Tag Archive | "Kids"

What Do Dolphins Eat? Lessons from How Kids Search

Posted by willcritchlow

Kids may search differently than adults, but there are some interesting insights from how they use Google that can help deepen our understanding of searchers in general. Comfort levels with particular search strategies, reading only the bold words, taking search suggestions and related searches as answers — there’s a lot to dig into. In this week’s slightly different-from-the-norm Whiteboard Friday, we welcome the fantastic Will Critchlow to share lessons from how kids search.

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Video Transcription

Hi, everyone. I’m Will Critchlow, founder and CEO of Distilled, and this week’s Whiteboard Friday is a little bit different. I want to talk about some surprising and interesting and a few funny facts that I learnt when I was reading some research that Google did about how kids search for information. So this isn’t super actionable. This is not about tactics of improving your website particularly. But I think we get some insights — they were studying kids aged 7 to 11 — by looking at how kids interact. We can see some reflections or some ideas about how there might be some misconceptions out there about how adults search as well. So let’s dive into it.

What do dolphins eat?

I’ve got this “What do dolphins eat?” because this was the first question that the researchers gave to the kids to say sit down in front of a search box, go. They tell this little anecdote, a little bit kind of soul-destroying, of this I think it was a seven-year-old child who starts typing dolphin, D-O-L-F, and then presses Enter, and it was like sadly there’s no dolphins, which hopefully they found him some dolphins. But a lot of the kids succeeded at this task.

Different kinds of searchers

The researchers divided the ways that the kids approached it up into a bunch of different categories. They found that some kids were power searchers. Some are what they called “developing.” They classified some as “distracted.” But one that I found fascinating was what they called visual searchers. I think they found this more commonly among the younger kids who were perhaps a little bit less confident reading and writing. It turns out that, for almost any question you asked them, these kids would turn first to image search.

So for this particular question, they would go to image search, typically just type “dolphin” and then scroll and go looking for pictures of a dolphin eating something. Then they’d find a dolphin eating a fish, and they’d turn to the researcher and say “Look, dolphins eat fish.” Which, when you think about it, I quite like in an era of fake news. This is the kids doing primary research. They’re going direct to the primary source. But it’s not something that I would have ever really considered, and I don’t know if you would. But hopefully this kind of sparks some thought and some insights and discussions at your end. They found that there were some kids who pretty much always, no matter what you asked them, would always go and look for pictures.

Kids who were a bit more developed, a bit more confident in their reading and writing would often fall into one of these camps where they were hopefully focusing on the attention. They found a lot of kids were obviously distracted, and I think as adults this is something that we can relate to. Many of the kids were not really very interested in the task at hand. But this kind of path from distracted to developing to power searcher is an interesting journey that I think totally applies to grown-ups as well.

In practice: [wat do dolfin eat]

So I actually, after I read this paper, went and did some research on my kids. So my kids were in roughly this age range. When I was doing it, my daughter was eight and my son was five and a half. Both of them interestingly typed “wat do dolfin eat” pretty much like this. They both misspelled “what,” and they both misspelled “dolphin.” Google was fine with that. Obviously, these days this is plenty close enough to get the result you wanted. Both of them successfully answered the question pretty much, but both of them went straight to the OneBox. This is, again, probably unsurprising. You can guess this is probably how most people search.

“Oh, what’s a cephalopod?” The path from distracted to developing

So there’s a OneBox that comes up, and it’s got a picture of a dolphin. So my daughter, a very confident reader, she loves reading, “wat do dolfin eat,” she sat and she read the OneBox, and then she turned to me and she said, “It says they eat fish and herring. Oh, what’s a cephalopod?” I think this was her going from distracted into developing probably. To start off with, she was just answering this question because I had asked her to. But then she saw a word that she didn’t know, and suddenly she was curious. She had to kind of carefully type it because it’s a slightly tricky word to spell. But she was off looking up what is a cephalopod, and you could see the engagement shift from “I’m typing this because Dad has asked me to and it’s a bit interesting I guess” to “huh, I don’t know what a cephalopod is, and now I’m doing my own research for my own reasons.” So that was interesting.

