Nov 6 2014

Has Google Lived Up To Its ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Mantra?

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Google’s famous “Don’t be Evil” mantra has been questioned time and time again for many years, but it’s back in the spotlight thanks to comments made recently by co-founder and CEO Larry Page. Do you think Google has done a decent job of keeping in line with the “Don’t be evil” mantra? Share your thoughts in the comments . Page did an interview with the Financial Times in which he talked about how, as the FT put it, “the search engine’s original mission is not big enough for what he now has in mind.” The mission is actually that whole thing about organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible, but the evil thing did come up. This is the part that deals specifically with that. FT reports: It is a decade on from the first flush of idealism that accompanied its stock market listing, and all Google’s talk of “don’t be evil” and “making the world a better place” has come to sound somewhat quaint. Its power and wealth have stirred resentment and brought a backlash, in Europe in particular, where it is under investigation for how it wields its monopoly power in internet search. Page, however, is not shrinking an inch from the altruistic principles or the outsized ambitions that he and co-founder Sergey Brin laid down in seemingly more innocent times. “The societal goal is our primary goal,” he says. “We’ve always tried to say that with Google. I think we’ve not succeeded as much as we’d like.” After that, the actual mission statement was discussed, and Page said he thought they probably needed a new one, and that they’re “still trying to work that out.” The reason they need a new one is basically that Google has grown so much, and has become so much more than the search engine it was when it was founded. I mean, they have robots, self-driving cars, smart glasses, smart contact lenses, and are trying to work on a cure for aging. It’s probably not too unreasonable to be thinking about updating the mission. Some took this story, however, and spun it as something along the lines of “Google has outgrown its ‘Don’t be Evil’ mantra”. I think this misses the point. Either way, Matt Cutts, who is currently on leave from Google (and it’s unclear whether he’ll actually be back or not), weighed in on the topic on an episode of This Week in Google . He said, “They have tried to have a culture of ‘Don’t be Evil,’ and you can argue over individual incidents, and you know, whether this specific thing is evil or that specific thing is evil, but Google as a whole, whenever I look at the DNA, the people try to do the right things. So if you’ve got Larry marching off in one direction, and you’ve got the rest of the company saying, ‘No, we disagree,’ then they drag their heels, and they create friction. That, in my opinion, helps to move things toward a consensus of maybe a middleground, which works pretty well.” He added, “And then having that critical mass of smart people lets you say, ‘Oh, now I can do voice recognition better. Now I can do image recognition better, and I can unlock all kinds of good applications to improve the world that way…’ It’s a tough call…It’s a good problem to have, I guess.” Here’s the full episode. This takes place roughly 28 minutes in, but the discussion about this whole topic lasts for quite a bit. The episode also has a lot of discussion about Cutts’ future with Google . Cutts thinks Google tries not to be evil. Do you believe him? What are some specific areas that you think the company needs to improve on in that regard? Share in the comments . Image via YouTube The post Has Google Lived Up To Its ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Mantra? appeared first on WebProNews .

Nov 6 2014

Has Google Lived Up To Its ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Mantra?

  • Posted by in Web Pro News
  • Comments Off on Has Google Lived Up To Its ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Mantra?

Google’s famous “Don’t be Evil” mantra has been questioned time and time again for many years, but it’s back in the spotlight thanks to comments made recently by co-founder and CEO Larry Page. Do you think Google has done a decent job of keeping in line with the “Don’t be evil” mantra? Share your thoughts in the comments . Page did an interview with the Financial Times in which he talked about how, as the FT put it, “the search engine’s original mission is not big enough for what he now has in mind.” The mission is actually that whole thing about organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible, but the evil thing did come up. This is the part that deals specifically with that. FT reports: It is a decade on from the first flush of idealism that accompanied its stock market listing, and all Google’s talk of “don’t be evil” and “making the world a better place” has come to sound somewhat quaint. Its power and wealth have stirred resentment and brought a backlash, in Europe in particular, where it is under investigation for how it wields its monopoly power in internet search. Page, however, is not shrinking an inch from the altruistic principles or the outsized ambitions that he and co-founder Sergey Brin laid down in seemingly more innocent times. “The societal goal is our primary goal,” he says. “We’ve always tried to say that with Google. I think we’ve not succeeded as much as we’d like.” After that, the actual mission statement was discussed, and Page said he thought they probably needed a new one, and that they’re “still trying to work that out.” The reason they need a new one is basically that Google has grown so much, and has become so much more than the search engine it was when it was founded. I mean, they have robots, self-driving cars, smart glasses, smart contact lenses, and are trying to work on a cure for aging. It’s probably not too unreasonable to be thinking about updating the mission. Some took this story, however, and spun it as something along the lines of “Google has outgrown its ‘Don’t be Evil’ mantra”. I think this misses the point. Either way, Matt Cutts, who is currently on leave from Google (and it’s unclear whether he’ll actually be back or not), weighed in on the topic on an episode of This Week in Google . He said, “They have tried to have a culture of ‘Don’t be Evil,’ and you can argue over individual incidents, and you know, whether this specific thing is evil or that specific thing is evil, but Google as a whole, whenever I look at the DNA, the people try to do the right things. So if you’ve got Larry marching off in one direction, and you’ve got the rest of the company saying, ‘No, we disagree,’ then they drag their heels, and they create friction. That, in my opinion, helps to move things toward a consensus of maybe a middleground, which works pretty well.” He added, “And then having that critical mass of smart people lets you say, ‘Oh, now I can do voice recognition better. Now I can do image recognition better, and I can unlock all kinds of good applications to improve the world that way…’ It’s a tough call…It’s a good problem to have, I guess.” Here’s the full episode. This takes place roughly 28 minutes in, but the discussion about this whole topic lasts for quite a bit. The episode also has a lot of discussion about Cutts’ future with Google . Cutts thinks Google tries not to be evil. Do you believe him? What are some specific areas that you think the company needs to improve on in that regard? Share in the comments . Image via YouTube

