Search

Why do I have to do a CAPTCHA whenever I search Google?

Episode 1440

Aaron from Riverside, CA
CAPTCHA

Aaron has an iPhone 7 and when he has to search for a website, there's a CAPTCHA challenge, but when he types it in, it doesn't do anything at all. He says it never happens on Wi-Fi, just on cellular. Leo says that could indicate that his carrier is sending him the CAPTCHA and it could be broken on their end. Google has a tech note called Unusual Traffic from your Computer Network and it talks about this similar error. The CAPTCHA is there to be sure there isn't a robot running the search.

Police Department Gets Search Warrant for Entire Community's Google Searches

Episode 1372

Google logo

The police department in Edina, MN has secured the right to look at people's Google Search history to look for information about a fraud case they were investigating. The legal brief is to cover anyone who searched for the name of the suspect and case, and it could be the entire community.

Leo says it's crazy and that Google should fight this tooth and nail. It's classic government overreach. Leo says he doesn't mind Google's algorithm putting custom ads on his search results, but for a government to ask who searched for something and to get a list is frightening.

How can I get Google to give me better web page ranking results?

Michael from California

Episode 1299

Michael has a website and has learned that Google has changed the rules regarding SEO. Leo says that Google is always changing the rules in an effort to combat spam. Michael's analytics have dropped dramatically since then, though. Leo says that following the webmasters tools based on Google's analytics is really the best thing to do. Will using Java affect his SEO? Leo says no. Having an updated site map will improve his chances. Making his website "mobile responsive" will also be rewarded. Loading speeds are also key.

Why can't I access my contacts data in Office?

Moira from Irvine, CA

Episode 1278

Moira has been running Office on the Mac, but when she tries to search her contacts, she gets results that are unreadable. Microsoft suggested she index the contacts database, which she did, but it didn't help. They made her create a new user on the Mac, and that did work. Leo says that indicates a bad profile. It's a good way to troubleshoot, actually. It could be a bad index, though. It could be other software impacting it, like a plugin or add-on. Leo says to get rid of the Microsoft support folder, then backup her contacts and data, and uninstall everything.

Is there a better way to search my desktop?

Louis from Ontario, Canada

Episode 1230

Louis wants to know if there's a better way he can search his desktop for files other than Windows explorer. Leo says that back in the day, there were dozens, if not hundreds of shareware options. But they've all pretty much died away, as has shareware. One suggestion Leo has is to upload his documents to Google Docs, and then use Google to search through them.

Is Search Engine Optimization legit?

Michael from Gadsen, AL

Episode 1200

Michael has a home based business and would like to have his search results pop up higher. Will Search Engine Optimzation help? Leo says no -- it's snake oil. And it could cause Google to penalize him by downranking him or removing him from search entirely. SEOs overpromise and under deliver.

Leo recommends following Google's tutorials at google.com/webmaster, and he will learn everything he needs to know to get better search engine results.