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Google Windows Web Accelerator
Brett_Tabke




msg:736302
 8:09 pm on May 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

[webaccelerator.google.com...]


System Requirements
Operating System: Win XP or Win 2000 SP3+
Browser: IE 5.5+ or Firefox 1.0+
Availability: For users in North America and Europe (during beta testing phase)

Press Release:

Google Web
Accelerator significantly reduces the time that it takes broadband users to
download and view web pages. The Google Web Accelerator appears as a small
speedometer in the browser chrome with a cumulative "Time saved" indicator.

Here's how it works. A user downloads and installs the client and begins
browsing the web as she normally would. In the background, the Google Web
Accelerator employs a number of techniques to speed up the delivery of
content to users.

Looks like some of the Mozilla hires are paying dvidends.

 

Powdork




msg:736692
 9:11 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not a big fan of the WA, but
Try to block it, and there's a better than average chance your site will disappear from the Google index completely, or at least be, uh, 'penalized'.
is pure conjecture on your part and you are passing it off as fact. There is also no proof at this time that it will have any influence on search results, but I wouldn't be against that. Human use of a link is a good way to determine how much of a vote the webmaster (of the page the link is on) wants to give.
LeoXIV




msg:736693
 9:32 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

did GoogleGuy say this is a transparent proxy?

rise2it




msg:736694
 9:44 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)


Sorry , powdork, not trying to pass any comments in the previous posts as 'fact'.

The 'fact' is we don't know what's going to happen. We don't know how they're going to use this. We don't know what other companies will 'copy' the idea and what they will do with it.

We've got about 400 posts dealing with potential negatives. And many of those are VERY valid arguments against it.

In business, I prefer to head off problems before they start. Unable to do that, I prefer to catch something and deal with it while it's small, before it gets out of hand.

If this thing catches on, and any of the negatives are indeed true, then what?

oneguy




msg:736695
 10:17 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Leo...

0. turn on the WA
1. go to any web site that you are a member of
2. and their login is NOT https but HTTP (like this very prestigious forum)
3. and then enter your password and ID.

Powdork in response to Leo...

That doesn't work for all of us. Or, maybe, it does work for some of us. Anyway, my access to this site hasn't been affected when using it. At least as far as I can tell.

I believe Leo's point was not about access to forums in general or WW in particular. It was that there are forms everywhere that are sent in plain text. How many forms will we have to fill out before Google knows quite a bit? (If that wasn't your point, Leo, my apologoies... I'll claim it, myself.)

From their WA privacy policy...

Page requests and data sent in encrypted form using an HTTPS connection will not go through Google. It is possible that some personally identifiable information could be sent to Google, if the information is sent without using an encrypted (HTTPS) connection.

It is possible? Huh? Not clear at all. Seems like a yes or no thing to me, on regular form input being collected and stored.

RichTC




msg:736696
 10:41 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just catching the back end of this thread.

So in effect then a customer fills out detail about a widgets order on my site, wants 50 orders of X and 50 of Y then pays on HTTPS when he enters his visa, the concencus is that Google will know everything about the order, the customer, frequency of the order etc only bit missing will be his credit card number from the https payment side?.

If this is the case its time to kill big brother now. This is a step to far.

TrustNo1




msg:736697
 11:10 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google has been down last 10 minutes for me. Adsense doesn't show, toolbar doesn't work etc.

Namaste




msg:736698
 11:13 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

CONFIRM: Google is down

Namaste




msg:736699
 11:14 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Error: Host Not Accessible

The web host news.google.com is not accessible.

Possible sources of this error:

* The host name is invalid
* There was a DNS error
* The web site may be unavailable
* You may not be connected to the internet

Please edit the URL, or search for it using Google.

Google Web Accelerator version 0.2.52.65-pintail.a
Windows XP 5.1

incrediBILL




msg:736700
 11:15 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

RichTC said:
So in effect then a customer fills out detail <snip> that Google will know everything about the order, the customer, frequency of the order etc

Yup.

