Tag Archives: search google

Google Settings is Raking up Privacy Concerns

Key Speakers And General Views From The Google I/O 2012 Conference

Google’s Privacy concerns have been a long time contentious issue. The giant search engine has been facing accusations that include acquiring information about online habits, getting information from Wi-Fi network and not complying with data protection rules of a few nations. You can buy any app from an Apple store with the assurance that your identity will be kept under wraps. Not so if you go in for a paid Android App- Google sends the buyer’s personal details automatically to the developer. This can cause a series of unwarranted problems – information can be used maliciously or a vendor might coerce their customer to change unfavourable reviews.

Eyeing the profits:

Google Wallet has been reverted back with a statement which says that it shares the information needed to process transactions and this is clearly mentioned in its privacy notice. The company has new privacy policy which states that the search engine has the right to integrate all the information from all sources even from those which are not authorized by the provider – even senders of email to a Gmail account.

It wouldn’t be too farfetched to presume that there is a selfish motive behind these privacy settings- maximum profits for the company and the shareholders. As per procedures, companies should have external directors and large voting shares which reduces the chances of such corporate actions. It places focus on the skewed governance structure of the search engine major.

Charges of a high handed behaviour:

The accusations against the search engine are anything but frivolous. Its actions are serious and have clearly put it in the dock:

For Street view, it has been involved in acquiring 600 gigabytes of space in an underhand way. For obstructing investigations and withholding information, the search engine giant was fined $25,000. The tool bar spyware actually keeps a track of each website you search or visit. Google Analytics, a tool that helps businesses track and analysis traffic, has also been under scanner. All the IP addresses are presented to the search engine which can track their activities. It has been charged of hacking into iPhones and tracking its users, an accusation which may lead to FTC fining it $10 million. Its promotion and preference of its own products and the discrimination against its competitors has already led to ill feeling. For instance, it’s preference for G+ has not gone down too well with competitors like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.

Google Says Facebook Home Demonstrates Android’s Openness, Framing Apple As Restrictive


Google’s statement on Facebook’s introduction of “Home” was short and sweet, but very telling, so let’s dissect it a little bit. As we noted earlier, Facebook went with Android first because of its flexibility, basically it’s easy to customize.

Other platforms, not so much. Zuckerberg even mentioned that Windows Phone might be a bit easier to work with, calling it out as “somewhere in the middle” of Android and iOS.

Here’s what Google said to us a little while ago:

The Android platform has spurred the development of hundreds of different types of devices. This latest device demonstrates the openness and flexibility that has made Android so popular.

You’ll notice that the first thing that the company says is that there are “hundreds” of different types of devices running its mobile operating system. In the past, that’s been seen as a bad thing, due to fragmentation. Here, Google is clearly positioning this as an advantage, that is has more choices for consumers than say, Apple has.

Secondly, “this latest device,” being the HTC First, which is pre-installed with Facebook Home, demonstrates flexibility. There’s that word again. Clearly, Google is firing a rocket at its competitor Apple, which is notoriously very stiff when it comes to customization. In Apple’s mind, its users don’t know what they want to see until it shows it to them. By letting a company like Facebook take over the first experience a user has when it wakes up their phone, they are giving away pretty much everything. Again, Google points this out as a competitive advantage.

In an extended version of the statement to VentureBeat, Google made sure to pump up its own products at the same time:

And it’s a win for users who want a customized Facebook experience from Google Play — the heart of the Android ecosystem — along with their favorite Google services like Gmail, Search, and Google Maps.

In this added bit, Google makes sure to bring the attention back to its baked-in Android services, like search, email and maps. Is that Google getting a little bit jealous of all of the fuss over Facebook? Not at all. These companies are competitive in the sense that they’re both after eyeballs, but when it comes to social interactions, they couldn’t be more different. Forget the Google+ argument here, it wasn’t built to be a competitor to Facebook. Google owns search and email for a reason, they’re better products than what others offer.

Both Facebook and Google are the winners here. Facebook doesn’t have to build its own phone or operating system, and Google gets to keep pointing out the fact that customization is something that consumers want, and Apple doesn’t deliver on. The two companies are using each other, and as MG Siegler pointed out, are strange bedfellows.

Yes, Facebook has partnered with Apple to bring users a way to update a status message quicker, but it’s clear after seeing Facebook Home today, that it’s simply not enough interaction for the social network. For those who spend a good bit of time using Facebook on their mobile device, they will soon tire of having to wake up their phone, find the Facebook app, open it and read their notifications. Once they see a friend or colleague with the HTC First or another Android device with Facebook Home installed, they will wonder why they can’t do the same thing on their iPhone.

Other companies like Facebook are going to start getting interested in this approach as well, as far as introducing customized launchers for their userbase. Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp was at the Home event today, don’t you think he might go back to New York City and talk to his team about what a Tumblr-themed version of Android would look and act like? Of course he is. What about Dropbox’s Drew Houston, who was also at the event? Could filesharing become a driving force of your mobile experience? It depends on what type of user you are.

