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This is What Google REALLY Meant By “Don’t Be Evil” (via Business Insider)

Google has been throwing its weight around and pissing a lot of people off.

It allegedly leaned on Motorola not to use a competing location-detecting service from Skyhook. Then it turned around and dropped $12.5 billion on Motorola to get into the phone market, competing directly against partners like Samsung and LG.

It changes its search algorithms with no warning, sending certain businesses plunging in the rankings.

It charged into Facebook’s territory a couple months ago with Google+ and is playing hardball with tactics like taking a much smaller cut of in-game sales to draw developers to its platform.

It looks a lot like Microsoft in its heyday.

Every time Google makes one of these moves, it’s easy (and fun!) to point the finger at the motto which appeared in its IPO prospectus: “Don’t be evil.”

But as computer researcher and social activist Aaron Swartz points out, Google had a very specific definition of evil.

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TIMELINE:  How Google Grew Beyond Search (via Business Insider) — Only thing missing is launch of Google+

TIMELINE:  How Google Grew Beyond Search (via Business Insider) — Only thing missing is launch of Google+

Social Metrics Coming to SEO Platform (via MediaPost)

Conductor took a step toward integrating social media metrics into its SEO platform Searchlight after tracking the data for more than a year and acknowledging customers’ desires to better optimize Web sites. The move, although groundbreaking, was expected.

Building the metrics into Searchlight means that brands can analyze and view social data in search rankings similar to search engines, according to Conductor CEO Seth Besmertnik. Through the platform, marketers can find keyword opportunities where social media has come into play by importing social data.

The integration allows brands to determine whether they want to create a program or incentive to drive traffic from keywords to the URLs. It also allows marketers to analyze competitors’ social data and rankings.

The use of social data became apparent after Besmertnik noticed the influence of Google’s +1s and Facebook’s Likes on ranking factors. Higher-ranking sites tend to have a higher social media presence.

Looking at the first page of results from a search query, marketers that compare the first five results with the last five will find twice as many Facebook “likes” on the top half, compared with the bottom. There’s three times as many Google +1s on the top five compared with the bottom. Sites that rank higher on the top half of the first page are 88% more likely to have a Google +1 or Facebook Like.

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(Source: mediapost.com)

Aug 9

How Google Will Guess What You Want Before You Search for It (via Business Insider)

Google’s payment system is not just a way for Google to make money from real-world transactions. It also ties back into the company’s goal to provide relevant information BEFORE you search for it.

Last week, Google’s top search engineers Matt Cutts, Amit Singhal, and Ben Gomes had an on-stage conversation with Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land at an event sponsored by the Churchill Club.

Toward the end of the conversation, an audience member asked about “searchless search” — an idea that is core to CEO Larry Page’s vision of search.

Singhal talked about how Google already has tons of information that could be used to provide personalized answers, like your calendar “to do” lists and a map showing your location — so it could remind you that you’re near a store that has an item on your to-do list.

Cutts followed up with this interesting bit:

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