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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?
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]
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.
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.
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.
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
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
(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.
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...).
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.
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.
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
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]
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!