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Wikipedia and Search

By - May 19, 2005

A nice piece penned by Max Kalehoff.

A ranking of all Web sites based on the total volume of traffic received directly from search engines placed Wikipedia at 146 in June 2004. But in September 2004 it jumped in the ranking to 93; 71 in December 2004; and in March 2005, it was the 33rd most popular site in terms of visits received from search engines.

That means Wikipedia is impacting not only the trivial results of our Internet searches, but increasingly what content we consume and the types of answers we find to larger questions. This is a profound statement for anyone competing in the marketplace for attention to content and ideas.

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"my"Google

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GooglepersonalizedMarissa Mayer is announcing a new initiative at the moment…Fusion, the first product from which is a new personalized home page. This “strategic initiative” aims to “fuse together Google’s functionality into a single unique way to interact with content.” It can be found in the Lab area, but don’t be fooled, this is an all out response to the success of Yahoo and others in the personalized/RSS space.

This is nothing new, Excite did this in 1996. But I am quite sure it will be much better – after all, there’s nine years of innovation behind it.

Mayer claims the difference with this personalized home page is that it’s very easy, it’s very crisp and “Googly”, it integrates across all Google products. It includes feeds from Wired, Slashdot, BBC, and others, and soon full RSS support…hmmm…MyYahoo RSS, anyone?!

In any case, it’s great to see Google doing this, and I am sure there will be much to say once the dust settles.

News link.

Update: I wrote the above while watching Marissa unveil the news, and the response so far has been less than overwhelming. Mostly “and….?” and “so what took you so long.” But this is interesting to note: Google is not driven by the media gene, and to make a move like this is unnatural, it represents something of a breakthrough for the company. I once asked a Google exec why it didn’t have a music play, like Yahoo, AOL, and MSN. The answer: “Sergey doesn’t listen to much music.”

So for Google to in fact implement a “my” page, and for Google to call something, *anything*, a “strategic initiative,” well, I think that is a turning point.

Google Earth

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“We were wondering what we should do for Google Travel,” Brin told the Factory Tour just now. Well, Google Earth is the answer. I hinted at this in a previous post about Keyhole’s new database, and I think this is it.

More as I get links….

MyGoogle Is Coming Today

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S161-1Google is launching the kind of personalized integration tool that many thought they’d never do. At first it was thought to be called iGoogle, but the name is uncertain at this point. It’s due from Google Labs later today, according to SEW. While watching the webcast I noticed a Powerpoint glitch that showed integration of address books and local search, but I did not get a screenshot in time. More as I find out more. SEW coverage. (thanks to a commentor on my site, who points to this!)

GFT: First Q&A

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Some highlights from the Q&A session with Marissa and Peter:

Q: How many servers do you have? A: 10,000 was the last figure given (Oh, please!)

Q: Why are products in Beta so long? A: We want to leave them in beat when we are still working on them and we plan to make a lot of improvements. Froogle didn’t have sort by price, for example. News didn’t have sort by date. We are getting close to taking some of these products out of beta.

Q: Eric in the introduction said search is not how you think about your business. How do you think about your business? A: Think about our mission. There are lots of things that fall into that. Gmail, etc. – that are not just web search.

Q: How often do you crawl? A: It’s continuous – used to be monthly. Sites like CNN we might hit every ten minutes, others daily, or weekly….

Google Factory Tour, Take Two

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PorncookieThe agenda looks good. I’m listening to Marissa Mayer right now, the agenda:

10:15 am – 12:00 pm Progress in Research and Ads

Marissa Mayer – (Director, Consumer Web Products)

Peter Norvig – (Director, Engineering Search Quality)

Q&A

Break

12:00 – 12:45 pm Lunch

12:45 – 2:00 pm Opportunities Today

Jonathan Rosenberg – (Product Management)

Jeff Huber – (VP Engineering)

Dave Girouard – (General Manager, Enterprise)

Q&A

Break

2:00 – 2:45 pm Future Directions

Alan Eustace – (VP Engineering & Research)

Marissa Mayer – (Director, Consumer Web Products)

Sergey Brin – (Co-Founder & President, Technology)

2:45 – 3:45 pm Q&A – Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin

3:45 – 4:30 pm Product Demos

“Future Directions” should be interesting. Marissa had a funny overview of how the engine works, including introducing an engineer who handles porn spam. The image at left is from her presentation. So far, pretty basic stuff, but still interesting. Peter Norvig is starting just now.

The Webcast is here, FYI.

Google Factory Tour

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GftGoogle is having a press day today, inviting many press to the plex for a day of meetings and presentations they are calling the “Google Factory Tour.” A last minute screwup in my calendar is preventing me from going, but fortunately there will be a webcast for press folks. I’ll be watching that and asking questions via IM and email! Stay tuned….

Netscape Launches New Broswer

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NetscapeIt’s deja vu all over again. This one speaks both IE and Firefox. PCWorld’s first look here. AOL’s press kit here. The site is loading very sloooooowly.

Gates Has Another Book In Him

By - May 18, 2005

Remember when I chided Google for not thought leading and mentioned Gates’ 1996 book? Well, another one is in the works. Bizweek reports:



Microsoft is in the final stages of closing a deal with a co-author, whom the company declined to name. And Gates’s representatives have begun meeting with publishers to gauge their interest. The software giant won’t say yet when it hopes to see a book in print.

There’s little question, though, that the book will spark quite a bit of interest. The Road Ahead was a best seller, selling 2.5 million copies to date, according to Microsoft. Gates followed that book up with one written specifically for executives, called Business @ the Speed of Thought, which targeted a much smaller, elite audience. But Gates’s latest look into the crystal ball will likely once again attract a wide audience.

(thanks, Craig).

GreaseMonkey and Google's Yahoo Tab

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YhoogoleJeremy shows us why GreaseMonkey is a good thing. At least, if you work at Yahoo….BTW, GreaseMonkey is really picking up steam. When will such a platform be available for IE? Or is it already?