“Dolphins eat fish, herring, killer whales”: Reading the bold words

My son, as I said, typed something pretty similar, and he, at the point when he was doing this, was at the stage of certainly capable of reading, but generally would read out loud and a little bit halting. What was fascinating on this was he only read the bold words. He read it out loud, and he didn’t read the OneBox. He just read the bold words. So he said to me, “Dolphins eat fish, herring, killer whales,” because killer whales, for some reason, was bolded. I guess it was pivoting from talking about what dolphins eat to what killer whales eat, and he didn’t read the context. This cracked him up. So he thought that was ridiculous, and isn’t it funny that Google thinks that dolphins eat killer whales.

That is similar to some stuff that was in the original research, where there were a bunch of common misconceptions it turns out that kids have and I bet a bunch of adults have. Most adults probably don’t think that the bold words in the OneBox are the list of the answer, but it does point to the problems with factual-based, truthy type queries where Google is being asked to be the arbiter of truth on some of this stuff. We won’t get too deep into that.

Common misconceptions for kids when searching

1. Search suggestions are answers

But some common misconceptions they found some kids thought that the search suggestions, so the drop-down as you start typing, were the answers, which is bit problematic. I mean we’ve all seen kind of racist or hateful drop-downs in those search queries. But in this particular case, it was mainly just funny. It would end up with things like you start asking “what do dolphins eat,” and it would be like “Do dolphins eat cats” was one of the search suggestions.

2. Related searches are answers

Similar with related searches, which, as we know, are not answers to the question. These are other questions. But kids in particular — I mean, I think this is true of all users — didn’t necessarily read the directions on the page, didn’t read that they were related searches, just saw these things that said “dolphin” a lot and started reading out those. So that was interesting.

How kids search complicated questions

The next bit of the research was much more complex. So they started with these easy questions, and they got into much harder kind of questions. One of them that they asked was this one, which is really quite hard. So the question was, “Can you find what day of the week the vice president’s birthday will fall on next year?” This is a multifaceted, multipart question.

How do they handle complex, multi-step queries?

Most of the younger kids were pretty stumped on this question. Some did manage it. I think a lot of adults would fail at this. So if you just turn to Google, if you just typed this in or do a voice search, this is the kind of thing that Google is almost on the verge of being able to do. If you said something like, “When is the vice president’s birthday,” that’s a question that Google might just be able to answer. But this kind of three-layered thing, what day of the week and next year, make this actually a very hard query. So the kids had to first figure out that, to answer this, this wasn’t a single query. They had to do multiple stages of research. When is the vice president’s birthday? What day of the week is that date next year? Work through it like that.

I found with my kids, my eight-year-old daughter got stuck halfway through. She kind of realized that she wasn’t going to get there in one step, but also couldn’t quite structure the multi-levels needed to get to, but also started getting a bit distracted again. It was no longer about cephalopods, so she wasn’t quite as interested.

Search volume will grow in new areas as Google’s capabilities develop

This I think is a whole area that, as Google’s capabilities develop to answer more complex queries and as we start to trust and learn that those kind of queries can be answered, what we see is that there is going to be increasing, growing search volume in new areas. So I’m going to link to a post I wrote about a presentation I gave about the next trillion searches. This is my hypothesis that essentially, very broad brush strokes, there are a trillion desktop searches a year. There are a trillion mobile searches a year. There’s another trillion out there in searches that we don’t do yet because they can’t be answered well. I’ve got some data to back that up and some arguments why I think it’s about that size. But I think this is kind of closely related to this kind of thing, where you see kids get stuck on these kind of queries.

