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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?

 

SyntheticUpper




msg:34062
 6:52 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy,

There is a theme running throughout this thread - and it is one of blatant commercialisation.

It is hard to ignore, and I appreciate it might be difficult for you to deal with.

But I think it needs addressing.

[edited by: SyntheticUpper at 6:53 pm (utc) on April 14, 2004]

Duke51




msg:34063
 6:52 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

No, its called moderation. It's kept us out of all sorts of difficulties - you get my drift :)

I get your drift and agree.

IITian




msg:34064
 7:05 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

>He said many reporters and shops feel threatened by it. The News section represents complete power over internet news and the ability to set the agenda in Googles favor/image net wide.

Yes, the media Gods are angry. They (NYTimes, LATimes, WashPost, ...) won't rest until G modifies its news to display their spins on top.

More importantly, powerful and rich who relied on ignorance of the masses feel most threatened by internet. In past they knew everything about the masses, now even the masses know a lot about them by diligently researching about them on the internet.

Finally, I believe, that if Google has to survive, it will have to become more like what they want it to become. Otherwise, Google will be constantly attacked by them and we, the sheeple, will follow them.

JudgeJeffries




msg:34065
 7:47 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy,
Youre obviously reading this thread and I would be grateful if you would answer one simple question that will not compromise you or Google in any respect. Assuming that some one from Google actually reads the spam reports why dont you at least deal with those reports instead of merely indicating that you do not want hand to hand spam fighting. If the members here have taken the trouble of writing to you often at your request quoting a particular 'password' why is nothing whatsoever done?

SyntheticUpper




msg:34066
 8:17 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

GG wrote:

Let's not turn this into a debate on European values compared to U.S. values or we'll never get back on topic. :)

In all seriousness GG, this *is* important, because your search results, your adverts, your spam filters, etc.etc. are world-wide - they reflect Google's values.

And for the record, I was on topic, it's just that you've highlighted something important.

I've always thought of this as *my* Internet, along with a few billion others.

It's not *your* Internet: neither is it Am*zon's, or EB*ys.

If you f*ck it up, I'll never forgive you; but to my dismay, I think you're already half way there.

With respect.

Ozdachs




msg:34067
 8:37 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google’s results just aren’t as useful as they were.

I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories, and I don’t mind companies making money and becoming huge and hugely profitable. I don’t expect Google to care if my sites rank high or low.

But, if I am looking for widgets and I find only directories of widgets, hotels in widget city, and passing references of widget makers doing other things, then I am not happy with Google results.

Google fixed something that was not fundamentally broken.

Reading other people’s posts, I see the collateral damage done by Google’s fixes. That damage -- without obvious benefits for searchers -- is enough to fuel a substantial part of any outcry.

The way Google has handled its algorithm change has been an uncomfortable combination of secrecy (normal for G) and self-righteousness (“we are just giving the best results”- “we’re doing no evil”). This stance by an organization with almost monopoly power doesn’t sit well.

I am happy for the people who say that their results are better. That simply has not been my experience as a searcher.

moricante




msg:34068
 8:52 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

>we've been experimenting with how to make search and Google better

GoogleGuy.

Your arguments are very superficial. You talk about "experimenting"...:-)))

1. First of all begin with elementar (!) recognition of fonts same colour as background (not even in CSS)
2. THEN start detecting META REFRESH
3. If possible I would experiment with a JavaScript-Emulator, helping you to detect 70% of DWPs
4. Stop cultivating an myth (technical superiority, etc.) that doesn't exist

If you wish, I can send you a 80 MB-List of sites using these primitive techniques and fooling Google's "intelligent technology"...It still works very well GoogleGuy and that is not good for Google. So, stop with myth-marketing and try to fix real existing, elementar problems!

Sincerely, your German Mathematician

moricante




msg:34069
 9:04 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy, please take a look here: [dbpubs.stanford.edu...]

...something very interesting about a method of stopping spam. TrustRank instead of PageRank!

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:34070
 9:14 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

(Evidently, from some of the postings here, Europeans see making money as a bad thing.)

