free html hit counter November 2004 | Page 2 of 7 | John Battelle's Search Blog

EPIC: A Media Future Fantasy

By - November 26, 2004

epicWorth a view, though some of the presumptions are shaky. This Flash movie posits a combination of Amazon and Google (Googlezon) which obviates the traditional mediasphere and poses grave threats to democracy.

EPIC 2014.

About the filmmaker, Robin Sloan. More on the film and its progression through the blogosphere here and here.

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Google Saves The Bubble Fund

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Around the Valley, it’s well known that VC funds raised in the late 90s (and hence invested at the height of the bubble) fared poorly. Such was the fate of Kleiner Perkins ninth fund. But that fund did have one big winner – Google. Silicon Beat has the details.

PS – You’ve probably noticed a lot of Google in recent postings. That will continue for a while, as I’m in that portion of my writing on the book. I’ve got final rounds of interviews at Google next week, and am working on the Google portions of the text. Bear with me….

Watch This Space

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….Google Sues AdSense Publisher for Click Fraud. (Clickz)

Google has filed its first click fraud lawsuit, charging a Texas-based Web site and its owners generated fraudulent clicks on ads in its AdSense program, causing Google to pay them for useless traffic to its advertisers.

The lawsuit, filed last week in a California Superior Court, alleges that, beginning in August 2003, Auction Experts International and its founders Sergio Morfin and Alexei Leonov clicked on AdSense ads on the Auction Experts site and paid up to 50 unidentified individuals to do the same.

Speaking of Biz Dev…

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Picture 2As I mentioned before, it’s clear that the culture of business/partner development is blossoming at Google. A quick trawl of jobs they’ve posted in the space certainly supports the trend. But the most positions available in any department (save engineering, of course) is still sales. (They’re also hiring more lawyers, as one might expect…)

Babelplex: Search in Two Languages

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babelplexMeant to post this a couple weeks ago, and now SEW and Corante have gotten the word out: Babelplex is a new tool that allows you to search side by side results in two languages.

This is the first search based project for Babelplex’s author, HK Tang. Born in Hong Kong and educated at the University of Washington, Tang tells me “For Babelplex, I’ve realized if you simplify search down to the simplest equation there are two sides. Output which Google has solidly nailed down, and input which is very relevant when searching in foreign text. I’ve observed users who are limited by the language of their keyboard would use Yahoo! Directory rather than Google Search to find International pages. Also, my family is bilingual, so that has some influence on the inception of Babelplex.”

As Search History Develops, an Implication or Two

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Thanks to reader Brendan Wilson for pointing this out: The Palo Alto Medical Foundation is warning against the use of Google Desktop (and presumably, any similar search tool). The foundation even published a FAQ about GDS. From that document:

How does this affect me? If this tool has been installed on a PC that you are using, it is possible for your private health information viewed through PAMFOnline to be cached on the computer’s hard drive and retrieved later by someone else.
What can I do about it? If you uncheck the “Include Secure Pages (HTTPS)” option, the tool will no longer be able to retrieve secure PAMFOnline pages.

This is one example of what I am sure will be a long, slow awakening to the power and potential of having search history in our lives.

First Reports on Google Desktop Downloads

By - November 23, 2004

majesticdesksearchThanks to Seth and the team at Majestic for allowing me to post these numbers. According to their research, about 1.3 million unique users visited Google’s Desktop Search page in the first two weeks of its release, with nearly half (640,000) downloading the application. Majestic also breaks out international numbers in its report, shown on this accompanying graph (click on it to enlarge it).

(Data from Comscore, a Majestic partner.)

When You Search For Stocks On Google…

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yuahoogogle…you get Yahoo Finance results. (You can also tab through to Fool.com, MSN and others, but I’d wager no one does). Now, we all know this, and it’s been this way for quite a while. But while I was in New York today I had the chance to speak with Gordon Crovitz, who runs the electronic arm of Dow Jones, including the WSJ.com. And in conversation the question came up – why does Yahoo Finance come up first? Was it a business development deal? An algorithmic decision (perhaps it’s the most popular site for stock quote searches?) A vestige of an earlier time when someone just coded it that way, liked Yahoo, and there you have it?

Clearly, Dow Jones would love for that stock quote search to end up on, oh, perhaps its new Marketwatch site. And, come to think of it, there are any number of sites that would like to have the lucrative traffic which these kind of structured Google searches dole out. So it made me wonder, what is the criteria by which this decision was made? I’ve lobbed a call into big G and big Y to find out, but in the meantime, do any of you have an explanation? The answer has some implications as to how Google and other search engines might interact with media and content players in the future.

Personal Attacks Make Google News

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Russell Beattie, a mobile blogger with a large following at Russell Beattie’s Notebook, has picked up a personal antagonist of sorts, who has taken to writing personal attacks over at a site called MSMobile. Now, this might be a random but interesting flame war if it were not for a few things. First, it seems that this fellow at MSMobile is really venomous. And second, his site, MSMobile, is scanned and distributed by Google News, meaning his scurrilous rants about Russell are spread far and wide into the mediasphere, doing untold damage to Russell’s credibility. Russell has posted a note asking for help from Google, to wit:

So why am I writing this here? To clear up a few facts and ask for your help. MSMobiles is not a valid impartial news site, it’s a personal and biased weblog. If you know someone at Google News who can take him out of their news index, I would greatly appreciate it (I’ve emailed repeatedly).

The power of algorithmic news at work…

Short Week

By - November 21, 2004

monkeykick.jpg
I’m traveling to NYC for one night only, then we have 22 family members (!!!!) for Thanksgiving starting Tuesday, so I sense this may be a light week of posting.

While I’m out, here’s some suggested linkage, which should keep you busy for a while if you don’ t have a turkey to brine:

Cory on WIPO. He’s doing important work here.

The Google triumvarate is poised to sell a lot of shares over the next 18 months. This is pretty standard, what folks in the Valley call “diversifying risk”. (WSJ paid sub, BBC here)

I’ve moved to MT 3.0. If you have issues with seeing it, suggest you first hold down shift and click reload (for all you Firefoxers, that is). If that does not work, email me at jbat at battellemedia dot com. This should really cut down on the comment spam. Thanks, Six Apart!

Russell Beattie chronicles his new gig at Yahoo and how it came about, and has a great idea for all Yahoo Employees: Give them all a mobile phone with unlimited net connectivity. Neat idea. Think of what might be invented…

Want the dirt on Google’s new office in MSFT land? Greg has it.

More copyright type headaches for Google, this time from an adult site. Reminds me of other suits on trademark. Watch this space.

Scoble has some thoughts about the power of blogs versus traditional publishing. Uh huh.

Some hints on a new Google File System paper here.

Very interesting ramblings from the founder of Kozuru.

And when Adam Bosworth rambles, people should listen.

And simply because it made me almost pee my pants….monkeys can do kung fu. (Thanks Metafilter).