• http://www.squidoo.com/greekgeek G.G.

    Search queries were ALREADY private: we had no way to know who was making those queries. This kills those of us small time writers who were playing by the rules — looking vigilantly at our search data each day to see what our visitors wanted to know, improving our content or writing new content to satisfy their interests based on our own. Now, we lack that vital visitor feedback and have no idea what many of our visitors want. The second most popular query on my articles is now cloaked so I can’t see it.

    Meanwhile, Google wants me, a woman, to attach my real name and photo to all my writing, or it won’t consider my authorship legitimate. I have been writing articles and how-tos on the web since FIVE YEARS BEFORE GOOGLE EXISTED.

    I refuse to use Google Plus until they implement the basic and sensible privacy protections used by web 1.0 entities like Livejournal since the last century: pen names (some of which have been around since the beginning of the web) which we share with online acquaintances and readers, and which we are known by.

    MEANWHILE, for some of my professional content, I reluctantly set up my non-plus profile with photo, very brief resume, real name. I linked that content to my Google profile following their arcane instructions for rel=”author” and rel=”me”, which are a nonstandard implementation of HTML5 where Google — Google! — gets to decide whether your author profile is legit or not, and of course your author profile has to be on Google or it won’t count for their search engine’s purpose. It worked fine for a couple weeks: my author name and profile icon appeared next to some of my articles. Now it’s been removed. NO explanation forthcoming from Google as to why, and I have just about had it with their bait-and-switch.

    Think about this. What it boils down to is that Google refuses to acknowledge our authorship of our content which has been around on the web longer than Google has, unless we sign up as members of Google and turn over our personal information to Google. If we do, our content may rank better in search. If we don’t, sorry charlie, Google can’t tell we’re a legitimate author. Since when did Google appoint itself the Library of Congress and Copyright office, determining who does and doesn’t have rights to their own work? Since when did membership with Google determine whether you are the author of your own work? Since when did membership with Google determine how your content appears in search results — join, and we give you a cool icon that will increase your visitors humongously; don’t join, and your results will disappear relative to our members who get the shiny icons?

    How can we make Congress understand why this is evil? And how can Google be this evil? It saddened and touched me to read recently that Steve Jobs had said the very thing I said this spring: Google is becoming Microsoft. Or, worse, AOL, trying to control the web. The irony is, all of us who refused Facebook for behavior of this kind would be Google’s ideal customers, but now it’s gone and made us even more wary of it than Mark Zuckerberg’s personal data-collecting machine.

  • http://terrafalsa.wordpress.com laoshima

    As to Google+ being the gatekeeper for rel=author, I agree it’s kind of a crock. But it’s not like every search engine doesn’t have its proprietary things. You don’t need your face in the SERPs, it’s just something neat. And I’d be surprised if they weren’t using rel=author for other things in testing and behind the scenes.

    But in general, I think people are seriously overthinking this SSL change. (Understanding this is a news source) It’s more important to determine level of effect, then act to best serve yourself as a SMB owner, whether by using some shady iframe or switching to https.