Harvard: Google SafeSearch blocks ALA

According to Search Engine Watch, researchers at Harvard Law recently tested Google's SafeSearch pornography filter and found that it overblocked to an alarming degree. One of the sites specifically mentioned is that of the American Library Association.


Google snaps up Applied Semantics

Google said Wednesday that it acquired Applied Semantics, with the goal of bolstering its search and online advertising programs and perhaps also throwing of a roadblock in the path of archrival Overture Services, whose shares fell more than 25 percent on Thursday.
Internet and CNet have stories.


Inside the Soul of the Web

"Mankind's questions unscroll day and night on a computer screen in an office hallway in Mountain View, California."

"Workers here at Google were once fascinated to watch the queries climb up and off the screen, two per second, 173,000 per day. But they rarely stop to glance anymore. Most Google employees long ago lost interest in the words and the astonishing numbers they represent: Each of these questions, culled randomly from six giant server farms scattered around the world, represents 1,500 inquiries, totaling 260 million Web searches per day."

"Tucson, Arizona > Krispy Kreme DonutsStamford, CT > Rhumba
Canberra, Australia > Naturist Boy
AOL, US > How to Pray to the Rosary" (from Wired)


The Google Alphabet

Nathan Dintenfass and Ben Archibald wondered what came up for a google search on all the letters of the alphabet.
So they played around with the Google Web Services API and presto, the first hit you get (in English) when you type each letter into Google is
at The Google Alphabet.


Google filter blocks innocuous sites

"A new report prepared by Harvard University's Berkman Center says that Google's filtered search technology incorrectly blocks tens of thousands of innocuous Web pages, including ones created by Apple Computer, IBM, the White House, the Library of Congress and the Washington Post."

"The errors arise because of the way Google designed its SafeSearch feature, which can be enabled or disabled through a preferences page. Instead of requiring human approval before Web pages are labeled as adult, Google uses a proprietary algorithm that automatically analyzes the pages and makes an educated guess." (from Cnet)



The Register has an interesting if not inflammatory article about Google's effect on memes and language.

They claim that the meaning of the term "second superpower" was altered becasue of Google's Page Rank feature. Before an allegedly influential article was written by James F. Moore, the term was used by the grassroots anti-war movement to describe itself. His essay, though, changed the meaning, claims The Register, lightening the message. It calls users of the Internet the "second superpower." Since the article was linked heavily, it was listed as the top results for the search "second superpower". This once published, this change took 42 days.
Here is the full article.[via MeFi w/ some interesting comments>]


Google and Web Community

Eric Rumsey writes "The idea of community is closely related to the idea of connections and Google excels as a connection-making and community-finding agent, using PageRank to see the pattern of how peoples' pages connect to each other ... One of Google's great strengths that makes it such a good identifier of communities is that it recognizes the close connection between net community and directory sites ... Google ranks directory sites prominently, taking advantage of the community-building activity of directory makers. "

Interesting story on how google is good at identifying Web communities.

"A quote from Craig Silverstein, Google's Chief Technology Officer ties things together – In discussing how to get good placement for a site in Google searches, Silverstein's advice to anyone doing page development is to work through "the community around which you're trying to build your page."


Falling in Love with Google

Always helpful Gary Deane writes spotted this article On Google From The National Post
The author seems to have quite a thing for the search engine. "Tired of Google? To paraphrase Samuel Johnson on London, those who are tired of Google are tired of life."


Google News Search Specific News Sources, Example: Iraq News.

By including the news organizations name in a Google
query only news from that source is returned.  For example,
Google news search Iraq
by incluiding: <{News Source Name}
{Iraq}>.  Click the "Sort by date" button
in the upper right to see the most recent news indexed by Google from that
source (or add: [&scoring=d] to the end of the query string) . Some
of the Google news sources that can be queried (keyword preset for <Iraq>) 
include:  <ABC
by date>
<BBC by
<CBS by
<CNN by
<IHT by
<Reuters by


How Google Grows...and Grows...and Grows

Anon writes "This slashdot thread points to FastCompany and

this story

that says Its performance is the envy of executives and engineers around the world ... For techno-evangelists, Google is a marvel of Web brilliance ... For Wall Street, it may be the IPO that changes everything ( again ) ... But Google is also a case study in savvy management -- a company filled with cutting-edge ideas, rigorous accountability, and relentless attention to detail ... Here's a search for the growth secrets of one of the world's most exciting young companies -- a company from which every company can learn.

See also Dissecting Localized Google Censorship




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