Google has come under fire lately for only promoting social search results from its Google+ network. This led to the start of project Focus on the User, spearheaded by a team of architects from Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Using information already coded and indexed by Google, they built the Don’t Be Evil bookmarklet that surfaces the most relevant (aka popular) social profiles—regardless of platform—from the first ten pages of results.
Mouse over the image to see Google’s self-promotion in action.
In Google we trust… Or at least we did. But is it really such an outrageous crime that Google uses its own website to promote itself? You don’t see ABC getting upset that CBS isn’t promoting one of its new shows.
Somewhere along the way we became so comfortable with Google that we lost sight of what it is. It’s not a NGO or public service; it’s a for-profit, publically traded company—with its own agenda and vested interests—that’s out to make a buck or two.
That being said, I’m not sure that this is the best move for Google. People have made Google their search engine of choice because they trust it to return the most accurate, relevant and inclusive results on the web. With these new changes, I’ll be interested to see whether it’ll be Google+ or a rival search engine that sees a traffic increase.
Do you think Google is out of line for changing its search algorithm to promote itself?
Total Voters: 18
The Internet was abuzz about SOPA yesterday as sites went black in protest. According to Twitter, 2.4 million+ SOPA-related tweets were sent yesterday, which can be seen in this impressive visualization.
If you could make a New Year’s resolution on behalf of the Internet, what would it be? Would it be for all apps to include capability x? For a website to do function y? Some other feature that’d solve all your worldly problems?
That’s the thinking behind The Internet Wishlist – a site dedicated to sharing people’s ideas for better apps and websites. Contributing is easy… just tweet your idea and include the #theiwl hashtag.
So… what would you like to see happen to the Internet in 2012?
It only appeared briefly in some blogs, but last week a draft of the new European Data Protection Directive was leaked in the press. This signals a new episode in the fight between the purist approach of the European Commission and the more relaxed attitude towards data protection held by the US.
If this legislation is passed in Europe, it will result in drastic changes to the data collection models of many big companies, especially those of big US-based data processors like Google, Facebook and Twitter.
What are the biggest changes EU marketers should expect?
A similar legal battle is currently taking place between Facebook and Max Schrems, a 22-year-old Austrian law student. Schrems is suing the social network for violating privacy laws, in particular, for storing data that is deleted by users and for creating shadow profiles for both users and nonusers without permission.
Documentary style videos, like this one, that depict Facebook to be a KGB-like digital organization seem pretty hilarious at first. Nevertheless, I think that they are damn right. Why should Facebook need to store data that I’ve deleted? If I want to ignore friend requests or view someone’s profile 87 times per week than so be it. It’s my business and it definitely doesn’t need to be stored by Facebook for safekeeping.
It is our obligation to support legislation that gives users more power and restricts the reach of overly intrusive marketers. Don’t mess with our Internet!