WRONG! Some of us believe that making money at all costs is a bad thing. Especially when it is so obvious to anyone with half a brain and the companies who do this deny it. Since you want to criticise we Europeans let's have a look at what you have given us.

The USA is the only country in the world capable of turning burgers and soft drinks into necessities for kids worldwide, while fully believing that this is acceptable. We don't need them thank you! Take them back. Do you think we are grateful for these things?

Bear with me, this is not off topic. I go on holiday (OK vacation) to places like Greece Spain and Portugal. Until quite recently I used to marvel at the young people there sitting in restaurants relishing fresh fruit, vegetables and green salads, all the stuff I had to plead with my own kids to eat. Now I see them queuing for greasy burgers and frozen fries.

The Internet a couple of years ago was the green salad of computing. All of this new commercialised cr@p is turning it into a greasy burger and I am beginning to suffer from Internet heartburn.

I need to make money but I don't need to rule the world. We don't need another C*ca C*la or M*cD*n*lds. Neither do we need any company to dominate the Internet like you know who dominates personal computing.

Google as a search engine - great! (well used to be and probably could be again.)
Google as an ad laden, privacy invading email provider - hmmm, no thank you!
Google as a hosting company or anything similar - hmmm, no thank you!
Google as an Adwords provider - umm, whatever!
Google as an Adsense seller - whatever!
Google as a directory - waste of time!
Google as a personalized search provider - who cares!
Google web alerts - who cares?
Google as Froogle - what another shopping directory?
Google as a local search - I already largely know who does what in my location!
Google news alerts - I have no time to waste on this. I can buy a paper when I do have the time.

Can a suitable competitor (or two or three or four) please float to the surface - pleeeease? Otherwise the Internet as we now know it is doomed.

GoogleGuy




msg:34071
 9:15 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the pointer, moricante. I actually read that paper a little while ago. JudgeJeffries, I think several people reported that their feedback was addressed when Brandy came out.

spinweb




msg:34072
 9:21 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

GG - If you will permit me to make one comment to the complaint about American influence.

It is simple economics...

DON'T buy the food and those restaurants will close.

The same philosophy can be applied to your other complaints.

Please Be Gentle




msg:34073
 9:26 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

SyntheticUpper, BeeDeeDubbleU et al
I am proud to be European (but won't bore you with my pro-European credentials), and frankly I find your comments cringe-inducing and divisive. Please do not reduce what should be a mature debate to a simplistic "Europe vs U.S." slagging match. The whole Europe vs U.S. topic was originally broached in the Gmail debate with respect to data privacy laws, which do indeed differ. I made the point there that Google hadn't "just got it wrong with the Europeans" but had managed to irritate a wide variety of nationalities. I take exception to your shielding yourself behind the "European trump card" and then proceeding to display an utter lack of respect for your fellow Webmaster World members. That's not what European means to me. One of the reasons I love WebmasterWorld is the fact that it embraces all nationalities, backgrounds, genders, etc. Everyone is equal and should treat others and be treated with equal dignity and respect ( even GoogleGuy). Before you write me off as some sort of "GoogleGuy or Google sycophant", you can cast a glance at my comments in the Gmail forum, and you will see that I have no qualms about criticising Google when I deem it appropriate. Anyway, as our American colleagues would say, "enough already", lets stop with this spurious inference that inhabitants of one continent or one country are superior to those of another. That simply isn't true - when you live in other countries you see that human beings are equally flawed the world over. In the words of a quintessential European, Socrates,"I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world", so as citizen of (Webmaster) World let us get back on topic in a civilized manner, please!
With Best Regards
Please Be Gentle

Duke51




msg:34074
 9:26 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wasn't being critical, just making an observation. In fact, many Americans agree with the views you expressed, especially when it comes to greed and Google's attempt to be all.

[edited by: Duke51 at 9:32 pm (utc) on April 14, 2004]

moricante




msg:34075
 9:31 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy,

You talked about advanced technologies and your Labs...OK. Why aren't you able to resolve even elementar problems, damaging Google's reputation? The most primitive techniques still work...more than before the famous updates (Florida, Austin, Brandy...).