Aug 9 2013

Google Adds ‘Manual Action Viewer’ To Webmaster Tools

Google has added a new feature to Webmaster Tools called the Manual Action Viewer. This is designed to show webmasters information about when Google’s manual webspam team has taken manual action that directly affects their site’s ranking in the search engine. To access the feature, simply click on “Manual Actions” under “Search Traffic” in Webmaster Tools. If Google hasn’t taken any action against your site, you should see a message that says “No Manual webspam actions found.” Obviously, this is what you want to see. Google notes that only less than 2% of the domains it sees are actually manually removed for webspam, so the likelihood that you see anything other than the message above seems pretty minimal (that is, of course, if you’re not spamming Google). The company will still notify you when you get a manual spam action, but the feature is just giving you another way to check. Here’s what you might see if you did have a manual action taken against you: “In this hypothetical example, there isn’t a site-wide match, but there is a ‘partial match,’” Google’s Matt Cutts explains in a post on the Webmaster Central blog. “A partial match means the action applies only to a specific section of a site. In this case, the webmaster has a problem with other people leaving spam on mattcutts.com/forum/. By fixing this common issue, the webmaster can not only help restore his forum’s rankings on Google, but also improve the experience for his users. Clicking the “Learn more” link will offer new resources for troubleshooting.” “Once you’ve corrected any violations of Google’s quality guidelines, the next step is to request reconsideration,” he adds. “With this new feature, you’ll find a simpler and more streamlined reconsideration request process. Now, when you visit the reconsideration request page, you’ll be able to check your site for manual actions, and then request reconsideration only if there’s a manual action applied to your site. If you do have a webspam issue to address, you can do so directly from the Manual Actions page by clicking ‘Request a review.’” As Cutts notes, this new feature is something that Webmasters have been requesting for some time. While he emphasizes that a very small percentage of Webmasters will actually see any actions in the viewer, it is at least a new way to know for sure if Google has indeed taken a manual action.

Nov 20 2012

Matt Cutts On Whether Or Not SEO Should Be Called Something Else

Google put out a new Webmaster Help video today. This time, Matt talks about whether or not “search engine optimization” should be renamed. “A lot of the times when you hear SEO, people get this very narrow blinder on, and they start thinking link building, and I think that limits the field and limits your imagination a little bit,” says Cutts. “It’s almost like anything you’re doing is making a great site – making sure it is accessible and crawlable, and then, almost marketing it – letting the world know about it.” “So it’s a shame that search engine marketing historically refers to paid things like AdWords because otherwise, I think that would be a great way to view it,” he says. “You could also think about not search engine optimization, but search experience optimization. Would users like to see the snippet on the page? Do they land? Do they convert well? Are they happy? Do they want to bookmark it, tell their friends about it, come back to it? All those kinds of questions.” “Unfortunately, SEO does have this kind of connotation for a lot of people, and we’ve seen it in media, like CSI type shows where somebody says they’re an SEO and people have this ‘worthless shady criminals’ kind of view – somebody called SEOs that, and I don’t know how to escape that, because there are a few people who are black hats, who hack sites and give the whole field a bad name, and there are a few people who sell snake oil, who give the field a bad name. And unless people drive those guys out of our midst, we’re gonna have this somewhat bad, shaky reputation for SEO,” he says. “At the same time, if you change the name to something else, all the people will just come along, and a few of those will be bad actors as well,” says Cutts. “If you have a few bad apples then that will sort of change the reputation of whatever new name you pick, so in my personal opinion, the best way to tackle it would be, you know, think about it in broad terms, or maybe think about how can we differentiate the great stuff that people do making their site faster, more accessible, helping people with keyword research, all that sort of stuff – marketing in different ways.” Do you think SEO should get a new name? What would you call it?

