Tagged Google

In response to Tim Cook’s speech on the importance of privacy and encryption, The Verge had this to say:

Arguably, Google Maps is better than Apple Maps, Gmail is better than Apple Mail, Google Drive is better than iCloud, Google Docs is better than iWork, and Google Photos can “surprise and delight” better than Apple Photos. Even with the risks.

If Apple truly cares about our privacy then it should stop talking about how important it is and start building superior cloud-based services we want to use — then it can protect us.

Just within that list above, I use Apple Maps, iCloud Mail (and calendar) over their Google counterparts, though I still use Google Docs. I can say without a doubt that the Google counterparts are better.

The only reason I switched over is because I reached a tipping point between my wariness of Google’s practices, and my desire for quality services on the web. Apple’s offerings got better, Google’s business practices became shadier, and I ended up feeling Apple’s services were good enough that I wanted to switch.

It shouldn’t be like that. I should want to use Apple’s products because they both respect my privacy and they’re the best services. It’s unacceptable for a company with Apple’s size and prowess to still be lagging behind when it comes to services in the cloud.

For the mass market, it was an obnoxious technology that gave rise to the term, “glasshole”. But despite Google admitting its failure in trying to make it the next big thing, Google Glass has found willing adopters:

One of Europe’s busiest airports, Amsterdam’s Schiphol hub in the Netherlands, is trialling Google Glass for use by airport authority officers as a hands-free way to look up gate and airplane information.

It’s also testing Google’s face computer on travelers passing through the terminal in a bid to better understand the ‘customer journey’, thanks to Glass’ first person perspective.

It’s more proof, if proof were needed, that Google Glass is another Segway — i.e. a technology not destined for the mass market, but for niche industrial and service industry applications.

No shit. There’s absolutely no need to strap a camera to your face for people’s everyday life. Not only for lack of tangible benefit to yourself, but for the sake of everyone else around you also.

It’s the natural evolution for this kind of computing: first it was someone at a PC station, now it’s mostly employees walking around with iPads, and soon it could be people wearing something like Google Glass in that role.

Almost a month ago, I dropped Text Link Ads after I found out that Google had applied a manual action to my site for having what they define as a link scheme. I removed the advertising links from my footer, and applied for a reconsideration request with the hope that Google would overturn their decision.

I just found out today that they reviewed their decision, and as of January 22 my site is all clear in the Google search index. In fact, it’s even jumped up a few spots since. I applied for the reconsideration request on December 27, so it took just under a month for them to reach my review request. I’m guessing the winter holidays got in the way, also.

The full text of their response:

We received a reconsideration request from a site owner for

Previously the webspam team had taken action on your site because we believed it violated our quality guidelines. After reviewing your reconsideration request, we have revoked this action.

You can use the Manual Actions page in Webmaster Tools to view actions currently applied to your site. It may take some time before recent updates to your site’s status are reflected on this page and in our search results.

Of course, there may be other issues with your site that could affect its ranking. Google determines the order of search results using a series of computer programs known as algorithms. We make hundreds of changes to our search algorithms each year, and we employ more than 200 different signals when ranking pages. As our algorithms change and as the web (including your site) changes, some fluctuation in ranking will happen from time to time as we make updates to present the best results to our users.

If your site continues to have trouble in our search results, please see our Help Center for help with diagnosing the issue.

Thank you for helping us to maintain the quality of search results for our users.

While googling myself here and there over the past year or so, I’ve noticed that this site has gone farther and farther down the Google search results. I originally attributed this to the lack of frequent updates, which seemed reasonable.

Then I happened to log into Google Webmaster Tools and found out my site had been flagged for having ads that seemed like link selling. They had noticed, of course, my Text Link Ads at the bottom of my site.

After doing some research, it seems Google would prefer for those links to have a rel="nofollow" attribute, if they had to exist, but this is against the Text Link Ads terms of service. Which makes sense, since having search engines follow those links is exactly why they sell them. However, this makes for poor Internet etiquette.

Google’s Matt Cutts (head of search spam at Google) even called TLA out specifically:

They gave us folders in Google Reader… so why is this still such a mess?