Tag Archives: Google

“Private Search Engines” and Their Deals With Oppressive Trackers

Private Search Engines

The “privacy” model has become a default business strategy for new search engines. Why? Because it sells. Given the typically inferior quality of their results, and their often uninspiring user-experience, “private search engines” routinely over-achieve in terms of growth. So unless they have a revolutionary new concept, anyone entering today’s search market is almost compelled to trade on privacy.

They’re all at it. Barely a week goes by without a new “private search” brand coming up in the #privacy tags on Twitter. Some are just a front for affliate marketers to peddle overpriced rubbish. Others, such as Search Encrypt – taken seriously by a lot of people – are listed as malware. Some, despite billing themselves as privacy protectors on Twitter, have no SSL and literally no privacy policy whatsoever. “Private search” has become a joke. It’s that same old bunch of shady chancers using the gimmick of the moment in the hope of becoming billionaires. But what about the few brands that manage to attract continuous applause? Have we not noticed that they’re in bed with the enemy?… Continue reading “Private Search Engines” and Their Deals With Oppressive Trackers

Google’s Twitter Connectivity Snapshot

Google Twitter Snapshot

Have you ever found it a bit irksome trying to work out what the deal is with a newly discovered Twitter user? Okay, so you can see their bio, and their most recent tweets, but this may not tell you much about the actual people with whom they’re associated.

One of the most interesting Twitter tricks I’ve found in some time is what I’m calling the Google Twitter Connectivity Snapshot. The idea works courtesy of Google’s Advanced Search, and can provide a quick insight into a Twitter user’s sphere of activity. True, you can read the user’s bio and look at the tweets or retweets on their profile page, but that often gives quite a self-conscious sense of who the person is. Sometimes, it’s more revealing to see what kind of people connect with them, and take a peep at some of the connections. Continue reading Google’s Twitter Connectivity Snapshot

The Dangers of Deleting Tags on a Blog

Deleting Blog Tags

It’s a pretty simple matter, right? You’ve put tags on your blog posts, and now you want to delete them. Well actually, it’s nothing like as simple as it sounds, and it could cause you major problems. But before we delve into all that, why would anyone want to delete tags?… Continue reading The Dangers of Deleting Tags on a Blog

Google Search Now Has Limited Lifespan

Twoogle

Google has now been the King of Search for about a decade and a half, and most people envisage that the organisation’s supremacy cannot be challenged. However, Google’s basic foundations are now old, and well out of date. Although the Mighty G has continued to tackle attempts to game its system over time, we’re now close to the end of the road. The key problems with Google Search are no longer about controlling spam tactics per se. They’re about the fact that Google is a machine, using an outdated concept, whilst the Internet is increasingly human, and behaves very differently from the way it behaved 20 years ago. Continue reading Google Search Now Has Limited Lifespan

The Rise of Twitter – in Pictures

Google's Twitter 16 July 2009

Imagine Google with just seven Twitter Followers. Imagine the official Twitter account with just one follower… Well, you don’t need to imagine, because we’re going on a journey back through time to revisit those very scenarios, in a pictorial history of Twitter’s rise to micro-blogging stardom. Continue reading The Rise of Twitter – in Pictures

Is Privacy-Protected Search Just A Gimmick?

Ixquick new

Privacy protection has become a big factor in the realm of smaller search engines. It’s one way in which an otherwise unremarkable site can compete with the most accomplished and spectacular in the world. If users fear serious privacy breaches enough, they’ll seek out a search engine which professes not to store any of their data, and in the wake of media stories about mass government surveillance, that’s exactly what’s been happening.

But is privacy protection a real commitment on the part of the search providers involved, or is it just a gimmick? If one of the search businesses currently trading on privacy were to grow to the size of Google, would it maintain its values, or would it quietly throw that privacy commitment out of the window and start mining data, just like everyone else?…

Continue reading Is Privacy-Protected Search Just A Gimmick?

Retrospective: How Google Monopolised The Search Market

Google November 1998
The main Google homepage as it appeared in 1998. Note the Yahoo!-style exclamation mark (which was dropped at the end of the site’s beta phase) and the Stanford Uni copyright attribution.

How strange it is to zip back through the years and revisit old articles from the 1990s – their writers referring to Google as the “The new search engine, Google.com”, and scratching their heads as to how the company was ever going to make any money. The scene, when Google first arrived, was awash with search brands such as AltaVista, Yahoo!, Lycos, Excite, Infoseek, WebCrawler, Hotbot, Dogpile, a host of others, and significantly as regards the future of Google, a new player by the name of GoTo. Continue reading Retrospective: How Google Monopolised The Search Market