Oct 30 2012

Matt Cutts Talks Quality Raters’ Impact On Algorithms, Says Guidelines May Be Made Public

While it has been known that Google’s “quality raters” (the people who judge sets of search results behind the scenes) don’t directly influence Google’s algorithms, there is still a misconception out there to the contrary. Nobody at Google (as far as we know) is looking at these sets of search results and voting sites up and down as if they were browsing reddit. Google’s Matt Cutts talked about this in a new Webmaster Help video released today. He responds to the user-submitted question: If you have human ‘quality raters’ evaluating the SERPs and influencing which sites may be impacted by Panda, how do you confirm that consumers are more satisfied with the results? “There’s a problem with this question…the word ‘influencing,’” says Cutts. “So, we have evaluation raters who look at the quality of pages, using their own judgment, as well as guidelines that we give them on when things are navigational, when things are vital, which things are off topic, which things are spam…all that sort of stuff. But those folks don’t influence our algorithm in any direct sense.” “When an engineer has…an idea for an algorithm – call it “panda” – he’ll come up with an algorithm, and it will rank the results 1-10, so you’ll have a side by side (left side and right side), so you’ll actually have the results right there,” he continues. “That goes out to the evaluation team and these human quality raters, and as a blind taste test, they say, ‘I prefer the left side of the search results’ or ‘the right side of the search results’…and then we’ll get that feedback back, but that evaluation where the search quality evaluators say, ‘I prefer this side’ or ‘I prefer that side’ does not directly affect the algorithm. It doesn’t affect Panda.” Cutts does suggest that we might see the actual guidelines Google gives to the quality raters made public. They have been leaked in the past, as he notes, but Google may sometime soon post those for anyone to see anytime. “We might be able to make those human quality rater guidelines that we make available to people at Google available to the larger world, and I think that would be a good thing because then people would be able to read through it,” says Cutts. “It leaked a few years ago, and what someone said was, ‘The biggest surprise is that there weren’t really that many surprises. All the guidelines that we provide are pretty much common sense, and would match with what I think just about anybody would sort of say about…’Yeah, it does make sense that this is a navigational page or that this is pages off topic.’” For more on what Cutts has said about Google’s Quality Raters process in the past, read this .

Oct 24 2012

Google Is Experimenting With Ways To Make Reconsideration Requests Better

Google has been experimenting with how to make the reconsideration request process better for webmasters who have been dealt a manual action penalty by Google. Google’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts, put out a new Webmaster Help video discussing reconsideration requests and whether or not they’re actually read by humans. The video was a response to the following user-submitted question: Right now, when a webmaster sends a reconsideration request, how many chances does it have to be read by a real human? Do you plan to make it possible for webmasters to answer when they get a result back from Google? “Whenever you do a reconsideration request, if you don’t have any manual action by the webspam team, so there’s no way we could do anything, in essence, because it’s algorithmically determining where you’re ranking, those are automatically closed out,” says Cutts. “Those aren’t looked at by a human being, but 100% of all the other reconsideration requests are looked at by a real person.” “We don’t have the time to individually reply with a ton of detail, and so we do think about ways to be more scalable, and so I understand it might not be as satisfying to get, ‘Yeah, we think you’re okay,’ or ‘No, you still have issues,’ but that is a real human that is looking at that and generating the response that you read back,” he says. He goes on to say that if Google still thinks you have issues with your site, you should take the time to investigate and figure out some things you can do before submitting another request. If you just submit it again without doing anything, Google will likely consider you to be “hard headed” and find it “unproductive to continue that conversation.” “We’ve actually been trying a very experimental program where when we see someone who’s done a reconsideration request more than once, we’ll sample a small number of those and send those to other people to sort of say, ‘Okay, let’s do a deeper dig here.’ You know, maybe we need to send a little bit more info or investigate in a little bit more detail,” continues Cutts. “It’s just one of the ways we’ve been experimenting. We’ve actually been doing it for quite a while to try to figure out, ‘Okay, are there other ways that we can improve our process? Other ways that we can communicate more?’ So it’s the kind of thing where we don’t guarantee that if you appeal a couple times that you’ll get any sort of more detailed of an answer, but there are people reading all those reconsideration requests.”

