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Latest Google Features

Relates to SEO

Just picked up on a couple of new features added to Google in its attempt to maintain dominance in a rapidly evolving search engine market.

  1. Adding to Google's current range of Advanced Operators, the Numrange allows the user to define a range of numbers to look for in the search criteria. All that is required is two periods between the numbers - 100..200. Seems to provide a mixed level of success looking up products in a particular price range.
  2. Clearly in a first step towards a more personalised search engine, Google Personlized Beta allows the user to tailor results by setting preferences. The search results provide a user controlled degree of customisation, based on user preferences, via a slider. Ok this is a beta still, but certainly represents an interesting concept if it comes to fruition and can perform as intended. The FAQ gives some pointers to effective working examples.
  3. Web Alerts Beta offers daily or weekly announcements (by email) of new information matching the user's chosen keywords. This offers some obvious benefits for tracking competitors and SEO in general. I wonder if this service will remain free once the official version is released?

With talk of Longhorn integrating personal data collection for use by the MSN search engine, Yahoo attempting to provide tailored information, and the emergence of new engines like Eurekster with a major emphasis on personalized results and social networks, a more personalised experience seems to be a major objective for the big players now.

Posted on Apr 04, 2004 at 20:39:04. [Comments for Latest Google Features- 0]

Bristol Street Motors Service

Relates to Peregrinations

At 2pm, April Fool's Day, I arrived at Ford Bristol Street Motors for my annual MOT test, only to be told they did not have a booking for me! Two weeks earlier I had visited the same center to book a test, and was told that the test could only be booked through the company call center. So, I went home and arranged my test for 2pm on April 1st. Now, why was I not booked in on arrival? Quite simple - the call center had booked my test at the center in Cheltenham, not Gloucester, by mistake!

So I had to speak to the center, and with out the faintest hint of an apology for their error, the best they could offer was a slot at 3pm in Cheltenham. Or I could wait at least 10 days for the next available space. With the MOT due to expire the next day, and a road trip planned for the weekend, I had no choice but to take the additional 30 mile round trip.

The service at Cheltenham was pretty shocking, with an obvious air of resentment that I had somehow interfered with their schedule. I waited for the best part of three hours, the car conveniently failed on the front suspension right hand lower arm bush - for which I was charged an unfathomable amount for what equated to a piece of rubber - and by 5:30pm I actually had to go looking for the car, having not even been informed that the work was complete. Just to top off a perfect day, by the time I got home, the entire right hand lower arm was basically hanging loose out of its socket. (Although I didn't discover the actual problem till careful scrutiny with some mechanically savvy friends).

Of course when I called Bristol Street Motors the next day, they suggested it was very unlikely the flapping right arm was anything to do with the right arm bush repair they had done, but if I wanted to drop the car by (all the way back to Cheltenham again) they might be able to fit it in and have a look, if they could find time. Well since my beloved Ford was practically undrivable, I called on one of my river surfing friends to take a look. Steve identified the problem, pointed out that to fix it would require refitting the entire arm, including the bush I had forked out on the previous day, so, instead we performed the repair ourselves.

Just to complete the mockery served up by Bristol Street, we discovered the wheel that was removed to replace the bush had not been screwed up tight again! I am not one to moan, but I believe in paying for good service. This was not good service.

Posted on Apr 04, 2004 at 20:38:27. [Comments for Bristol Street Motors Service- 15]

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