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This 245 message thread spans 9 pages: < < 245 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 > >     
Google Under Siege - Fair or Unfair?
Brett_Tabke




msg:33882
 8:33 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

The Gmail outcry is huge. The Local search outcry is growing. The number of negative Google stories out there is a surprise.

It seems Google can't please anyone these days.

What is the root of it all?

a) The Florida update?
b) Big - just plain bigness (everyone loves to pick on the big guy)?
c) Poor management?
d) Public relations dept screw up?
e) Competitors planting seeds of division?
f) All of the above?

 

hutcheson




msg:34002
 5:36 am on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Maybe google is trying to niche itself. for example use google for information / research, use froogle for shopping.

I hope it can be done effectively -- and wish them well in the attempt.

Seems like the old Altavista had something like that. There seemed to be two problems with theirs:

(1) At the time, I get the impression people couldn't figure out how to use it

(2) The affiliate spammers took the whole search engine down -- with what amounted to a DDOS attack on all the useful results. (Sort of like what Hotel-rezzers have done to Google.)

I'd like more powerful "reprocess" tools, but Google has so far aimed for simplicity instead. I end up going after what I want by more complex searches, or alternating between search and browse -- which usually works. (But I may not be the typical user.) If all the commercial results could be weeded out of my searches, I'd be much happier -- and obviously the commercial webmasters would be happier if would-be customers could go shopping instead of having to stumble over all those boring wikipedia pages.

And I don't know whether the general surfing population is ready to have to pick out a niche first. And after all, if you start fractally bifurcating your niches, pretty soon you look like, um, a directory, which is great -- for maybe 10% of users.

Please Be Gentle




msg:34003
 9:31 am on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Googleguy said:"In the mean time, taking all my posts without asking me or asking Brett, then posting them with your own spin on it (which can be way off the mark)--it's just rude. "
I agree wholeheartedly GG, this guy is using your post for commercial purpose without your explicit consent and it is rude. That is one of the complaints I have against Gmail's use of emails from people who send emails from non-gmail accounts and have no idea of the advertizing for which it is used. That to me is rude (and is one of the reasons for Google feeling under siege at present).
With Best Regards (and I will try to shut up)
PBG

DaveN




msg:34004
 11:11 am on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google Under Siege – Fair

Of course it’s fair if you build a brand via PR (not google PR ;) ) you have to take the good with the bad, Google has had a good run with great PR but hey, so did David and Victoria Beckham , they built the Beckham brand via PR and used it to the max, now that the Beckham’s pr is about a different set of balls it does not look so rosy on the front pages.

But Google knows this, they will ride the bad PR until the next wave of good PR comes a long.

DaveN

loanuniverse




msg:34005
 11:25 am on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

...I have against Gmail's use of emails from people who send emails from non-gmail accounts and have no idea of the advertizing for which it is used...

I don't know, who does the email belong to? the sender or the recipient. Most people would agree is the later, and he is the one agreeing to GMail so there is no problem IMHO.

Comparing that situation to GG's posts being used without his consent is like comparing apples to oranges.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:34006
 12:57 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Googleguy said:"In the mean time, taking all my posts without asking me or asking Brett, then posting them with your own spin on it (which can be way off the mark)--it's just rude. "

Regarding the posting of other people's information on a website, without permission and for profit, forget about GMail, isn't that what Google is founded upon? (And all the other search engines too of course!)

loanuniverse




msg:34007
 1:03 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, there is this little copyright notice on the bottom...

...Member comments are owned by the poster....

Did anyone see that?

Yes it is a forum, but there is also a TOS.

Hissingsid




msg:34008
 2:39 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Regarding the posting of other people's information on a website, without permission and for profit, forget about GMail, isn't that what Google is founded upon? (And all the other search engines too of course!)

FWIW I think theres a big difference between stealing someones copyright and presenting search results in some sort of rank order for the benefit of users and the web sites returned in the results.

Scraping words from a discussion to present elsewhere, out of context, and with comments that give a slant through incorrect interpretation is (I think) parasitic.

Presenting ordered results for mutual benefit is, well mutual so fair enough.

Best wishes

Sid

victor




msg:34009
 3:25 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

If any one does not want their pages indexed or cached in Google, just take a look at:

[google.com...]

It tells you exactly how to have web pages that won't be cached in google.

It may be bad manners for them to cache the stuff without explicit prior permission, but at least they make correcting the problem fairly painless.

All gmail needs is a no-scan header to keep the content away from Google's prying electronic eyes. Maybe they could allow 5% of the 1gig to be filled with no-scan emails. That way we can all send emails to gmail users, but we can avoid signing up to Google's Big Brother ad server at the same time.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:34010
 3:44 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Presenting ordered results for mutual benefit is, well mutual so fair enough.

Sid you are of course correct there is a difference and where would we be without search engines?

However, whether we like it or not, the guy who displays this information would no doubt argue that he is also "presenting ordered results for mutual benefit". Maybe he has an IPO on the horizon too?

Scraping words from a discussion to present elsewhere, out of context, and with comments that give a slant through incorrect interpretation is (I think) parasitic.

