Facebook “Search War” With Google Mostly Sound And Fury

The people running Facebook are an ambitious crew; they see Facebook as a successor to Google in many respects. In fact many of the executives used to work at Google, including CTO Bret Taylor, COO Sheryl Sandberg, Advertising VP David Fischer and Communications VP Elliot Schrage, among others. However as a search property Facebook has, in the past, been almost unusable and no threat to Google or any other search engine. In fact, it has been (so far) a missed opportunity for Facebook partner and investor Microsoft. But Microsoft's Bing is becoming more prominent on Facebook and the site its [...]


Google Home Page: Now Featuring Your Pictures

Bing's received plenty of praise for its home page that shows a different picture each day. How long until Google would copy it, some have wondered. Today, almost exactly a year since Bing launched, Google has rolled out its own feature that lets you put a picture on the Google home page. In a blog post today, Google announced anyone can upload a picture that will be shown on the Google home page. You'll only see your own picture, of course -- everyone else will see pictures they've selected, if they're using this option. You can also use pictures you've uploaded to Google's Picasa photo sh [...]


Google To German Privacy Official: Turning Over Private WiFi Data To You Would Violate Your Own Law

Google continues to bump up against frustrated government regulators around the globe who are convinced that the company is doing sneaky things and willfully violating domestic privacy laws. Yesterday European privacy officials continued to express disapproval and assert that Google's data retention policies violate its six month data retention rule. Today the NY Times covers Google's emerging tug-of-war over the private data inadvertently collected by Street View cars. Google is reportedly resisting turning over the data to German government privacy officials (ironically) on the grounds th [...]


Google “Economic Impact” Report Shows How Google Contributes To Local Economies

Google has released a report that shows its economic contributions to local economies in the US. Timed to coincide with National Small Business Week this is something of a "charm offensive" and effort to burnish Google's recently tarnished corporate image: Google's not just a search engine. We've also helped hundreds of businesses in every U.S. state to grow. Across the U.S., Google's search and advertising tools generated $54 billion of economic activity in 2009. Full of data, the report is interesting and desig [...]


Google Promoting “Internet Stats” Site

Last September Google launched "Internet Stats" in the UK. Now Google is "launching" it in the US or perhaps, more precisely, exposing it again. The site aims to be a repository for data points, organized by broad categories, market sectors and verticals. Data come from various sources, but mostly trade groups and market research firms cited in third party publications. It has an interesting, "random" quality but does contain some useful information on consumer trends, media consumption, device adoption and so on. Some of the more interesting information is contained within the "vertica [...]


Google Loves Goats

For the second year in a row, Google hired goats to mow their lawn. This is Google's way of reducing their carbon footprint. The 200 goats, according to Google, cost as much as a lawn service to bring in and would benefit the world by eliminating mower emissions, reducing noise pollution, restoring plant species and fertilizing while grazing. I assume the goats are not just about minimizing Google's carbon footprint. It is also a nice marketing and PR play for them. Here are some pictures: [...]


New Ruling May Mean More Googling In Court

A federal appeals court ruling this week may open the door for judges to increase their use of search engines during court cases. Monday's ruling authorized a judge's use of Google to "confirm an intuition about a matter of common knowledge," according to Reuters. The case in question was a criminal matter in which the defendant allegedly violated the terms of his release. U.S. District Judge Denny Chin used Google to confirm his intuition about some of the evidence -- the wearing of a yellow rain hat -- and eventually found the defendant guilty. The defendant appealed, citing Chin's search [...]


Report Proposes ‘Google Tax’ To Subsidize Local Media In UK

The massive Pew State of the News Media report, which Matt wrote about briefly, alludes to findings (previously published) that only 19 percent of online news consumers would pay for content. That number is actually larger than some figures coming out of consumer surveys. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project's survey findings: Most people graze the Web for news rather than rely on primary sources. Only about a third (35%) can even identify a favorite news website. And of those that do, only 19% said they would continue to visit if that site put up a pay wall. Th [...]


Google Resumes China Talks Despite Evidence Of Govt-Hacking Connection

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has re-engaged with China around its ability to continue operating its number two search engine in the country in an "unfiltered" way. The Chinese have given no public indications that they will permit this in the country, which is ruled by state control of speech and media. The WSJ reports: Google Inc. representatives are scheduled to resume discussions in coming days with Chinese officials about the fate of Google's China business, said people briefed on the matter . . . The schedule and the status of the talks, which are being picked up after [...]


Google Founders To Sell 10 Million Shares Over Five Years

According to an SEC filing late this afternoon, Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin "each intend to sell approximately 5 million shares" -- over a period of five years. This is not a reaction to any particular development in the market or perception of the outlook for Google; rather this is part of a plan to diversify their portfolios over time. According to the filing: These pre-arranged stock trading plans were adopted in order to allow Larry and Sergey to sell a portion of their Google stock over time as part of their respective long-term strategies for individual asset diversi [...]


Google 4th On Forbes’ Best Companies To Work For List

Google has placed fourth in Forbes Magazine's ranking of the Best Places to Work 2010. That's the same place the company ranked in the 2009 list. In explaining "what makes it so great," Forbes says: The search engine king is hiring again: Google plans to add thousands of employees to its payroll in 2010. Though a few perks have been cut in recent years, Google engineers still get to devote 20% of their time to projects of their choosing. Google ranked number one on the Forbes list in both 2007 and 2008. Microsoft placed 51st in this year's survey. (via Resource Shelf) [...]


