11 Jun 2006

Google – a touch of evil.

John Scott wrote an interesting post called "Google’s Moral Superiority".

John certainly makes a point with a few picture searches.

http://images.google.cn/images?q=tiananmen
Compare to:
http://images.google.com/images?q=tiananmen

John also adds some strong words with:

That’s not evil?
The fact that they can pretend it’s nothing more than a business decision is not only evil, it’s racist.

Read John’s whole post here.

Comments

  1. Jon Henshaw June 11, 2006 at 5:46 PM

    Wow! That’s amazing. Thanks for posting that Jim.

  2. Elandrael June 12, 2006 at 6:06 AM

    Hello,

    I see no difference between the 2 urls posted.

    As a matter of fact, I can add something to the river’s water.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=puericulture

    Puériculture mean childcare but it’s used in French language for the market of accessories for the recent born babies.

    How can this be? Kelkoo appear there without any valuable content. Is that Evil or Good response of Google’s engine?

    As John Scott says: “they can pretend it’s nothing more than a business decision” Hooo … sorry … this is natural results I might be wrong 😀

    Sorry about the bad English [French inside], anyway the irony isn’t innocent.

  3. SEOidiot June 14, 2006 at 5:16 PM

    I really think they are too big to have an ethos like ‘Do no evil’ – it just doesnt translate into the real world of wall street

  4. Gradiva June 16, 2006 at 4:07 PM

    You know what is really trippy? If you misspell the name, “tianenman” vs. “tiananmen” you *do* get some of the tank pix in the china results:

    http://images.google.cn/images?svnum=10&hl=zh-CN&lr=&q=tianenman+&btnG=搜索

    what does this imply? Does it mean that the China censors aren’t doing their jobs carefully enough?

  5. MarkN June 18, 2006 at 11:18 PM

    Google has to play nice if they want a stake in what is potentially the largest market.

  6. Nick Wilsdon June 20, 2006 at 2:13 AM

    I agree with MarkN. As a foreigner working in another country myself, I know I have to abide by the local laws in order to operate. There is very little choice about it, accept not to operate there in the first place. Equally I would expect other nationals coming to the UK to abide by the laws there.

    China is a huge market with around 110m users at the moment and growing, compare that to the US (227m) and you see why companies and jumping for a chance to get in there. So yes, I don’t think it is ‘evil’ or ‘racist’, it is business decision and one any public company with shareholders would be expected to make.

    Saying that though Google’s own worse enemy is that ‘Do not be evil’ meme – they have created the discourse we’re using to discuss this topic. I would be happier though if we could move away from those terms and have a grown up discussion about the ethical bottom line, social responsibility and ethical shareholder/consumer action, especially in reference to businesses operating on the internet.

  7. Multi June 27, 2006 at 5:15 PM

    I don’t see any differences

  8. alex July 14, 2006 at 4:39 AM

    Hi Jim,

    Your blog is really one of the best. I am new to the Internet web creation. However I read some stuff about web sties promotion. Your site is really stands out from the crowd. When I read your posts about sandboxes and that Google likes only old sites, I felt doom and gloom. I had a simple page (that was actually listed in the Google directory in beginning of 2004) and it never gave more than 15 visitors a day, even less, though for one of keywords the page persistently comes number 2 on Google, ahead of 8,000,000 other sites.
    Right now, in the middle of June, I have started the brand new site RDoctor (http://www.rdoctor.com and http://www.symptomat.com). I did not submit it to Yahoo (300 is too expensive), I send the submission to DMOZ, and they turned me down in a split second.
    The domain is registered just for 1 year. I did not optimize anything for search engines, paid 0 (zero) dollars for advertisements or inclusions just wanted to make a useful web site.

    Reading your posts, I prepared that it will take months to be indexed by Google and maybe in a year I will get 30 visitors a day. I used some guerilla marketing methods to promote my web site (but the techniques are very old – probably known form the dawn of Internet, nothing new or special) and very simple. I worked on the promotion in spare time – couple hours a week.

    However to my surprise:

    In the end of first week – 0 unique visitors. End of second week – 3 visitors a day, end of third week – 25 visitors, end of fourth week – 100 visitors a day. And many of them register for my free diagnostic service.
    Majority of them come from Google search. I suddenly found that for many medical keywords my web site is listed on the first page ahead of 100,000 or 200,000 of others. Considering that I did not care about keywords at all, it is very interesting.
    Then, I even found that on http://www.msn.com my site is sitting on the page 1 of 1,788,434 results containing “discount pharmacies” (some visitors came from there).

    It just happened in week! And I even never considered pharmacies as a main term for my site, just a side branch.
    It was intriguing.
    Then, I came again and actually re-read what you told. Also I came and read and re-read the patent description for the Google search. And I looked it in the different way. Though, it is true that they talk about timing in the patent and that site of several years old is preferable and there are derogatory descriptions that a brand new site is just a junk. But the timing factor, though is important, isn’t the whole story. There are other parameters the search engine judges. I used five or six different guerilla techniques. I do not know which one really worked or maybe combination of them worked, or maybe even none of them worked at all. I can probably figure it out by repeating again and comparing. However, my opinion now is that you need to give something useful for people.

    Also, despite reading the patent which is already 3 years old (and I am not sure it is actually for Google- at least there is no any mention about Google in the body of the patent), I do not think they really know their own algorithm.

    What I mean, engineers obviously know the principles, wrote some soft (probably with bunch of bugs) and so on. They rotate dials, they look at displays, and they adjust and push buttons. They think that they control the machine. But inside the machine after the launch, everything goes on its own, unpredictable. So, when you see discussion that Google engineers do not disclose the search algorithm, maybe you need to look another way. They probably do not talk, because they are not sure exactly how it works inside now. I tell it because I have an AI program on my website. Though, I understand all principles how it works, though I participated in all stages of creation and put a huge database inside, I do not exactly know how it finds answers now. Some of the results are very interesting, though after recheck of input and output, I see that they are true. I just would not think about this in the first place and would need probably months to learn it on my own, which a computer does in a blink.

    The same goes for search engines. They work on their own now. And maybe listing in DMOZ and Yahoo directories is important for high rank. Being turned down by DMOZ I do not give a squat about that (like you say it). Nothing I can do. But when you say that brand new site is doomed, it is probably not very true. Webmasters should not really target for the search engines, but for the value of their sites.

    Just look again, the brand new site, I did not do any SEO (do not know how and do not care), I am not listed in Yahoo, not listed in DMOZ, spend just few hours for promotion, did not care about keywords, did not spend a cent for buying ads, did not do all that keyword-rich blah-blah-blah. Did not care about the all this “cheat search engine” bullsh.t. However, in a month the brand new site went from underground to 100 visitors a day. Obviously it is not very high result, but the pace is impressive for me.

    Just make something useful for people and they all will come. Yahoo will come, MSN will come, Google will come, bunch of visitors will come and bring bunch of their friends.
    DMOZ will not come (they are too lazy and too busy protecting their own domains,).

    Not everything is so bad in this world. Artificial intelligence rules.

    See you there,

    Alex.

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