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Google Has A History of Agonizing. Will This Be a Chapter, or A Conclusion?

By - August 09, 2010

The Wall St. Journal has a compelling story about Google executives, including Page and Brin, struggling with the vast amount of actionable data available to the company, and what to do about it, even before Facebook pretty much forced the Internet giant to play their hand. A must read.

If any of you recall Google’s agony over China, its entry and then its withdrawal, this will certainly sound familiar.

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5 thoughts on “Google Has A History of Agonizing. Will This Be a Chapter, or A Conclusion?

  1. JG says:

    Google trails in some of these techniques by choice. Famous for its unofficial corporate motto, “Don’t Be Evil,” for years it resisted using any method to track people online without their knowledge at the fierce insistence of founders Sergey Brin and Mr. Page.

    Is this true? Did they really resist for years “any method to track people online without their knowledge”?

    I seem to remember google-watch reporting that they first noticed in 2000 — yes, 10 years ago — that the infamous Google cookie didn’t expire until 2038.

    http://www.google-watch.org/cgi-bin/cookie.htm

    John, I suppose there is a lot of public hand-wringing and agonizing. But history tells a different story. I see no such agonizing about tracking people. It has been happening since the beginning.

    Right?

  2. John says:

    @JG yes, according to Google, no AdSense (IE advertising tracking) cookie until 2008.
    http://battellemedia.com/archives/2010/03/thursday_signal_googles_adsense_cookie_-_the_untold_story

  3. JG says:

    I guess what I mean is that whether or not there was an Adsense cookie, there was still the Google cookie itself.. which has been tracking people online without their knowledge for over a decade now.. even if you were never logged in to Google. Google could track and tell, based on their cookie, that the same computer was doing certain searches — something that the AOL log release brought to folks’ awareness, but that Google itself was capable of doing over a decade ago.

    And a decade in real time is like.. a hundred years in internet time.

    So I’m simply disagreeing with the sloppy journalism in the article, which states: “Famous for its unofficial corporate motto, ‘Don’t Be Evil,’ for years it resisted using any method to track people online without their knowledge at the fierce insistence of founders Sergey Brin and Mr. Page.”

    It’s just not true that Google resisted “any method”. They might have resisted the Adsense method. But they DIDN’T resist “any” method.

    Come on, Wall Street Journal. Step up your game.

  4. Jeorge Peter says:

    They just dropped AdSense cookie but still its manageable with the Google cookie. No problem for Google.

  5. allen says:

    John, I suppose there is a lot of public hand-wringing and agonizing. But history tells a different story. I see no such agonizing about tracking people. It has been happening since the beginning.

    Right?

    Read more: http://battellemedia.com/archives/2010/08/google_has_a_history_of_agonizing_will_this_be_a_chapter_or_a_conclusion#comment_145927#ixzz0wMIRqB6B