Google’s Sergey Brin Writes About His Relief Mission Visit To Haiti

Google co-founder Sergey Brin is back from a relief mission to Haiti and has written his impressions of the situation there. He writes about the relief effort (and even shares some suggestions for things that could be done differently) and the scene in Port-au-Prince, but says the people of Haiti are "the real heroes." Despite tremendous challenge and suffering, they still show an incredible strength of spirit and resilience to the harshest of conditions. Seeing the people firsthand left me with a vastly different impression than I had going in based on news reports. Instead of roving gangs o [...]


Microsoft Complies With EU Demand, First To Cut Data Retention To Six Months

Microsoft is the first of the major search engines to agree to the European Union's demand that data retention be cut to six months. The company will now completely delete IP addresses after six months. Here's what Microsoft said on the Bing community blog about the move: Today we sent a letter to the Article 29 Working Party notifying them of our intention to make a change to Bing’s data retention policy. Specifically, we are reducing the amount of time we store IP addresses from searchers to 6 months.  Currently we keep that information for 18 months before we delete it.  Generally, [...]


Google’s China Gambit: Day Two Reaction

Google's decision to potentially pull out of China if it cannot operate without censorship is a remarkable story. The statement was made after Google discovered a "highly sophisticated and targeted attack" on GMail. Google didn't say the Chinese government was behind the attacks but that's the clear implication. The attacks involved more than just Google apparently. Adobe has publicly confirmed it was similarly attacked. Google's public statements and decision are being applauded, dissected and heavily tweeted within and outside China. Discussion of the decision dominates Techmeme, and is a [...]


Hitwise: Facebook (Sort Of) More Visited Than Google On Christmas

Hitwise tweeted this morning that Facebook reached the number one most visited site in the US for the first time ever over the Christmas holiday, pushing past Google. But digging a little deeper, that might not be so. It all depends on what you consider "Google" to be. From the tweet: Facebook was the most visited site in the US on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 1st time the site has been the #1 visited US site ever. We followed up to get some actual numbers and go beyond this 140 character tidbit. Hitwise kindly responded, telling us: On Christmas Eve, December 24th, Facebook had 7 [...]


Fun Stats: 28% Of Sites Use Google Analytics; 5% Have Facebook Or Twitter Links

Factual has analyzed data from 4 million web sites and provided a holiday gift for stats junkies. Did you know 5% of pages have either a Twitter or Facebook link? Or that 28% of sites run Google Analytics? Or 12% of them run Google AdSense? Now you do! The core data comes from CommonCrawl, a non-profit group designed to crawl the web and provide data for anyone to use. Gil Elbaz is both a founder of CommonCrawl and of Factual, a start-up that creates tables of structured information from data found on the open web (see Factual: Parting The Curtains Of The Invisible Web). Factual found st [...]


Google Relaunching Google Answers As Google Guru?

Google Blogoscoped reports that one of his readers noticed a "Google Guru" link in his Google Account page. Google Guru was launched in January 2007 in Russia as a social question and answer site. You can access it at guru.google.co.th/guru/ and here is a picture: What is interesting is that Google closed down their Google Answers site back in November 2006, yes over three years ago. Is Google Guru their way of getting back into the social Q&A space? Yahoo is dominate right now with Yahoo Answers, maybe Google feels they can make a run at that as well? Postscript from Greg: G [...]


Answers.com Loses “Pole Position” To Google Dictionary

Answers.com has a strong URL (if not a brand) and lots of traffic, more than 25 million monthly unique users. It was the source of definitions in the "definitions" link in the upper right of Google SERPs. The key word in that last sentence is "was." As of yesterday, without fanfare, Google replaced Answers.com with its own dictionary. This will be an interesting test of Answers.com's strength and resilience. It will undoubtedly loose considerable traffic (how much is the question). And because it's ad supported that will mean a corresponding loss of ad revenue. Furthermore Answers.com i [...]


Get “Inside The Mind Of Google” On CNBC Tonight At 9PM ET/PT

Tonight at 9pm ET/PT on CNBC there will be a special premier of "Inside the Mind of Google." The show will go over how Google got started, how they grew over the years and what challenges they have had recently. Our very own Danny Sullivan is interviewed in this documentary, so you do not want to miss it. Here is a clip of this documentary on YouTube. From the press release: The one-hour documentary delivers a comprehensive look at Google's crown jewel-- its Internet search engine- the most visited web site in the world. In fact, despite formidable competition, nearly two-thirds o [...]


Google Tackles Its “UI Jazz” Problem, Tests Streamlining Search Options Feature

Sometime later today, a small number of Google users will see a new look to Google's Search Options feature. If all goes well, the cleaner display may be launched across Google after the New Year. And it's all because Google's vice president of search product and user experience Marissa Mayer doesn't like jazz. NOTE: Google’s new look is now live. See: Meet The New Google & Its Colorful, Useful "Search Options" Column. Simmer down, jazz lovers! Jazz is just not her thing; she's not making a personal campaign against it. Instead, Mayer was using jazz to explain a pet metaphor she h [...]


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