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Googled!

Interesting article on Google in the Boston Globe Magazine

   
12:48 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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[boston.com...]
1:21 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jeremy_goodrich is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Nice article, thanks for the link. 600 employees now? Wow. I didn't realize they had that many...their editing staff must be quite large. :)
1:31 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Good grief... I'm gonna have to save reading this until I've got a couple of gins under my belt. Half way through the first page and it's annoying me already.

(Google is...)The first tool truly to make sense of the white noise that is the Internet,

Bollocks! It's the latest. It's possibly the best so far. But that's all.

Instead of calling their doctor,some people type their symptoms into Google; a few have learned they were in the early stages of a heart attack.

Adding Darwin Award candidates back into the gene pool? We're messing with natural selection here! I'm not sure that's something I'd be looking at as a positive. (tongue firmly in cheek.. mostly)

It's a search engine. Just like a hundred others. It's neither God nor the Devil, and the information it catalogs is only as reliable as its source... which most often is dubious at best.

Too often events which are really about the nature of the internet itself are being credited to Google - where the only real connection is that the users in question choose, by virtue of their internet savvy or lack of, Google as their pathway to the information.

<Disclaimer> post-breakup, pre-menstrual, sleep-deprived, caffiene-overdosed.. take your pick. I'll be nicer tomorrow. promise. </disclaimer>

ps... I love Google... I'm starting to really dislike journos though.

2:15 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I thought it was funny how they avoided any technical jargon like "no index, no follow".
2:19 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



>600 employees now?

I wonder if that includes temp workers or not?

2:25 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Temp employees? Like spam reporters?
2:27 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>600 employees now?

I wonder how many are technical and how many are in sales?

3:41 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how much Google paid for this article?

All hail Google! All hail Google!.........

8:32 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Well, he has a point. When I type my mother's name into Google, the only entry that comes up is a local newspapaer story where she hit a child with her car.

The child is fine by the way :)

My mum wasn't too pleased when I told her!

10:15 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Nice article, thanks for the link. 600 employees now? Wow. I didn't realize they had that many...their editing staff must be quite large.

I do not think they include pigeons [google.com] in the 600 employees...

11:22 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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> "As Larry and Sergey say, our goal is to organize the world's information!"

?!
Meaning that the world's information is _unorganized_? Reminds me of those people who claim to _know_ that the world is not perfect.

IMNSHO chaos is in the eye of the beholder.

But they surely have built a good SE. :)

4:10 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)



In the last year, Google - whose youthful founders eventually relented and brought in an adult CEO - has introduced new sites focused on news and shopping (froogle.com).

When they say 'adult CEO', does that mean that the CEO has a lot of sites with naked people, or that the CEO is over the age of 18? And if Sergey is 30, why is he not considered a grown up?

6:01 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Interesting to see the different reactions to this story.

I think Google's policies are pretty good in this area. A webmaster can control what shows up from their site with robots.txt or meta tags or passwords. If a "secret" page leaks out because a site owner neglected to use the standard protection methods, Google provides an "automatic url removal" tool that lets webmasters remove their own pages 24 hours a day without even needing to contact Google.

On the other hand, if someone writes something that you don't like, the right place to go is the other webmaster. After all, if that page is still up on the web, it can be found with other search engines, or directly. If they take the page down, then we can update our index shortly thereafter to refresh/remove that page.

So in SlyOldDog's case, his mother would need to write to the newpaper and ask that that page be removed. If you think about it, that's appropriate, because the newspaper is the one that put the page up and should decide whether the page should be removed.

6:23 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sorry Sly, i can't see your point. A search for SlyOldDogMum didn't return any result ...

:)

6:27 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The problem is, it's often difficult to find who to contact to remove the information. I was once googling myself, and ended up on a page of tax information where someone had my lastname as a first name. If I had been on that page, I would have been very upset.

Last year, I was researching women's health issues, and ended up on a page full of patient names, ages, and medical details. Yikes!