Incidentally, I’d encourage you to go and try this. It’s quite interesting, because as you work through trying to get the answer, you’ll find search results that appear to give the answer. So, for example, I think there was an About.com page that actually purported to give the answer. It said, “What day of the week is the vice president’s birthday on?” But it had been written a year before, and there was no date on the page. So actually it was wrong. It said Thursday. That was the answer in 2016 or 2017. So that just, again, points to the difference between primary research, the difference between answering a question and truth. I think there’s a lot of kind of philosophical questions baked away in there.

Kids get comfortable with how they search – even if it’s wrong

So we’re going to wrap up with possibly my favorite anecdote of the user research that these guys did, which was that they said some of these kids, somewhere in this developing stage, get very attached to searching in one particular way. I guess this is kind of related to the visual search thing. They find something that works for them. It works once. They get comfortable with it, they’re familiar with it, and they just do that for everything, whether it’s appropriate or not. My favorite example was this one child who apparently looked for information about both dolphins and the vice president of the United States on the SpongeBob SquarePants website, which I mean maybe it works for dolphins, but I’m guessing there isn’t an awful lot of VP information.

So anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little adventure into how kids search and maybe some things that we can learn from it. Drop some anecdotes of your own in the comments. I’d love to hear your experiences and some of the funny things that you’ve learnt along the way. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Jayna Dall: How To Turn Kids Lesson Plans Into A $250,000 A Year Subscription Revenue Online Business

 [ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] Jayna Dall started a website that offers teachers downloadable curriculum for teaching children acting classes. At the time of this podcast recording, Jayna’s business had turned over $ 250,000 in the previous year, a fantastic result for a…

The post Jayna Dall: How To Turn Kids Lesson Plans Into A $ 250,000 A Year Subscription Revenue Online Business appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Facebook Parents Portal Launched to Keep Kids Safe

Facebook today launched the Parents Portal to help educate parents on keeping their kids safe on Facebook and the internet in general.

“Today we are launching the Facebook Parents Portal, featuring new resources for parents on Facebook,” said Antigone Davis, Facebook’s Head of Global Safety. “Our goal is to help foster conversations among parents and their children about staying safe online.

Visit the new site at facebook.com/safety/parents.”

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-1-46-43-pm“For internet safety around children, I think the most important thing for parents is to be proactive and to really spark the conversation with the child,” said Neil Potts, Public Policy Manager at Facebook.

“Parents shouldn’t be afraid of technology,” said Christine Chen, Communications Manager at Facebook. “I think technology can bring so many joys to our lives and it’s something that can be shared with your kids.”

“At Facebook, we take the safety of all of our users, especially children, incredibly seriously,” said Alex Stamos, Facebook’s Chief Security officer. “We want to have a partnership with parents where we can work together to make sure their kids are not only safe while they are children, but to learn the ways they should be careful for their entire lives.”

“The ultimate goal of the Parents Portal is to really foster important conversations between parents and their children around online safety, these technologies and social media,” noted Davis. “The way that we hope to do that is by providing parents information about some of the fundamentals about Facebook so that they can engage in a meaningful conversation, hopefully many meaningful conversations with their children over the course of their lifetime.”

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-1-57-51-pm“Everyday parents like me come to Facebook to share their special moments, ask for advice in groups and connect with friends and relatives living far away,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer.

“Many parents also have questions about how Facebook works, especially once their kids join,” she says. “That’s why we’re launching a new Parents Portal within the Facebook Safety Center. We’ve compiled some basic information and tips to help you and your child stay safe on Facebook and get the best out of your experience. We are also pleased to connect you with online safety experts around the world who offer resources, especially for parents. We hope that you find these resources useful and that Facebook helps you and your children connect to the people and things that matter to you the most.”

The post Facebook Parents Portal Launched to Keep Kids Safe appeared first on WebProNews.


