free html hit counter January 2006 | Page 3 of 11 | John Battelle's Search Blog

Kosmix

By - January 27, 2006

I’m speaking with these guys next week. For now, you can read about them here….(SiliconBeat)

Meet Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan, two of the co-founders at Junglee, and who twice seriously considered acquiring Google in its early days, but decided their friend Brin was too bold, if not arrogant, to deal with.

Now they plan to officially launch an ambitious search engine company, Kosmix at the Demo conference to begin the week of Feb 6 in Phoenix. They’ve also raised $7.4 million in venture capital.

They are making an audaciously risky bet that they can crack the code on a vexing problem in search: finding the meaning, or at least the topic of a Web page.

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What Info Does Google Keep?

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A reader asked me:

Does Google keep logs of searches correlated with IP address or

other personally identifiable information for users who have not

logged in?

I knew it kept parts of this data, but was not sure. So I pinged Google PR, which checked in for me (thanks!). The response was to quote Google’s privacy FAQ:



Like most Web sites, our servers automatically record the page

requests made when users visit our sites. These “server logs”

typically include your web request, Internet Protocol address, browser

type, browser language, the date and time of your request and one or

more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser.

In other words, yes, Google does record this data. But, does it KEEP that data, I asked? The answer:

Yes, we do.

It’s simple to stop this, of course, just set your browser to not accept cookies. But if you do, you lose out on the services that cookies enable. I for one keep my cookies intact. But know that yes, your data is kept by Google and yes, your searches can be correlated to IP data.

Ugh. This Just Doesn't Feel Good, Does It?

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Who wants to have stories like this written? It just feels so … wrong.

A day after Google’s buggy censorship of sites for Chinese-users was revealed, the search giant has responded by fixing its filters so topics such as beer and jokes are no longer deleted.

An

investigation published Thursday by CNET News.com showed that Google’s new China search engine not only censored criticisms of the Chinese government, but went further than similar services from Microsoft and Yahoo by targeting sites related to teen pregnancy, alcohol, dating and homosexuality.

On Friday morning, however, those previously verboten sites became available through Google.cn. That brings Google’s filtering in line with blacklists used by Microsoft and Yahoo.

But it’s worse. For more, read Gary, and Philipp. In short, Google used to have a page in its help area that said this:

Oldgoogcensor-1

But now it says this:

.Censoroops

Update: Google explains its policy of engagement here.

Update 2: Google’s new explanation of its censorship policy is up (SEW).

But There's Always Music….

By - January 26, 2006

In a PDF report (download from Searchblog), Bear Stearns Analyst Robert Peck speculates that Google will launch a music store soon. Sure they will, and it will take lessons from video. Gary Price groks it here. From Peck’s report:

Why is Google Tunes attractive to Google? According to Nielsen/Net ratings, unique visitors to Apple’s iTunes site

increased 241% YoY to 20.7M, for a 14% reach. Further, Nielsen indicates that iTunes users form a distinct target

audience with brand preferences along autos, alcohol beverages, magazines, and television.

*** We would expect Google to rollout a Beta service within 3-6 months. We note that Google has not confirmed our

expectations, and that our thinking is based on Mosaic theory. However, we do think this fits with Google’s recent

moves and its ultimate goal of organizing the world’s information.

Video Store: Yeah, We Blew It

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From the Seattle PI:

“We made a big mistake,” Mayer, who oversees all of Google’s search products, said Tuesday. “You can’t come out and launch a product like Google Video and say ‘CSI’ and ‘Survivor’ are there if they’re not on the home page.”

Yahoo: All About My?

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Om reports from a Yahoo retreat (I wanted to go, but had a school board meeting, sounds like it was really interesting!).



My contention is that forget search, because Yahoo has something better than that.

My.Yahoo.Com is no longer a portal page, but instead an “attention page” which can be and should be leveraged to become the aggregator site for complicated digital life.

I consider search the interface for all this, in fact. Om also notes that Yahoo’s new Chief Product Officer, Ash Patel, is a recent Mac convert.

HumpDay

By - January 25, 2006

Long week here in Searchblog land. And much, much happening. Here’s my roundup. I am working on longer posts on Google/China and Nexidia (an interesting phonetic search company) but running out of steam for today. FM, the company we’re building so that creating Searchblog-like sites is easier, is taking a lot of time right now, but I expect that to slow a bit later in the month. Meanwhile….

Andy finds an odd Googlebug. Seems to push IE users to download Google Desktop. More here.

Slate has fun with the Google/DOJ story – some good editorial cartoons. Click around (thanks Bill).

B2.0 names Google the smartest company this past year. But the company also is mentioned in the “Dumbest” category too.

Mary Meeker (MorganStanley) groks the DOJ implications. PDF download.

Google, Sun, others join “StopBadware” campaign.

Yahoo says, Are You Kidding? (In response to reports it has given up on catching Google).

The host of Xooglers gets busted for violating AdSense TOS. Oh, the wonderful irony.

TechCrunch has the scoop on new Windows Live services at MSFT’s search champ camp.Speaking of which, MSFT announced two new labs (via SEW) as well, one focused on Search…

YPN (Yahoo’s AdSense competitor) will be gearing up this Spring, here’s a list of how.

Brin defends his position on China.

Dan Gilmor learns in public, reminds us why we like him so much

BigDaddy (Google’s next big algo update?)

Pontiac Says: Google Proves It

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GoogpontiacGM says Google Pontiac. Perhaps the first time a major (and I mean really major) marketer has used search marketing so directly in a television campaign. From the MediaPost coverage: Television ads often stimulate Internet search behavior by increasing brand awareness or sparking curiosity, as often demonstrated by Hitwise. But this GM spot was significant because it ended with an unusual call to action: “Don’t take our word for it. Google Pontiac and discover for yourself.” And the ad ended not with a URL or phone number for a local dealer, but an actual Google screenshot with Pontiac typed in.

This is a regional campaign, and certainly demonstrates how Google has become an authority/integrity call to action for marketers. Screenshot here.

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). In any case, since many folks have no idea that those blue shaded links are in fact ads, I am sure that they are going to be making Google a lot of money over the course of this campaign. Innaresting.

Here Comes Google China

By - January 24, 2006

As reported earlier, Google decided to go into China a while ago. I spoke to Sergey about this very question a year ago, and he expressed his reservations and his thinking – on balance, Google in China, even if it’s playing by the Chinese government’s rules, is a good thing. Weds, Google will make it official (Seattle PI). They’re in – they’re not standing up to the Chinese government. (Apparently, the DOJ and Wall St., Google can say no to. China….not so much.) The site will be google.cn (not live yet).