Tag Archives: Privacy

What Google Knows about Google… and a few other things

There is a wonderful saying that one hears in big companies, particularly when discussing Knowledge Management – KM initiatives, “if only we knew what we know“. It is unlikely that Google is exempt from this problem, but their data-driven culture has launched several information dashboards which aim to overcome this problem by facilitating internal and external communication of data, from Google service statuses to internet statistics.

Search engines are great in helping us find something when we suspect that there is an answer out there somewhere, to borrow a phrase from X-File’s Fox Mulder. Yet search engines aren’t very helpful when you don’t even know or imagine a resource exists. This article aims to help insure these mostly lessor known Google tools and resources get the visibility they deserve.

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Bing – features and SEO recommendations, one month on

At the end of May Microsoft announced its new search engine, Bing. Microsoft justified many of Bing’s new features by noting that 50% of search queries are either abandoned or refined – users aren’t getting the right answer on the first try, citing studies by Jakob Nielsen, Enquiro and internal testing. Microsoft also said that searchers are becoming more focused more on tasks and decisions – consequently search engine sessions are becoming longer as users work their way through their decision making process.

As data from Bing’s first full month becomes available, I thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at what the Bing rollout means for search marketers and, in a separate article, current search engine market shares.


Google Squared – expanded search engine results in a table

Google Squared LogoOne of the more exciting recent search engine advances I’ve seen in a while is Google Squared. Search for something which has multiple attributes and Google will try to build a structured table of results, adding columns for each major attribute it knows about. As an example, try “Hitchcock films”.

Google Squared Result for Hitchcock Films

Figure 1: Google Squared search results for “hitchcock film”

Did Google miss a film? Just add a row and Google will try to fill in the missing attributes. Is a film attribute missing? Just choose from a column suggestion Google offers or specify it yourself and Google will try to find the data. Does a data element seem amiss? Hover over it and Google will display the data source along with alternative values. In the Hitchcock example, one film was reported with the re-release date rather than the original date; a click or two later and the correct date appeared.


Google, the spy we love

Passing through the Frankfurt Airport on my way from Milan to SMX West, I couldn’t help but notice the front page of Germany’s weekly newspaper, Die Zeit (The Time).
Google. Der Spion, den wir lieben. (Die Zeit)

Google. Der Spion, den wir lieben.

Google weiß alles. Der Internetgigant aus Kalifornien macht uns das Leben leicht. Zugleich aber folgt er uns im Netz auf Schritt und Tritt – nun auch über das Google-Handy. (Die Zeit, 5. Februar 2009)

The image, inspired by 007, says:

Google. The spy we love.
Google knows everything. The California Internet giant makes life easy. Yet at the same time Google follows our every step on the net – now through the Google cell phone as well.

Germany, with its difficult 20th century history of Nazism and a Russian/German brand of Communism, is very sensitive to the risks associated with a “big brother” watching over us. Yet as the article points out, most people are willing to accept Google’s knowing our every movement to the extent that Google unobtrusively makes our life easier.


My website has disappeared from Google. What do I do now?

One day you note a fall off in the traffic Google sends your website. As Google is the main source of your traffic, as is the case for many websites, alarm bells naturally start ringing. Investigating, you realize that the site does not appear at all in Google or has poor visibility at best in search results. What is a poor site owner to do? Did someone say panic?

Understand why the site disappeared from Google

There are several reasons why a site no longer appears in typical Google search results.


Google Labs has re-released the much-maligned Google Web Accelerator

The Google Web Accelerator made a brief appearance in May 2005 before downloads were cut off due to a „maximum capacity of users” being reached. The Accelerator was criticized by many, with privacy and security concerns frequently expressed. Google Labs has made a reworked Accelerator available for download.

Aimed at broadband Internet users in Europe and North America, Google Web Accelerator is a tool to speed up web browsing. Available for MS Windows users, Google’s Web Accelerator (GWA) works, with a few differences, like similar accelerators available from leading ISPs.

In the following article, we review the Web Accelerator’s functionality and consider its potential impact on web sites, with a particular focus on Web Analytics reporting.

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