Don’t get me wrong, Apple isn’t in the corner crying right now, but some folks at the company have to be looking at today’s news and starting to think of ways to win back developers who want to follow Facebook’s lead and might start focusing on Android first.

Facebook Home has finally made the Android/Open Vs. iOS/Closed a mainstream issue.

Could Google Someday Answer All Your Questions?


In a front-page article in The New York Times on Thursday, I wrote that Web search is at its biggest crossroad since its invention, as users demand more from search and Google faces a broader array of rivals than ever.

Google, in response, is widening the scope of its ambition to include things that today’s Internet users might never even think to ask the search engine. Might Google someday help you, for instance, figure out how to get the $200 you need by next week, force your cat and your girlfriend’s dog to get along or tell you whether your husband is picking up the children from school?

Those are three of the types of information needs that currently go unmet online, Google discovered in a study the company did. Thirty-six percent of people’s information needs are unmet, Google found, and most are things people need to get through the day. The rest of the time, when people do find what they need, 59 percent do it using Google, the study found.

But Google wants to be the place people go to satisfy all their information needs.

“Our goal here really is to satisfy as many information needs as possible,” said Patrick Riley, a search analysis engineer at Google. “There are always things we’re not able to do, but there are a lot of possibilities, with the type of data that people are willing to share, that we can really use to make people’s lives better.”

To do the study, Google asked 150 volunteers to download a mobile app that pinged their phones at various times during the day to ask about their information needs at that moment, where they looked for the answer and whether they found it.

Their answers broke down into four categories. The first two Google already does well — answering simple questions (“when is Columbus Day?”) and more exploratory ones (“biography of Yves St. Laurent.”) The other two are more challenging — tasks to complete (“does my local library have this book available for checkout?”) and complex issues that often do not have a single answer or an answer findable on the Web (“best path to deal with borderline personality disorder” or “is my wife picking the kids up from school?”)

Even though cold, hard data is sacred at Google, the study shows why its engineers also have to rely on human interaction and intuition, Mr. Riley said.

And the results show that search is far from a solved problem, said Amit Singhal, Google’s senior vice president for search.

“Search is by no means perfect,” Mr. Singhal said. “If anything, it’s really, really imperfect, far away from the dream we want to build.”

He envisions the company climbing a pyramid, he said, with data at the bottom, then information, then knowledge and finally wisdom.

What would the ancient philosophers think of finding wisdom in a search engine?

Read more from the New York Times

Google gets ungoogleable off Sweden’s new word list


BBC – Objections from Google have forced the removal of the word “ungoogleable” from a list of new Swedish words, the Language Council of Sweden says. The language watchdog defines “ungoogleable”, or “ogooglebar” in Swedish, as something that cannot be found with any search engine. But Google wanted the meaning to relate only to Google searches, according to the council. Google responded by saying it was protecting its trademark.

Google clashes with Swedes over ‘ungoogleable’


News.yahoo – Sweden’s language watchdog has accused Google of trying to control the Swedish language in a dispute over the definition of the colloquial term “ungoogleable.” The Swedish version of the word — “ogooglebar” — made the Language Council of Sweden’s 2012 list of words that aren’t in the Swedish dictionary but have entered common parlance. The council defined it as something “that cannot be found on the Web with a search engine.” But Google objected, asking for changes showing the expression specifically refers to Google searches and a disclaimer saying Google is a registered trademark, the council said Tuesday.

Google+ in search: Google had no choice


NEWS.CNET – Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) stepped into trouble when it announced yesterday it’s personalizing search results with Google+ information. The move incurred Twitter’s (INC) wrath and raised the prospect of yet another grueling round of antitrust scrutiny. But Google (NADAQ:GOOG) had no choice according to a report.

The Google Plus One Button And How It Helps Your SEO Rank

There sure has been a load of talk over the Google Plus project, although not as much recently, but how much does their new ‘Plus One Button’ boost a websites SEO rank?

Website like Mashable (see here) proclaim the plus one button has an “indirect effect on your site’s search rank.”

While we are not quite sure why they would use the word ‘indirect’ we do know the button has a positive and long lasting effect on any website.

The same way the twitter tweet button files your tweets in twitters search index; Google works the exact same way. Well, we should not say exact because these are two different networks but they are similar nonetheless.

The number of plus ones is not as important as the quality of each plus one you receive. With this being said, the more plus ones you receive; the more likely you are to have quality plus ones overall.

The plus ones (based on the number you have) will in turn recommend your site to Google and allow the network to crawl your sites index.

Take Facebook as another example:

Facebook has had trouble indexing their website through Google in the past, however with the addition of business pages, Facebook has seemingly done away with their search engine problems. Facebook now has a way for Google to index them with the addition of the ‘Like’ button, which is in direct correlation with the Facebook business page. The more ‘Likes” your companies page receives; the more likely you are to receive a handful of clicks which will lead back to your webpage.

Do you have any SEO advice? Leave your comments below.