6:42 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think it is very simple to control where your name may or may not appear on the internet (or otherwise) and what details may or may not be made public.

Keep your nose clean, work hard, play hard ... and make sure you don't get caught doing the latter!

A friend of mine who was recently visiting the BVI went out on a bit of a bender one night. When he woke up the next morning, he came into the kitchen and saw that I was reading the paper. He looked at me with very bleary eyes and asked, "Did anyone call for me?" I said, "No." He poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down and asked, "Is my name in the paper?" I said, "No." He said, "Have the police been here this morning?" I said, "No."

He stood up, headed back into the bedroom and said, "Well, whatever I did ... I guess it was mostly legal!" He then promptly collapsed back into bed, spilling his coffee and breaking the mug in the process. :)

The point is, if you don't want any info out there about you, either don't make it a matter of public record (don't offer private info) ... or don't get caught doing something you shouldn't be doing! ;)

9:50 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Liane,

There are plenty of things that I'm "supposed" to do that can still get me in trouble with malicious individuals on the net. For instance, I could go to college...I think universities have generally cleaned up their policies regarding the information they throw up on their websites, but 10 minutes with Alltheweb in the hands of the wrong person could be used the same way it was against the unfortunate girl in the article.

11:44 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The people whose medical records I found posted on the web didn't do anything wrong. The folks whose financial information I found on the web didn't do anything wrong....

Speaking of college, there are 2 websites (that I know of) which post students' opinions of college/university instructors. It brings up some interesting freedom of speech/slander type issues.

I wonder what would happen if the university instructors got together, and created a web site of 'problem students'. We could name all the students who cheat, all the students who plagiarize, and all the students who, sadly, seem to have the same parent passing away each semester, right before the final project is due.

Somehow, I don't think it would fly....

10:15 am on Feb 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vitaplease is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I think we will see some very strong privacy movement debates coming up soonest...solely due to the wide spread success of Google.

Google is not wrong in making available what is already public information, however the convieniance, accuracy and speed at which this happens puts a whole new perspective on privacy.

Personally I find this public access to court records, past criminal records and police reports an amazing invasion of privacy.

I would not be suprised if very soon institutions making this information available on-line, will have to remove these records again by public outrage.

1:16 pm on Feb 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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private investigators watch out!

really folks - google just does it faster and for free...

google is to a private investigator as e-mail is to the pony express.... same service just a heck of a lot faster.

3:38 pm on Feb 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google is not wrong in making available what is already public information ...

Personally I find this public access to court records, past criminal records and police reports an amazing invasion of privacy.

Court records, criminal records and police reports are all within the public domain except in instances where the records have been sealed. There is no invasion of privacy issue involved here! They are public domain and therefore open to public scrutiny and unfortunately the public can be very cruel.

The people whose medical records I found posted on the web didn't do anything wrong. The folks whose financial information I found on the web didn't do anything wrong...

Very true, but I believe tax records (unless I am mistaken) are also within public domain. Health records have absolutely no business being on the internet! I am very surprised at that and wouldn't doubt that those named would have a solid basis for a whopper of a law suit!

4:21 pm on Feb 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vitaplease is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



They are public domain and therefore open to public scrutiny and unfortunately the public can be very cruel.

As the article states, in the past one had "security through obscurity".

Google changed that.

To make it a civil society, now its time to change what information is in the public domain.

Or as Silverstein is quoted in the article:

..society has tried to have it both ways for too long. "we've had this ideal of having lots of information open to the public, " he says, but in practice it hasn't been available. Now we have to decide. "If Google is helping to force society's hand, he says, so be it".

I am sure there will be many court cases by privacy lobbiests soonest, pushing privacy on the public domain. It will make interesting times.

Google the catalyst to forcing change.

12:27 am on Feb 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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"I think it is very simple to control where your name may or may not appear on the internet " (Liane)

- fair enough, but if you share the same name with other people - which invariably happens - then i think this statement is slightly idealistic.