1....no answer
2....no answer
3....no answer
4. Why doesn't Google stop the subdomain spamming: keyword1.keyword2.mydomain.de.vu...it's simple, isn't it?

It's quite easy to repeat permanently the marketing-phrases of your sales people:...democracy, making results better, etc. Unfortunately, current SERPs don't confirm these statements. Just try to make things better concerning search technologies and not trying to copy trivial web services strategies...If you do this, I think Google will still remain No 1.

Respectfully, Moricante

Freedom




msg:34076
 9:43 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think listening to that Tatu CD backwards sent another anti-American over the edge.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:34077
 10:02 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

lets stop with this spurious inference that inhabitants of one continent or one country are superior to those of another.

Why do you twist people's words? Read again, I never made any reference to Europeans being better than anyone else so please do not try to suggest that I did. I have had the privilege of visiting the USA many times and in general the people there are more welcomng, friendlier and more mannerly than those in most European countries including my own.

My comments were in no way critical of the American people and I take offence that you suggest otherwise. What I was criticising was the American style of world dominating commercialism, which I fully believe is flawed. I also believe that if this is the direction that Google is headed then the Internet will never be the same again.

claus




msg:34078
 11:05 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

oh, i'm an European too, albeit not particularly proud of it, but i do value threads on topic *hint,hint*

The current debate has some "monopoly fears" to it, ie. when a company becomes sufficiently large within any field, will they still be able to deliver? Also, it is true that Google, while growing in basic search, has also spread across quite a few other subjects, the relatedness of which might be hard to see at first view.

Yahoo have recently made a search move, and to me it seems they deliver good results (on par with the ATW search experience of late, which, imho, were on par with Google). I doubt that we will see the hot air otherwise known as The All-new Microsoft Search anytime soon (just a feeling, no specific evidence, and i might be wrong).

I think the Google people have a lot of very high expectations running against them. Somehow they have been so far ahead in the search game for so long that when another SE delivers results that are on par or only marginally worse it gives the impression that Google is lacking seriously behind.

Because of the expectations, they simply have to be very much better than the rest on basic search and not just "better" or "just as good" in order to be perceived as succesful. For competitors, this means that they don't really have to be quite as good to be perceived as being so. All the other nice things that Google does with the labs and email and all just doesn't count in this equation, as the perception is that of a Search Engine, so the focus is on SERPS.

This could be dangerous, as it lowers the barriers for competitors - people could very well perceive a benefit in using a competitor that offered less features than Google - as long as it delivered well on the most important part (the SERPS). Quite similar to the start of Google itself, really.

OTOH, there are probably diminishing returns to algo improvement - meaning: Some kind of level might exist where all kinds of different algos tend to give results of a similar quality, ie. improvements may happen, but they're incremental, not drastic. If so, index size becomes very important - not only how many pages are included, but potentially also what isn't, and why. (pure speculation, of course)

Added: ...and working with offering more options on that first page of course, eg. choosing the top 10 in a different manner than the rest, or doing clusters or whatever. I forgot that, sorry

Please Be Gentle




msg:34079
 11:54 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

BeeDeeDubbleU
With all due respect, I don't believe I twisted the words of anyone and apologize if you think that I did.The post was not just directed at you, but you did say:
"The USA is the only country in the world capable of turning burgers and soft drinks into necessities for kids worldwide, while fully believing that this is acceptable." If by this what you were "criticising was the American style of world dominating commercialism" as opposed to the USA itself, I will take your word for it. I don't want to be drawn into further debate or semantic-splitting on the matter as what I wanted was for people to return to the topic of the thread.
With Best Regards
PBG

Leosghost




msg:34080
 9:58 am on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

<<anyone seeing anything on the Google servers that's unusual?>>

dont' go there ..don't begin panics ...don't use the "U" word.....

he's just goofing off from whatever he does for real ...after all he has said he isn't in PR ;))

(re-edited due to typing mistakes on "bloody" french keyboard )

[edited by: Leosghost at 10:59 am (utc) on April 15, 2004]

SyntheticUpper




msg:34081
 10:47 am on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

For my part, there was no intention of criticising the USA. Quite the opposite, nice people, and a successful nation.

