Hard-coding bias in Google “algorithmic” search results

Google tells the public its results have “no manual intervention” and result “solely” from “completely automated” “computer algorithms” that “reflect the popular opinion of the Web” “completely objectively”. It’s a lofty promise, but is it true?

Google moves to profit from its “crown jewels” — your data

A Wall Street Journal article this week details how Google is increasingly moving to maximize profits from the vast amount of personal data it has amassed in its global network of servers at the expense of consumers’ privacy. Google chairman Eric Schmidt once claimed Google put its money “where our principles are.” The Journal’s revealing article showing how profits triumph over privacy demonstrates the stark reality: Google puts its principles where the money is.

Google-Verizon blueprint: creeping control of Internet by corporate giants

The Google-Verizon statement on regulating the Internet isn’t business deal, the two companies say. Its a “legislative framework proposal” and a “a path to the open internet.” Web watchers aren’t buying it. It’s an alliance of two companies looking to lock in market advantages with political action.

Fortune says the “search party” is over for Google

Google has a stranglehold on search with 65 percent of the U.S. market — and even more in some other countries — but writing in Fortune magazine, Michael C. Copeland, says the Internet giant needs to find new sources of revenue or lose its status as a growth company.

Financial Times examines Google’s ‘secret formula’

In another Google story, the Financial Times (registration required) punctures some of the mythology around the legendary algorithm that powers Google search. First of all, it’s a work in progress. There were some 500 tweaks to the algorithm last year alone, some of which radically effect online businesses, some of whom are Google competitors.

New Google option: look like Bing home page

Google is known for the “clean simple look” of its home page at Google.com. Bing has earned praise for the gorgeous photos changing daily on the Bing home page, stocked by Microsoft’s Corbis imagery.

Now Google has announced that you will be able to clutter up your Google.com page with a photo too.

Personalized search: Searching in a Bubble?

My Google search results are looking too familiar. Looking for something new on the web for a topic of continuing interest, I enter some familiar terms. The same old sites keep turning up. OK, so Google is returning the most relevant results, based on the Google algorithm. Why do they seem so stale?

Google using search engine to muscle into Internet businesses, study finds

Google has been using its dominant position in online search to muscle its way into other Internet businesses, ultimately limiting consumer choice, Consumer Watchdog said today in a report written for its new Inside Google Website.

Protect your privacy on Google: Tips from Computerworld

A great “smart paranoid’s guide to using Google” at Computerworld today takes you step by step through “down-and-dirty details on how to maintain your privacy while using Google’s myriad services.” It’s chock full of precautions, security tips and instructions on how to disengage from Google collections of  information about you. The guide takes you from […]

Google shows the way on search engine encryption; others must follow

Google has announced that it is now offering privacy-friendly SSL encryption on its search engine, becoming the first major company to offer the protection. The company deserves credit and others who want to do more than pay lip service to privacy should immediately follow Google’s lead.