What's more, thanks to PRE-FETCH, as the customer may mouse over a few "add to order" buttons or links while surfing your store it has been reported that Google puts them in your cart without your action! Imagine the customer hysteria over "my cart had someone else's items in it, your site is not secure!" and the resulting lost sales.

Thanks Google! ;)

Namaste




msg:736701
 11:15 pm on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google.com just came back up.

News.Google.com is down

LeoXIV




msg:736702
 12:21 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

yes oneguy, thats what i meant :) my pleasure, i share it with you.

of course, one might say 'just dont use it, if you dont like your http form data captured', fair enough, i WONT!

However messing up with my GeoIP targeting thats really an
acrimonious
proposal.

philaweb




msg:736703
 1:25 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

>Just how do you figure that pre-fetching costs YOU bandwidth? They prefetch your site, and when visitors go to YOUR site, the content is pulled from THEIR servers, which saves YOU hosting bandwidth.<

First off, visitors with the WA enabled do not go to my website... well, they think they do, but they are served a cached pre-fetched version of my website, right?

My website stats wont be particularly precise will they?

Secondly, if the visitor visits a dynamic website, I do not think they would like to get old content, i.e. cached versions of a message board etc.

So, Google has to fetch the latest copy on request, which means the same bandwith use - if it hadn't been for the fact that the visitors browser also fetches a copy (according to my weblogs).

Perhaps the system can be improved along the way. But, I do not see how Google can improve the speed of my website pages in a way I could not myself.

Finally, I think the whole concept of saving time being on the internet is psychological. Who in his right mind is counting time with a cable connection paid for 24/7?

cyanweb




msg:736704
 1:28 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

So in effect then a customer fills out detail about a widgets order on my site, wants 50 orders of X and 50 of Y then pays on HTTPS when he enters his visa, the concencus is that Google will know everything about the order, the customer, frequency of the order etc only bit missing will be his credit card number from the https payment side?.

That is probably right... scary.

i can see a need to change privacy policies all over the web - adding in "if you have Google Web Accellerator turned on, any information you send via standard enquiry forms may be collected and analysed by Google"

looks like a lot of secure certificates will need to be registered... and a lot of forms converted to https if concerned about your client's privacy... and that puts the pressure on us webmasters to deal with the GWAr...

[edited by: cyanweb at 1:31 am (utc) on May 8, 2005]

mrMister




msg:736705
 1:31 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

They prefetch your site, and when visitors go to YOUR site, the content is pulled from THEIR servers

In a large proportion of cases, that isn't the case, now what were you saying...

I mean, wow, hearsay slander about a service that apparently most people don't even fully understand the workings of

philaweb




msg:736706
 1:34 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

>awesome way for them to enjoy invisible speed increases compared to competitive services.<

I simply love the word invisible in this context. Yes, the time savings are invisible to the end user, if it had not been for the tiny speedometer.

How on earth is it possible for the ordinary end user to check time savings? It is the good old trick of making the box larger with the same content inside and claim more value for the same money.

The only parameter for selling the WA is the goodwill for Google amongst their customers, which is precisely the key issue - good will.

mrMister




msg:736707
 1:37 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

My website stats wont be particularly precise will they?

They're not particulary precise any way. Figures such as unique visitors and return visitors will be completely out.

Web site statistics can be used to monitor trends. You can be done just as well with a good proportional sample of data which will be acheived even if proxy servers to cache your data.

I assume you're setting the relevant HTTP headers to prevent proxy servers from caching data on your servers in which case Google WA's proxy won't cache the data either.

philaweb




msg:736708
 1:42 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

>So in effect then a customer fills out detail about a widgets order on my site, wants 50 orders of X and 50 of Y then pays on HTTPS when he enters his visa, the concencus is that Google will know everything about the order, the customer, frequency of the order etc only bit missing will be his credit card number from the https payment side?.<

Why not make the plunge - and turn your website 100% encrypted? HTTPS pages are not pre-fetched by WA and you would be adding a safe environment to your website - since the order details in theory already could be collected by either Microsoft, the customers ISP, your ISP, your webhost or anyone else listening out there.

incrediBILL




msg:736709
 2:16 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just how do you figure that pre-fetching costs YOU bandwidth? They prefetch your site, and when visitors go to YOUR site, the content is pulled from THEIR servers, which saves YOU hosting bandwidth.