Sounds like the tabloid press to me, LOL!

excell




msg:34011
 3:58 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Errm.. wow! what a thread, it's a great one for showing clients and searchers that there are problems with google.

BUT - can someone please post a quick summary of the main points, I think I only got up to about page 10.

rcjordan




msg:34012
 5:27 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

pmac: In fairness, G isn't the only engine taking heat. There seems to be an undercurrent of discontent running through the webmaster community that I haven't seen in ages.

Agreed, and not just webmasters --the public, most notably via the financial/business press, has come to recognize search as a corporate, profit-driven venture and not just a nice, free service. G is just the lead dog and is feeling the whip.

>seems Google can't please anyone these days

Yep, I agree. Somewhere over the last 5 or 6 months, it seems that G went from 'beloved & trusted flower-child geeks' to 'money-grubbing corporate SOBs,' --maybe it was the IPO run-up? I do think that the timing was waaaay off the mark in Gmail in the US, coming after the public's interest in privacy has been refocused on scumware, the DNC list, and the (obvious failure of) Can-Spam. Had they released it last year, it would likely have been greeted with love & adulation from G fan-dom.

Brett_Tabke




msg:34013
 9:06 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

>sum up the main points.

Sure:

How webmasters feel about a search engine is 100% directly proportional to the number of referrals said search engine sends them.
</end of story>

trimmer80




msg:34014
 9:22 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>How a webmasters feel about a search engine is 100% directly proportional to the number of referrals said search engine sends them.

disagree with that 100%. However could be directly related to the consistancy (or lack thereof) of traffic and the algo.

bboomer




msg:34015
 9:26 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>webmasters feel about a search engine<<<

But how the general public feel about a search engine is dirtectly related to their ability to find what they are looking for.

And slapping the webmaster down and delivering results only people with PHDs can appreciate is another story.

Webmasters will not be the final decision on Google's fate, the searcher will. The information GG gleams from this forum tells him nothing about user experience.

Boomer

BigDave




msg:34016
 9:31 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

How a webmasters feels about a search engine is 100% directly proportional to the number of referrals said search engine sends them.

Boy, that must be confusing if you have lots of sites, and some are going up while others are going down. ;)

That statement is only partially true in my case. Yahoo give me less referrals now than they did when they served up Google results. But a large percentage of their referrals are in areas where I wasn't doing as well in Google.

I also like playing with some of the other SEs to see what sort of results they come up with. I just wish they would all crawl more. Google and Yahoo are the only sites with more than 5% of my pages in their index.

BigDave




msg:34017
 9:44 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

And slapping the webmaster down and delivering results only people with PHDs can appreciate is another story.

I guess that's why I still like Google's results!

So far I've bought 2 PhDs (and got 2 othes as gifts) as well as a DDiv.

All you need to do to like Google's results is to spend $50 and get yourself one of the wonderful PhDs that are sold online.

Marval




msg:34018
 10:20 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Brett - I like that summation - seems to ring true not just here but on other boards as well.

trimmer80




msg:34019
 11:16 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Brett, to say all of the webmasters valid concerns are caused by traffic reductions is crazy, not to mention rude. Unless there are less people using google, lost traffic is always gained traffic to someone else and thus there would be no more concern than usual.

A more appropriate way to put it is the ability to optimise for google has become much less predictable and consistant.

[edited by: trimmer80 at 11:40 pm (utc) on April 13, 2004]

edit_g




msg:34020
 11:24 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

How a webmasters feel about a search engine is 100% directly proportional to the number of referrals said search engine sends them.

That rings true over here. I think, for example, a random sampling of posts from update threads has shown that this is very true indeed, when it comes down to it.

hutcheson




msg:34021
 11:55 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Unless there are less people using google, lost traffic is always gained traffic to someone else and thus there would be no more concern than usual.

Not necessarily: in fact, probably not.

Do you think hotelnow.com cares which of their thousand and one affiliates get the Google hit, as long as they get the sale? If Google gets better at tapping the source directly (or, less bad at filtering out the middlemen) the same number of sales will be occurring at the same merchants -- who do NOT hang out here, because their paid-on-commission-doppelgangers do.

This looks very much like the furor awhile back when airlines realized it was much cheaper to sell tickets on the web than through travel agents, and cut the commission. The travel agents squealed to high heaven, and the airlines really didn't say much in public -- but consumers were getting the same product and same service.

claus




msg:34022
 12:05 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> think I only got up to about page 10.
check your system preferences in the control panel when you read large threads, i'm only on page 5 now

Just wanted to push a quote from todays edition of the largest Danish business daily into the discussion - they (in turn) quote Jacob Nielsen for saying that if you're not on page one of Google you're dead meat (or something to that effect).

He held a nice conference here two weeks ago and presented some interesting findings, and a few of them were actually related to search behaviour, but that's not the point, really. The point is that influential people do listen to that no matter what the webmaster community says. We can argue as much as we like, but i still see Google getting ever more popular in the mainstream media as well as the business press and the business community at large.