The issue arose when it was suggested that Europeans don't seek profits. In fact I was trying to educe that it is possible to make a profit, without being so commercially obsessed that you lose sight of your original mission. Companies that lose sight of this don't last. That is my concern with Google. I would hate to think I have offended any of my American cousins.

Regards

Brett_Tabke




msg:34082
 4:26 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

lets try to stay on topic. I know they tend to wander in big threads like this, but the scope of the subject is still pretty clear. No, the type of underwear Larry Page wears does not apply...

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:34083
 10:04 am on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I visited an Internet Archive site that I know to remind myself what Google used to look like and what they stood for. Here is a statement from "Why use Google" of five years ago.

Google Brings Order to the Web
Google is designed to impose order on information chaos. It's what a search service should be; not an edited, limited directory or a list of results that have been auctioned to the highest bidder, but a thoughtful method of organizing the Internet according to its own structure.

Oh how I yearn for those halcyon days on the Internet!

shailesh




msg:34084
 10:58 am on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

i think it is 'b'

google does not force you to use it's services. remebering the old adage that 'there is no such thing as a free lunch', it would be unwise to expect google to allow such a whopping mail space without anything in return.

HarryM




msg:34085
 11:30 am on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have been away for a few days so have only just caught up with this thread. I don't want to add to the Europe-US divide, but there is a point worth making.

Europeans are already suffering from a vast increase in email spam, most of which originates from the US where there appears to be little action taken to stop it. Not just porn, but insurance, stock offers, and all the rest of the junk I have no interest in - and all priced in $s. I am wary that the same trend could happen with search results where serps become filled with small time US-based commercial operators, especially affiliates.

Google has an uphill task in presenting serps that please all. If they pleased me, I am sure that there would be lots of people squealing.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:34086
 12:03 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Harry, this may be off topic but you touched a nerve with me. What effect (if any) will this have on Spam? Until recently I was in the habit of doing a Whois on all spam received and formally raising a complaint to the ISPs.

I stopped this when I received a reply from a fairly well known, US based provider saying that they had passed my complaint to the offender and if it happened again they would take action.

If the spammer had the knowhow and had been so inclined he could have wreaked untold damage on my business. I have stopped reporting most spam as a result.

I am totally peed off with indiscriminate spam from the USA offering to sell me tube stock, sure thing investments, "guaranteed number one" placements and property in Nowheresville.

SyntheticUpper




msg:34087
 12:13 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just delete them.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:34088
 1:01 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I do now, although I make a point of forwarding the fraud attempts to the Metropolitan Police.

scareduck




msg:34089
 5:51 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

For what it's worth:

Growing companies often get to a point where they feel they can either safely disregard or carelessly ignore the negative consequences their actions have upon their customers. Microsoft crossed that threshold a long time ago. Google is at that nexus now.

dataguy




msg:34090
 12:56 am on Apr 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wow, great information!

I just spent an hour reading this thread, starting to reply several times then deciding to read on before replying. I had no idea I'd get a lesson in Euro/American sociology and instructions for reporting spammers before the conclusion. A little off track, but good information none-the-less.

Back to the "G" issue... Maybe it's a little on the shallow American side (I'm feeling pretty self-conscious right now) but I think it can be explained with the saying "All politics is local".

Google has hurt a lot of people in a place that is very near and dear to us, right in the wallet. (I think this applies globally, not just here in America where we fund 95% of all research and development World-wide.)

For the record, I'm making more money today because of Google than I was last year without Google. Also, I've got over 150 email addresses but I'd still love to have a Gmail account as well, ads and all.

Keep up the good dialogue!

HarryM




msg:34091
 1:05 am on Apr 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

we fund 95% of all research and development World-wide

I'd love to know where that figure came from... Oh, I forgot. It's election year.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:34092
 8:50 am on Apr 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

we fund 95% of all research and development World-wide

Thank you very much for that (from the rest of the World, i.e. the other 5%)

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