Reading the whole thread before posting would be helpful in this case.

Some of us with dynamice sites use NO-CACHE so there is no caching, there is no savings, pre-fetching burns bandwidth that is only useful if they view the page. Before you rant about why we use NO-CACHE, imagine the choas caching would have on this forum as you couldn't display your last post, or the last 10 posts, yad yada yada.

Next, imagine your whole office network is pre-fetching and your little DSL line chokes and dies.

Have a nice day.

incrediBILL




msg:736710
 3:07 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks theBear :)

I'd like to see everyone on the web using pre-fetch during peak times and watch the festivies, I really would.

Teaser news:
"Tune in at 11-o-clock to see why Federal Investigators are turning their attention to Google as they continue to probe today's mysterious 4 hour collapse of the internet in the US western states."

LeoXIV




msg:736711
 3:42 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Alex protocol provides the best of all worlds in that it can be tuned to ....produce a stale rate of less than 5%"

from the first paper in this link:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=cache+consistency&btnG=Google+Search

Fascinating it is, now the question for a merchant is that how do I figure out that my 2% conversion rate will fall in the fresh content area or the 5% stale content area?

From statistical point of WA will provide enough data to analyze the distribution of conversion rate over fresh side or the stale side.

Furthermore, Google's experiment will provide far better quality data, as opposed to the simulation data that the above paper is based on.

Chndru




msg:736712
 3:58 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Taken down:

Thank you for your
interest in Google Web Accelerator.
We have currently reached our
maximum capacity of users and
are actively working to increase
the number of users we can support.

[webaccelerator.google.com...]

LeoXIV




msg:736713
 5:52 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would be disappointed if what is posted on WA's site is even remotely the real reason for taking it off.

reseller




msg:736714
 7:51 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes...taken down

Congratulation Google. You lost another big portion of your creditability and good-will within the publishers communities.

And POWER to all decent publishers who stand united to protect their contents and privacy.

TravelMan




msg:736715
 8:05 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

still available for download here in the uk

bird




msg:736716
 9:22 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes...taken down

Congratulation Google. You lost another big portion of your creditability and good-will within the publishers communities.

Why are you still chastising them, now that they have done the right thing?

While I still think that web "acceleration" through prefetching is a fundamentally bad idea, I really appreciate Google experimenting with all kinds of applications. Some people seem to think of Google as a homogenous entity, where every little move ist planned out in the long term as a means to some sinister ulterior motives. I doubt this is the case.

The experiment (and hopefully definitive failure) of GWA shows that many people in the Plex play with many different ideas. Even with a bunch of brilliant Phds, some of those ideas are bound to turn out better than others. The great ones will increase their usefulness with scale, others will become counter-productive after reaching a certain saturation point. GWA clearly belongs to the second category, may it rest in peace.

reseller




msg:736717
 10:01 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

bird

>Why are you still chastising them, now that they have done the right thing?<

I just wonder if Google would have done "the right thing" by itself without the impact of this thread and other relevant threads and articles elsewhere.

>While I still think that web "acceleration" through prefetching is a fundamentally bad idea, I really appreciate Google experimenting with all kinds of applications.<

Nothing wrong in experimenting and developing new products, as long as you honor and respect the properties of other people, which Google didn't do in this case.

Matt Probert




msg:736718
 10:28 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ouch!
My sites struggle under their load as is. Google requests that we do not send automated queries to them, as it increases their load without monetization and can cause them problems. This is just plain meanspirited to unleash these unrequested requests on us.