Also, today i was at a meeting with a few businesspeople from various parts of the internet research community, and i swear i didn't even mention Google, but Gmail came up nevertheless. I kept my mouth shut (tried at least) but i must say that the issues mentioned were nowhere near those views that have been aired here - not the slightest mention of the "privacy" word, not even the key benefit that you could search your email - they had got the message that it was 1G mail storage (as the name sort of implies) and they were thrilled. As for targetted advertising, they got the idea (somebody else explained it) and they had no immediate reservations other than, "it's not for business use then".

I'd say that is pretty far from the posts i see here, and excuse me for saying this, but the word "siege" is not the first that comes to mind.

Brett_Tabke




msg:34023
 2:20 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

The real issue it would be neat to discuss here is just what is going on with the press. They used to think Google was the darling that could do no wrong. And now, they are attacking at every corner and opportunity. Google introduces a new feature, and it is cause for a negative press story somewhere on the web.

stevenb 1959




msg:34024
 2:46 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

People like controversy, it sells and people like to criticize, we root for the underdog and try to knock down a peg or two, the big guy beating the underdog. It is all just human nature!

ChrisKud5




msg:34025
 2:48 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google will turn into a yahoo type portal, gmail, google news, froogle, are all examples of portal components.

How well have portals done in the past couple of years?

Heading down the wrong path, trouble is sure to follow.

steveb




msg:34026
 2:51 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't think the press angle is suprising. It is the media's longstanding way of operating to build something up to be a "star", and then investigate/attack/needle the "star".

It's cause and effect motor that powers modern media.

markus007




msg:34027
 3:02 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

The real issue it would be neat to discuss here is just what is going on with the press. They used to think Google was the darling that could do no wrong. And now, they are attacking at every corner and opportunity. Google introduces a new feature, and it is cause for a negative press story somewhere on the web.

That happened about the time yahoo dropped google. I would expect yahoo and microsoft have been talking to every reporter in sight about how bad google is. For the most part reporters don't have a clue about tech so someone is educating them and feeding them stories

martinibuster




msg:34028
 3:15 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Not all the press is negative. Just Google Google in Google news.

Sexy girl, what's up with your boyfriend?
Instead of asking what's up with the press, the better question is "What's up with Google?"

Google is taking chances
As any gambler knows, when you take a chance sometimes you win sometimes you lose. What did you expect, that Google would never trip over it's shoelaces?

I respect Google for taking chances and biting off as much as it can.
Some companies aspire to be a leader while others are perennial followers. Google is a leader.

Viva Google.

Tomseys




msg:34029
 4:15 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think the problems started with florida with the keyword killing algo. It wouldnt be so bad if the algo solved problems and made sense but it doesn't seem to have. It just pissed off a lot of honest webmasters (and maybe a few dishonest ones who just threw away the names and adjusted/started over) and substituted directory spam and irrelevant results and even basic original exaggerated spam for logical seo results.

Many people choose their domain names with the targetted keyword in mind and then name their site similar. If you do this it seems often this new ongoing algo takes you out of the results unless you have stunningly good strengths in other aspects.

I think G was a much better search engine pre florida from a webmaster/user point of view. It was not perfect, but it generally made more sense and you knew where you stood. There was spam but that same kind of spam is still there, and primitive spam at that. And generic characterless directeries. But pre florida, with the spam were some very relevant results. I see less of that now. Many aspects of legal seo were common sense. Your title of your site or page reflected the content. Now it seems that that is not what is important and may even be penalized.

It seems many webmasters, an important part of the little people/user base, are unhappy. My guess is that this is not helping G.

Anyway, I do wish google well.

Learning Curve




msg:34030
 4:26 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think Google burnt years worth of goodwill with Florida.

In October, Google was a hero. Journalist rarely wrote negative stories.

Florida, however, caused such a wave of negative emotions about Google that journalists slowly started to realize that now they wouldn't be tarred and feathered if that attacked Google.

By January, the shield of goodwill was largely gone and since then journalists have started to treat Google more like they treat other businesses, that is, they look for the dirt.

dhaliwal




msg:34031
 4:54 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Lot of time google has enjoyed being the best

lot of people are now coming up

yahoo kicked google and launched its own crawling.

i hope they also launch yahoo adsense

and there are more contextual ad providers.

MSN is also trying to tap search markets.

Gmail will eat up lot of advertising of adsense, so publishers will face less adverts.

Also local search lowers the traffic of websites

So google will face annoyance from lot more people

Marls




msg:34032
 5:35 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just saw this thread. It's terrific. And here's my 2 cents.

Google is run by the programmers. Programmers crunch code, not sell throughs. Hence there apparently is no real-world testing of this stuff before they unleash it. That unleashing can, and I believe is well documented in this thread does, wreck havoc to the sell-throughs of paying, and unsuspecting customers.

The programmers who crunch code also seem it find a good idea to not clue their frontline, read that customer support staff, into the real goings-on. And there apparently isn't much, if any, sharing of new types of complaints amongst the customer support staff which keeps them in the dark about real world problems and enables them to whole heartedly deny that any problem exists when clearly it does.

G isn't being built, or run, for us. I'd suggest that the programmers spend a day or two in focus groups of real users once a month - to see and hear the real world consequences of their actions.

This 245 message thread spans 9 pages: < < 245 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 > >
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