Oct 19 2012

Matt Cutts Talks About When You Should Worry About Your Links

Google’s Matt Cutts is back to posting Webmaster Help videos rather frequently. In the latest, he talks about whether or not a site should worry about their links if they have not been participating in link schemes. Cutts speaks in response to the following user-submitted question: If I haven’t bought links, participated in any linkwheels or schemes, or spammed links, should I spend time analyzing my links and trying to remove ones I didn’t create that look spammy? “My simple answer is no,” says Cutts. “If you haven’t been going way out there, playing toward the gray hat/black hat edge – if you haven’t been pushing the envelope, participating in paid links…all that sort of stuff, in general, you know, you get a mix of links from all over the web. Some of them are going to be higher quality (Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, whatever). Some of them are going to be lower quality, including some random people who happen to scrape other people who link to you.” “If you haven’t been pushing the envelope, it’s not the kind of thing where I would worry about looking at your link profile, carefully pruning, and trying to figure out each individual link that you think should count,” he continues. “Now, if for example, you have gotten an ‘unnatural links’ warning because maybe you were doing some paid links or you paid someone to build links on your behalf, maybe they were pushing the envelope, and you didn’t realize it, then you can download links, sorted by date,” Cutts says. “Hopefully we’ll give you some examples of the sorts of links to look at. Then it might make sense to look into that, but otherwise, your average mom & pop – your normal business (someone who’s not just trying to place number one for ‘poker’ or ‘online casinos’) is not the sort of situation where you need to worry about looking at your individual link profile in my opinion.” Google has actually penalized itself in the past for some “pushing of the envelope” that was done on its behalf without the company realizing it. You may recall that the company’s Chrome browser landing page was penalized after a paid link scandal. Of course, after the penalty wore off, the page was able to climb back up in the search results. Google, of course, has launched a new Link Disavow tool , which lets webmasters tell Google links it would like to be ignored, but Google has cautioned that this should really only be used as a last resort if you have had actual warnings, and have done all you can do to get the questionable links removed. Most sites should not use it, according to Google, and the comments made here by Cutts kind of back up that notion. Here, he’s basically saying that most sites probably don’t even need to worry about their link profiles (provided they’re not doing anything spammy), so these sites certainly wouldn’t want to mess with the Link Disavow tool, which when used improperly, could come back to haunt webmasters . If you’re unsure about what all Google considers to be link schemes, read this section from Google’s Quality Guidelines on the topic.

Aug 16 2012

Rand Fishkin Talks Twitter’s Impact On SEO

As previously reported SEOmoz has acquired Twitter analytics company Followerwonk . CEO Rand Fishkin said in a blog post announcing the deal that the companies have actually been working together since June. Followerwonk is a tool designed to help users find, analyze and optimize for “social growth,” and that means digging into Twitter analytics (who your followers are, where they’re located, when they tweet, etc.), and finding and connecting with influencers. Fishkin sees an opportunity to bring his SEO-savvy customers this kind of data, which can help them in their SEO endeavors, which are obviously not getting any easier these days. “I see Twitter impacting a lot of relationship building, which often leads to partnerships, links, referrals, and business development of all kinds,” Fishkin tells WebProNews. “We’re also seeing a very observable correlation directly between URLs/sites that are heavily mentioned on Twitter and enhanced performance in the search results.” “Whether that’s a direct or indirect results is harder to know, but plenty of examples and evidence certainly exist,” he adds. Google’s Matt Cutts actually talked a bit about social signals at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Francsico this week. He briefly touched on Google’s relationship with Twitter data, since the deal the two companies once had fell apart last year. According to a paraphrased account of the conversation from Brafton , Cutts noted that Google can’t crawl Facebook pages or Twitter accounts to see who is reputable or has real world impact as a brand. Brafton’s account of Cutts’ words continues: People were upset when Realtime results went away! But that platform is a private service. If Twitter wants to suspend someone’s service they can. Google was able to crawl Twitter until its deal ended, and Google was no longer able to crawl those pages. As such, Google is cautious about using that as a signal – Twitter can shut it off at any time. We’re always going to be looking for ways to identify who is valuable in the real world. We want to return quality results that have real world reputability and quality factors are key – Google indexes 20 billion pages per day. SEOmoz may just be able to help users identify who is valuable in the real world, using Twitter data, thanks to its new acquisition. Fishkin noted in his announcement, by the way, that they may add Google+ and/or Pinterest data into the mix at some point.

Jan 18 2010

Where Can I Get A Work At Home Job Working As An Online Customer Rep That Chats With People?

I’m looking for a place to get a work at home job as a customer rep. chatting with people online. Where can I find one?

Dec 25 2009

How Many People Have Found Work At Home Jobs Through The Work At Home Mafia?

I was looking for a work at home job and found more jobs listed on the Work At Home Mafia site then any other free site.