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Michelle Dale: Mother Of Three Takes Her Kids Around Europe On A Ten Year “Laptop Lifestyle” Trip Thanks To Her $30,000+ A Month Online Business

This has to be one of the best “laptop lifestyle” case studies I have ever heard. Let me introduce you to Michelle Dale. She is the founder of Virtual Miss Friday, a virtual assistant service and training company. [ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS…

The post Michelle Dale: Mother Of Three Takes Her Kids Around Europe On A Ten Year “Laptop Lifestyle” Trip Thanks To Her $ 30,000+ A Month Online Business appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Josh Duggar: Is He Under Suicide Watch in Light of ’19 Kids and Counting’ Cancellation?

Josh Duggar is definitely the reason behind TLC’s cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting. The network can’t even create a spinoff given the way Josh’s scandal has tarnished the Duggar family name. Since shortly after his sexual molestation scandal broke in the media, Josh has kept a very low profile. He resigned from his job and moved his family–pregnant wife …

The post Josh Duggar: Is He Under Suicide Watch in Light of ’19 Kids and Counting’ Cancellation? appeared first on WebProNews.

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Anna Duggar: ’19 Kids and Counting’ Star Hasn’t Had Her and Josh Duggar’s Baby Yet

Anna Duggar hasn’t yet given birth to her and hubby Josh Duggar’s fourth child. Speculation has run rampant throughout the past week with people wondering if she’d had the baby but because of Josh Duggar’s sexual molestation scandal maybe they had kept things quiet on the 19 Kids and Counting home front. A reply Jessa Duggar Seewald made to someone …

The post Anna Duggar: ’19 Kids and Counting’ Star Hasn’t Had Her and Josh Duggar’s Baby Yet appeared first on WebProNews.

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Friday Roundup: Vine for Kids, Facebook measures lift and more

vine KidsIt’s roundup time! A quick look at all the news that slipped past me or just wasn’t big enough to print. That doesn’t mean these stories aren’t interesting — because they are!

Let’s get to it!

Vine for Kids

The subtitle says it all. Vine has launched a separate app which is nothing but hand-curated content for kids under 5. They don’t say how far under 5, but if your newborn can press the button, they can enjoy these videos, too.

It’s a smart idea and a great example of how segmenting your business can send you off in a whole new, and wonderful direction. Think they’re going to allow branded content? Toy makers? Cereal companies? Studios pushing movies for kids. . . . ?

Facebook Measures Lift

Facebook says that advertisers are too dependent on the click. It’s understandable. That’s the one action that’s easily measured. Either a person clicked or they didn’t. Once they clicked to visit a site, we can track movements and determine whether or not they bought something.

But Facebook doesn’t want you to discount the power of lift. I see your ad, I don’t act on it but later, when I’m in the grocery store, I remember your ad which makes me buy your product. That’s conversion lift and Facebook wants to help you measure it.

  1. When creating a Facebook campaign, a randomized test group (people that see ads) and control group (people that don’t) are established
  2. The advertiser securely shares conversion data from the campaign with Facebook. Typically, this data comes from sources like the Facebook Custom Audiences pixel, conversion pixel or secure point-of-sale (POS) data.
  3. Facebook determines additional lift generated from the campaign by comparing conversions in the test and control groups
  4. The results of the study are made available in Ads Manager


Sounds complicated, but Facebook has to do all they can to convince you that your ads are working even when people aren’t clicking. The one thing Facebook and I do agree on, is that it’s all about the bottom line. If revenue is up this month, then keep doing what you’re doing because it’s working.

LinkedIn for Good

4-million-linkedin-members-want-to-volunteer-their-skills-for-good-1-638I want to wrap up with this call out for volunteers. There are 4 million people on LinkedIn who are interested in using their skills for good. Are you part of that 4 million? The next time you’re on LinkedIn, check the boxes for “Joining a nonprofit board” and/or “Skills-based volunteering” in the Volunteer Experience & Causes section.

If you work with a non-profit and need help, visit https://nonprofit.linkedin.com/ to post an opportunity or search for qualified candidates.