Cry foul webmasters, it's not fair for Google to generate unrequested requests to our sites.

C'mon Google, do no evil. My site's speed is limited by load, not data transfer and this application will only contribute to my load.

Give me an easy way to opt out of prefetching please. If you expect people to have the courtesy to respect Google's load issues then don't unleash a DDos on us.

You and us both. This system offers nothing to us as a publisher, and I fail to see how it offers anything to the reader, other than false promises of faster access.

Matt

Namaste




msg:736719
 11:23 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

that "taken down" notice has appeared shortly after the Google downtime reported on pages 40 and 41 of this thread

philaweb




msg:736720
 11:54 am on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

>While I still think that web "acceleration" through prefetching is a fundamentally bad idea, I really appreciate Google experimenting with all kinds of applications. Some people seem to think of Google as a homogenous entity, where every little move ist planned out in the long term as a means to some sinister ulterior motives. I doubt this is the case.<

I agree. The process of trial,error,success being transparent to everyone gives Google more credibility than others.

In the WA case it is a deadborn bird that just needed a push out of the nest to prove gravity.

claus




msg:736721
 12:37 pm on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I really appreciate Google experimenting with all kinds of applications. Some people seem to think of Google as a homogenous entity, where every little move ist planned out in the long term as a means to some sinister ulterior motives. I doubt this is the case.

Bird, there are many Google employees. There are many 20% projects, probably more than one per employee on average. Even though Google likes to make stuff seem less significant by using "beta" and "experimental", there's an important difference between "real experiments" and what we get to see. It's just the same as when they say they have "more than 10,000 servers" and plainly refuse to give out any facts about anything what so ever, except "funny stuff". The only purpose is to make all of it seem less important.

We don't even get to see the tip of the iceberg. It's all a smokescreen designed to keep competitors, customers, and the general society uninformed but happy at any particular time. Now, that sounds like tin foil, but it's not. It's not "good", it's not "bad" - it's just a very clever way to run a very large business, keeping people thinking that it's small and insignificant.

I'm not talking about "sinister ulterior motives", that's cr*p, so forget it. Also, all that nonsense about "good" and "evil" is just more kindergarten talk, and it's all part of the smokescreen. This is business -- nothing more, nothing less -- big business, even. It's so big business that it goes way over the head of most people here, and Google would very much like to keep it that way, which is why they keep using that "cute little garage startup" image.

Google is the world's largest advertising agency, with a search engine as loss leader. It is also the advertising agency with most hardware, most software, and most really clever people employed. Plus, even though you employ dozens of PHDs, there are really limits to how stupid you can possibly be from a business P.O.V. when you run a billion dollar public company.

I don't believe this one has been put to sleep. They are probably just reconfiguring their DNS and servers, and then it comes back.

As to how "experimental" Google's "experiments" really are - when was the last time Google ever recalled a product?

willybfriendly




msg:736722
 1:16 pm on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have been following this thread closely. Appreciate the expertise that has been shared by so many.

There is no reason to believe that G has "taken down" the WA. One of the ways to increase desire for something is to make it difficult to get. Look at G-Mail, still by invite? Still in Beta?

The other thing I would add, already alluded to by others, is that the claim of "faster" broadband connections does not have to have much validity. (I did not download WA.) The speedmeter that people reference could just as easily be like a hit counter that gives bogus numbers to create the illusion of a popular site.

The significant thing about WA is the data that G acquires at very little cost. Data about human behavior that is. Googlewatch has gained a new level of credibility in my eyes as I have watched this unfold.

I would guess that WA was downloaded and is in use by a statistically significant sample population by now. That means that G now has access to data about web user behaviors far beyond what is available to anybody else. That data is priceless, even without "personally identifying information".

A brilliant move from the perspective of market research and analysis. Believing that G has taken this down due to the outcry of the webmaster community, and applauding them for doing so, simply perpetuates the myth that G can "do no evil", IMHO.

WBF

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