Starting to feel threatened

A Sydney Morning Herald article details some of the changes being made by Google in response to the growing competition from Yahoo and Microsoft. These include adding around 1 billion pages to its index and five major changes to its algorithmic formulas (including a special secret formula).


Journalists' Abuse of Google

misseli writes "In case anyone is still licking their wounds from Joel Achenbach's Washington Post piece on how Google is making libraries (and librarians) obsolete, "Lies, Damned Lies and Google takes journalists to task for ascribing too much relevancy to Google's search results.

From writer Lionel Beehner:
Sad to say, plugging Google in a story has become almost a telltale sign of sloppy reporting, a hack's version of a Rolodex. Journalists, especially ones from highbrow publications like The New Yorker, should be sourcing hard stats, not search-engine evidence, to bolster their stories."


Learn the basics of

Bob Cox writes, The Cincinnati Enquirer has an article, Learn the basics of", on the dangers of using Google and how to use Google more effectively.


Mom, What's a Library?

An article titled "

Search For Tomorrow" in the Washington Post seems to paint a dark future for librarians, while acknowledging how important they "used to be". From the article, "

A generation ago, reference librarians -- flesh-and-blood creatures -- were the most powerful search engines on the planet. But the rise of robotic search engines in the mid-1990s has removed the human mediators between researchers and information."

And more ominously Berkeley professor Peter Lyman states, "There's been a culture war between librarians and computer scientists. Google won." But the article also points out that search engines still have a long way to go. Maybe it's time for librarians to start round two of that culture war...


Google is Harder Than it Looks ETCON talk notes

Cory Doctorow has posted His Notes from the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference talk, Google is Harder Than it Looks by Nelson Minar from Google.
Not much detail, but it looks like it was an interesting talk, especially "How a search works:"

"Index server, "every page with the word 'apple' in it -- a
cluster that manages "shards" or "partitions" (everything
starting with the letter "a") and then load-balancing
replications for each. Have to calculate intersections for
multiple-term queries"
There's a few other nuggets in there as well.


Google's NEW Weekly Countdown writes "Google is now sharing it's most Popular Search Terms Weekly...

As plain to see- Although, many of the most educated and learned professionals in the world swear - by Google - they are far outnumbered by plain ole' simple folk, as seen in the Top Gaining Queries Week Ending February 2, 2004
1. janet jackson

2. superbowl halftime

3. mtv

4. justin timberlake

5. tom brady

For you Google historians - here are some more "Insight" into Google History - Links
Fun facts, and

Did the librarian--and the NYT--give Google a chance?

While we've already pointed to this NYT story today David Rothman has some additional thoughts and links. "The New York Times has just run an article headlined When a Search Engine Isn't Enough, Call a Librarian. True, true, true. Even in the Google era, librarians can be great fact-trackers and BS detectors. Their very existence is one safeguard against tainted search engines compromised by advertisers. Goodness knows where we'd be if Microsoft eventually devoured the more idealistic crew at Google and public librarians weren't around. But wait: there's a catch. Turns out that a librarian and the Times may not have given Google a chance in the example the newspaper cited to show the need for librarians. More at TeleRead. Also see a Library Stuff item through which I spotted the Times article."


Google tops global brand poll - again

Reuters, UK Is Reporting Google, the top Internet search engine which is expected by bankers to list its shares this year, has been named as Global Brand of the Year by consultants Interbrand for the second year running.

1. Google

2. Apple

3. Mini

4. Coca-Cola

5. Samsung

Interbrand, which conducted its poll of over 4,000 users via its website, said Google would have to stick to its policy of offering a "clean, friendly but credible" path to accessing the Internet as it plans to go public.


Project Ocean: Stanford University And Google

Ryan Schultz notes an interesting bit from the Feb. 1st article in the New York Times on the coming search engine war between Google and Microsoft. Note the final paragraph on Project Ocean.

"The company has also been pushing hard to find new sources of information to index, beyond material that is already stored in a digital form. In December, it began an experiment with book publishers to index parts of books, reviews and other bibliographic information for Web surfers.

And Google has embarked on an ambitious secret effort known as Project Ocean, according to a person involved with the operation. With the cooperation of Stanford University, the company now plans to digitize the entire collection of the vast Stanford Library published before 1923, which is no longer limited by copyright restrictions. The project could add millions of digitized books that would be available exclusively via Google."


Google for a grade: UW class to study popular search engine

Bob Cox sent along a Seattle Times Article on Joe Janes' new class.
This class isn't a simple class on Web searching that one might find at a library or a community college. This is a graduate-level course (albeit only one credit) that explores Google as a cultural phenomenon, Google the business, the technology behind Google — and "Google the Ravager of Worlds."



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