy. Search engines want to know what people are interested in so that they can offer more of it.

To search engines you need to be one easily identifiable individual. This is where cookies come in. When your browser talks to Google it does so using a unique numeric ID. This is how search engines know who you are. These sites still have no personal information of yours. It simply recognizes your computer. Because, after all, your entire household could be using one computer and a site would have no way of knowing who is using it at any given moment. Cookies should not be considered a threat. They are simply gathering information about sites (not necessarily you). Its job is to report back and tell site owners what is popular and relevant to users.

Now let’s say that you give personally identifiable information to a search engine. Personally identifiable information, also known as PII, means that a company has personal information that lets them know who you are. When it comes to Google cookies, Google has no idea who you really are. They don’t know if you have blond hair or red hair, if you’re short or tall, if you are male or female. They have no idea. They only know your browser.

However, in another example, say that you are a Yahoo user and you created an account with them; giving your name, address, age, and additional information. This lets Yahoo know who you really are. Yahoo now has personal identification information on you. This means that when you’re logged in, Yahoo, or any other search engine where you’ve logged in, has your search information and your login information.

The next step for search engines is personalized search results. The first attempt at personalized search results was a flop. Yet, just because it didn’t work out the first time doesn’t mean it won’t be attempted again. Search results for this give users customized results based on their age, sex, and other personal information. Thankfully, this would require search engines to need registration from users which means that you could opt out simply by not signing up.

We’ve already seen some personalization with the search engine Bing that uses social media accounts to share with searchers what their friends are interested in and if they’ve done a similar search. We also see searches related to our current locations, giving us results in our area. For example, if you search “seafood restaurant” on Google, local results will come up in the search results.

Search Engine PIIGoogle and Yahoo (along with other search engines) do not collect personal information on you without your knowledge. As we covered before, creating an account with a search engine does in fact give them your personal information. Any information that Google and Yahoo collect from your account is not disclosed to a third party as stated in their privacy policies. When you do a search on Google that information is recorded. Google records the search, the time of day, the browser type, your internet address, and user ID. All of which is anonymous information. Google also does not give search histories to third parties. If you see personalized ads in your searches, that is the cookies at work.

When a company only knows you by your cookie ID you are completely anonymous. It’s only when you login to a user registration system that you become a real live individual, at which point you’ve given up your anonymity. This may sound scary, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Search engines like Google and Yahoo are big brands that are trusted by many users. These companies, along with others, have a reputation to keep up and are not looking to break the trust that their customers have in them. In the end, it’s up to you on whether you wish to keep your anonymity or not.

Nov
12

How to Find out Who Owns a Phone Number

Reverse Phone Lookup

Have you ever received a call from an unknown number and wondered who it was? Maybe you missed the call or wanted to know who it was before you called back. We all have those unknown calls that we just don’t want to answer, but sometimes we’re just curious about who was on the other line.

Most of us have used a site such as Yellowpages or whitepages to search company or residential phone numbers by name, but what about the various reverse phone lookup sites? Do they work? Are they accurate, and what are the costs?

How Can I Find Who Owns a Number?

The popular search term that often comes up in Google instant search when you start typing reverse phone, is known as “reverse phone lookup”. This enables users searching the internet to find a website that can get a phone trace performed.

Generally, results include the owner name, address, phone issuing location, phone carrier, and line type. Sometimes social networks, emails, and more are also added to results. Sites promise accurate, up-to-date information to instantly show after a search. This is what reverse phone lookup sites promise, but do they deliver?

The majority of the time, after a search is done, a reverse phone lookup site will excitedly tell you that they have found information for the phone number you have entered. The “read report” button, when clicked, displays a free trial offer, or full report purchase option. The most a phone number search site will give is the original a phone carrier or location (typically called the “rate center”) which has nothing really to do with where the phone actually is used. More often than not, you’re looking for a name and often, this information falls short. And, even more often, many sites try to sell you information that is available from phone books or free reverse phone lookup sites.

White pages search results display the area code, carrier, phone number, city, state, zip, and time zone of the phone number. You probably already know the area code and full number which you most likely entered in the search bar. The city and state is a given because you most likely have the area code. The helpful information here that can help narrow down your search is the carrier. Sites like anywho.com and Yellow Pages display a note below the search bar saying “cell phone numbers are not available.” This drastically narrows down the search ability.

In this day and age, even some businesses are run from cell phones. So what is the best way to find information on your missed phone call? Sometimes searches on sites like Google, Yahoo, or Bing turn up better results than most reverse phone lookup sites. A quick search for a random cell phone number entered into the search bar can sometimes find information including social media accounts and email addresses. These results all depend on how much information someone has placed online and if they’ve included their phone number. This search tactic can be a hit or miss, but when it works you’ve got the information you’re looking for.

Should I Pay to have a Number Researched?

Maybe you’re thinking about paying the fee, (which can sometimes be as low as $0.99) that some sites ask for, promising they have more information on the number you searched. These fees are often promoted as discounted, unmatched, or special one-time prices. If you’re willing to take the gamble then it may pay off, but if you want to save yourself some frustration, pass up the special offer. Chances are it will not be money well spent and you’ll end up having to cancel future charges from fine print trial offers.

In reality, most numbers these days are unlisted or non-published. These numbers don’t show up in any published phone directory or phone book. It wouldn’t be smart for a business to have an unlisted number so this only pertains to residential numbers. Anyone can request that their number be unlisted and since the rise in popularity of phone solicitors, many people don’t want their number published.

Because of this, standard reverse phone lookup databases can’t offer detailed information on phone numbers. They simply have no way of retrieving that data for themselves, let alone for others.  If you really want to find out who owns a phone number, our recommendation is to pass up the “special offer” sites, do a little digging on the search engines; try a couple of different free reverse phone lookup sites and if your searches don’t turn up anything, remember that the reality is, it’s most likely not available for free.

Keep in mind that some websites, especially SearchBug use a multitude of databases including LNP, CNAM, public records, private data feeds with phone records, plus a variety of “premium phone records” and combine them with algorithms to try and locate the most reliable information possible.  If information is not available via all these online databases, then SearchBug offers advanced assisted searches where private investigators can dig even deeper to get accurate results.