free html hit counter January 2006 - Page 2 of 11 - John Battelle's Search Blog

More On What Google (and Probably A Lot of Others) Know

By - January 30, 2006

Searchblog reader Adam asked me:

1) “Given a list of search terms, can Google produce a list of people

who searched for that term, identified by IP address and/or Google

cookie value?”

2) “Given an IP address or Google cookie value, can Google produce a

list of the terms searched by the user of that IP address or cookie


I put these to Google. To its credit, it rapidly replied that the answer in both cases is “yes.” Just FYI.

All I will add is this: If you are an agent of the US Government charged with tracking domestic terrorism, might you have an interest in answering questions like the ones posed above?

As the Chinese curse goes (oh, the irony), may we live in interesting times.

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Go Sit In the Hot Seat? No Thanks!

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This speaks for itself.

The leading US-based Internet companies are showing little interest in attending a Congressional briefing on worries that the firms are bending to the wishes of China’s censors.

Microsoft and Cisco Systems have refused to attend the event, while Google and Yahoo are non-committal, officials said.

Remove Results

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RemoveI’ve been quite heads down on FM stuff these past two weeks, forgive me. But using Google lately (as a registered user) I’ve noticed something new, and readers are also tipping me to it. You can now remove results from future searches. I wonder how many folks are actually doing this?

Google Gets Social

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Who says Google doesn’t play the tagging, sharing, social search game? Not Google. Today it released a new version of its toolbar that’s very….well…Web 2.0.

From SEW coverage:

Google has enhanced its toolbar for Internet Explorer, introducing several new features that will appeal to regular users of the program.

The new features include enhanced “suggestions” that appear on the fly as you type a query, the ability to add custom buttons to search your favorite sites, the ability to create and save online bookmarks and to share web pages with others.

“One of the areas we wanted to focus on was to empower users more,” said Sundar Pichai, Google group product manager.

Mazda Says: Thanks for the Idea

By - January 28, 2006


Remember how Pontiac was pushing its line of cars by asking you to “Google Pontiac”? (See here for the background). In my post, I wrote: Now, when I Google Pontiac, I see two sponsored links up top, both from Pontiac (if I were, say, Toyota, I might just think about bidding that keyword….but I digress).

Well, Toyota didn’t take the bait, but Mazda sure did.

The Real Irony Here…

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Conventional…is that Google is, for the first time, being a content editor. I’ve written extensively about how Google, by its very DNA, does not like to be an editor of content. But in China, it’s doing exactly that. (SEW)

Google’s first big editing job? Deciding which sites to exclude because they might offend the Chinese government. There’s still time to pull out, guys. I’ve read your rationalizations, and Uncle Bill’s as well. I don’t buy them. I don’t buy that this is what, in your heart, you believe is right. Sure, I understand the logic. But, well….in your heart, is this what you wanted to do? No? Then why did you do it?

I was having dinner with some dear friends tonight. They asked me why did Google do this? My answer: I think they convinced themselves it was the right thing to do. They thought themselves into it. And deep down, they aren’t sure they did the right thing. At least, that’s what I want to believe. Sure, Microsoft is going to go in. Yahoo and IBM are going to go in. But Google? We thought…well, we thought you were different.