I know you’re busy but volunteering is a great way to network and expand your own skill set. And who can’t use a few more good karma points?

That’s it for me. Do something nice for someone or a lot of someones this weekend. You’ll be glad you did.

Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion

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Kate Gosselin Reportedly Forced Her Kids To Vacation in Alaska For TV Ratings

Kate Gosselin’s name is being dragged through the mud yet again.

According to Radar Online, the re-release of the shocking tell-all book, Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled The World, has new claims that center around Gosselin’s first reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8.

In 2010, the 39-year-0ld reality TV star reportedly forced her eight children to go on a vacation to Alaska with politician and former Alaskan governor, Sarah Palin. The trip was said to have been orchestrated by TLC in an effort to boost the show’s ratings.

Robert Hoffman, the best-selling author of the infamous slam-book, claims that Kate was totally in agreement with the network. However, the children had no desire to go on the trip.

Hoffman also claims that their daughter Mady was so upset about going to Alaska that she called her father Jon Gosselin to come and get her the night before they were scheduled to depart.

“Mady couldn’t take it anymore and called Jon the night before, begging him to come and get her and take her back to his apartment. She absolutely did not want to go away for more filming, and especially not as far away as Alaska. I know this because I went to Kate’s house that night with Jon to pick up Mady, and I heard the discussion between Jon and Kate – through the intercom at the gate,” Hoffman alleged.

“Kate completely disregarded Jon’s concerns about Mady and blew it off by saying that Mady was just tired and she didn’t mean what she said. She, of course, managed to insult Jon several times during the exchange. This was at night, in the dark, with no paparazzi watching; it was just a loving father coming to get his unhappy daughter who had called him for help.”

Unfortunately, Jon wasn’t able to pick his daughter up. Instead, he was met with threats from his estranged ex-wife. When Jon reportedly told Kate he’d be back the next day to pick up his daughter, she became enraged and threatened to call the police if he came to the home.

“Jon told Kate that he would be back in the morning to get Mady, and Kate told him that she would have the police at the house to arrest him if he tried,” he wrote. But, to no avail, all eight children did end up going to Alaska.

Hoffman also explained that he has proof to support the accusations. The young child can also be seen crying in the pictures that were used to promote the episode, which recounted the trip to Alaska.

“While only a handful of people knew about the drama leading up to the Alaska  trip, the family photo that TLC released to the media to promote the episode  actually ended up giving away the fact that something was going on with Mady.  You’ll see a very smiley Kate with all the kids. But if you look at Mady, on the  far right, you’ll see how sad and miserable she is. She’s crying in the  publicity photo. That photo is all the proof anyone would ever need to see that  she didn’t want to be there… That picture was worth a thousand words.”

Several media outlets have speculated that the claim in the book is actually true due to the questionable picture. With the re-release of the book, rumors have begun to stir about Kate’s questionable parenting skills yet again.

Do you believe Kate Gosselin has the best interest of her children in mind?

Image via Kate Plus 8, Facebook


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Michelle Dale: Mother Of Three Takes Her Kids Around Europe On A Ten Year “Laptop Lifestyle” Trip Thanks To Her $30,000+ A Month Online Business

This has to be one of the best “laptop lifestyle” case studies I have ever heard.

Let me introduce you to Michelle Dale. She is the founder of Virtual Miss Friday, a virtual assistant service and training company.

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ]

Michelle has been traveling all around Europe … Read the rest of this entry »

The post Michelle Dale: Mother Of Three Takes Her Kids Around Europe On A Ten Year “Laptop Lifestyle” Trip Thanks To Her $ 30,000+ A Month Online Business appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Google’s Cool Kids Interviewed By Sullivan

On last Wednesday, Danny Sullivan interviewed Google’s Matt Cutts, Amit Singhal, and Ben Gomes of Google.

Danny introduced them as:

Singhal oversees the ranking algorithm…

Search Engine Roundtable

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